TANEYTOWN — Concerned about public safety, the City Council Monday unanimously approved an emergency ordinance that prohibits the shooting of arrows within city limits.
The ordinance, effective immediately, was sought by City Manager Joseph Mangini Jr. and Police Chief Melvin Diggs, who have received several complaints about adults shooting arrows in residential areas.
The city had no ordinance on the books regarding bows and arrows.The ordinance, city officials said, does not apply to indoor ranges or restricted shooting areas used by local clubs.
Shooting arrows will be permitted in controlled environments or by approval of the mayor and the council.
"My basic concern is safety," Diggs said. "I've actually had complaints about people shooting bows and arrows intothe woods, where people are walking or kids are playing."
There have been no injuries, Diggs said.Prior to voting on the ordinance, the council reviewed pictures of arrows a resident had shot at a shed in his yard. The arrows had pierced through the wooden walls, causing Mangini concern that someone could have been struck.
"The picturesconvinced the council about the ordinance," he said.
City officials said they didn't want to wait the usual 30 days before adopting anordinance. Typically, an ordinance is introduced at a council meeting and then acted upon a month later, following legal advertising and a public hearing. The ordinance then does not take effect until 23 days after adoption.
"It's really a safety issue," Diggs said. "These things are deadly. People use them to kill deer. I don't want to see anybody get hurt. We wanted something on the books before someone got hurt."
The emergency ordinance actually revises an existing city ordinance that prohibits the discharging of firearms, air rifles and other devices in city limits.
Violators will be issued a $25 fine for a first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense, city officials said.