DAYTON — Dayton Town Council unanimously approved on second reading an ordinance that will prohibit the discharge of weapons in town limits. Ten residents attended the meeting, and six or seven spoke against the ordinance, Dayton Mayor Bob Wood said.
Some residents took issue with the wording of the ordinance, which has a section noting that if a person has a safe place to practice archery, he or she can do so without being prosecuted unless an arrow gets loose and causes damage to people or property. Other residents were against the ordinance in its entirety, believing it was unnecessary and a taking of personal rights.
Wood said the ordinance came about when a deer was shot in town limits and the game warden was unable to ticket the shooter since the town had no ordinance regarding the use of weapons in town.
The council decided it should have an ordinance so that law enforcement can prosecute the misuse of weapons if needed.
“It has nothing to do with taking your firearms or rights away from you. It’s common sense is what it is. It comes down to common sense, but we were accused of not following the wishes of the people,” Wood said. “Most people have common sense, but some don’t. You can’t go out on New Year’s Eve and shoot your gun up in air. We’ve had that happen. Bullets come down.”
The ordinance will require one more reading to become official.
In other business, Fisheries Supervisor for the Sheridan Region Game and Fish Department Paul Mavrakis gave a presentation on the results of a fishery project done in Scott Bicentennial Park last summer. The Sheridan County Conservation District completed a bank stabilization project along the Tongue River in the park. In doing so, they created nine holes in the river that could be used as fisheries.
Mavrakis said fish numbers weren’t up significantly since the creation of the fisheries, but that it usually takes about three years to see good results.
Wood noted that residents fished the river in the park nearly every day in the summer, which could have kept fishery numbers down, as well.