Quiet enjoyment



One of the central precepts of society is that people have the right to the quiet enjoyment of their property. It holds that legal remedies should be available for those who are aggrieved by disturbances created by neighbors or allowed to continue by landlords.

For residents in one area of Town Hill, repeated late-night gunplay and explosions have left them with rattled nerves. Certainly, the constitution gives citizens the rights to bear arms, but there is no unalienable right for an un-neighborly few to shoot them off at all hours of the night.

Bar Harbor police have been getting more formal and informal complaints about late-night gunfire coming from several rural locations where impromptu firing ranges have sprung up. The shots often are accompanied by the sound of semi-automatic weapons fire and explosions.

It seems incongruous in a town that banned fireworks to prevent noisy disturbances of the peace that gunfire somehow should be exempt. While the constitution says that government cannot outlaw gun ownership, local officials certainly can impose limits on where and when they can be used recreationally. Those limits should include the licensing of gun ranges and the limitation of their hours of operation.

After discussions with police, the creators of these night disturbances hopefully will gain greater appreciation for what it means to be good neighbors. If not, folks have every right to petition the town to impose restrictions to assure the quiet enjoyment of property by all citizens.