Rogers residents in annexed areas can use firearms on personal property, city officials say

Posted: January 24, 2018 at 1:06 a.m.

ROGERS -- The city's newest residents, who were annexed in on the western border during a special election in November, can continue to use firearms on their property.

The City Council approved a grandfather clause to allow residents in these rural areas to continue to shoot on their property.

Other action

The Rogers City Council met Tuesday and also approved:

• An ordinance waiving competitive bidding for the purchase of 13 police vehicles for the Rogers Police Department.

• A resolution authorizing a contract with Gray Barn, a landscape company in Fayetteville, for services in 2018 not to exceed $111,203. The resolution combines landscaping services, which were previous split between a landscaping company and the Parks Department.

• A resolution authorizing a recreation and sports agreement and sublease with Rogers Community School Recreation Association of Rogers for 2018.

• A resolution authorizing a lease agreement with Rogers Youth Center Inc. for property in the Rogers Activity Center and part of Foerster Park. The western side of the Rogers Activity Center was separated in this lease for Pedal It Forward, a nonprofit, to operate there.

• A resolution amending the 2018 budget to appropriate $368,273 from Community Development Block Grant Fund reserves to various accounts.

• A resolution authorizing an agreement for transit services with Ozark Regional Transit for 2018 not to exceed $200,000.

• An ordinance assigning recently annexed territory known as “certain lands east of Highway 112” to City Ward 3.

• A resolution authorizing the destruction of certain records of the offices of Finance, Human Resources and City Clerk/Treasurer.

• Accepting the replat of Pinnacle Heights Subdivision, Lot 4.

Source: Staff report

Senior staff attorney Jennifer Waymack said the clause was created in reaction to a "repeated request" when officials visited members of the annexed area prior to the election.

Mayor Greg Hines said the nature of firearm useage pertains to farms primarily, with the use of guns protecting cattle and other livestock, as well as some skeet shooting and dove hunting in the area.

"It's not someone sharpening their AR-15 skills," he said.

"We saw that they were shooting safely and following laws, so we thought it was a reasonable request ... that allows them to continue to live the same way as they were prior to the election," Waymack said. "Letting them shoot is consistent with former annexation elections. We created this grandfather clause to make it legal."

The clause will expire as soon as any change is made to the land, such as a modification to its borders or a change in its use, indicated by a rezone of the property. The clause would not be upheld if duplexes or multifamily residences were built on the land, Waymack said.

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Hines said annexation elections in 2006 and 2004 also allowed for this practice, but the grandfather clause makes it official. Previously, landowners were given the nod by the city attorney, but the issue of enforcement still fell on the mayor and the city, he said.

Alderman Mark Kruger asked during a public safety committee meeting whether the clause would be enforceable if the properties had any change to its boundaries, which Waymack said it would not be. No other discussion arose from the meeting.

NW News on 01/24/2018