SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA)- In Spartanburg city council’s meeting on Monday, the 2022 end-of-year crime statistics are being presented, as well as an ordinance about prohibiting the discharging of firearms. 

Spartanburg officials say the ordinance is an attempt to update their code and provide first responders with another tool.

It was after Spartanburg officials acknowledged that the city code hadn’t been updated since 1988 that they began planning a new ordinance. 

Spartanburg city attorney Bob Coler said it’s a way to make things clearer for everyone.

“It was unclear what the city’s position was so we decided to craft some new language,” said Bob Coler, city attorney.

They rewrote the code in 2020, but officers suggested the new ordinance be presented tonight, as another way to aid them in certain situations. 

They said this ordinance is written in a clearer tone for when they are looking to prosecute someone, but also in the case of an exception.

“This is a recognition that the city has always been interested in preventing, irresponsible discharge of firearms in the city and again, it gives our officers a tool but it also carves out exceptions for people who find themselves in need to do that in some sense of an emergency,” said Coler.

He said there’s a specific exception for those on their own property defending themselves, others, or their property from vicious or wild animals.

This ordinance is being presented following another presentation, 2022 crime statistics.

Some residents who have lived in Spartanburg for years said recently, the statistics don’t alarm them anymore.

“I moved here 13 years ago and I live in a neighborhood close to town and I didn’t feel comfortable going out my front door in the dark and taking you know even just a walk,” said Kathy Beer, Spartanburg resident. “But now I have a dog and I don’t feel at all uncomfortable walking her at night in the neighborhood. It feels safer than when I moved here 13 years ago.”

Others who live downtown said while they have seen crime decrease, they still don’t feel safe alone.

“I usually would travel in a group unless alone, even in the daytime I would probably like to have my dog but most of the time I probably would feel more safe,” said Cammy Pereira, Spartanburg resident.

Following the presentation of this past year’s crime statistics the ordinance will be looking at a different way to approach something the city said they’ve always cared about.

“If they decide to pass tonight, it’ll be up for a second reading in 2 weeks,” said Coler. “Traditionally the city had a prohibition on discharging a firearm in the city limits and again, it just gives the officers one more tool in their bag if they need to. This is the language we’ve crafted now to beef up the code.”