Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors will consider a bill in November aimed at minimizing the risk of stray gunfire in the quickly growing Virginia county.
The supervisors’ transportation and land use committee Tuesday voted to forward the bill introduced by Supervisor Ron Meyer, that would make it unlawful to fire a gun on property without a berm, backstop or natural landscape that would capture the bullet.
“You are responsible for keeping your rounds on your property,” Meyer told NBC Washington. “And, if you fail to do that, there needs to be consequences.”
Target shooting is allowed in specified less-developed areas of Loudoun County, mostly in the western part of the county.
“When we moved in 20 years ago, we used to hear gunfire all the time,” Loudoun resident Amy Lee told NBC Washington. “But back then it wasn’t a big deal because no one lived in the area.”
Last month, a woman was slightly injured by gunfire from a neighbor’s target shooting, in the area between Leesburg and Hamilton.
Since 2018, at least eight homes in Loudoun County have been struck by stray gunfire.
“With the growth that this county is experiencing, you have to start putting (rules) in place, or someone’s going to get hurt,” said Lee.
“If the sheriff’s department and commonwealth’s attorney find that you’ve been basically negligent, and not setting up a proper containment method for your rounds, then you can be punished,” Meyer said.
Members of the sheriff’s and prosecutor’s offices will be invited to participate in the board of supervisors’ Nov. 7 business meeting.