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The county council held a public hearing for a possible noise ordinance on Tuesday. 

Cecil County Councilman Alan McCarthy (R-District 1) is considering introducing a firearm safety law that would restrict where and how a firearm could be legally discharged to avoid future tragedies like the death of a 10-year-old girl here on New Year's Eve.

“I've had numerous requests from citizens,” McCarthy said Tuesday during a council work session.

“This is a draft only,” he cautioned while pointing to a copy of a Harford County ordinance that could be used as a basis for a new law here.

He told his colleagues that he hopes to stimulate discussion on this topic as he seeks a way to protect citizens from stray bullets, while respecting the rights of lawful gun owners, target shooters and hunters.

McCarthy cited the death of Aaliyah Destiny Boyer, a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl visiting her grandparents' Elk Neck home on New Year's Eve, as inspiration for his proposal. Boyer died as a result of being hit by a stray bullet while outside watching fireworks from her grandparents' yard.

“This was an unnecessary discharge of a weapon in my opinion,” McCarthy said. “I don't think people should have the right to do this.”

McCarthy said his proposal is meant “to prevent and penalize those who do these kinds of things.”

Councilwoman Joyce Bowlsbey asked how this ordinance could be enforced.

“I don't know, but I think it would allow me to report such an incident to the police if I saw my neighbors doing this,” McCarthy said.

Bowlsbey acknowledged it is a big problem in Cecil County as she noticed as recently as the Independence Day holiday.

“I hear guns going off practically every night,” Bowlsbey said, adding, “If we do this, it will be a huge educational issue trying to make the public aware of it."

Councilwoman Diana Broomell suggested getting input from the state's attorney, while Council President Robert Hodge said the county attorney, county sheriff and county executive could try to find out if any state law already exists to cover this type of thing.

“I've not contacted the family yet, but possibly, with their permission, we could name this law after her (Aaliyah Destiny Boyer),” McCarthy said. “This type of thing has no purpose and potentially has serious consequences.”

(2) comments

cecil

We have enough laws, don't need anymore. How about enforcing the ones we have? What good is passing new laws if they are not enforced? There is not enough law enforcement officers to enforce the laws we have now. Has the individual who shot the little girl been caught?

suntaxman

When you hear a "bang," how do you discern a fire cracker, etc. from a gun being fired - especially in the context of July 4?

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