Guns in Madison draw fire from resident
Mitch Freeman Madison County Record
People shooting guns in Madison is drawing fire from a local resident.
A Madison resident issued a plea to the city council to repeal the ordinance that permits gunfire within the city limits of Madison.
Ed Collins came before the April 28 city council meeting with a request to repeal city ordinance number 88-115, dated 12/20/88. Ordinance 88-115 provides that the chief of police may grant a special permit for hunting with or shooting shotguns, within the city of Madison.
"Madison issues only a handful of these permits per year, but I believe one is too many when our children's safety is concerned," Collins said. "There's a place for these activities, but not within today's or tomorrow's Madison. The repeal of this ordinance is long over due."
The ordinance sets forth various restrictions in regard to the permits. The application for permit must be submitted to the chief of police at 15 days prior to the shooting or hunting date, and the application must include a map that shows roads and houses within 250 yards of the property where the shooting will take place. The chief of police may immediately revoke the permit if upon his investigation, persons or property are found to be subject to endangerment.
Upon completion of Collins' remarks to the council, city council President Jim Reagan's response to Collins was, "Thank you." There was no further discussion on the issue.
Regan later said that he does not recall any problems related to the ordinance in his six plus years on the city council. He also said that he didn't hear anything in Collin's statement that required council action.
Collins was in front of city hall prior to the council meeting collecting signatures for cause. He said his petition has been circulating for a couple of weeks and that he has been unable to determine how many signatures would be required in order for action to be taken.
"A petition of that nature does not have any binding effect on the city council," Madison City Attorney Anne Marie Lacy said. The council may decide to take action or not, regardless of the number of signatures on a petition, she explained.
"I'm not aware of any problem with any individuals who have been issued permits," police chief Dan Busken said. Busken explained that when the permits are requested, police personnel go out to meet the people and make an assessment. The same people request these permits yearly and they know the rules, he said.