Proposal would prohibit backyard archery in city limits

GREENFIELD — Backyard archery would be prohibited in city limits if an ordinance the city council is mulling goes through.

Greenfield City Council members have preliminarily OK’d an update to an existing ordinance to prohibit archery within city limits except for at a shooting gallery or range. Violators could face fines between $5 and $50, the proposed ordinance reads.

It is expected to receive final approval at the next city council meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. March 8 at city hall, 10 S. State St.

City rules already prohibit residents from shooting guns, including airsoft, BB or toy guns capable of causing injury, except at a range. The ordinance was first penned in the 1960s, said city attorney Tom Billings.

The county has a similar ordinance prohibiting the discharge of a firearm or pellet gun in close proximity to a residence, but the ordinance doesn’t address archery.

Bows and other archery equipment were added after city officials received a request from a resident concerned about bows being shot in his neighborhood, Mayor Chuck Fewell said.

Adding bows to the ordinance makes sense since other shooting equipment is already prohibited, Fewell said.

Requiring residents to shoot archery at a range rather than in neighborhoods bolsters the ordinance and provides another layer of public safety, he said.

There are other opportunities to participate in archery in Greenfield, officials said.

The Greenfield Parks Department offers archery programs for youth and adults, and Highsmith Guns in Greenfield has a 10-lane archery range residents can rent for the day to practice.

Some residents said they support the ordinance because they’re concerned about the safety of children and animals in neighborhoods where residents are using bows. Others said as long as it’s done in a safe manner, residents should be able to shoot bows in their backyard.

Greenfield resident Rickey McPherson approached city officials about prohibiting archery, saying he worries about his four children’s and dog’s safety when a nearby neighbor uses a bow in the backyard, which the city ordinance currently allows.

He said accidents do happen, and prohibiting the equipment now might prevent someone from getting hurt.

He said he has no issues with hunting or shooting as long as it’s done in a safe manner.

“My kids have to be able to play in the backyard safely,” McPherson said. “That’s why we’re trying to get this changed.”

The ordinance does not prohibit residents from shooting an arrow or other shooting weapons if they’re protecting their property.

Have your say

The Greenfield City Council meets next at 7 p.m. March 8 at city hall, 10 S. State St. On the agenda is an ordinance that would prohibit backyard archery within city limits.

The council reserves time each meeting for residents to address city officials.

Author photo
Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.