June 5, 2010
Byline: Jon Cawley
York‑Poquoson Sheriff Danny Diggs, a gun‑rights advocate, has weighed in on the ongoing debate over York County's gun discharge ordinance.
Diggs wants to chuck the whole thing.
The York County Board of Supervisors plans to revisit the issue on June 15 with another public hearing on the topic. Some supervisors have recently questioned whether the ordinance should stay on the books.
Discussions regarding proposed amendments to further restrict where and what types of guns can be fired in the county have been ongoing for well over a year since dove hunters legally shooting on private property prompted a lockdown at a neighboring elementary school.
In an e‑mail to York resident Greg Garrett, Diggs laid out his position in a four‑page statement.
"First, any restriction on the use of a firearm is a potential infringement of the Second Amendment and should be considered very carefully," Diggs wrote.
He said existing county policy that allows homeowner associations to petition the Board of Supervisors to be placed on a list of neighborhoods where any firearm discharges are illegal.
"It may be reasonable for associations to make rules for parking, trash or some other rule that governs day‑to‑day living, but giving the power to any association to infringe upon the Second Amendment" rights, or any other constitutional rights, Diggs said, "should be unlawful itself."
Perhaps more importantly, Diggs stated that in more than 10 years, no one has been charged under the county ordinance.
In the past 3 1/2 years, six arrests have been made following calls that started as "shots fired." All six were charged under existing state law ‑ three for reckless handling of a firearm, one for brandishing, one for carrying a concealed weapon and another for being drunk in public, Diggs wrote.
Diggs also questioned whether the discharge rules can be fairly enforced.
* Contact Jon Cawley at 247‑4635 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Also if you want to hear more:
from communist Tamera Dietrich, Gun groups vs. the Big Bad Thing
from Jon Cawley, York/Poquoson notebook: New gun rules to be mulled again in York