04/22/2015 11:11 EDT | Updated 07/18/2015 11:59 EDT

Penticton archer wants draw bows removed from firearms bylaw

A Penticton archer is asking local politicians to remove draw bows from the town's firearms bylaw because it is making it difficult to grow the sport.

Rich Hamilton and his son are both competitive archers, but say the current regulations prevent them from practicing within city limits.

Hamilton's been trying to start an archery club but says it's difficult to attract people when you have to go to the outskirts of town to practice.

"It is an Olympic sport. People golf. People hit golf balls and that is OK. Anything has to be done in proper restrictions. People aren't going to shoot arrows. I think people are more scared of it because it is a bow."

As it stands now, shooting a bow within city limits results in a $500 fine, even if it's for an archery class.

Archery has been banned since 1989 after a deer was shot in the neck by an arrow. But Hamilton says allowing draw bows in Penticton isn't about hunting. It's about sport.

"It's better than playing on your iPods, and it's good exercise," he said.

Hamilton spoke to council on Monday and the city says it will look into allowing the sport of archery in town.

However, the decision needs to be made soon because Penticton will host the BC Winter Games next year, where archery is a sport.

If draw bows are not removed from the firearms bylaw, city staffers say competing archers would have to get a permit and undergo an RCMP inspection.

To listen to the full interview with Rich Hamilton, listen to the audio labelled Penticton archer bylaw fight