A letter from a constituent about a bullet that passed through the walls of his house on Bank Street in November prompted a discussion among County legislators during the Public Service Committee meeting Tuesday afternoon about the merits of a recently enacted local law that allows long guns to be used during hunting season.
Legislator Ed DeJaneiro expressed the most concern about the law.
"This bullet passed through two windows and continued on and I think it's just a matter of time before something is going to happen and everybody's going to say, 'Oh, my God," DeJaneiro said.
Bill Moon reported the incident to the police and the Department of Environmental Conservation investigated and determined the bullet likely came from a .30-caliber weapon.
In his letter, Moon expressed concern that there are just too many irresponsible people out there to allow long rifles in a county like Genesee where the land is mostly flat.
"We were very fortunate not to be home at the time of the incident and so escaped possible harm or death," Moon wrote. "Every day that we got up and saw the damage reminded us how close we were to an immediate danger. Some other person or child playing in a yard may not be so lucky next time."
The local law was enacted at the request of a group of gun owners who noted Genesee County was one of the few counties in the state that didn't allow long rifles for big game hunting. The Legislature passed a resolution asking the State Legislature to change the local law, which it did last year at the urging of Senator Mike Ranzenhofer and Assemblyman Steve Hawley.
Legislator Mike Davis noted that the county can't repeal the law and can only look to the State Legislature not to renew it when the sunset provision rolls around in October 2017.
"At this point, I think we can just keep our fingers crossed and hope there isn't an incident that's going to make us all feel different about this law," DeJaneiro said.
DeJaneiro suggested the County Legislature needs to seriously reconsider the law.
"These weapons are not needed for hunting deer in a highly populated, flat area," DeJanerio said.
Long rifles are better suited to a county like Wyoming, with hills and valleys where hunters can better take advantage of the capabilities of a long rifle to take down prey.
Committee Chair Marianne Clattenberg said she brought the letter to the meeting and put the discussion on the agenda because Moon is one of her constituents and he has a right to have his concerned heard.
"This will come up again next year and let's hope this is an isolated incident," Clattenberg said.