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Councilman Wants Revisions to 'Metal Detector' Bill

Revisions to the bill, if approved, would require the Parks Department to create a permitting process for metal detecting.

O'Fallon City Council member Jim Pepper has asked the council to take another look at a new city ordinance about park regulations.

READ MORE: O'Fallon Metal Detector Hobbyists Restricted; Must Turn Over Finds

The new bill technically addresses the leash law. But regulations about hobby metal detecting raised the ire of some O'Fallon Patch readers, especially when they heard that the "treasure hunters" would be required to turn over their finds to the city.

READ MORE: Patch Readers Slam Metal Detecting Ordinance; Councilman Promises New Bill

But it wasn't just the local reaction that caused Pepper to ask for a vote to reconsider the ordinance. Pepper said he got emails from all over the country about the regulations.

"How we are perceived by those outside the community affects people visiting O'Fallon, people moving to O'Fallon and people who want to open businesses in O'Fallon," he said.

According to city code:

 . . . any member who voted with the majority may move for reconsideration of the matter at the same or the next succeeding meeting . . . A motion to reconsider an ordinance or resolution shall require the same number of votes for passage as is required to adopt an ordinance or resolution.

Among the revisions Pepper is suggesting are having the parks department create a permitting process for metal detecting, defining non-artifact items and allowing for items to be returned to the finder if the Historic Preservation Commission deems them not historically significant.

What do you think? Should the O'Fallon City Council revisit this issue? Why or why not?

Steve Ridling April 24, 2013 at 03:19 PM
A few weeks of sorting through beer tabs and bent nails and they will be saying never mind....
Scott Clark April 24, 2013 at 07:08 PM
This issue sets an ugly precident, so there are detectorists all over the country talking about this, including some of the most influencial people in the metal detecting community (Millions of people!) There is a fundamental mis-understanding of this hobby and it would serve Ofallon's reputation well for a more reasonable and appropriate method of access with accountability. Coinage restrictions being lifted is a major part, as 90% of what we hunt are old coins - and those coins are usually scattershot - unrelated to any archaeological context of interest. Thousands of people around the globe are watching, and the results will be blogged and posted throughout a community of thousands of people from all walks of life.

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