One of the things I genuinely hate about local governments is their insistence on telling you what you can and can’t do with your own property. Pretty much every municipality in the country tries to exert some degree of control over what you can and can’t do with your land, and sometimes I get it. Building codes, for example, are generally about making homes safer. Having survived tornados and hurricanes, I get it.
Yet some people just don’t want you to do anything on your land they don’t personally approve of. That’s the fight one town had to deal with when newer residents apparently wanted to put an end to shooting on private property.
The locals rallied, though, and it seems they came out on top.
The threat of “sweeping restrictions” being proposed to restrict target shooting on private property brought locals crowding into the Board of Supervisors’ normally quiet meeting in Springfield Township, Pa., Sept. 24. Several measures were formally proposed in the meeting, and rumors had suggested even more would be. Most of the proposed items were rejected, but one banning target shooting at night passed.
Cal Huntzinger, a local who attended the Board of Supervisors meeting, told America’s 1st Freedom that word of the possible restrictions “got everyone’s dander up.”
“We found out about it and we showed up in a heartbeat. I took four of my friends—we rode down in my pickup truck. When I called them, it took about three seconds for them to be like ‘Yeah, we’ll be there!’”
He said the Board of Supervisors was trying to address complaints mostly from new residents in the area who “get a little perturbed when people are banging away at night,” but longtime residents weren’t having it.
“Some people move here from Manhattan and places like that, to restore a farmhouse and such. But it’s rural here, with a tradition of hunting, fishing, NRA—you name it. … The people complaining maybe shouldn’t have moved here because it’s like that.”
The effort was killed, thankfully.
The township manager told America’s First Freedom that it wasn’t really about the Second Amendment. He argued it was really about whether the land’s use was primarily about shooting or if that was a secondary use.
Honestly, I don’t think that really matters.
Landowners who use their land as private, personal gun ranges should be free to do so as long as they’re not endangering the lives of others. As long as they’re not making money off of their land being used in such a manner, there’s absolutely no reason for the township to bother itself with it. (Personally, I don’t think they should even if money is being made off of it, but that’s another matter entirely.)
No, this was a Second Amendment issue, and I’m damn glad to see the locals come out on top. It warms my heart and it gives me hope going forward that we can weather this current storm and come out on top as a nation as well.