VCDL’s Radar, York County Gun Owners Could Come Under Attack, Neighborly Dispute

Back Yard Target Ranges
Back Yard Target Ranges
Virginia Citizens Defense League
Virginia Citizens Defense League

Covington VA –-( Nothing to worry about just yet, but if the York County Board of Supervisors starts to consider any changes to the County’s code dealing with firearms, Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) will activate and notify you.

Also, if you live in York and you hear of any such effort, please let me know ASAP, just in case I hadn’t heard yet.

York County Sheriff Danny Diggs, who is quoted in the article, once again shows he is a strong supporter of gun rights. Hats off to Sheriff Diggs.

Thanks to member Walter Jackson for the link:

Neighborly Dispute About Target Shooting Could Lead To Ordinance Change In York

By Johanna Somers, [email protected] contact the reporter

Neighbors in upper York County say they are concerned about firearms shooting near their homes on J. Farm Lane and one resident has called the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office more than 10 times to complain.

That resident, Timothy Donley, has also taken his concern to the county attorney and Board of Supervisors member Walter Zaremba. The county attorney is examining the county’s noise ordinance to see if anything can be changed to address the issue.

The person shooting the firearm “is in his legal right to do what he is doing and apparently he is making a lot of noise,” said York County Attorney James Barnett. “I will look into the noise ordinance. We don’t want to infringe too much on Second Amendment rights but I will see if it can be tweaked in a way to resolve this.”

[PVC: “…We don’t want to infringe TOO MUCH on Second Amendment rights…” So some infringements are OK? What part of “shall NOT be infringed” is not understood by Mr. Barnett?]

There would have to have a public hearing before any changes could be made, he added.

Tim Cognetti owns property at 338 Fenton Mill Road with his girlfriend Gina Laudone. He said it would be very unfortunate if the noise ordinance was changed to limit firearm use.

“I will abide by the laws but they have a long road ahead of them” to change the noise ordinance, he said. “A lot of military folks, gun enthusiasts who live on certain pieces of land that go out and practice their rights” will have something to say.

Cognetti and his son and Laudone and her daughters practice shooting guns in their back yard on a regular basis, Laudone said. Sometimes additional family members come to town and they might shoot for several hours in one day, she added.

“I am sorry if it is offensive to some people but we are not doing anything outside of our (Second) Amendment rights,” Laudone said.

In an email to Zaremba, Donley said he had not previously experienced “such deliberate, ongoing lack of respect.” He said the “unstable behavior” had to stop and urged the supervisors to pass an amendment to stop “this act of lunacy.”

Kimberly Smith, who lives nearby said, “It’s disturbing. You don’t want to let the kids out the door.” The person might, or might not, be a “safe shooter,” she said.

Cognetti said if neighbors want to come to his house he would be happy to show them “we are being safe.” They are shooting sober and shooting down a hill into a vacant property, he said.

Sheriff’s deputies have come numerous times, Laudone said. “And they always leave because we are abiding by the law,” she said. They use one .22-caliber rifle, three handguns and occasionally a 9-mm semiautomatic handgun to shoot at targets, Cognetti said.

“I really do think we should look into it because to me it doesn’t make sense for someone to walk out into the backyard and start shooting a pistol with neighbors around,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Donald Wiggins.

[PVC: If there is a safe berm in the backyard, there won’t be a problem. And everyone has neighbors, some closer than others.]

Several years ago the County Board rescinded an ordinance that limited where people could discharge firearms. The ordinance was arbitrary and rarely used, said York-Poquoson Sheriff J.D. Diggs. Now the county uses state law to enforce the safe use of firearms.

“Firearms are legally exempted from the noise ordinance when discharged,” Diggs said. If that were changed, “it would be illegal everywhere in the county just because of noise. And to me that is an unacceptable answer.”

Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right. Visit: