Sooke council is repealing the district’s firearms regulation bylaw.
Most property within the boundaries of Sooke are already restricted on the use of firearms under federal, provincial and regional legislation, a municipal staff report stated.
The discharge of firearms within 100 metres of a church, school building, schoolyard, playground, regional district park or dwelling house, and farm is prohibited.
Regional District Parks and trails are closed year-round to the discharge of firearms and hunting.
Council began examining the firearms regulation bylaw in January 2016 when it decided farmers who were facing crop damage should be exempt from the bylaw.
It took municipal staff a year to bring forward a bylaw amendment, but when it was presented in January 2017, council said it didn’t include hobby farmers and sent it back for review.
In September 2017, council again directed staff to bring back a streamlined version of the firearms bylaw and asked it address bow hunting and the culling of geese.
But while the bylaw proposed to council Nov. 25 did include regulations for bows and crossbows, it did not specifically address the problem of geese. Instead, it spoke generally about the protection of agricultural crops and livestock from wildlife.
The proposed bylaw also failed to address the plight of hobby farmers, and limited the discharge of a firearm or bow to agricultural land reserve properties of at least two hectares.