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Pellet gun use may be restricted in Portola Valley

Original post made by David Boyce, Almanac staff writer, on Oct 20, 2008

The Portola Valley Town Council has scheduled a discussion and possible action on an amendment that would add pellet guns to the list of firearms that, with some exceptions, are not allowed to be discharged in town.

The council meets at 8 p.m. in the Historic Schoolhouse at 765 Portola Road.

The pellet gun discussion follows a presentation by AT&T spokesman Randy Okamura about phase 1 of new services to the town. The council is also set to discuss and act on a policy regulating the use of the new community hall for class reunions.

The proposed amendment to the firearms ordinance is Mayor Maryann Moise Derwin's response to the Aug. 30 shooting death of a pet cat that belonged to the household of Maryann Raab of Cresta Vista Lane.

A single pellet had caused four holes in the cat's intestine and one hole each in its diaphragm and colon. The cat died of respiratory failure due to complications associated with the trauma of the pellet, Dr. Bill St. Lawrence of Portola Valley Veterinary Clinic said at the time.

Deputies from the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office assigned a case number to the incident, but have not reported progress in solving it.

Exceptions to the firearms discharge ordinance cover law enforcement officers; target practice that meets certain criteria, including a properly constructed firing range; and hunting as defined by provisions of state law.

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