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Old September 3, 2014, 09:15 PM   #1
Nick S.
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Noise complaints of range.

I'm in my 60's and have been going to my local rifle range since a teenager. For some stupid reason people buy land near enough to hear the reports & complain about it & want the range closed down. The range officer told me last Saturday that one of the home owners called police and wanted it closed down immediately because they're finding bullets in their yard from the range and fear for their lives. He asked to see the bullets and they showed him a hand full of unfired live cartridges. He then told them that if they ever make a false police report again they'll be arrested.
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Old September 3, 2014, 09:28 PM   #2
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Heard/Read that story before.
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Old September 4, 2014, 04:32 AM   #3
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In a serious note - One range I knew had a neighbor who started to complain about noise .He wanted to sell his house .My suggestion was for the club to buy the house and rent to shooters !
We unfortunately live in a time when something that's been there for a long time is no reason they can't be closed down when new homes are built there ! New home owners are not responsible to check the area before they buy.
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Old September 4, 2014, 04:46 AM   #4
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I belong to a club that has gone through similar issues with someone nearby claiming that bullets were ending up on their property. They even produced a few of these, despite not having any sort of rifling marks on the bullets the city/county/state (I've heard a few different versions of who said what) took their complaint seriously and forced the club to make all sorts of changes to both the layout and hours that we can operate.

I'm sure they could have fought this but once the home owner filed their complaint the government steps in with their unlimited funding while the club has to put up their own cash for a lawyer. Don't imagine too many clubs have the kind of funds for a drawn out legal battle.
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Old September 4, 2014, 06:09 AM   #5
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Here in New Hampshire, there's a state law that prohibits any action against a gun range for excessive noise, provided only that they remain in compliance with noise requirements (if any) in effect at the time the range was established. Expansion of a range, or similar changes in operation, do not "reset" the clock for the purpose of determining compliance, and a nearby resident is specifically prohibited from bringing any noise action against a gun range that was in operation at the time they acquired their property. Live Free or Die.
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Old September 4, 2014, 07:27 AM   #6
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There are at least two solutions to this:

1. Lobby Congress (the next congress) to take sound suppressors outside of the scope of the NFA and regulate them like they regulate bubble gum or galvanized nails.

2. Build shooting ranges near landfills and airports.
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Old September 4, 2014, 07:31 AM   #7
Double Naught Spy
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Quote:
Noise complaints of range.
I'm in my 60's and have been going to my local rifle range since a teenager. For some stupid reason people buy land near enough to hear the reports & complain about it & want the range closed down. The range officer told me last Saturday that one of the home owners called police and wanted it closed down immediately because they're finding bullets in their yard from the range and fear for their lives. He asked to see the bullets and they showed him a hand full of unfired live cartridges. He then told them that if they ever make a false police report again they'll be arrested.
You do realize that there is a difference between noise complaints and bullet complaints? You posted a thread about noise complaints and then gave a story about bullet complaints.

Actual bullets leaving the range are a real problem for some gun ranges and have resulted in costly expenses. For example...http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...+range+lawsuit

If you buy land near a gun range, you most definitely have a right to believe that said land is free from being struck by bullets or that you are not being endangered by stray bullets from the range.
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Old September 4, 2014, 08:58 AM   #8
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DNS, you have a point, but per the OP, a landowner producing loaded ammunition, or later hearing of bullet components without rifling marks to justify claims of rounds leaving the range is disingenuous at the least, downright criminal more than likely.

And the ranges I've been a member of don't have the financial clout to fight these claims.

Unfortunately we live in a time where society's selfish side is on display in almost every facet of life and common courtesy and respect are rare commodities.

I see this same type of behavior around airports/bases, where people build/buy homes constructed well after the airport was there, but yet they feel they have the right to complain about aircraft noise because they own the property.
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Last edited by globemaster3; September 4, 2014 at 09:50 AM. Reason: Clarify a point
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Old September 4, 2014, 09:06 AM   #9
Mike Irwin
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Yep, that's a pretty common thread that's played out across the country.

A number of states have had to pass laws stating that if the range is there first, new homeowners are SOL, but ranges in other states haven't been as fortunate and have been shuttered.

One of the ranges in Virginia some years ago was facing the same sort of harassment. A homeowner with a long history of filing noise complaints and other crap with the local police claimed that a bullet came through the window of her home and just missed her.

