Firearms on Private Property

ellington town hall

An ordinance regarding the discharge of firearms on private property is under consideration following complaints by residents at the Aug. 23 Board of Selectmen’s meeting.

Christine Olmstead, of Middle Butcher Road, played a 45-second recording of gunfire in her neighborhood, according to the meeting minutes. She said the sounds come from a gully at the edge of her property.

She said she and her husband, Rick Olmstead, have talked to the neighbor who is not interested in discussing the matter. 

Rick Olmstead said the neighbor said unless there is a town ordinance against it, he is within his rights to shoot guns on his own property.

Arno Groot, also of Middle Butcher Road, said on May 25 he estimated hearing 200 rounds of large caliber gunfire. He said he is afraid of bullets coming on or near his property. He said he does his personal shooting at a gun range.

Selectman John Turner said he knows of at least two other neighborhoods that have come to the board with similar complaints.

Police Sgt. Brian Santa said without a town ordinance, he can only tell people whose neighbors complain that they are not being good neighbors. He noted he is talking about residential settings, not about people with large pieces of property. He said in three years, he has had two cases of stray rounds.

The board voted unanimously to refer the matter to the Town Ordinance Committee to consider establishing an ordinance on discharging firearms on private property and target shooting on residential property.

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