Conoy Township supervisors asked their solicitor to look into what can be done about a Locust Grove Road resident who has been firing a gun repeatedly, including late at night and early in the morning.
Supervisors Chairman Stephen L. Mohr said at the township meeting on Thursday, Aug. 10, that police have been called about the gunfire, but he said the man firing the gun has not been breaking any laws. He said the disturbances have been going on for two years.
“It started out as a neighborhood feud and it has escalated,” Mohr said.
The man has been shooting toward his own house lately, with solid steel plates to prevent the bullets from doing any damage, Mohr said, but he added that the noise of the gunshots has been a nuisance, and that police have asked him to show up at the shooter’s house when they are too busy to respond.
Mohr said there is only so much police can do.
“At some point it becomes harassment if the police do, in fact, overstep their bounds,” he said, adding that police have been getting advice from the district attorney’s office about what they can do.
Township Solicitor Matthew J. Creme Jr. said the township has a nuisance ordinance and that he can look into what can be done about the matter. He added that the township is limited in what it can do because it must be concerned about violation of Second Amendment rights, but private citizens do not need to recognize those rights if they wish to pursue civil actions.
Supervisors Vice-Chair Gina R. Mariani said the township should pursue action under a nuisance ordinance for any sort of noise nuisance, not just gunshots.
“You don’t need to run your mower at 5 o’clock in the morning just to bug people,” Mariani said.
Mariani said many neighbors have complained to her about the gunshots and she urges them to report the shots to police so the matter will be documented.
Mohr said the man who has been disturbing neighbors with gunfire is well versed in his legal rights.
“He knows he’s stretching it to the limit – knows every paragraph in every law book,” Mohr said.
In other business, supervisors agreed to waive penalties and interest for people who establish payment plans for overdue sewer bills and stick to the plans. Supervisor Clyde H. Pickel cast the lone vote against that; Supervisor John L. Shearer had left the meeting early; Supervisors Kevin S. McKain, Mohr and Mariani voted in favor.
In another split vote, supervisors agreed to advertise a proposed ordinance accepting dedication of two streets and two open space lots in the TownsEdge housing development. Mariani voted against that; Shearer was absent and the other three voted in favor. Creme emphasized that the vote was not to accept dedication but merely to advertise a proposed ordinance that would be voted on at the next supervisors meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14.