We would like as many people as possible at the Feb. 13 meeting and at the public hearing on Feb. 27th.
I hope that residents in the surrounding towns (such as Marlboro, Shrewsbury,
etc.) will know what is going on in Colts Neck and attend our meetings. We have
much helpful information that we can share with them.
Thank You,Rose Ann
Scotti, Former Mayor, Colts Neck Township.
By the time I became Mayor of Colts Neck Township in 1993, it had evolved
from being a farming community to a primarily residential one. Consequently, for
safety reasons, we amended our Firearms Ordinance to reflect the residential
growth that had taken place, and developed a no discharge map, which had the
effect of prohibiting the discharge of firearms or other weapons in developed
areas. Makes sense, doesn’t it? So, why is the Colts Neck Township Committee
rescinding the current firearms code and no discharge map and replacing it with
a firearms code that allows the discharge of firearms for hunting in most
developed residential areas with no acreage restrictions?
The answer is clear to me. An open discussion with our residents on deer management techniques has evolved into an issue of hunters’ rights. It seems the hunting lobby and the State Division of Fish Game and Wildlife have convinced the Township Committee that we are mandated (their words) to bring our Firearms Ordinance into compliance with state law, and cannot impose more stringent restrictions on the use of firearms than those in state code. Do our elected officials actually believe that they are not able to institute more stringent safety regulations to protect the public, or do they fear to do so because there is the specter of a lawsuit looming on the horizon; a lawsuit, I presume, to be filed by the hunters’ lobby? How sad for Colts Neck, and all of the towns pummeled by these people if those who are responsible for the safety and well being of residents give in. The point is: We believe we are well within our rights under the New Jersey State “Home Rule” provisions to meet and exceed the state law for the safety and well being of our citizenry.
Citizens in our local towns are uneasy about gunfire these days, and the
Newtown tragedy has us hugging our kids a little tighter. Our Boards of Education are struggling to come up with common sense solutions to the need for increased security in our schools. If the Township goes ahead with this ordinance, our children will be waking up to gunshots in our neighborhoods and will have to be cautious about where and when they run and play in the woods.
My research has convinced me that by rescinding the no discharge map, the safety and well being of our residents will be seriously compromised. At the Feb. 13 Township Committee meeting, I will present the governing body with a packet of information I have gathered, including data on recent hunting accidents. I hope they will be convinced, as I am, that our codes need to remain as they are, or perhaps even tightened. I will also ask that the Township Attorney request Committeeman Orgo to remove himself from discussions and votes on the ordinance due to conflicts of interest including, but not limited to, the fact that the status of lands which he owns, controls, or may be authorized to hunt on will be impacted by this ordinance.
I hope to see many Colts Neck residents at both the Feb. 13 Township Committee meeting and the public hearing on the Firearms Ordinance, which is scheduled for Feb. 27 at 7:30 in the Courthouse.