Letter – Shooting law unnecessary

Published 5:26 pm Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Editor, The Smithfield Times: 

Regarding the Times’ online article “Isle of Wight supervisors enacting shooting restrictions,” which didn’t even make last Wednesday’s paper as “news,” this is an open-ended law with very little public input after the small classified ad by regulation, announcing only some “minor” tweaking to the rules (only two people spoke).

I ask the following to ensure I am legal under this new law:

  1. Who has the published standards on what a backstop consists of (caliber/range)?
  2. What agency “issues permit” to construct backstops and the cost of the permit?
  3. Who is authorized//trained/certified to inspect the constructed backstop?
  4. Any prohibited materials within a backstop? (Armor plate, tires, dirt, concrete each affect a bullet’s penetration differently.)
  5. When shooting into wetlands (my property), will wetlands enforcement allow backstop?
  6. If a “projectile” is found on someone’s property, how will the law enforcement officer determine it was from another property owner’s weapon(s). Will the accused have to show a LEO all their weapon(s) without a warrant? Confiscation of the weapon(s) for verification assuming FBI ballistics lab comparison?
  7. If a projectile is found on someone’s property, how do you determine it is new and not from the middle of the 20th or 21st century or from a miles-away drive-by shooter?
  8. Will you now establish multiple “public” ranges for public shooting out to 600 yards for those who cannot build backstops or cannot receive a permit? 

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This does affect your Second Amendment rights; it affects the whole adult population of Isle of Wight County (so far) and it is done. It does not matter if you live in southern Isle of Wight with 200-plus acres; it’s now the LAW. 

It’s already illegal to shoot at someone’s property or person. Why is there need for yet another vague law to make it a misdemeanor that the judge will throw out due to lack of tangible evidence?


William Winget