Wake County leaders have changed the firearms ordinance in unincorporated Wake County for the first time in two decades.

The new ordinance approved November 9 by county commissioners includes new provisions that prohibit the discharge of a firearm on a public street or highway or between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. The amended ordinance also prohibits firing a gun within 300 yards of another residence or occupied building without written permission, a distance previously set at 100 yards.

In addition, the ordinance will require gun owners to fire into a backstop that meets specifications recognized by a nationally recognized firearms safety organization.

The new ordinance goes into effect December 9. 

Sig Hutchinson, chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners, said the amended ordinance was “for the safety of all our residents in Wake County” and driven by growth within the county.

“We are thankful for the thoughtful input from gun owners and others, including the Wake County Sheriff’s Office whose deputies will enforce this ordinance,” Hutchinson said in a statement. 

Violating the ordinance is a class 3 misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $500 or 30 days in jail. Hunting regulations in Wake County, however, will not be affected by changes to the ordinance, as they are regulated by state and federal law.

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