Boy, 10, asks Alabaster council to change BB gun ordinance

Published 11:28 am Friday, October 9, 2015

FIfth-grader Logan Robbins prepares to enter Alabaster City Hall to present to the City Council on Oct. 8. (Contributed)

Fifth-grader Logan Robbins prepares to enter Alabaster City Hall to present to the City Council on Oct. 8. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Thompson Intermediate School fifth-grader Logan Robbins wanted to go about things the right way after learning an Alabaster city ordinance prohibited him from shooting his BB gun in his backyard.

After researching the city’s firearm ordinance, which states it is unlawful to fire weapons such as BB guns, firearms, air rifles, crossbows and bows and arrows in city limits unless a person is protecting their home, attending a firearms or archery school or if they have more than 20 acres, 10-year-old Logan asked his parents about the process to change the ordinance.

“He asked how to change the ordinance, and we told him only the City Council can do that,” said Logan’s mother, Jennifer.

“So he asked us if he could bring it up at a City Council meeting,” his father, Jon, said with a laugh.

Logan’s parents contacted their City Council member, Tommy Ryals, and asked if the TIS student could present his concerns to the council. Council members agreed, and placed Logan at the top of their Oct. 8 work session agenda.

Logan worked with his mother to construct a speech to give at the work session, which he delivered to the council professionally and without hesitation.

In his speech, Logan asked the council to consider dividing the ordinance into two categories: One covering standard firearms and crossbows and another covering BB guns, air rifles and pistols and standard bows and arrows. He asked for the ordinance to remain the same for the first category, and for changes to be made for the second category.

While presenting his case, Logan said BB projectiles have significantly slower velocities than firearms and crossbows, and said a half-acre would provide adequate space to shoot a BB gun. He said eye protection should be required, and said shooting BB guns is a good way to hone firearms safety practices.

“I don’t hunt, but I love to shoot and hopefully I will competitively shoot one day. Since firearms cannot be shot at my home, a BB gun can help me learn to shoot,” Logan said, noting he currently travels to his grandparents’ house in Adamsville to legally shoot his BB gun. “My parents and grandparents have taught me responsibility when shooting a BB gun.”

City Council members praised Logan for bringing his concerns to their attention, and said they will consider changing the ordinance.

“If we can find a way to amend this to also cover the people who may not be as responsible as you are, I think there may be room to modify it,” Ryals told Logan. “You’re doing it exactly right by coming to us. Some people would just shoot until they got caught.”

How would Logan feel if his actions led to a change in the city ordinance?

“I would be so happy,” Logan said. “I don’t know of anyone else who has done that.”