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Lake County Council tentatively eliminates berm mandate for target shooters
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Lake County Council tentatively eliminates berm mandate for target shooters

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Lake Council tentatively eliminates berm mandate for target shooters

The Lake County Council preliminarily agreed Tuesday to repeal a 2018 ordinance regulating target shooting in rural areas of the county.

CROWN POINT — The Lake County Council has preliminarily agreed to repeal a 2018 ordinance aimed at preventing rural residents engaged in target shooting from sending stray bullets onto their neighbors' properties or into their homes.

The Democratic-led council voted 5-2 on Tuesday to scrap requirements that target shooters fire only into well-constructed berms, ensure no bullet or projectile leaves the shooting range property, practice target shooting only between 10 a.m. and dusk, and not shoot within 300 feet of any residence.

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Councilman Christian Jorgensen, R-St. John, said the rules, championed by his 7th District predecessor Eldon Strong, R-Crown Point, are unworkable and unenforceable — particularly the berm mandate that Jorgensen said has caused significant confusion as south county residents seek the opinion of sheriff's police officers on berm issues he said deputies are not trained to evaluate.

If the repeal is again approved by the council at its Feb. 8 meeting, as well as by the Lake County Board of Commissioners, the ordinance would revert to the berm-less 2009 standard that prohibited target shooting or practice shooting within 200 feet of the property lines of a platted, approved and developed multi-lot subdivision of one acre lots or less.

Council members Christine Cid, D-East Chicago, and Charlie Brown, D-Gary, opposed the repeal. They said eliminating the berm and other gun safety requirements will endanger Lake County residents.

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