Local Government

LaGrange City Council amends weapons rules

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Nov. 14, 2017 8:55 am

LaGRANGE, Mo. -- Two revised ordinances regulating the use of weapons, firearms, air guns and crossbows in the city of LaGrange were approved recently by the LaGrange City Council and published in a Lewis County newspaper, taking up more than a half-page.

While the ordinances appeared to be lengthy and detailed, they really didn't trigger a significant number of changes in local rules, said LaGrange's former city administrator, John Roach, who spent his last day on the job Wednesday before moving to Pennsylvania.

In an interview before he left, Roach said both ordinances already existed but needed to be amended slightly, which required both of the revised documents to be printed in their entirety.

For example, Ordinance 609 regulating the use of weapons and firearms in the city "has been in place for some time," Roach said. He said a line was simply added to allow the operation and establishment of shooting and archery ranges in the city limits -- ventures that were not permitted under the ordinance as it was previously written.

Roach said the City Council decided to make the change after being approached by a person with a business operation in mind.

"We're working with someone to build an indoor gun and archery range," he said.

The revised ordinance would clear the way for such a venture.

"But they would still have to come to the City Council with a plan," Roach said.

The second ordinance, Ordinance 610, was amended to clarify that air guns, BB guns, paintball guns, crossbows, bows and other devices may be used on private property in the city. It also spells out that anyone ages 12 to 17 using such devices must be supervised by an adult.

"The way the previous ordinance was worded, if somebody wanted to sight their bow in before deer season with a target in their backyard, they were breaking the law. Or if you went out in your backyard and you had a BB gun, you were breaking the law just by holding it in your hand," Roach said.

"So the ordinance was basically structured to allow for that."

He said the ordinance's restrictions were noted while the City Council was reviewing Ordinance 609 regulating weapons and firearms, and the council felt an update was needed.

"That was really the reason behind that," he said.

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