Newborn passes gun ordinance

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

NEWBORN -- The Newborn Town Council has approved an ordinance regulating discharging of firearms.

The ordinance makes it unlawful for residents to discharge a firearm except in defense of person or property. However, small game hunting is allowed during daylight hours on weekdays on one's own property and more than 250 feet from property lines and roadways. Only shotguns may be used and only No. 7 and No. 8, known as bird shot or target loads, are acceptable ammunition. The largest permissible caliber allowed is 20 gauge and no magnum loads may be used.

Carrying a firearm on the streets and sidewalks in pursuit of a bird or squirrel or any animal is prohibited.

Violators are subject to a fine of up to $500 and jail time of up to 10 days.

The council took up the matter following complaints that residents were shooting squirrels in their yards, possibly endangering neighbors. Councilwoman Martha Ellwanger cast the only opposing vote, saying the new ordinance isn't restrictive enough. The previous ordinance required a distance of 150 feet from a neighbor's property or the street and did not place restrictions on the type of firearm or ammunition.

In other news, during a violent storm in the early Sunday morning hours, lightning struck a tree on Field Street, traveled down to its roots and hit a water line, causing 113 homes to lose water. The town's two-man public works crew worked from 7 a.m. Sunday until about 2 a.m. Monday to repair the line. They were assisted by several residents, Town Councilman Tom Krieger and Mayor Roger Sheridan.

"For our town workers to work uncomplaining for almost 20 hours so the citizens could wake up to running water this morning, I am very proud," Ellwanger said.