Tin cans, glass bottles, robins, lizards and other such small targets can heave a tiny sigh of relief. The Payson Town Council just banned BB guns.
Well, not completely. To be specific, stick to your own back yard if you want to pop off any kind of pellet, airsoft or paintball guns in the town limits.
And make darn sure that BB doesn’t cross the property line.
Last week, the Payson council adopted Ordinance 805, which bans any “air, gas-operated, electric, or spring-operated gun, commonly referred to as BB guns, pellet guns, airsoft guns, paintball guns, or similar instruments.”
The law recognizes two exceptions.
You can fire off the aforementioned deadly weapons on private premises with the permission of the “person in lawful possession of the gun” — so long as the “projectile fired or discharged does not leave the grounds or premises.”
The law also makes an exception for an organized meet or shooting match on private “grounds or premises” with the permission of the “owner or controller” and a note from the chief of police.
Oh. Yeah: One more exception.
A “government agent” can still plink away any darn place he wants in “furtherance of his duties.”
The council held two hearings on the proposed BB gun ban before voting unanimously to approve the new law last week.
The only citizen to testify supported the prohibition, saying plinking kids in her neighborhood had created a major problem.
So much for Wild West plinkers in the home of the World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo.
Good thing the council didn’t go after Colt .45s and deer rifles.
And a good thing they didn’t ask the Arizona Legislature for permission.
After all, this year the Legislature approved laws that would overturn city ordinances banning hunting in the city limits, make it easier to get a permit to carry a concealed firearm, allow firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges, and make it easier for people with a history of mental illness to regain their right to carry a gun.
The Legislature said colleges can’t prevent faculty members from bringing a gun to work and insisted towns can’t ban guns from public buildings unless they provide metal detectors, a guard, and a lock box for people to drop off their guns while they visit with the town council.
But at least Payson’s got the whole BB gun situation under control.