More oppression....Maybe somebody needs to march through downtown Topeka with openly carried shotguns. Would teach them a lesson...

And just because a bullet ended up in the kid's window, it doesn't mean that it was shot there! It could just as easily have been planted there by someone. For their own (anti) purposes. No proof.

County approves gun ban in area
Commissioners consider it unsafe to fire guns in subdivisions

By Tim Hrenchir
The Capital-Journal
Published Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Shawnee County is banning the firing of guns, except in self-defense, in the three Clarhan Farms subdivisions west of Topeka.

After saying they were undecided last month about whether to support the ban proposed by Commissioner Shelly Buhler, commissioners Ted Ensley and Vic Miller voted in favor of it Monday as the ban was approved, 3-0.

Miller and Ensley — a former state secretary of wildlife and parks — said they are both hunters and support allowing hunting in areas where it is safe, but consider it unsafe to allow guns to be fired in the Clarhan Farms subdivisions because houses there are fairly close together.

Residents of those subdivisions signed the petition that brought about the hearing Monday on the issue. That petition bore signatures from owners of properties located in the 8900 and 9000 blocks of S.W. 35th Street; the 8800 and 8900 blocks of S.W. 37th Street; and the 3300, 3400, 3500 and 3600 blocks of S.W. Hodges and Clarhan roads.

Hodges Road is four miles west of S.W. Wanamaker Road. Clarhan Road is about one-quarter mile east of Hodges.

Buhler, whose council district includes the Clarhan Farms subdivisions, sponsored the proposed ban. Commissioners initially took it up last month but postponed action until Monday.

Commissioners heard Monday from several opponents of the ban, who said its passage would set a bad precedent by preventing some non-city residents from hunting on their own property. Speakers included Jordan Austin, the National Rifle Association's liaison to several states, including Kansas. Austin suggested the proposal's passage could trigger a domino effect that would lead to similar bans elsewhere.

Commissioners also heard from several of the ban's supporters. Some suggested Clarhan Farms landowner Dave Lewis has put lives at risk by hunting and allowing his friends to hunt on his 9- to 10-acre parcel.

"I'm not opposed to hunting but I'm opposed to a bullet in my son's window," said Lisa Balaun.

Balaun said her family a few months ago found a bullet had struck a window of their 12-year-old son's room. Authorities haven't determined how it got there.

Lewis insisted the shot wasn't fired by himself or any of his guests.

"There's no evidence whatsoever that there's been an irresponsible shooting of firearms on my property," he said.

Lewis said he and his friends fire shotguns only, and don't shoot in the direction of houses. He said it was unsafe to fire a rifle or pistol in the area because of the close proximity of the homes and because those weapons fire projectiles farther than shotguns.

Still, Miller questioned the safety of firing shotguns in the area. He asked those attending Monday's meeting to raise a hand if they had ever been hit by a shotgun pellet. Six people raised a hand, including Miller.

He said that as he looked at the Clarhan Farms area recently, he recalled an incident during his college years when two men he was hunting with fired at birds that flew in Miller's direction and a pellet struck him in an eye.

"These houses are closer than the distance between the guns and my eye," he said of the Clarhan Farms homes.

Miller said that while he considered both men who fired in his direction that day to be responsible hunters, they tended to swing their shotguns in whichever direction the birds flew, regardless of what else was in that direction.

Miller said he likewise couldn't be assured the people hunting on the Lewis property would only shoot in the directions that were safe.

Monday's vote marked the second time commissioners have banned the firing of guns, except in self-defense, in an unincorporated area of Shawnee County. Commissioners in 2003 approved a similar ban affecting the Montara subdivisions south of Topeka.

The resolution approved Monday imposes fines of $100 for the first violation, $250 for the second and $1,000 for the third or any subsequent violation.