December 24, 2016  Alert!  The Ipswich Board of Selectmen have an agenda item on Tuesday January 3, 2017 meeting; “Gun Safety/Article 20 Committee Discussion”.   This is an attempt to get a backyard shooting ban bylaw on the warrant for a future town meeting.

Ipswich residents should contact the members of the Ipswich Board of Selectmen and let them know that a new committee is not warranted.  It is a solution for a problem that does not exist.  Ipswich has real issues that deserve our attention and this is not even close.

Contact our Selectmen by postal mail, phone or e-mail.  http://www.ipswichma.gov/272/Board-of-Selectmen

Attend the meeting on Tuesday evening January 3, 2017.  The meeting starts at 7:00 PM.  You can ask about their intentions during Citizens Inquiries at the beginning of the meeting.









October 13, 2016  The committee has concluded its mission.  All that remains is the presentation of the report to the Ipswich Board of Selectmen and for the report to be read as a “Committee Report” at the October 25th Special Town Meeting.   Below is a link to the final version of the report.


Sept 14, 2016  The next meeting of the Article 20 Committee is on Thursday 9/22 at 7:00 PM in the COA cafeteria in the basement of the town hall.

Sept 8, 2016 Tonight’s meeting needs to be postponed.  The meeting was not posted in time to be compliant with open meeting laws.  A new date is being worked out now.

Aug 25, 2016  The next meeting is on Thursday 9/8 @ 7:00 PM.  Room TBD.
The output of the committee tonight is pasted below.  It is proposed guidance that would let the chief designate a range safe or if it needs to be adjusted to become safe.  You should come to the next meeting and provide feedback (in the form of a question) during citizens inquiries.
– There should be designated shooting lines.  A place to shoot from.

– There must be a backstop of some sort behind the target to stop bullets, slugs and shot.

– The backstop must be appropriate for the caliber of cartridge and the type firearm, rifle or shotgun used.

– The backstop must be high and wide enough to handle poor aim. 

– The backstop must be appropriate for the number of simultaneous shooters allowed.

– The target must be level with or lower than the shooter when using a firearm (pistol) or rifle.

– The target should be designed as a target and be appropriate for the caliber of cartridge and firearms (pistol), rifle or shotgun.

– Hours for the discharge of a firearm (pistol), rifle or shotgun are 10:00 AM to Sunset

– The range is subject to all applicable town, state and federal laws and regulations.   


Aug 24, 2016 Next meeting of the Article 20 Committee.   It is an open meeting.  All are welcome.  http://www.ipswichma.gov/Calendar.aspx?EID=1028

July 28, We have an official goal of the committee that has been voted on.

Goal: To establish a list of best practices for the discharge of firearms for the purpose of target or sport shooting. And, to submit that to the board of selectmen.

The next meeting on Thursday August 18 at 7:00 PM.  Room TBD but likely the COA cafeteria.

July 7, 2016

Tonight we elected an interim chair (Bill Craft) and spent more time talking about the scope of our goals.  We continue to have “scope creep” and need to revisit the question of our goals frequently.  We are likely to settle on guidance to land owners for best practices for a back yard shooting range.  That guidance will be delivered to the BOS and recorded by the FinCom in time to be entered into the record for the fall town meeting.   We do not have a goal to get enacted any new bylaws or for the committee to submit any new articles for the fall warrant.

Citizens inquiries asked if we would be willing to consider certain restrictions such as increased distance requirements, insurance or additional training.

The approved minutes are still pending.  However they will be published.

The next Article 20 Committee meeting will be on Thursday 7/28 at 7:00 PM.  Location tbd.


July 6, 2016

ARTICLE 20 COMMITTEE – JULY 7, 2016 AT 7 P.M. Town Manager’s Conference Room, 2nd Floor Town Hall


June 30, 2016

The Committee held its first meeting tonight.  Meeting minutes will be published in accordance with Open Meeting Laws.  A link will be published here once that happens.  The next meeting is on Thursday July 7th at 7:00 PM at the Ipswich Town Hall.  A room TBD.

The meeting stuck to its agenda (below) for the most part.  One of the more important things we accomplished was the outlining of our goals.   It was important to me to keep the goals very tightly scoped.  We limited our goals to operating a safe range environment.  We did not set any goals to write an article for a future town meeting.  However our goals do not prevent that from happening.

Topics as far ranging as a ban on semi-automatic guns to noise ordinances came up.   Most were rejected in favor of simple and well scoped goal.

Call to action!  Each meeting begins with Citizens Inquiries.  The meeting is also an open meeting.  You should attend and be heard.  Especially if you do occasionally or regularly shoot on your property without incident.


June 20, 2016

The first meeting of the Article 20 Committee will be on Thursday, June 30 at 7:00 PM.

ARTICLE 20 COMMITTEE – AGENDA – JUNE 30, 2016 AT 7 PM. IN ROOM [Town Manager’s Conference room ] AT TOWN HALL

•ARTICLE 20 COMMITTEE – GOALS, EXPECTATIONS AND TIMELINE — establishing the Committee agenda and selecting a Chair.
•ARTICLE 20 ISSUES TO BE CONSIDERED AND PRIORITIZED (We can’t do everything at once, but based on consensus we can do something at once.)

June 19, 2016

All of the appointments to the Article 20 Committee are now know. In addition to the four citizens announced in the June 7th posting, the BOS has appointed William Craft and the FinCom has appointed Catherine Howe.

Previously, Ed Rauscher was to have been the appointee from the BOS.  That is no longer the case.

The committee has not scheduled its first meeting.  However it has a goal of providing any output in time for the tentative October 2016 town meeting.

June 7, 2016

The Article 20 Committee appointments have been made.  The four citizens to be appointed are:  J. Eric Josephson, Susan K. Boreri, M.D., Frederick Winthrop, and Robert L. Weatherall.  In addition the Chief of Police and a person from both the Board Of Selectmen and Finance Committee will be appointed.

See the letter from Town Moderator, Tom Murphy to the town clerk announcing the appointments:  Art 20 Comm Appointments

The next step is for each appointee to be sworn in and the committee to meet and begin its business.


June 2, 2016

Article 20 Committee update: Tom Murphy has posted the notice about the forming of the Article 20 Committee on the Town of Ipswich website. http://www.ipswichma.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=296

He plans to leave the notice up for a few weeks to ensure that there is plenty of opportunity to apply. In a couple of weeks, he will begin the selection process.

We will share any updates here.


May 10, 2016

Article 20 was sent to committee

In a near unanimous vote Article 20 was sent committee for further study. The text of the approved motion is below. We will continue to monitor the activities of the committee. The IpswichNOon20 team will diligently watch for any attempts to enact any type of shooting ban in Ipswich.

Return to this site for updates on the progress of the committee.



I move to refer all action under Article 20 of this town meeting to an ad hoc committee (the “Article 20 Committee”) for the sole purpose of studying, with advice from Town Counsel, regulating firearm use in the Town of Ipswich and what, if any, action should be taken to insure the safe and responsible use of firearms.


The Article 20 Committee shall be comprised of the following five voting members and two alternate members: the Director of Public Safety of the Town of Ipswich, one member of the Board of Selectmen of their choosing, one member of the Finance Committee of their choosing, two voting members and two alternate members from the citizenry with knowledge of and experience in the issues set forth Article 20, all four of whom are to be appointed by the Town Moderator.


Furthermore, I move that the Article 20 Committee report its findings to the Board of Selectmen and that the Finance Committee publish a summary of those findings in its report to the next town meeting and, finally, that the Article 20 Committee then dissolve unless revived by another town meeting.