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Intent to Adopt

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the West Manheim Township Board of Supervisors will consider for passage an Ordinance of West Manheim Township, York County, Pennsylvania to regulate the use of explosive targets within the Township and providing for penalties for violation of such regulations.  The Board will consider the Ordinance for adoption at its next meeting of the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, August 15, 2023, at 7:00 P.M. at the West Manheim Township Municipal Building located at 2412 Baltimore Pike, Hanover, Pennsylvania 17331.



ORDINANCE NO.  ________


WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 1527 of the Second Class Township Code, 53 P.S. § 66527, the Township is authorized to adopt ordinances to secure the safety of persons or property within the Township and to define disturbing the peace; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 1534 of the Second Class Township Code, 53 P.S. § 66534, the Township is authorized to adopt ordinances to impose safeguards concerning inflammable articles as may be necessary; and

            WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors have received reports of the use of Tannerite and other explosive targets being used by residents engaged in target shooting on private property; and

            WHEREAS, after investigation of said reports, the Board of Supervisors have found that the explosions of the Tannerite/explosive targets are substantially loud, causing health issues, distress and annoyance to humans, horses, livestock and pets; and

            WHEREAS, the explosions of such targets cause shock waves sufficient to cause shaking and vibration within neighboring homes; and

            WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors has found that the use of explosive targets by those engaged in target shooting on smaller parcels of land and/or in close proximity to a property line has a negative impact on neighboring property owners and their property; and

            WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors has determined that placing certain limit on the use of explosive targets serves a substantial legitimate interest in preserving the peace and protecting the residents of West Manheim Township from the negative impacts of the use of explosive targets; and

            WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors further find that the restrictions on the use of explosive targets is narrowly tailored to protect the interests of the residents of West Manheim Township while allowing residents and other individuals to maintain proficiency with firearms by practicing on non-explosive targets.   

NOW THEREFORE, it is hereby enacted and ordained by the Board of the Supervisors of West Manheim Township, York County, Pennsylvania, at a meeting duly assembled, as follows:

Section 1.        Recitals.  The foregoing Recitals are incorporated herein by reference as if set forth more fully herein.

Section 2.        Title.    This Ordinance shall be known and cited as the “West Manheim Township Explosive Target Ordinance” (herein referred to as “Ordinance”).

Section 3.        Purpose.  The purpose of this Ordinance is to implement standards for the detonation of explosive targets that may cause injury, death or damage to individuals and to real or personal property, while preserving the personal freedom and right to engage in target shooting, in the in furtherance of promoting public health, safety, welfare, comfort and prosperity of the residents of West Manheim Township.

Section 4.        Definitions.  Terms used herein shall carry their common meaning and definition unless otherwise defined below:

BUILDING – Any structure intended for the shelter, housing or enclosure of persons, animals of personal property.

DETONATE – Any action that will cause an explosive material or device to explode.

EXPLOSIVE – Any chemical compound, mixture or device, the primary or common purpose of which is to function by explosion.

EXPLOSIVE TARGET – Any device, utilized for the purpose of shot confirmation, which explodes upon impact by a projectile fired from a firearm.  Such devices are typically comprised of chemicals or materials that react in an explosive manner once impacted by a projectile or a detonation device, including, but not limited to, binary explosive targets made of separately packaged fuel and oxidizer components that must be mixed to make the explosive device live.  Such devices/targets include, but are not limited to those marketed under the name of Tannerite, Star, Sure-Shot and others.

OWNER – A person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or control of any premises or property within the Township.

PERSON – Any natural person (individual), firm, partnership, association, corporation, limited liability company, company or organization of any kind.

Section 4.        Permitted and Prohibited Uses.

  1. Permitted Use.  The detonation of explosive targets is only permitted within the Township when used by a person as follows:
  1. For the intended use as an shooting target;
  2. In accordance with all manufacturer specifications and all applicable Pennsylvania and Federal laws and regulations;
  3. Where the shooter and the target are both located at least one hundred (100) yards from any property line or any building, whichever is closer;
  4. Where the land on which the shooter and the target is located contains at least five (5) acres; and
  5. Between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., prevailing time, Monday through Saturday only unless one of the holidays falls on a Sunday:  New Year’s Day, July 4th, or Christmas Day, in which case, use of explosive targets are permitted to be used on a Sunday.

B. Prohibited Use.  It shall be unlawful for any person within the limits of the Township to detonate an explosive target in any of the following ways:

  1. In any manner inconsistent with the provisions set forth in A., Permitted Uses, above.
  2. Within one hundred (100) yards, as measured in a straight line, from the point of detonation to the property line of any property containing a school, daycare facility, playground, park, church, kennel, stable, barn or pasture.
  3. Without the consent of the owner of the property on which the explosive target is detonated.
  4. Carelessly or heedlessly or in wanton disregard of the safety of others.
  5. Without due caution or circumspection or in a manner so as to endanger any person or property and resulting in the bodily injury to a person or animal or the damage of property of another person.

Section 5.        Exceptions.     This Ordinance shall not be construed to prohibit any of the following:

  1. The use of explosive targets by any Federal, Pennsylvania or local law enforcement officer, or any member of an organized rescue or fire fighting force, in the training for or performance of their official duties.
  2. The detonation of an explosive target at a properly permitted and approved shooting range or facility operating as such prior to the adoption of this Ordinance.
  3. Any individual, group or company that possesses a valid permit and is operating under all Federal and Pennsylvania guidelines prescribed for such use, i.e. a permit to shoot a film/movie.
  4. This Ordinance shall not apply to the use of fireworks or pyrotechnics, as permitted under Pennsylvania law.

Section 6.        Violations and Penalties.  In the event of a violation of this Ordinance, the Township may commence an action before the magisterial district justice in the same manner provided for the enforcement of summary criminal offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure and upon a finding of guilt, a fine of not more than $1,000.00 per violation may be imposed and a term of imprisonment to the extent permitted by law for the punishment of summary offenses may be imposed.  Each act and each target detonated in violation hereunder shall constitute a separate offense.

Section 7.        Severability.  If any portion of this Ordinance or its application to any person, property or circumstance is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court, such holding shall not be construed to affect the validity of any of the remaining provisions of this Ordinance or its application, for such portion shall be deemed as a separate, distinct, and independent provision from the remaining provisions, which shall remain in full force and effect. It is hereby declared the legislative intent that this Ordinance would have been adopted had such invalid or unconstitutional provision or its application not been included therein.

Section 8.        Effective Date; Repeal.           This Ordinance shall become effective as provided by law. All prior ordinances and/or portions thereof inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.

            ORDAINED AND ENACTED this ___ day of _____________, 2023.