Agenda Item 5D
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative Attorney
Action: Expedited Bill 35-14, Weapons - Discharge of Bows -
Public Safety Committee recommendation (3-0): enact the Bill as introduced.
Expedited Bill 35-14, Weapons - Discharge of Bows - Amendments, sponsored by
Council Vice President Leventhal, Councilmember Berliner and Council President Rice, was
introduced on June 10. A public hearing was held on July 15 and a Public Safety Committee
worksession was held on July 17.
Under current County law, a person, other than the owner or occupant of the property,
must not discharge a bow within 150 yards of a dwelling house, residence, church, or other
building or camp occupied by human beings without the written consent from the owner or
occupant of the property. This area is known as the "safety zone." Bill 35-14 would reduce the
safety zone for archery hunters in the County from 150 yards to 100 yards from a dwelling
house, residence, church, or other building or camp occupied by human beings.
SB 309, enacted by the General Assembly this year reduced the archery hunting safety
zone in the County from 150 yards to 100 yards. Bill 35-14 would keep County law regulating
archery hunting consistent with State law. The background for the State law, SB 309, is
described in the Fiscal Note at ©4. The Council supported SB 309 during the legislative session.
Both speakers, Peggy Dennis, speaking for the Montgomery County Civic Federation,
and Robert Cissel, speaking on behalf of the Montgomery Agricultural Producers (©IO),
supported the Bill. Each of the speakers discussed the overpopulation of deer in the County and
argued that this Bill would provide an additional opportunity for a humane method of reducing
the overpopulation. We also received a letter supporting the Bill from David Weitzer of the
Montgomery County Agricultural Advisory Committee. (©11-12).