Alabaster not changing BB gun ordinance

Published 12:35 pm Friday, October 23, 2015

FIfth-grader Logan Robbins asked the Alabaster City Council to change the city's BB gun ordinance in early October. (Contributed)

Fifth-grader Logan Robbins asked the Alabaster City Council to change the city’s BB gun ordinance in early October. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The Alabaster City Council will not be voting on changing the city’s firearms ordinance to allow residents to shoot BB guns, crossbows and bows and arrows in city limits, council members said during an Oct. 22 work session.

The decision came a few weeks after 10-year-old Thompson Intermediate School fifth-grader Logan Robbins asked the council during an Oct. 8 work session to modify the firearms ordinance.

The city ordinance 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.

During his speech to the council on Oct. 8, 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.

During the Oct. 22 work session, City Council President Scott Brakefield and other council members said they were not in favor of changing the ordinance, citing safety concerns. Ward 7 Councilman Tommy Ryals, whose district contains the Robbins’ residence, was absent from the work session.

“I’m not in favor of changing it. What (Logan) said was great, and I think he and his parents would be 100 percent responsible about it,” Brakefield said. “But somewhere in this city, there’s a little Scott Brakefield who would shoot a light out if we changed it.

“I think we should leave it off the agenda for Monday (Oct. 26) since we aren’t making a decision on it at this time,” Brakefield added.

Ward 1 Councilwoman Sophie Martin and Alabaster Mayor Marty Handlon agreed with Brakefield.

“As far as safety and risk of injury, I think we should leave it the way it is,” Martin said.

“There aren’t many Logans out there,” Handlon said.