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Bryant faces gun ban proposal

The Bryant police chief wants to ban people from firing BB and pellet guns, and using bows and arrows, in city limits.

The Bryant police chief wants to ban people from firing BB and pellet guns, and using bows and arrows, in city limits.

The chief tells FOX16 he got this idea when someone complained about a man shooting a Canadian goose with an arrow. Hurting a Canadian goose is already against federal law, but Chief Tony Coffman says he needs city council to pass a law in Bryant so no people get hurt.

"It could go through a window, strike a kid or an adult, or put an eye out," says Coffman.

Coffman says his proposed ban on firing BB and pellet guns and bows and arrows in Bryant is a matter of safety.

"If my child was shooting a BB gun out and about, with me being responsible for the damage that they cause, I would want to know what they're doing," he says.

Bart Turbyfill sells a lot of BB guns this time of year at his Benton shop to Bryant parents.

"What did you think initially when I first told you about this?" asked FOX16's Kelly Dudzik.

"I was shocked. Shocked. I actually didn't know how to take it, really," said Turbyfill.

Turbyfill's pellet gun customers are usually hunters using them for target practice in their yards. Some pellet guns are as powerful as .22s, which is why with all of these weapons, Turbyfill says safety has to come first.

"Treat a weapon as if it were loaded at all times, and you should not have any trouble," he says.

But, he thinks it is the parents' responsibility, not the city's, to keep an eye on their children.

"Teach them the weapon before they ever fire it. They should know how to load the weapon, unload the weapon and shoot properly before they ever go out to shoot,"he says.

So, how does Chief Coffman plan on enforcing the ban if it passes?

"If we actually see them do it, then the first time we'll take them home, wake up their parents. Explain to them we do have an ordinance for this, and explain that they could be fined the next time they get caught," says Coffman.

The Bryant City Council meets Thursday night. FOX16 asked Coffman if he'd put this on the fast track for a vote Thursday. He said no.

You have the next three city council meetings to speak up. The council would vote after the third reading of the proposed changes.

This would essentially ban hunting in Bryant, which is allowed now with bows and arrows.

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