After two more reports of homes being hit by gunfire, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office today released a video promoting safe weapon use.
Over the past several months deputies have responded to several incidents where discharged rounds from handguns and rifles have struck nearby homes. On Saturday, there were two more reports of rounds being fired into homes—one on Paxton Road near Purcellville and another on Sierra Lane near Lovettsville. No injuries were reported.
“As firearms can be deadly, it is important that we all understand both gun laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, as well as Loudoun County ordinances that pertain to the discharging firearms. It is also important that you exercise your Second Amendment Right safely and be considerate of those around you,” stated Sheriff Mike Chapman.
The video includes information pertaining to the Code of Virginia for reckless handling of a firearms; requirements of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for certain weapons or attachments, such as fully automatic weapons and silencers, that require a specific stamp; and Loudoun County Codified Ordinance 684 that provides local regulations for the discharging of firearms.
The Loudoun ordinances specify require distances for outdoor shooting, as well as where individuals are allowed to shoot within the county. The discharge of firearms is prohibited within 100 yards of a building with a current occupancy permit unless the owner or authorized agent has given permission. Further restrictions prohibiting the discharge of firearms in certain parts of the county are also addressed. It is illegal to discharge a firearm 50 yards from a highway and 100 yards from any park, school, or occupied building.
The video can be viewed at http://sheriff.loudoun.gov/FirearmsSafety.
Residents are also encouraged to take the following precautions when target shooting or hunting in Loudoun County:
• Know your environment and where your target is in relation to residences around you. Your neighbors may be closer than you think. Utilize updated satellite imagery such as Google Maps to determine where homes and other buildings are in relation to where you plan to shoot. As Loudoun County continues to grow, there may be new developments or ongoing construction.
• Establish a proper backstop, such as a berm, for the types of weapons you plan on shooting on the property. Although this is not required by law, establishing a berm is helpful to ensure that rounds don’t travel beyond their intended targets.
• Know your weapon and the type of ammunition required for each weapon. Some bullets travel farther than others.