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Village of North Hudson debates rules about discharging firearms

What started as a routine change in ordinance language turned into a debate regarding the village of North Hudson ordinance pertaining to the discharge of weapons. In the end, the ordinance changes failed on a 4-2 vote.

Village Trustee Ted Head said the proposed ordinance language was too restrictive.

“The law is too far reaching,” Head said. “Under the ordinance language, Nerf guns would be illegal.”

Head also brought up a scenario where kids using a sling shot to shoot at cans in a backyard would be illegal. North Hudson Police Chief Mark Richert agreed with Head’s analysis.

The proposed ordinance language reads: no person except an authorized police officer shall discharge any firearm, air or gas-propelled rifle or pistol, archery bow, archery arrows, slingshot or other article designed to propel any type of missile or projectile within the village…

The language “any type of missile or projectile” seemed to be the language that upset Head.

A second part of the ordinance language dealt with updating the “carrying concealed weapons” to comply with state laws. The board appeared to be supportive of those changes.

“I have issues with the first part (discharge of weapons) of the ordinance,” Head said.

The ordinance changes failed on a 4-2 vote. Voting against the proposed changes were trustees Head, Paul Rode, Daryl Standafer and President Stan Wekkin. Voting in favor of the ordinance changes were trustees Colleen O’Brien-Berglund and Rodrick Anderson. Trustee Marc Zappa was absent.

O’Brien-Berglund and Anderson are both members of the Public Safety Committee -- the committee that brought forward the ordinance proposals. Because of the failed vote, the ordinance goes back to the committee for potential revision.

Anderson, however, expressed concerns about more changes to the ordinance. He questioned whether it was the committee’s responsibility to pick and choose what types of weapons/projectiles/toys would be allowed in a new ordinance.

Doug Stohlberg

Doug Stohlberg has been part of the Hudson Star-Observer since 1973 and has been editor since 1987. He worked at the New Richmond News from 1971 to 1973. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota.

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