Maine shooting range bill NRA-ILA
Dan Z for TTAG
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By NRA-ILA

This morning, the Maine State and Local Government Committee held a public hearing on Legislative Document 489, which would have allowed noise ordinances to be used to shut down local shooting ranges. At the sponsor’s request and after hearing input from citizens, the committee opted to protect Maine’s sport shooting ranges and voted unanimously “ought not to pass” in committee, effectively killing the bill.

Currently, noise ordinances do not apply to shooting sport ranges under Maine Law. This legislation would have endangered shooting sport ranges, even if they operate safely and are otherwise in full compliance with the law.

Municipalities could have used these ordinances to effectively shut down the ranges with costly renovations, unreasonable court fees, hiatus, or even closure of operations. These ranges allow law-abiding individuals to practice their shooting skills in a safe and responsible environment and should not be regulated out of existence.

 

This article originally appeared at nraila.org and is reprinted here with permission. 

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27 COMMENTS

  1. The range I’m a member of is constantly getting various forms of grief from people in houses nearby, despite the fact that the range was there before any of the houses around it were.

    They knew where they were moving, and retroactively regretted it. F ‘em.

    • This is very typical suburban resident behavior. Move into a place and then complain about a nuisance that preceded them by decades. Often, developers will build houses where they know there is a nuisance and sell them to naive home buyers who don’t check for themselves. I used to work for a major railroad. People would move into new houses that had been built next to the tracks and bitch about the noise. There used to be a road racing track and drag strip west of Saint Louis. People built houses nearby and then tried to shut down the track because, they claimed, the occasional events lowered property values.

      • They did the same in Portland, OR They planted themselves next to the established airport (good for them,,cheap land!) and then tried to close it down! Ingrates! They are always complaining still!

    • There was a big broohaha when town made it out to the Sheriff’s shooting range that had been over a mile west of town. Knowing that a noise complaint would get nowhere, residents were complaining that bullets were making it over the berms and into their neighborhood. One particular complainant had quite a collection of items, not the least of which were a number of spent casings, obviously dug bullets, an, surprisingly, a completely intact .40 cal round. Needless to say, the ensuing loss of all credibility resulted in the claims against the County quietly going away.

    • Residents near my range, which is on Sydney’s coast near Maroubra beach, say they would prefer the range than to have the site developed for housing. The traffic congestion would gridlock the suburb because there are only 3 roads in and 2 roads out and one of those exits has two roads converging right at the exit. The one closest to the range.

      Residents do like being able to use the range as a park before and after the shooting and on days when there are no shooting events. And also as a shortcut to the beach. Unfortunately vandalism from the local dirtbags and greens volunteers has required improved security and restricted access on non-event days.

    • In the Des Moines area there was even a cry to shut down the military ranges at Camp Dodge (IA National Guard HQ) back when the town of Johnston started turning some of the best farm ground in the world into concrete and housing. Didn’t like the sounds of full auto out there much, but whatcha gonna do?

      • Reminds me of when a family from the city moved to the country and demanded farmers get rid of their pigs because of the smell. People need to start looking at what’s around their proposed homes BEFORE building. Others should NOT have to change what they do to suit a neighbor when they were there first..

    • A range in my county supposedly had people shoot holes in their own house so they could blame it on the range and try to have it shut down.

  2. Shutting down shooting ranges would be a threat to public safety since people with defensive firearms would have no place to maintain proficiency and therefore increase risk of stray bullets during self defense shootings which would endanger everyone within range. Also hunters would also have no means to maintain proficiency either which would increase risk of stray bullet while hunting which would endanger everyone within range. Dropping this was the right thing to do to ensure law abiding citizens are able to maintain proficiency and be as safe a shooter as possible.

    • Well one thing’s for sure, the rest of the committee saved the bill sponsor Justin Chenette’s job for him. Getting a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood and the LGBT organizations might make up for losing the NRA’s 33% rating and keep him from being sent home to his husband.

  3. not only is shooting ranges are good to keep marksman’s up par but it also is a stress reliever to be able to go out and shoot off a few rounds at paper wish there was a good close and cheap range around me but the nearest thing to me is a indoor pistol range and not cheap besides I need to sight hunting rifles as well as pistols

  4. Thank God for this outcome! Oh, but silencers are illegal you know. The same thing happens with small airports that have been there 50 + years, too much noise, they say. Unsafe! They say. But they built a new house next to it, right under the flight path. They then put a church and a school under the flight path and claim the airfield unsafe to those structures and children. Airplanes just drop out of the sky, you know, and the children might get hurt. So sick of it. I love airplane noise, and love shooting. But, idiots will be idiots.

  5. Defeated. For now.
    If a stray round hits someone’s car they will skip.past the noise argument and shut them for the children’s sake.

  6. This is indeed good news. It’s complimented by bad news though as Colorado looks like it will probably be the next state to pass an ERPO “Red Flag” law. The “enhanced” version of a bill that was defeated last year passed the House Judiciary Committee late last week. The bill allows for a 10 day confiscation if approved by a judge and then up to another 364 days if the owner loses a hearing. Of course the current bill requires the “accused” to be represented at a hearing within 10 days by a lawyer, provided free by the state if the “accused” cannot afford to hire one.

    If I was a betting man I’d place a wager that they’ll figure out that public defenders can’t take on the additional case load and use that as an excuse to remove the requirement for legal representation, or worse, they’ll keep it and use it as an excuse to delay the hearings for enormously long periods of time.

    Since Democrats took both Chambers of the statehouse and Polis likes the idea, having even called for it while running for office, it will probably pass and become law.

    At the state level we win some and we lose some.

  7. I’m familiar with the development pressure that gets put on firearms ranges and air facilities, and the sniveling attempts of nearby residents to close them down. In Okinawa, the Marine Corps Air Base at Futenma was built when it was as rural as it got, and is now surrounded by houses up to the fence lines, with NIMBYs and lefties trying to close it down, as well as prevent the replacement base from being built at Camp Schwab. Marine Corps Air Stations El Toro and Tustin (both in Orange County, CA) were closed due to development (when built they were in the middle of nowhere), and their functions transferred to MCAS Miramar, just east of San Diego. I don’t doubt that residents of nearby developments will try to close that facility, too. The Marine Corps Rifle Range at Camp Matthews was closed so the expanding University of San Diego could take over its land. The range of the muzzleloading rifle club I belonged to (in the middle of the woods in Anne Arundel County, MD) was closed after developers built houses behind the butts. And so it goes…I remember hearing about a rural landowner in Central Virginia who was denied a permit to build a pistol range on his own land after his neighbors cried about it for the usual reasons. I can’t wait to see what become of the outdoor Isaak Walton League rifle/shotgun/pistol range, since development is closing in on this formerly rural facility in Centerville, VA. I suppose many of you can also cite examples of the type of idiots that move in next to an airfield or range.

  8. YEA, and close down all those noisy airports too. The noise is annoying to all those homeowners who subsequently built their homes along the aircraft flight paths.

  9. Florida passed the shooting range protection bill.
    As long as the other houses in the area are on one acre or more, they cannot stop a shooting range.
    Even a backyard range.
    Noise ordinances cannot be used to try to shut down shooting, here in Florida

  10. Mainesters,
    You have given the US and all proud legal gun owners some hope.
    Thanks.
    Now can you all do somthing about RINO Susan Collins when the next election rolls around.

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