- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Officials are working to close a loophole in city code after learning that an ordinance barring hunting in city parks largely didn’t apply to a man who used his bow to kill three deer on land near Lake Zorinsky in western Omaha.

Steven Greise of Plattsmouth faced seven charges, which were dropped as part of a plea deal, for hunting in the park last October. Although he paid $1,000 in fines, Greise ultimately wasn’t convicted of the crimes because “there were some legal problems with enforcing the ordinance as written,” said interim city prosecutor Tom Mumgaard.

“Here’s the bottom line: The parks are not for hunting,” Mumgaard said. “We thought that was pretty clear, and this incident pointed out that maybe it wasn’t as clear as it needed to be.”

Attorney Mickey Meckna, who represented Greise, argued that his client thought hunting on the land was legal and there were no signs posted to warn him that it was prohibited.

Now the Omaha City Council is considering an ordinance that would explicitly state that hunting is illegal in the city’s parks. The city also plans to install “no hunting” signs in the parks, the Omaha World-Herald (http://bit.ly/1hUrq7X ) reported.

Councilman Garry Gernandt said he learned about the matter from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

“I’m trying to close a gap that was brought to my attention,” Gernandt said.

The proposed ordinance would clarify that it’s illegal to hunt or trap any animal in a city park. It also would place restrictions on anyone who brings a bow into a city park.

City Council members are expected to vote on the proposal Tuesday.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

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