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The original item was published from 11/3/2022 10:58:05 AM to 11/22/2022 12:00:03 AM.

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Amherst Bulletin Board

Posted on: November 3, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Proposed Bylaw Amendment - 3.22: Discharging of Firearms

The Town Council will hold a first reading of proposed bylaw amendments to General Bylaw 3.22: Discharging of Firearms, at the regular Town Council meeting on Monday, November 7, 2022. A second reading and potential vote is scheduled for the Town Council meeting to be held on Monday, November 21, 2022. 

The meetings will be held in person and virtually:

November 7, 2022 Town Council Meeting: Town Hall, Town Room; virtual meeting link; or join the meeting by calling (312) 626-6799 or (646) 876-9923; enter webinar ID: 899 6807 3574

November 21, 2022 Town Council Meeting: Town Hall, Town Room; virtual meeting link; or join the meeting by calling (312) 626-6799 or (646) 876-9923; enter webinar ID: 819 8432 4719

Council meetings are broadcast on Amherst Media channel 17 and live-streamed online on Amherst Media's YouTube channel here[ARCHIVED] Proposed Bylaw Amendment - 3.36: Soliciting.

Unless otherwise provided by general law or this Charter, every vote adopting, amending, or rescinding a bylaw shall become effective at the expiration of 14 days after final passage or a specified later date.

The proposed amendments to General Bylaw 3.22: Discharging of Firearms is as follows, with insertions shown in bold red text and deletions shown in bold red strikethrough text; the current General Bylaws are available online here:



Criminal Enforcement: $200.00 fine

Noncriminal Disposition: $200.00 penalty (enforcement by: Police Officers)

A. In accordance with M.G.L. c. 269, § 12E, no person shall fire or discharge a gun, fowling piece, or other firearm except as otherwise provided in § 12E.  To the extent not inconsistent with the law of the Commonwealth, the provisions of this section shall not apply to: 

(1) the discharge of shotguns or air-guns; or

(1) (2) the discharge of firearms:

a.    in the lawful defense of the person; 

b.    for the humane dispatch of injured animals; 

c.    by a person lawfully on a target, trap, or skeet range established for these purposes; 

d.    by a duly authorized peace officer acting in the proper performance of duty; 

e.    by a duly authorized military personnel participating in scheduled military exercises; 

f.    by a person using blank cartridges in theatrical performances or sporting events; 

g.    by an owner or tenant of land (or if authorized by either, a member of the immediate family or person permanently employed by the owner or tenant) but only upon that land and for the limited purposes of: 

1.    shooting a bird or other animal found to be damaging or posing the imminent threat of damage to the property; or 

2.    shooting domestic animals raised as livestock.

B.  Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections A(2)(g)(1) and  A(2)(g)(2) above, no person shall discharge a gun, fowling piece, shotgun, air-gun, or other firearm, or bow and arrow otherwise permitted under Sections A(2)(g)(1) and  A(2)(g)(2) within 150 feet of or in the direction of:  

(1) the paved surface of a State Rail Trail; or  

(2) the paved parking areas or entrance/exit ramps associated with a State Rail Trail.  

C.  Loaded guns, fowling pieces, shotguns, air-guns, or other firearms or bows and arrows shall not be carried on or within 150 feet of a State Rail Trail.

This notice is posted in compliance with Charter Section 2.10(a), and Town Council Rules of Procedure rule 8.3.

If you have questions, please reach out to Clerk of the Council Athena O’Keeffe, at or call (413) 259-3209.

The references cited above are from the Amherst Home Rule Charter, and the Amherst Town Council Rules of Procedure.

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