Ellsworth council rejects man’s request to shoot guns in his backyard

Ellsworth council rejects man's request to shoot guns in his backyard

Aug. 17—The Ellsworth City Council voted 5-2 on Monday to reject a request from local resident John Linnehan, an outspoken Second Amendment supporter, to shoot guns in his backyard for target practice. The city has a ban on shooting guns within 300 yards of any house in the city’s urban compact zone. Linnehan lives within that zone on a 34-acre property on Shore Road. Linnehan told councilors that he has built a 150 foot-long shooting range in his backyard, complete with gravel and earthen berms to help prevent any potentially stray shots from exiting the range, unless they go up in the air. He said his family has owned the property since the late 1950s, and that he only recently learned — after a neighbor contacted police to report hearing shots fired — of the city’s ban on discharging firearms within 300 yards of a neighboring house in the urban zone. He assumed it was 300 feet, which is the state’s minimum distance for discharging a firearm near a dwelling. His nearest neighbor to the range is 385 feet away, he said. Linnehan said he has been using the range for target practice because he wants to become proficient at shooting, in the event that he needs to defend his family from an intruder. “Well regulated means well practiced,” Linnehan told the council, referring to the wording of the Second Amendment that allows citizens the right to keep and bear firearms and refers to a “well regulated Militia.” “I […]

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