Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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More on the Hunting story

I’ve been getting a few e-mails from people who believe that there are plenty of laws on the books to enforce hunting near homes or roads. All of the e-mails are about this story.

I want to make it clear that the county DOES NOT have any local ordinances that limit hunting near residential neighborhoods. This information comes directly from the county and can be read in the Nov. 1, 2006, Planning Commission minutes online. Here is what those minutes say:

“Spotsylvania County currently does not have any regulations addressing the discharging of weapons adjacent to residential neighborhoods, even though the Virginia State Code allows such provisions as outlined in 15.2-1113-1 and 15.2-1209. Several localities have adopted some of the State Code provisions regarding the discharging of firearms with varying degrees.”

Secondly, you can see here that Spotsylvania is absent from the list. The county has no local ordinances for hunting. The Planning Commission will review ordinances and proposals at its Jan. 2 meeting and might make a recommendation to supervisors. If you have an idea, e-mail your supervisors at

There are some state codes, and I discussed this in my original story, but I deleted it for space. Sheriff Howard Smith said that his office is investigating the incident in the story as a possible reckless handling of a firearm. But what was deleted is Sheriff Smith explaining how difficult it is to enforce the law, nearly impossible. Not only do you need to find the person who shot the gun, a deputy has to be able to prove he knew he shot the gun in the direction of a home. He did not mention any other state code he could enforce for this. This gun was not fired within a subdivision. It was actually fired on private land and in between a Dominion Power easement.