Yonkers bans unsheathed bows
By MICHAEL GANNON
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original publication: April 28, 2004)
The City Council last night outlawed the carrying of an
unsheathed bow within the city limits, a response to concerns aroused last
year by deer apparently killed by hunters in the northwest part of the city.
The legislation highlighted a short meeting in which
council members also banned the use of camera phones or other imaging
devices in health clubs. Both laws were passed unanimously.
The bow legislation, proposed in December by
Councilwoman Dee Barbato, R-6th District, prohibits the carrying of bows in
any public place. It does not apply to persons carrying bows to, from or at
an authorized firing range or competition, or on their own property.
The law is modeled on a similar city ordinance that
outlaws carrying or possessing firearms in a transparent case within the
city. Research by lawyers in Corporation Counsel Frank Rubino's office
determined that the city does not have the right to expressly outlaw
hunting, which is regulated by the state.
Animal activists Kiley Blackman and Taffy Williams
helped press for the legislation after neighbors of the Andrus Children's
Center on North Broadway complained to police in November and December about
bowhunters on the 110-acre property, a large part of which is heavily
wooded. The pair attended last night's meeting to press the council to vote
in favor of the legislation.
"It's insane to think this would be allowed in Yonkers
and no one would get hurt," Williams said.
Blackman pledged to aggressively distribute leaflets in
the area to make people aware of the new law.
Bow hunting is the only form of hunting allowed in
Westchester County under state law. The deer-hunting season in Westchester
is from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, and a valid hunting license is required. It is
illegal to hunt on private property without permission.
State law also has restrictions on where hunting can be
done, such as within 500 feet of a dwelling or occupied building unless
there is consent from the owner. In addition, archers cannot use bows with
any mechanical device that is attached to the bow for drawing, holding or
releasing the bowstring.
The ban on camera phones was proposed earlier this
month by Council President Richard Martinelli. It piggybacks a similar
county law passed last month, which prohibits the use of cell phones and
other picture-taking devices from locker rooms, bathrooms and changing areas
of Westchester- run facilities.
The Yonkers law imposes penalties including fines and
possible imprisonment. It requires health club operators to post signs at
the entrances of facilities making people aware of the law and asking them
to report violations to management.
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