Bill to protect rifle ranges. (committee hearing)
Bill 1508 will protect rifle ranges from noise complaints as long as they are in compliance with current law.
But the most important provision of the bill is as follows;
(3) A sport shooting range that is operated and is not in violation of existing law at the time of the enactment of an ordinance must be permitted to continue in operation even if the operation of the sport shooting range at a later date does not conform to the new ordinance or an amendment to an existing ordinance.
This means that a county or other local government can not enact new rules that drive established rifle ranges out of business.
As you may know, the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club is being sued by the county over noise safety and zoning issues. Kitsap County has proposed a new ordnance that could eliminate any rifle range they want gone just by refusing a permit. This bill will put a stop to this crap.
There will be a Judiciary Committee hearing in the John L. O'Brien Building House Hearing Rm A on 1/12/2012 at 10am in Olympia. I will be there.
Attending a committee hearing is simple, just show up and sign in pro or anti on the sign-up sheet. If you want to speak, indicate so. It is important that gun owners show up to show their support. I can give anyone a ride if they live near Bremerton or Belfair. Please contact me if you have any questions. Thanks.
I have been told that some people living near the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club who oppose its existence and will be at the hearing to speak out against the bill. There will be a carpool leaving from the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club at 8am on Thursday for anyone who wants to attend the hearing. We need people at the hearing to ensure the committee members hear the truth.
I will show up, hopefully some will support the SBR/SBS bill too.
I will keep my comments restricted to bill 1508, but I would like to ask Pedersen if anyone has asked him to give a hearing to the SBS/SBR bill.
I attended the hearing today. There were about 50 people in the room, most of which seemed to be signing up for bill 1508. Two officers from the Washington Fish and Wildlife Service supported the bill based on their value for training people and keeping recreational shooters out of the forests; a public safety issue. Another person suggested that the bill be amended to protect commercial ranges.
Several people showed up to speak out against the bill, mostly about the noise problem they say exists. They also objected to the billís words which restricted a shooting area to the laws in effect when it was first established.
A person who operates or uses a sport shooting range is not subject to an action for nuisance, and a court of the state shall not enjoin the use or operation of a range on the basis of noise or noise pollution, if the range is in compliance with any noise control laws or ordinances that applied to the range and its operation at the date of construction or initial operation of the range.
Section 2.1b is going to be a tough sell as in 1926 there were probably no rifle range regulations.
One of the people objecting to the bill suggested that the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club only be allowed to use firearms that were commonly used in 1926 if they want to be subject to the laws from that time. I thought that was just as funny as re-zoning the property about the club and reducing the population to 1926 levels too.
I thought that the arguments for the bill made much more sense than those against. The people opposing the bill took the position that they did not want anything changing after they moved in close to the range. A foolish position to take.
I think this bill will pass, but we all need to write to our legislators to get it through. Seeing as the Governors of the past vetoed similar bills in 1994 and 1998, a letter to the Governor would help too.
Blake said that the hear went well.
You can watch the hearing at this link.
The portion about 1508 starts at about 16 minutes in and lasts about 45 minutes. This bill got the most attention that day.
As far as I know there will be nothing more until it is scheduled for an executive hearing where they will recommend that it be passed or not. There is also the possibility of amendments as concerns were raised whether or not rifle ranges would be exempt from all noise regulations based upon the date the range was established.
Bill 1508 has been gutted, it no longer provides much protection at all. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2011-12/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/1508-S.pdf
4 NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. A new section is added to chapter 9.41 RCW
5 to read as follows:
6 (1) In any nuisance action based on noise or noise pollution
7 brought against a person who owns or operates a permanently located and
8 improved sport shooting range, it is an affirmative defense to the
9 nuisance action that the sport shooting range was in operation prior to
10 the date the plaintiff acquired title to the real property adversely
11 affected by the use of the sport shooting range and that there has not
12 been a substantial change in the nature of the use of the sport
13 shooting range since the date the plaintiff acquired title to the
14 adversely affected real property.
The parts that protected shooting areas from new local laws was removed.
The original version is here; http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=1508&year=2011
Please contact your Representatives to let them know that the original bill is the one we need.