Police investigated and determined that she had either thrown or used a slingshot to fire the bullet through the window. What tripped her up was the upward angle the bullet took through the window. IIRC she was charged with something or another.
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Old September 4, 2014, 09:10 AM   #10
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They should not have moved there if they didn't want to live near a gun range. Something a bit similar happened in my area recently. A church was built in the lot beside a dusk til dawn biker bar and within a year they were trying to get the bar closed. The sad thing is last I heard the guy that owns the bar was thinking about closing down and retiring because he is tired of fighting it.
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Old September 4, 2014, 10:03 AM   #11
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Its not just shooting ranges, it has happened with small farms and feed lots as well. Someone buys a piece of property downwind from a swine operation and builds a nice home, then when the wind is right and the smell of money (pig poop) begins to waft across their noses they file lawsuits, some of which have been upheld, some have been dismissed. I think one of the keys is whether or not something has changed in the operation since the owners bought the property.

Back to the topic, I agree completely that an adjacent landower has the right to not have fired bullets landing on their property, if the range needs changes to make sure it doesn't happen then the changes do need to be made, however the finding of loaded ammo, or old bullets never fired doesn't qualify. Most ranges were built at a time when the requirements weren't so strict and/or there were no nearby homes. One of the simplest corrective actions I've seen is the use of large diameter culvert at the shooters bench, prevents the muzzle from being raised far enough to allow stray shots to leave the berm area, also can ones with the plastic "ridges" as baffles to deaden sound. In my opinion we as shooters have to be good neighbors too, but we don't have to simply roll over and die.
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Old September 4, 2014, 10:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
They should not have moved there if they didn't want to live near a gun range.
There are two issues here, safety and disturbance.

If there is a true safety aspect, they have every right to complain. Some people don't mind being near gun ranges, but don't want to be shot be errant rounds or peppered by lead shot that has left the property from skeet/trapshooters.

In most cases, the noise complaints are nuisance complaints and are not valid safety issues as the noise has dissipated significantly by the time it leaves the gun range. This is, in part, why laws have been passed to protect gun ranges in some states. In such cases, it is viewed sort of akin to living near a busy road and you are right, they should not have moved there if they weren't willing to listen to the road.

However, it isn't just with gun ranges, but many types of businesses that have had issues because of noise, such as noted above with the bar.
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headline...ing-the-peace/
http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=1218,2584004

However, I do find the noise complaints laughable on another level. There are people (some on this forum) who complain about guns being too loud at the gun ranges where they shoot!
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...range+too+loud
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...range+too+loud

Everybody has their own standard of what they believe is right or wrong when it comes to personal comfort levels.
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Old September 4, 2014, 11:25 AM   #13
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Seems to me that having a range nearby would be one of those "non-obvious" items that should be disclosed by a homeowner who is trying to sell the house. If it's not disclosed, the new owner could have grounds to sue the previous owner or his/her real estate agent.

If I was looking to buy the home, I'd go see the range owner and see if "locals" (within earshot) get to come over and play.
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Old September 4, 2014, 11:31 AM   #14
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A friend of mine used to live on a 60 acre farm in Gainsville VA. He had his own range/berm for pistol and rifle shooting, and both of his sons shot competitively and practiced a lot. There was a housing area about a half mile from his place, not in line with the range so there would never be a stray bullet issue, but one resident of the housing area constantly complained to the cops about the noise. So, the cops asked my friend to have his kids go start shooting and he would test the noise level at the complainer's house. The boys shot 9mm, 45acp, and .500 S&W that day. Turned out the db level was less than the guys own air conditioner unit. Basically the cops told him he was full of crap, but still, they would come to my friends house every time the guy called to complain. Not to give him any grief mind you. It just gave them an excuse to ask permission to use the range, which they did a lot.
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Old September 4, 2014, 11:38 AM   #15
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People who buy near airports make similar complaints about noise. People moving near farms complain about the smell. Common sense would suggest they should be diligent before buying, but they're not. Firing ranges have the antigun attitudes to fight as well as these types of complaints.
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Old September 4, 2014, 11:55 AM   #16
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Quote:
Common sense would suggest they should be diligent before buying, but they're not.
Too bad common sense isn't all that common anymore.
Buyers want the kitchen, yard etc.. They don't worry about what else might be local to them until it's too late.
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Old September 4, 2014, 12:31 PM   #17
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New home owners are not responsible to check the area before they buy.
Maybe, maybe not, it depends on the law in each different place.

