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Calaveras Shooting Rules Changes Take Effect

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Amendments to Calaveras County’s “shooting ordinance” further limit the use of firearms near buildings while changing the definition of a firearm to match the California Penal Code. The revisions took effect last Monday.

The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors amended the existing ordinance to address Calaveras County Sheriff Dennis Downum´s concerns about an “increase in complaints regarding persons shooting firearms near buildings where other people gather to perform agriculture or equestrian functions.”

Two residents showed up at the evening supervisors meeting, one to voice concerns and one to show support for the ordinance.

Patterned after a state Fish and Game code that prohibits hunting within 150 yards of certain buildings, the supervisors changed the ordinance wording to prohibit shooting within 150 yards of “any occupied dwelling house, residence, or other building or any barn or other outbuilding.”

The update would allow shooting within 150 yards of a building only with written permission from the property owner. The old ordinance prohibited shooting within 150 yards of “any dwelling unit, house, abode, or any building designed for human occupancy.” It excluded barn facilities.

Under the old ordinance, the sheriff couldn’t stop a person from shooting 50 yards away from a stable. In addition, the old ordinance only banned center-fire or rim-fire weapons and didn’t address black powder muzzle-loading rifles.

“Modern muzzle-loading firearms are capable of the same shooting characteristics as center-fire ammunition and are far more powerful than rim-fire ammunition,” the sheriff said in a memo to the supervisors.

For more Calaveras news, go to the Calaveras Enterprise