Gunfire Sparks Council to expand the urban area

Montgomery County Council

Montgomery County Council has expanded the area in Montgomery County where shooting with firearms is prohibited, with a few exceptions.

The newly defined urban area includes nine residential areas near Kruhm Road in Burtonsville.

The urban area stretches from the county’s borders with the District of Columbia and Prince George County to areas as far north as Brink Road in Laytonsville and extends west to Little Seneca Creek.

According to the county code, shooting with firearms is prohibited in the urban area of ​​the county, except for shooting at a shooting range approved by the county firearms safety committee. Firearms can be fired in a private basement, for self-defense, for hunting in designated areas, and for ceremonial purposes with blank ammunition, such as at military funerals.

County laws on urban boundaries do not conflict with the Second Amendment because a 2008 Supreme Court ruling in the District of Columbia against Heller allows local governments to restrict the use of firearms, according to a note prepared for the county council.

“There is an old but still relevant common law doctrine; You can “use your own property so as not to harm the property of your neighbors”. This doctrine applies to the unloading of firearms, ”the memo reads.

The urban boundary had not been updated for more than 20 years, according to a bill sponsored by former council chairman Hans Riemer at the behest of former county executive Ike Leggett.

The bill, which received unanimous approval at Tuesday’s county council meeting, came in response to the sound of gunfire near a Kruhm Road address 21 times in 2018. According to Jeff Zyontz, A legislative analyst, Montgomery County Police have filed three reports following a number of safety concerns raised by neighbors.

“During these investigations, it was determined that the resident … resides outside the urban area, possessed several permits issued by the State of Maryland which allow him, with certain restrictions, to shoot firearms at his home. property. The license holder was not violating any county or state law, ”Zyontz wrote in the memo.

The resident was not identified in the note and could not be reached on Wednesday.

Dan Schere can be contacted at [email protected]

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