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Old April 13, 2014, 07:45 PM   #1
Machineguntony
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How to handle this situation

I have had my machine guns for one week, and have been to the range four times with them. Between the four trips, I have fired about 5,000 rounds.

The range is an outdoor range, near some homes. I won't identify the range, and if you figure it out, please do not post its name.

As I am driving out of the range, one of the homeowners asks in a very nice way if I can take my 'automatic weapons' to some other range. I tell her diplomatically, no.

I ask if anyone else fires automatic weapons, and she says yes. I neglected to ask her if she makes the same request of everyone else. I should have asked her.

I was wondering how you guys would handle this situation? I know some of you may say use a suppressor, of which I have several. But I hate using them (see my thread on Shooting Suppressed F/A isn't for lefties).

Do I just ignore her?

Btw, I edited facts to keep this anonymous.
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Old April 13, 2014, 08:02 PM   #2
Willie Lowman
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I don't know. Maybe don't go there four times a week?

If she has problems with the noise from the volume of fire when people are training and when range members are shooting machineguns perhaps she shouldn't live next to a gun range.


Quote:
and they don't really have suppressors for M60s.
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Old April 13, 2014, 08:11 PM   #3
Elkins45
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Not to sound like a jerk, but if you can afford multiple machine guns and 5K rounds of ammo in a week then maybe you should divert some of your firearms money to buying some private land to shoot on.

There's a significant amount of satisfaction in being able to blast off a few rounds on your own place without having to worry about the rules.

Of course, it may just be that the lady you talked to is a nutjob...
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Old April 13, 2014, 08:12 PM   #4
campbed
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If the range pre-dates the house or current owner, then they made a poor decision on buying the house, and THEY need to move or live with it. Most states have laws to make noise complaints mute for ranges that pre-date surrounding houses. No matter how much the neighbors complain. Read: don't move next to a train track, and then bitch about the train noise.

Given she sounded respectful to you, being the kinda guy I am, I'd ask what time her kids wake up. And I would do my best (not commit) not to shoot prior to that time. But that is just how I'm wired. No requirement to do so.

I'd also respectfully ask her next time, why she bought a house next to a gun range when she KNEW noise would be there.
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Old April 13, 2014, 08:37 PM   #5
nanewt02
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I'd tell her you don't have to listen to her crap. I could understand where she is coming from, but as other posters have said, she bought the house next to the firing range. It sounds like she tried to have you thrown out and as a last ditch effort, beg you.
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Old April 13, 2014, 09:37 PM   #6
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Nanewt02
Quote:
I'd tell her you don't have to listen to her crap.
With due respect, I submit that's a very poor answer. Showing an attitude that may be considered callous, has classically been a stimulus / wakeup call for the anti's.

A better answer might be to be a better listener, not make any promises and then talk to others auto-guys at the range. Ignoring or inflaming others typically results in their rallying their abilities to change the status quo.
Didn't we see that same coverage in a different vein from Nevada this week?
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Old April 13, 2014, 11:04 PM   #7
JohnKSa
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While you are within your rights to tell her to go pound sand, it would have been worthwhile to ask her if there are times when the noise would be less troublesome to her. Maybe there's a compromise that could have worked very well for both of you.

Even if there wasn't a way to come up with a good solution, you might earn some points just by making an attempt to be accommodating.

