Skip to comments.Gunning for Gun Clubs
Posted on 11/12/2004 7:12:18 AM PST by brbethke
With hunting season in full swing, we thought it'd be a good time to look at an issue that has long languished in the Legislature and is sure to come up in the next session: gun range protection.
Former city dwellers who have moved to the country have learned GASP! there's a shooting range down the road. Some have filed nuisance suits against the ranges, which, we'd point out, were there long before the encroaching neighbors. Range owners have been trying to get legislation through the Legislature in anticipation of more problems as formerly rural areas become increasingly more suburban.
Frankly, we're no more sympathetic to people who want to shut down gun ranges than we are to those who want to close smelly pig farms or slaughterhouses. Just because an existing business shatters someone's vision of country idyll doesn't mean it should be sent packing.
We thought DFL Rep. Rebecca Otto offered a good solution. She proposed that homebuyers moving near gun ranges sign a disclosure statement stating that they know who their neighbors are.
"It's a no-brainer," Otto said. "It's like moving next to a gravel pit."
We agree. Unfortunately, the real estate lobby managed to sideline this sensible proposal. A gun range protection bill made it through the House last session but never made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Fed up with the legislative process, range owners are hoping to reach some sort of compromise with municipalities. Les Bensch, owner of the Viking Valley Hunt Club in Ashby and one of the principal spokesmen for range owners, will host representatives from the Minnesota Association of Townships, the League of Minnesota Cities, and others later this month. Among the topics they'll discuss is a noise standard for ranges.
"If someone files a nuisance suit, that's hard to fight," Bensch said. "But a noise ordinance takes it out of the nuisance category and puts it into the control category."
Bensch said range owners have developed a standard that holds noise to a level lower than the state's industrial standard, which regulates highways, heavy trucks and manufacturing plants.
Range owners also are proposing a set of operational standards based upon the NRA Range Operation Handbook, a national standard. Under the range owners' proposal, the DNR will fine-tune the regs for Minnesota.
Range owners also want protection from lawsuits as long as they're in compliance with noise and operating standards. This could be a tough sell.
"We have to modify this to make it palatable to both sides," Bensch admitted. "We can do that. Will do that."
Having spoken to both sides, it's clear to us that the range owners and municipalities aren't that far apart.
We'll be watching this one closely. Not because it's do-or-die legislation for the state, but for what it will say about the climate in a new Legislature that's nearly equally divided. If legislators can't reach a compromise on a common-sense issue like this, we're in big trouble when it comes to finding common ground on more contentious issues, like education, transportation and the budget.
Two weeks ago the Press endorsed George W. Bush. Now, they come out in favor of protecting shooting ranges and call the NRA Range Operations Handbook "a national standard." What is happening here?
If I'm dreaming, please don't wake me.
One way to cut down on the noise - legalize sound suppressors. Even many of the euro-weenie governments "allow" (in their infinite "wisdom") this.
Here's today's ray of hope!
Noise supressors. These should never have been made illegal...
Do you want to call Soucheray and suggest that? I'm leaving for the cabin in about an hour. There's still 56 hours left in deer season!
Even some Europeans have this figured out...
That is really all it would take...again its always a matter of image rather than substance that motivates fools...
Vice-President, Oakdale Gun Club
If I have him on, and I have not heard it in the first half-hour, I'll give it a shot.
Ditto post #6 for you. In fact, what the heck, for any MN Freepers. Maybe we should have a party out there next spring.
Kinda tough to find one for my .308. It might suppress the noise but not the crack as the round breaks the sound barrier. Besides there's that pesky BATF (F troop) rule that you can't have a threaded barrel.
Dont know what they do today but you used to be able to have them with a FFL and permit.
An uncle had a Vietnam-era (?) pistol they called a hush puppy that was factory suppressed. That was a POS though. Itd made a better cudgel than a pistol, the way I remember it.
Some family friend had a suppressed .30 cal rifle of some sort. All I remember about it is that the suppressor was at least three feet long so the entire rig was more like seven feet. The other thing was that it fired some sort of wacky hand-loads (so it was subsonic, I guess) and wouldnt eject the shells right
always jammed up some way or other.
Thanks for the offer! White Bear/St. Paul is an area we are looking in to to buy our next house at. That'd be nice and convenient. ;-)
Beaverbrook Gun Club is just a few short miles from the In-laws place where we'll be staying during the transition.
A Creedmore, Soule and vernier all look exactly the same to me, the only difference I can tell is that a Creedmore has the windage adjutsment on the left (as you look down the sight), A Soule has the windage adjustment on both sides, or at least appears to and the vernier has the windage adjustment on the right.
I also noted that the Soule and vernier use a spirit globe front sight with inserts and the Creedmore does not.
I also noted that certain rifles are Creedmores. Like a Navy Arms #2 Creedmore or a Sharps Creedmore. But I saw a John Bodine Rolling Block with a Soule sight, not a John Bodine Soule Rolling Block, and a Cimmaron 1885 Hi-Wall with a vernier sight, not a 1885 Hi-Wall Vernier rifle.
Is there really a difference bewteen these sights?
Oh, I don't know. Minnesota is full of people who hunt, fish, and do other outdoor sports. There are gun ranges all over the place, often right near new subdivisions.
The huge numbers of sportsmen here means that local legislators have to be cautious about such issues, and they are.
I think the idea of notification of a nearby existing shooting range should be part of the disclosure process in real estate transactions. Most everything else is in Minnesota.
We just bought a house here, and the disclosure documents were amazing. The homeowner has to have the home inspected by the local authorities and has to show you that inspection report. In addition, there's a long form the homeowner has to fill out.
We went ahead and hired our own home inspector, but he found nothing that wasn't on the other disclosure documents.
I like disclosure on real estate transactions.
But don't be surprised if Minnesota lawmakers are sensitive to issues like this one. They may be liberals, but they're not idiots.
"Gratuitous plug: Oakdale Gun Club
Drop me a line and I'll take you on a tour. "
I drove by there last weekend. Seems like a lot of building going on around the place. Are you having any complaints or trouble?
Since I see that you're acquainted with the legendary Oleg Volk, you'll find me here.
"Thanks for the offer! White Bear/St. Paul is an area we are looking in to to buy our next house at. That'd be nice and convenient. ;-"
Move quickly, OK? We just bought a house in the North-Eastern part of St. Paul....White Bear Ave. is the major cross street. Prices are going up quickly, since that part of St. Paul is one of the last quiet city neighborhoods with affordable houses. Be sure to look as far East of White Bear Ave. as you can get....the neighborhoods are better on the east side.
We paid $172K for our house, and could sell it right now for almost $200K. By next Summer, I expect there to be no homes in this part of St. Paul under that price. Just a few blocks away, either in Maplewood or any other close suburb, the lowest prices are already in the $220s.
Just a warning to act as quickly as you can. If you can buy in the wintertime, I'd advise it. Sales are slow then.
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