An amended hunting ordinance is being considered by the Brainerd City Council.
On Sept. 22, the council tabled a motion that would have restricted the use of firearms within the city after several property owners complained the ordinance restricted hunting and other use of firearms on large properties.
The ordinance considered in September would have made it illegal to discharge a handgun or rifle in the city. Other firearms, such as shotguns and muzzleloaders, would be allowed for hunting with a permit from the city but within certain hunting zones. Archery would be allowed in other zones.
After Brainerd Police Chief John Bolduc met with concerned property owners, he came back with an amended, slimmed down version of an ordinance.
The new ordinance being considered allows the discharge of firearms for hunting or target practice on parcels of land 5 acres in size or greater that are privately owned and with the property owner's permission; meets all other requirements under Minnesota law; and with a permit issued by the police department.
Archery hunting is allowed on private property with permission of the property owner; on undeveloped, publicly owned land unless otherwise posted; and with a permit from the police department.
The council will hold a public hearing at its Nov. 16 meeting. Bolduc said that, if approved, the ordinance would go into effect Jan. 1.
Council member Bonnie Cumberland said her biggest problem with the original ordinance was the use of hunting maps and likes that the new ordinance does not incorporate them.
"This eliminates the need for a map and clearly delineates where people can hunt and under what circumstances," Cumberland said.
Council member Anne Nelson Fisher said that while in favor of the ordinance at this time, the city may have to make it more restrictive in the future as the city develops.
Council President Kevin Goedker said the ordinance addresses concerns of hunting and that police need to enforce the discharge of firearms in the city.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
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