Mayor Lowe discussing changes to Discharging Firearms Ordinance

PHENIX CITY, Ala.- Some Phenix City residents are complaining about their neighbors skeet shooting in their neighborhoods. As a result , Mayor Eddie Lowe and the Phenix City Council have re-evaluated the discharging Firearms Ordinance.

Phenix City hasn’t updated their ordinance prohibiting the discharge of a firearm within city limits since 1926. The original ordinance was intended to prohibit the discharge of any firearms in the city limits and police jurisdiction.

Jeff Torbert, a Phenix City resident said, “My kids are nervous, my pets are nervous, my neighbors have other pets too and they told me the same thing.”

Based on the concerns from residents, Mayor Eddie Lowe said it was important to re-visit the issue for safety reasons.

“We needed to be in compliance, it never would have started at this point if we would have not had any complaints. So we’re only doing are due diligence. Which is the right thing to do, which is to be in compliance with the Alabama Act and also to look at the issue of public safety,” said Lowe.

Police Chief Ray Smith said one of the changes would require shooters to be a thousand feet from any residential area.

“A thousand feet is 360 yards and that tells us that it’s probably far enough away that if there was a round that were to get away from the range or from the hunting position that you’re in, it probably would still stay on that twenty acres and not impact a residential neighborhood,” said Smith.

Not everyone agrees with the updated rules. A Phenix City resident took his concerns to Facebook posting:

“The mayor decided to pass an ordinance without a public hearing. Land owners who lease land to hunters will no longer be able to lease hunting rights within the city limits of Phenix City. I plan to defend my rights and I hope you do too also.”

Mayor Lowe wanted to make it clear that he did nothing wrong.

“You don’t have public hearings for ordinances and we never did,” said Lowe.

On Monday, Phenix City Council will discuss the Firearms Ordinance at their work session. The Mayor says they will have another first reading to discuss the changes.

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