[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Harrison as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 3-4-1998 by L.L. No. 1-1998]
This legislation is intended to promote the public safety, health and welfare of the residents and property of the Town/Village of Harrison. In connection therewith, the Town Board recognizes that the Town/Village of Harrison is a densely populated suburban town in the lower tier of the County of Westchester, flanked to the south by the Village of Mamaroneck, to the east by the City of Rye and the Village of Rye Brook, to the west by the Village of Scarsdale, Town of Greenburgh and the City of White Plains, to the north by the Town of North Castle. The Town/Village of Harrison is approximately 25 miles from Times Square and a significant proportion of its working population commutes to the City of New York on a daily basis. The largest open space areas consist of golf courses, state-, county- and town-owned land and a few large tracts of residential property which are earmarked for development in the next few years. The Town Board hereby finds that due to the town's densely populated nature there is a distinction between the town and northern sections of Westchester County that requires the strict regulation of the discharge of firearms in the town. Being aware of the suburban character of the town and because of the limited confines of areas within the town and the close proximity thereto of residential and other structures and property inhabited and used by residents of the town, and being further aware that the use of firearms in the town is a matter affecting the public health, safety and welfare that should be subject to control by the Town/Village of Harrison, the Town Board intends by the enactment of this article to regulate the discharge of firearms within the Town/Village of Harrison.
No person shall, except in self-defense or in the discharge of official duty and when reasonably necessary for the protection of life or property, fire or discharge or cause to be fired or discharged any firearm, air-gun or other weapon as defined in § 265 of the Penal Law.
The prohibitions in this article shall not apply to discharge of a weapon by a member of or guest of a gun club or range upon such gun or range's premises, provided that the use of such premises as a gun club or range is a permitted use.
The Chief of Police may permit the discharge of projectile firing ammunition from firearms upon any appropriate occasion of public ceremony, or by an owner upon his or her property, provided that the following conditions are complied with:
Application is made, in writing at least seven days before the proposed use of firearms, showing that a responsible adult will be in charge of the proposed use of firearms, and further showing that precautionary measures for the protection of the public health that are sufficient in the judgment of the Chief will be taken by that applicant.
A bond, with sureties satisfactory to the Town Attorney, shall be filed with the application before the proposed use of firearms, in an amount satisfactory to the Town Attorney, conditioned for the payment of any and all damages to any person or to any property caused by the proposed use of firearms, and provided further that the Town Attorney may, in his or her discretion, dispense with the posting of any such bond in the case of firing of memorial salutes with rifles loaded with blank cartridges by any veteran's or military organizations.
Nothing in this article, however, shall be construed so as to prohibit a landowner from firing or discharging the weapons described in § 140-2 hereof upon his or her own premises, provided that (1) such owner observes the other provisions of this article, and (2) provided that such owner shall have first secured a permit for that purpose, issued by the Chief of Police; provided, however, that nothing contained herein shall permit firing or discharging of such weapons if it violates any other federal, state or local law, statute or ordinance.
The contemporaneous possession of any wounded or dead wild animals, wild birds or game or the possession and carrying in the field of a firearm shall be presumptive evidence of discharge of such firearm.
Any person who violates any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of not less than $100, nor more than $250 for each offense. In addition thereto, said violation shall constitute disorderly conduct, and the person violating this article shall be a disorderly person. Each discharge of a firearm in violation of the provisions of this article shall constitute a separate offense.
Should any section or provision of this article be declared by any court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional or invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of this article as a whole or any part thereof other than the part declared to be unconstitutional or invalid.
This article shall take effect immediately upon filing in the office of the Secretary of State of New York in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Home Rule Law.