City of Vernon proceeds with firearms bylaw

Vernon’s proposed weapons rules are finally on target.

After considerable discussion and revisions, council has given three readings to a firearms and weapons bylaw.

“There is quite a bit of bow hunting, particularly in Okanagan Landing, and I am concerned about safety,” said Coun. Catherine Lord, who pushed for the law.

If the bylaw is ultimately adopted, bow hunting can only occur on properties more than two hectares in size. Bows must be marked to identify the user.

Provincial Right to Farm legislation allows bow hunting, and other types of hunting, to occur on any property with a designated farm use.

Plans to restrict spray irritants, like bear spray, have been scrapped in the proposed bylaw, but a license will be needed for bear bangers, an explosive device used to scare off nuisance wildlife.

Lord supports the requirement for a license.

“Bear bangers are fairly dangerous. If it happens in a neighbourhood, people will be aware that they are being used,” she said.

Opposition comes from Coun. Patrick Nicol.

“There’s already legislation in place that takes care of it,” said Nicol of provincial authorities.

“Also, when you look at the costs (for administration), we could have done a couple of worthwhile projects like school safety.”


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