It never hurts to try to be nice to your neighbors. I know you're not neighbors personally, but your range is effectively her neighbor.
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Old April 13, 2014, 11:58 PM   #8
Lucas McCain
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Fella's it isn't quite that simple. I used to belong to a gun club that was on 242 acres in a rural area, and we were 30 some miles from a metro area. Next to us on one side was Honeywell corp. and they had several thousand acres where they tested bombs for the military. Now we had already been pushed off our original club range by urban sprawl and noise complaints. So we thought we were far enough out in a rural area with a township board government who welcomed us with open arms. After 20 some years houses started to pop up and move towards us. We saw and understood the problem that was coming to us concerning noise. Being proactive we bought up acreage all around us and gave us a 1/4 mile buffer zone around the club. Looked like a good solution,huh.
The population of the township grew, our club was also growing with a good share of the members were from the same township. We had excellent range facilities, hosted olympic try outs, northstar games, various regional matches in quite a few disciplines. The range was made available to the local sheriffs dept. Rented out to several metro law enforcement agencies, and a federal agency.
Then because the population had grown so much the township government became a city government with mayors, aldermen and politics. The city looks at us, and they see all this acreage (517 acres now), and the amount of taxes that they could have if homes were built there on a 1/2 acre each.
Now the city passed an ordinance, which put us under a conditional use permit. Now we were pushed into hiring a lawyer, going to court and costing the club a bundle trying to get grandfathered in, but the city prevailed
Note the government agency that we rented the range to for practice and qualification. One of their training course's was full automatic weapons. That drew the ire of some citizens and the complaint was brought forward at the city council meeting, and they were going to revoke our conditional use permit. Well we had to stop the federal agency from using full automatic weapons, and we are in court fighting to keep the conditional use permit.
Note I said that Honeywell had property next to us that tested bombs. Huge explosions could be heard any time of the day or night there. Evidently Honeywell had a better and larger bunch of lawyers on their payroll and the city left them alone. They claimed they were grandfathered in. That maybe, but we found out from council records that noise complaints had been made about Honeywell, but the city didn't act on it.
End of story, that info helped save the day. We got to keep our permit, but the club is on a very slippery slope and at the mercy of city politics.
So if I were in your situation, that lady maybe a nut job, and she may have moved in after the range was their, but emotional politics can get you kicked out and it will cost plenty when you try to fight it.
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Old April 14, 2014, 07:49 AM   #9
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This has been an interesting thread. I found LC's response very insightful. Politics - I suppose its just another name for an organized, well-funded mob. The moral of the story seems to be: Don't expect politicians to protect your rights; only lots of money and good organization can protect your freedom.
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Old April 14, 2014, 08:04 AM   #10
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Old April 14, 2014, 09:54 AM   #11
Machineguntony
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I figured that this situation has happened to others before me, and apparently, has happened before me, as detailed by MC.

I am not going to be shooting four times a week, every week. This is my new found exuberance, as I these are my first machine guns, so I am going to the range practically every other day. As the newness wears off, I will go back to my usual range habit of once a week.

The lady is not a nutcase, actually, they're very nice and respectable people. I wanted to ask who was there first, but it is not an issue I wanted to touch.

My main concern is that she will complain loudly enough that the owner will say that the F/A option is not a big enough part of his business for the headache from this neighbor, so he will ban F/A. That's my main reason for my diplomatic speech with her. I could have told her to go pound sand, but then she would have started to hate me as "that guy". I am trying to be diplomatic and telling her that the range brings taxes to the city, that legal machine guns are the best behaved class of weapons, that shooting stops right at sun down, that we never shoot over the berms, but respectfully, this is the only range that allows F/A fire, so I have to kindly decline her request.

I am really concerned that this neighbor will cause the owners to change their minds as to the F/A option. As to who was there first, I am pretty sure the houses were there first. That is just a guess based on the newness of the range compared to the older looking country houses. It makes me wonder how the city council approved this range to be so close to these houses.

As to someone's suggestion that I buy my own land, that is a bit ridiculous. Land ownership involves more than just cost, it involves maintenance and other efforts and liabilities.

I think that if the neighbors bring it up again, I will just be less diplomatic.
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Old April 16, 2014, 10:23 AM   #12
gunslinger2000
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Good luck. You are going to need it. I was involved over the years with noise issues with three shooting ranges and a commercial ordnance test facility like Honeywell's. It is usually a no win situation. gunslinger
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Old April 16, 2014, 12:11 PM   #13
Skans
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This would be an excellent reason to invest in a couple of suppressors. Set up a trust, spend another $2000 for suppressors, fees, taxes and trust. Problem solved.
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Old April 16, 2014, 12:53 PM   #14
Theohazard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skans
This would be an excellent reason to invest in a couple of suppressors. Set up a trust, spend another $2000 for suppressors, fees, taxes and trust. Problem solved.
He already addressed this issue in his original post.

