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Cottageville growth has leaders looking at town gun laws

Cottageville leaders held a public safety forum on Tuesday night to discuss possible changes to the town’s gun laws.
According to Cottageville Police Chief Jefferey Cook, several recent gun incidents have prompted the town’s leaders to begin taking a serious look at existing gun laws.
These incidents include some residents carrying black powder guns in town limits.
Other recent incidents that prompted the conversation include residents firing their weapons inside town limits, shooting at targets on their private property.
“The forum is actually based on citizen complaints about guns in the town and gun safety,” said Cook. The 6 p.m. forum took place at the Cottageville Municipal Complex.
“We also want to take this opportunity to educate our citizens on gun laws,” said Cook. “This effort is absolutely not about taking anyone’s guns.”
The Tuesday gun safety forum is meant to be a conversation between the town’s leaders and its residents before Cottageville Town Council takes any votes on changing the town’s existing gun ordinances, said Cook.
Cook said it is currently illegal to carry a gun on any property that is owned by the town. This property includes Cottageville Town Hall, Cottageville’s Police Department, and the town’s municipal complex and its adjoining courthouse. The ordinance also applies to the town’s public park, which is located next to Cottageville Town Hall.
A second existing town ordinance addresses the use of B.B. guns and slingshots within town limits.
In addition to addressing gun safety concerns on Tuesday, Cook said the town’s leaders are also taking a hard look at incoming growth. The town’s leaders are looking to establish more clearly-defined ordinances as the town grows.
According to the 2010 U.S. Population Census, there are approximately 700 people who live within the town’s limits. Even though this is the most recent record provided, Cook says he knows this number is low and that more people are moving to the town regularly. He hopes this year’s 2020 census will provide more accurate numbers.
“We are trying to keep gunfire away from the business district and high populated neighborhoods,” said Cook.

“The last thing I want is for someone to be firing their gun in their back yard in a more heavily populated neighborhood, and a kid gets shot off of their bicycle. Our neighborhoods are getting more people.”

All citizens were encouraged to attend Tuesday’s meeting. The meeting occurred after this newspaper’s print deadline. We will provide updates from this meeting via social media and in our next printed issue. “This is the reason we are calling for this meeting for citizens to come in and speak their views,” said Cook.

“Again, we are not taking guns. This is not a gun grab. This is not a gun control issue. This is a gun safety issue,” he said. “People who safely carry guns protect everyone, including police officers. This is not about seizing guns and taking guns.”

Heather Walters (1707 Posts)