Attendance is crucial!
Jefferson County commissioners will be considering a proposal on Monday, November 20, to make it easier to prohibit shooting and hunting in the county. This public hearing will be a continuation of the meeting originally scheduled on November 6. Over 100 NRA members showed up on that date and, due to a lack of space, forced the meeting to be rescheduled. Your attendance at the upcoming meeting will be even more important because those opposed to hunting and shooting will attempt to get their people out in greater numbers to counter the voices of NRA members. If you did not attend the first meeting it is critical you attend this one. If you DID show up two weeks ago, take two or three friends and go again next Monday!
Existing county law requires affected residents to sign a petition requesting a no-shooting zone before Commissioners can consider its creation. The proposal would allow government officials to initiate the process of prohibiting shooting in the county and allow county employees to request restrictions on shooting based solely on the undefined standard of “significant enough” population density.
To date, there is no indication that there have been any safety-related problems in the county or that there has been a problem in creating no-shooting zones where there is a justifiable need. There have been reports of discussions in the last year, however, regarding the creation of very expansive no-shooting zones which would include large chunks of the county encompassing rural areas, private farmland and WDFW and DNR land currently open to shooting and hunting. The November 6 proposal would seem to pave the way to implement such restrictive ordinances.
Your attendance and participation at the upcoming November 20 public meeting to discuss the future of shooting and hunting in Jefferson County is crucial. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in Company A, Fort Worden Commons, at Fort Worden State Park located at 200 Battery Street in Port Townsend.
This attempt to make it easier to impose restrictions on law-abiding shooters and hunters is similar to efforts NRA has been monitoring in many counties throughout the State of Washington. It appears that people are becoming fed up with the negative aspects associated with an urban lifestyle and are causing population shifts to historically rural counties. But then when they get there, these newcomers find there are characteristics of rural life they aren’t accustomed to or don’t like (firearms and shooting, for instance) and they work to impose their urban mind set on the rural traditions of their new area.
It is absolutely critical that firearm owners, shooters and hunters turnout for this meeting. Although it is scheduled to start at 6 p.m., NRA recommends you arrive at 5:00 as there will likely be many anti-shooting advocates there trying to fill the seats.