This weeks Hot, Hit Cop Tip – Gun Control.
That’s right the issue this week has to do with Gun Control… Okay, well not exactly as many of you are probably thinking right now. To our friends at OCT, calm down I think you’ll actually appreciate the purpose of this weeks tip, as it’s more about trash control than gun control!
The City of Aransas Pass has grappled with recreational use of firearms inside the city limits, specifically on the flatlands located east of the Dale Miller Bridge. Most all of those flatland areas are inside Aransas Pass City Limits. The issues experienced stem from the debris folks leave behind (like toilets and TV’s). After shooting up those items, they leave the debris along with their shell casings behind for someone else to pick up. If not for the good graces of one volunteer, primarily, many of those items would still be out there today.
In general, the gun control we’re talking about pertains to discharging a firearm or BB/pellet gun inside city limits.
Not unlike most other cities, it’s unlawful to discharge a firearm inside the city limits. If caught, there are two methods of enforcement available to officers:
- Arrest for displaying or discharging a firearm in a public place (class B misdemeanor)
- Arrest is the primary remedy for this one. See Penal Code 42.01(a)(7) or (8) or (9). The exact charge is dependent on the actual conduct.
- Citation for discharging a firearm in a public place (class C misdemeanor)
- We weren’t happy with having one stringent option available to us for enforcement. Upon further review, we discovered that our Code needed to be updated, as very few of the shooters actually caught deserved to go to jail. This now means that true recreational shooters may be cited and instructed to move along so long as littering or another offense isn’t afoot. Though it’s not updated on municode.com yet, you can view the city ordinance here.
Well not exactly have we only found a “few” pieces of trash being left behind. In fact, Robert Raye with Harbor Island Preservation has provided us with a detailed report of everything he’s cleaned up in some of our most troubled flatland areas since August 26, 2005. Granted, some may just be shooting up debris that had been previously illegally dumped. However, would you volunteering your personal time to clean up other people’s trash prefer to pick up another’s intact dirty toilet or pick up the numerous pieces left behind after a recreational shooter comes along and blows it apart?
As for that list, here you go:
Harbor Island Preservation Consolidated Report
August 26, 2005 – August 11, 2014
POC: Founder, Harbor Island Preservation, Robert Raye
Total Volunteer Hours: 3230.5
Expenditures: $9,973.04 / Monetary Donations: $482.00
Now as you can see, there’s definitely a littering problem going on out there. Furthermore, it doesn’t help when recreational shooters come along and contribute to the littering problem by adding unto or scattering existing debris into thousands of pieces.
Excellent question! Though we cannot directly reccomend any particular location, we can share a few Google searches we ran along with their results. Check em out:
Absolutely, help us by spreading the word! Share this article with your friends and family below via one of the many social media outlets, or simply email it to them directly.
If you would like to help with clean up efforts that take place on our beautiful flatlands, fill out the contact form below. Once you do so, we will put you down for one of our upcoming Trash Take-Back events and share your information with the Harbor Island Preservation.
Thank you for your interest in giving back to our community!
[contact-form subject=’Cop Tip Gun Control – Volunteer Form’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Phone number’ type=’text’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comments’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]
We sincerely hope you find this information helpful. Our goal is not gun control or incarceration for folks who enjoy recreational shooting. Our goal is to work with our community by keeping everyone informed and aware of our public safety efforts. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please comment below, contact us here, or reach out to us on social media. Likewise, if there’s a topic you would like to see discussed, let us know.