But I agree that suppressors are the best way to deal with this. If you can figure out how to minimize the gas in your face that would solve this problem.
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Old April 16, 2014, 01:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
If the range pre-dates the house or current owner, then they made a poor decision on buying the house, and THEY need to move or live with it. Most states have laws to make noise complaints mute for ranges that pre-date surrounding houses. No matter how much the neighbors complain. Read: don't move next to a train track, and then bitch about the train noise.
Even in states that do have such statutes, there are other ways to screw over the gun ranges.

Two of the ranges my father used to take us to as kids were shut down by the cities that encroached on them, even though they had 'preemptive authority' or whatever the term is.

In one case, the range was in an old gravel pit and had been there for so long that they really didn't have much of a safety buffer around the property, because they didn't need it in the past (admittedly, a problem). As houses slowly started to wrap around the pit and climb the mountainside around it, the range decided to make some changes to make sure no danger was posed to anyone, if an idiot member shot over the walls of the gravel pit.

About 2 weeks into the work, the city served the owners... They were using eminent domain to seize the land, because the excavation work and range itself 'posed safety hazards' to the surrounding homes. After about 6 years of legal BS, the range lost, and the city took the land. Then, surprisingly, they leased the land back to the range with, of course, a conditional use permit.
The city let them operate for about 12 more years, before telling them that they broke the terms of the lease by moving an access road, and revoking the conditional use permit. (It wasn't true - they simply re-opened an existing road. But, the city, of course, already had plans in motion for development of the land.)

The other range was shut down through a bunch of horse trading between the city, state, and BLM. The city made an arrangement with the state to trade some desirable land between a park and Forest Service land, if the state could make arrangements to get the city the piece of BLM land behind the range (in the usual tri-yearly(?) land swaps that go on). After some negotiations, their wish was granted in the next State/BLM land trade. The city immediately sued the range, claiming the danger posed by the range was preventing development of the land they had just acquired. It only took about 6 months worth of legal bills, before the range couldn't fight any more, gave up, and was shut down.
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Old April 16, 2014, 03:08 PM   #16
Rob62
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I am a member of a private shooting club / range. We are on the outside of a city in what is generally a semi rural area. However there are houses that butt-up against the club's borders. Most of these houses were built after the club and range facility were established, which was the late 1950's.

However someone complained about full automatic weapons fire to the club's board of directors and there was a self imposed vote to not allow fully automatic weapons on the ranges any more.

So I absolutely understand your concern.

I concur with what others have said. Talk calmy to the person you spoke with initially, try to understand where they are coming from, and if possible come up with a time to shoot that would work for both of you.

If on the other hand they are against "machine gun" fire just for the sake of being against it, explain that you are not violating any laws and that you respect her point of view, but will continue to be shooting. If they are against the "safeness" of full auto fire maybe invite them to go shooting with you so they see how safe it is.

Regards,

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Old April 16, 2014, 04:54 PM   #17
Machineguntony
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This situation total is a downer. I can see the owner making noise. I am going to talk to the owner and encourage him to hold his ground on this issue. I may also talk to the homeowner and ask her when is the best time for me to shoot, but make it clear that I am engaged in lawful activity.

My other concern is that when my big boomstick, the M60, arrives, that is really going to be loud. I've never heard full auto 308, but if it is as loud as a normal hunting rifle 308, this neighbor is going to freak out when she hears a belt of 100 linked 308 rounds going off.

The bad news is that the other range that allows F/A does not allow 308, only 223 and below. Arggg.

My other thought, of which I do not know because I am a newly minted machine gun owner, is does this issue pop up at practically every range? Is this the reason why most ranges do not allow full auto?
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Old April 16, 2014, 05:04 PM   #18
Brian Pfleuger
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Although it doesn't involve automatic weapons, I recently experienced a similar situation and my reaction to your situation would have been the same...

3 of us were at my uncles house on a Sunday afternoon, shooting a variety of guns. Long story short, state police show up and said someone was complaining that we shouldn't be shooting on a Sunday night.

