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Cottageville leaders hear from large crowd on gun safety concerns

About 100 people came to last week’s gun and public safety forum in Cottageville.
The Tuesday, Feb. 18th hearing was held by Cottageville Town Council, town Mayor Tim Grimsley and Cottageville Police Chief Jefferey Cook.
The town’s leaders initiated the hearing after several recent gun incidents started a conversation about the council, making possible changes to the town’s current gun laws.
These incidents include some residents carrying black powder guns inside the town’s limits and the firing of weapons near houses inside town limits, according to Cook.
“The hearing was good,” said Cook. “It was citizens coming in and interacting with us. I thought it was a very good meeting – it was citizens getting involved in their government and I want to see more of that.”
Cook said in a recent interview that citizen complaints’ prompted the public hearing, as town leaders began taking those complaints and consider making changes. Those changes include creating a new town ordinance that could address the firing of guns near private homes. The incoming ordinance could also tighten the description of the type of the gun that can be carried openly, which would address the issue of the antique black powder guns being shown openly inside town limits.
According to Cook, it is currently illegal in Cottageville town limits to carry a gun on any property that is owned by the town. That 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.
Cook said on Sunday that there is currently no new ordinance being considered by the town council. The town’s elected leaders are going to begin preparing an ordinance that would address all concerns: no immediate vote is foreseen in the near future, he said.
Cottageville Mayor Tim Grimsley could not be reached for immediate contact, as of press deadline.
Prior to Tuesday’s hearing, Cook said the conversation about gun safety is also directly linked to the town’s growing population.
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, last week. “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.”

Heather Walters (1722 Posts)