In my part of the country, we have farms and orchards, feedlots, and also housing developments on former farms.

People have actually gone to court about "dust", noise, smells, etc. Generally, they don't win, if the conditions existed before they moved in. They might have a case against the people who sold them the house, if certain things were known, and not disclosed. Again, this varies from place to place, and what the condition is.

As far as I'm concerned, its like flooding. IF your house gets flooded, it means you live too close to the water. (and if you get flooded out by a "once in a century flood", to me it still means you built too close to the water.)
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Old September 4, 2014, 12:56 PM   #18
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So exactly what do you think the owner of that land should do, just keep it undeveloped for the convenience of the of the gun range? Civilization does creep in to uninhabited areas. A range in the Dallas area got hit for 1 mil because a homeowner over a mile down range got hit. The range has been able to stay open by making many court ordered improvements. Yes they were in the sticks when they opened over 30 years ago but not now. If the owner had invested in safety improvements years ago he could have saved himself a lot of money. I do think the judgement was over the line but the jury (I think) was ****** that this guy did nothing over the years to make the place safer. The worst part of the story is that the owner didn't have any liability insurance.
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Old September 4, 2014, 01:12 PM   #19
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Seems to me that having a range nearby would be one of those "non-obvious" items that should be disclosed by a homeowner who is trying to sell the house. If it's not disclosed, the new owner could have grounds to sue the previous owner or his/her real estate agent.
"Non-obvious" items that should be disclosed by the homeowner? Would this be like including a list of rude neighbors, unruly teenagers, poor quality schools, corrupt city government, etc.? Seriously, this also is state-by-state on the rules and is not universal, though most states do require actual reporting about the property itself, but not necessarily what is around it.

I hardly see where a noisy gun range would be non-obvious, LOL.

--------------------

jag2, are you talking about the Garland/Winchester range?
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Old September 4, 2014, 01:22 PM   #20
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Civilization does creep in to uninhabited areas
Yes, whether it is a range or an individual landowner shooting on their own property growth in the community can impact their right to shoot. Newton County east of Atlanta was at one time a rural county, but is now seeing more and more suburban growth. Last year they passed a new firearms ordnance which restricts where and when landowners can fire guns on their own property. This ordnance was pushed by the local Sheriff after an increase in the number of calls complaining about gunfire. An interesting side note the new ordnance apparently still allows law enforcement to shoot anywhere they please even when off duty.

http://www.covnews.com/archives/41344/
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Old September 4, 2014, 01:37 PM   #21
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New home owners are not responsible to check the area before they buy.
If that homeowner's real estate agent did not disclose info about the range, at least here in FL, they can be in a lot of legal trouble
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Old September 4, 2014, 02:47 PM   #22
2123
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I've never had any noise issues with a range. That's cause I never moved near one.

Now.....if stupid dog owners would make more of an effort to control their barking dogs..............

I swear, some dog owners are brain dead.
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Old September 4, 2014, 03:55 PM   #23
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Now.....if stupid dog owners would make more of an effort to control their barking dogs
Perhaps the root cause is "stupid" cat owners not keeping them in at night?
Or racoons, opossums, squirrels and/or other such critters disturbing the dog's peace which disturbs yours.
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Old September 4, 2014, 06:01 PM   #24
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I go to an outdoor range that has been there for 20yrs or so, some one bought a piece of land and built a house straight downrange and 4000 yards away. they constantly complained about the noise and filed many complaints. after getting nowhere in our very pro-gun town, they began complaining of their house getting shot over and over. they eventually filed suit and go a trial with a jury, they showed pictures of the bullet holes and satellite photos of the area. the range lost the case and settled with the homeowners to buy their house and give them a agreed upon $$ for moving expenses, although he adamantly stood by that they didn't shoot the house. so, long story short, the range now owns the house, and they pulled 16 bullets of .380 out of the one side of their house, obviously shot at close range. they had an NRA study come out and check the range, and they also concluded there was no way the bullets came from the range. so the homeowners shot their own house to get paid to move because of the noise. which the noise was very loud, but they moved there knowing there was a gun range. the range was out nearly a million dollars n the end. the owner said he was supposed to be retiring this year, but now fears he will never be able to. the range is Advanced Bullets in Temple, GA. there are a few news stories about it
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Old September 4, 2014, 07:00 PM   #25
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So why not go back after that homeowner?
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