E. Lampeter OKs guns in parks
Applies to licensed owners; discharging prohibited 'except for justifiable use of force' E. Lampeter OKs guns in parks BY LYNN COMMERO, Correspondent
Licensed gun owners can now bring their firearms with them to parks in East Lampeter under a new ordinance adopted by township supervisors on Jan. 22.
The township previously prohibited park patrons from carrying or discharging firearms in its parks.
The new ordinance prohibits the discharge of firearms "except for the justifiable use of force as authorized by Chapter 5 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code."
Township manager Ralph Hutchison said significant changes were made to the updated parks ordinance. The original ordinance was adopted in the 1980s.
"The park board worked on this quite a while to form the new parks ordinance," he said.
Hutchison said later that officials recognized that the previous ordinance's prohibition of firearms might not be constitutional. The township solicitor assisted with language for the new ordinance, he said.
Another change to the ordinance is a section on the use of power-driven mobility devices.
Electric-powered wheelchairs are permitted on park trails approved for pedestrian access if they generate an electrical output of no more than 300 watts. They also must be no more than 36 inches wide.
Electric-powered bicycles that allow the user to pedal on battery power also are permitted and must meet the criteria for power-driven mobility devices.
Hutchison said the change was added to the ordinance because of federal requirements stating the need to acknowledge such devices.
The section in the ordinance regarding permits now outlines the requirements for reserving a pavilion and/or ball field in a township park.
According to the ordinance, anyone who wants to reserve a pavilion must first request a permit, and ball teams wishing to reserve a ball field must submit their request to the park board in writing annually.
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