Letter to the Editor:

Last week, at the Kennett Township Board of Supervisors meeting, dozens of concerned residents came to voice their concerns about repeated, annoying and unsafe discharges of firearms in township neighborhoods.  The residents had called the police on numerous occasions and spoke with the homeowner, all to no avail, despite dangerous, high-powered rifles being fired with no berm to prevent the bullets from carrying beyond the property.

When faced with concerned residents, the police noted on several occasions that there is no statute in Kennett Township against firearm discharges. Thus they couldn't do anything to stop such firings, even if they went on for hours at a time, unless someone was actually shot. The board of supervisors initially referred to Pennsylvania state law restricting their ability to do anything to protect the safety and welfare of our residents.  The board of supervisors was worried about possible lawsuit challenges to such an ordinance.  Amazingly, this is the same board that was willing to spend $37,000 in a losing defense to keep our township's finances from being viewed by the public, but now won't take any chances to protect us from a clear danger.

The concerned residents, my neighbors, located other Pennsylvania townships' ordinances on the discharge of firearms that were enacted for public safety and welfare (e.g. - West Goshen, Fallowfield, and others), demonstrating that firearm discharges can be controlled without conflicting with the rights of law-abiding and responsible gun owners in Pennsylvania.  Some of the strongest voices for limiting dangerous gun discharges at the town meeting came from people who are gun owners. This issue isn't about one gun owner, one block or one neighborhood, but is about protecting the entire township.

The Kennett Township Board of Supervisors needs to quickly review what is legally allowed and what has already been successfully implemented in other townships.  At the next board of supervisors work session there should be a draft ordinance presented so as to permit time for public discussion by all parties. Then it should be put to a vote at the earliest subsequent board of supervisors meeting on July 15.  There is no excuse not to promptly enact an ordinance to control the discharge of firearms for the safety of our residents and the welfare of our township. I call on the board of supervisors for action.

 

Richard Leff

Candidate for Kennett Township Supervisor