Skip to content

Vernon takes aim at bow and arrow bylaw

City bylaw weapons exemptions comes under scrutiny; review ordered
Bylaw officers are among a handful of exemptions of people who can legally fire a crossbow or bow and arrow inside corporate city boundaries, according to the City of Vernon’s firearms and weapons bylaw. (Black Press file photo)

Protective services manager Darren Lees confirms bylaw officers for the City of Vernon do not carry crossbows or bow and arrows.

But they could.

Bylaw officers, as it was discovered by Vernon council at its Monday, May 9 meeting, are part of a handful of exemptions who can legally discharge a longbow or crossbow within the corporate boundaries of the city, as per firearms and weapons bylaw 5399.

Bow, arrow and crossbow are defined in the bylaw as weapons which, under the rule, are prohibited from being discharged within the corporate boundaries of the city.

Those exempt from the bylaw requirements are bylaw enforcement officers; hunters or predator control contractors in compliance with the Wildlife Act while on properties bigger than two hectares in size; bona fide farmers or their designate engaged in the destruction of predators and protection of crops on a parcel owned or occupied by the farmer, in compliance with the Right To Farm Act; Vernon School District students being trained in the use of a bow and arrow, and under supervision from a teacher of person of responsibility, during school hours; and individuals involved in an archery competition/practice, hosted by a recognized and organized group or archery club meeting.

It was the wording of the exemptions that drew considerable discussion from council.

“I’m wondering if this is still something we should have in place,” said Coun. Teresa Durning, who told colleagues she comes from a long line of hunters and gatherers. “Bylaw officers can bow hunt in the city? Farmer can bow hunt? Yes? (confirmed). It shouldn’t be in place. The (bylaw) wording can be better.”

“We can look into it further,” said Lees.

Coun. Brian Quiring finished the lengthy debate with a confession. It was he, he said, who helped draft the bylaw in 2012. Quiring said the bylaw’s intent was to give a hand to local orchardists.

“If you had an orchard, and you had deer, you could whack a deer legally with a bow and arrow,” he said. “The way it’s written, during hunting season, if I have five acres on Okanagan Landing, I can go deer hunting. But the bylaw was intended for orchardists. I made it and we can revise it if we need to.”

Council voted unanimously for a staff high-level review of the exemptions in the bylaw, and to bring a report back to council.

READ MORE: Vernon Elks look to city for assurances of future

READ MORE: UPDATE: Vernon Pickleball Association looking to expand facility

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Be Among The First To Know

Sign up for a free account today, and receive top headlines in your inbox Monday to Saturday.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.

Don't have an account? Click here to sign up

Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
Read more