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    Posted February 2, 2013 by
    Bowdoinham, Maine
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Gun control debate: Background checks

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    Gunshots in Maine

    I was living in Bowdoinham Maine this past year, and my neighbor would target shoot right along my driveway and my property line. I was concerned that this could be dangerous for me, for my animals or for my clients, but when I called the Town, and the Sheriff's office and even the state police, I was told that my neighbor "sure knows his rights." I just wanted to know if his firing range was safe, but I was told that there was nothing I could do, andthat unless the town had a gun ordinance, the sheriff's office would not respond.

    At the same time, the town was prohibiting me from training dogs outdoors. Although my neighbor was legally allowed to shoot at whatever time of day, right alongside my property line, just steps from the road and my mailbox, although the town had no gun safety ordinance, they did have an ordinance which prohibited me from training dogs outside. In Bowdoinham Maine, a home occupation must take place entirely indoors. Just two years after we bought the property and starting setting it up for my dog training and education program, fortunately we were able to sell it. We moved back to Portland, where shooting is not allowed anywhere.

    Towns do have the authority to regulate the discharge and storage of weapons. If you support better gun safety, the best thing you can do is bring your concern to your town government, demand that your town create an ordinance to address the need for safer storage, safer firing ranges, and time-of-day discharge rules that will make it easier for citizens to tell the difference between safe and lawful versus possibly dangerous and unlawful shootings.
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