The officer was clearly not interested in being there at all. He even looked at his watch, made a slight smirk and said "I wouldn't exactly call it night..." He was totally on our side, clearly only there because he couldn't ignore a complaint.

My uncle gave him his name and phone number and asked the officer to tell the complainer that he'd be happy to talk to them and if they prefer he shoot on some other night all they need do is ask... but if he didn't hear from them he was going to make it a POINT to shoot more often on Sunday.

I would respond the exact same way to this complainer. Is there a rational compromise?

Is it a "We have Boy Scouts on Wednesday and we'd rather you didn't shoot your autos that night." Ok, no problem.

If it's "I don't like your guns and want you to go away because you're evil."

Well, guess what? I'd be at THAT range, every chance I got. Kiss my grits.
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Old April 16, 2014, 08:00 PM   #19
243winxb
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Legal machine guns & still cant shoot them. Sad.

Pennsylvania has this law. But no help in this area, as the gun clubs (5) themselves banned firing on full auto. http://www.photobucket.com/M16A1
Quote:
NOISE POLLUTION - AMEND IMMUNITY FROM NUISANCE ACTIONS

Act of Dec. 21, 1998, P.L. 986, No. 130 Cl. 35



Session of 1998

No. 1998-130





SB 56





AN ACT



Amending the act of June 2, 1988 (P.L.452, No.74), entitled "An act exempting owners of shooting ranges from any civil or criminal actions relating to noise pollution," further defining the granted immunity from nuisance actions.



The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:



Section 1. Sections 1 and 2 of the act of June 2, 1988 (P.L.452, No.74), entitled "An act exempting owners of shooting ranges from any civil or criminal actions relating to noise pollution," are amended to read:

Section 1. General immunity for noise.

All owners of rifle, pistol, silhouette, skeet, trap, blackpowder or other ranges in this Commonwealth shall be exempt and immune from any civil action or criminal prosecution in any matter relating to noise or noise pollution resulting from the normal and accepted shooting activity on ranges, provided that the owners of the ranges are in compliance with any applicable noise control laws or ordinances extant at the time construction of the range was initiated. If there were no noise control laws or ordinances extant at the time construction of the range was initiated, then the immunity granted by this act shall apply to said ranges.

Section 2. Nuisances and injunction.

The owners of the ranges shall not be subject to any action for nuisance, and no court in this Commonwealth shall enjoin the use or operation of the ranges on the basis of noise or noise pollution, provided that the owners of the ranges are in compliance with any applicable noise control laws or ordinances extant at the time construction of the range was initiated. If there were no noise control laws or ordinances extant at the time construction of the range was initiated, then the immunity granted by this act shall apply to said ranges.



Section 2. This act shall be retroactive to June 2, 1988.



Section 3. This act shall take effect immediately.





APPROVED--The 21st day of December, A. D. 1998.



THOMAS J. RIDGE
http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI...98/0/0130..HTM
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Old April 19, 2014, 01:50 PM   #20
Garyshome
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Full auto

Hey I live next to a military base and I don't ask them to not fire in full auto mode. Neither do my neighbors. Not that it would do any good, I kind of like it except when they fire the howitzers late at night.
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Old April 19, 2014, 03:12 PM   #21
Ricklin
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My club, in Oregon got noise complaints too. Just to stay on track here, we do not allow automatic fire, we are primarily a trap club.

Our club has been in operation since about 1952, yet 5 years ago we got noise complaints. Some one from California bought a nearby home, and started complaining about the noise. Oregon has a range protection law, the complainer was politely given a quarter, and told to call someone who cares. Our club is the only rage in the entire county, in addition to the traps we have a hundred yard rifle range, and pistol.

Seriously, they were quickly shut down on their complaints about noise, so they changed their tactics. They wanted our range closed.

They chose to complain to the DEQ (Department of environmental quality) about lead pollution. They did not care one whit about lead, their plan was to get our club shut down. Typical anti behavior.

We are still open, their whining did not shut us down. It has cost us a ton of money.
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