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Long Island Lawsuit Tests Local Bow Hunting Limitations

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The New York state Court of Appeals said it will hear the town of Smithtown’s request to overturn a lower court ruling that struck down a local law to eliminate bow hunting in most of the Long Island town.

A deer hunting group sued the town for its ordinance that banned guns and bows from being used within 500 feet of occupied buildings, parks and beaches. That’s more restrictive than a state law that allows bows to be used after 150 feet.

In August, a mid-level court ruled that the state law preempted the town law. Now the state’s highest court will decide by 2022 whether local governments have the authority to restrict bow hunting.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.