Bow and arrow enthusiasts are close to being able to practise their sport inside Penticton city limits.
Penticton city council gave unanimous support Monday to bylaw changes separating bows and arrows from firearms, updating a 1988 bylaw that lumped draw bows in with not only crossbows, but rifles, air pistols and other guns.
The new bylaw, which will be coming back at the Aug. 4 council meeting for final adoption, allows the use of draw bows for the sport of archery under certain conditions, either in a designated facility or in an area set up to recognized safety standards.
Jules Hall, director of development services, told council that staff had reviewed policies in neighbouring communities and those of the B.C. Archery association and Archery Canada.
“It becomes clear that the use of draw bows and the sport of archery stands somewhat separately to other firearms and crossbows,” he said.
Kelowna doesn’t deal with bows under their firearms bylaw but does have an exemption under their parks and open spaces bylaw, while Vernon allows it for those involved in archery competitions meeting the standards of the Federation of Canadian Archers.
The idea of easing restriction on draw bows was brought before council at their April 20 meeting, when a delegation, led by Rick Hamilton, made the case that draw bows have less risk associated with them than crossbows or other firearms and are a safe recreational activity in a closed environment.
It was also brought up that the current bylaw, would require individual archers competing at the upcoming 2016 B.C. Winter Games in Penticton to each apply for an exemption permit.
The new bylaw continues to prohibit the use of crossbows within the City of Penticton.