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Last week, the editorial board pondered writing about proposed county legislation that would restrict use of firearms. We were torn on the court’s decision to leave well-enough alone by not passing this ordinance. While we believe in gun owners’ right to bear arms, we also have concern for weapons being used in dense areas. And Oldham County is slowly but surely becoming one dense area. But our biggest question was whether existing laws protect residents enough if someone is firing a gun in a heavily populated subdivision. Some say yes, others, no. So we too decided to leave well-enough alone, not having enough information to opine one way or the other. And then, an Orchard Grass Hills resident answered all our questions. About 8:30 p.m. March 8, a resident of Plumwood Place shot his .308 caliber rifle out his back window. He was shooting into the dark at his deck, he told police. You can’t get much more dense than Orchard Grass Hills. It’s a subdivision that fits the guidelines local officials hoped to protect by passing legislation that prohibits firing a gun within 300 feet of a building. The ordinance — which fiscal court members chose not to approve after hearing from gun enthusiasts at a recent meeting — was drafted after magistrates received calls from neighbors complaining of gunshots fired in subdivisions. Turns out, this particular ordinance wasn’t necessary after all. After several Orchard Grass residents called 911. The Orchard Grass resident was charged with one count of first-degree wanton endangerment. He was taken to Oldham County Jail and later released on bond. We applaud the court for being concerned about the safety of Oldham County residents and considering legislation that would attempt to ensure it. It’s particularly Utopian to think that everyone in a neighborhood is going to make sound decisions, especially when it comes to dangerous weapons, but that’s not always going to be the case. Though many who choose to fire a gun in a densely populated area have no intent to harm, mistakes do happen. Costly mistakes, at that. Turns out the court made the right decision— no need for unnecessary legislation that serves no real purpose. And it’s nice to have that confirmation by the events on March 8 in Orchard Grass — even though it could have been a potentially dangerous situation.
The views expressed in this editorial are endorsed by the six members of The Oldham Era’s editorial board.