Olive Twp. supports shooting ban

The Olive Township Board of Trustees want target practice to end at a local state game area after a stray bullet became lodged in a nearby house.
Alex Doty
Apr 19, 2013


The board on Thursday night unanimously approved a resolution addressed to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources that requests all firearm activity to be banned at the game area, except for licensed game hunting.

“I happen to live between both spots and would like to ban all shooting there,” Township Treasurer Randy Vander Zwaag said. “(It wasn’t built) so we could go and shoot skeet on it.”

Vander Zwaag thought banning the use of firearms except for hunting would also benefit enforcement issues.

“I think that’s the only way, because how are you going to police that?” he posed. “Who is going to police it? It’d be impossible.”

The township resolution is in response to an April 4 incident in which the home of Bernard and Ruth Luurtsma was struck by a stray bullet fired from someone conducting target practice at the state game area off 112th Avenue. The bullet, fired from a Russian-made rifle, pierced the exterior wall of the Luurstmas' home, passed through the living room just 2 feet above Ruth’s head as she rested on the couch, and then lodged into a wall.

Township Supervisor Todd Wolters said he took action after the incident occurred by contacting the two local state lawmakers — Rep. Amanda Price, R-Park Township; and Sen. Arlan Meekhof, R-Olive Township — "to see if they could put pressure on the DNR to close the land."

Although this move was unsuccessful, Wolters said, he noted that there has been an increase in patrols at the game area.

While the township resolution has no teeth since it concerns state-owned property, Price said she would send the township’s desires to the proper officials.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.


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