More talk of proposed ordinance before Jenks meeting

Staff Writer

When the Forest County commissioners met for routine business Thursday, the talk of the town was the proposed firearms discharge ordinance that will be discussed at Monday’s Jenks Township supervisors meeting.

County Sheriff Robert Wolfgang, a Jenks Township resident, said a deputy will represent the department at Monday’s meeting but will remain neutral.

“We’ll be able to cite current statutes and keep the peace, but we’re not getting involved,” Wolfgang said, adding that his department is generally pro-Second Amendment.

Jenks supervisors have said in previous interviews that the purpose of the ordinance is to prohibit recreational shooting at night, which they said residents have complained about. Supervisor Kevin Carter said the ordinance isn’t designed to restrict gun rights or make changes to any existing hunting laws.

Supervisor Christy Snyder said the issue has been blown out of proportion since the township received a letter from a Pittsburgh Second Amendment watchdog group threatening litigation if the ordinance is passed.

County commissioner Robert Snyder, also a resident of Jenks Township, said he has been inundated with phone calls asking about the ordinance.

“My phone rang for three days, mostly from campers,” Snyder said. “I had to tell them it’s not us.”

Wolfgang said that if the township had problems with people shooting guns at night, those people should be prosecuted for violating existing disorderly conduct laws.

The Jenks Township meeting is scheduled at 5 p.m. Monday.

In other business Thursday, the commissioners approved a contract between the county and the Army Corps of Engineers for the patrol services of the Forest County Sheriff’s Office in the amount of $36,026 per year. The contract is effective through December 2020.

The next commissioners meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, May 17, in the law library of the county courthouse in Tionesta.