Town of Essex Firearms Discharge Ordinance
The Town of Essex is considering making changes to our Firearms Discharge Ordinance. To obtain public input, we will be utilizing the services of PlaceSpeak (https://www.placespeak.com/en/topic/5771-discussion-of-the-firearms-ordinance-essex-vt/#/overview). With PlaceSpeak, you can provide feedback on perspectives about the use of firearms in multi-use areas, sports shooting, hunting, and more. You can also take a short survey and review some resources about this issue.
We chose to use PlaceSpeak because it allows residents to meaningfully engage with others in a safe, secure, and privacy-respecting way. PlaceSpeak uses a unique geo-verification technology to ensure that only Essex residents are allowed to weigh in. The authentication process deters negative behavior such as trolling or spamming, facilitating a respectful environment for online dialogue and engagement.
With privacy and data concerns at the forefront of people's minds, PlaceSpeak ensures that users' personal information is kept secure. As a Privacy by Design ambassador, privacy measures have been built into the very architecture of the platform. The information that is used to authenticate participants is never shared, sold or otherwise distributed – not even with the Town of Essex.
PlaceSpeak is the primary method of engaging public input. Opportunities to learn more about this topic include:
-Information booth at Sand Hill Park – Thursday, June 21, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at 208 Sand Hill Road, Essex. Staff member(s) will be available to provide information, clarification, and updates about the process and online forum.
-Information booth at Five Corners Farmers' Market – Wednesday, June 27, 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at 3 Main Street, Essex Junction. Staff member(s) will be available to provide information, clarification, and updates about the process and online forum.
-Information booth at Essex Free Library – Saturday, July 14, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., at 1 Browns River Road, Essex. Staff member(s) will be available to provide information, clarification, and updates about the process and online forum.
-Public Forum – Thursday, July 19, 6:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m., location TBD. An opportunity to reconvene in person before the online public comment forum closes. Participants will have a chance to review preliminary reports and trends resulting from the online engagement tools and share impressions of the public comment to-date. The public comment period on PlaceSpeak will officially close at midnight on July 22.
Self-guided site visits to areas that may be affected by any changes to the ordinance – generally speaking, Indian Brook Park, Saxon Hill Forest, and the north-central part of Essex – are being offered through July 22. Links to the site visits can be found here: https://www.essex.org/firearms.
The Selectboard will consider the results of the resident input in deciding whether or not to make any changes to the ordinance. Any ordinance changes will go through the proper process, which includes public meetings and at least one public hearing. Meetings about any ordinance changes will be scheduled during the late summer or early fall.