Why Range Protection Laws Matter

Some German machine guns

A Chattanooga-area club that has been around since 1905 is facing complaints from new residents who are angry about the noise now that they have moved in, so they filed a $1.25 million lawsuit since they can’t get the shooting range shut down through other legal channels.

I learned about this case via a source involved with the Law Seminar I mentioned the other day, and she added that they have seen an increase in these kinds of cases over the years. It’s one reason they offer a range protection section of the seminar every year. These are the kinds of cases that make up the vast majority of firearms-related litigation, not the big constitutional questions that make it to the SCOTUS or other appeals courts.

(The range is not in the photo, but it is a photo of a Tennessee gun range that Sebastian took a few years ago.)

16 thoughts on “Why Range Protection Laws Matter”

  1. Usually I don’t appreciate new neighbors suddenly being outraged, but the club only built the range 3 years back according to the link you posted. Not quite the same.

    1. I read in that article that they had always been shooting there, but the formal pavilion was only built recently.

    2. To set the record straight. The “newcomers” and their families have lived in the area of the new range as far back as 1921. The shooting (with or without the pavilion) only started a couple of years ago (I guess a moron can make an argument that the shooting goes back to the Civil War since this is near Lookout Mountain).No one within three miles can sit inside their homes, much less outside, without being overwhelmed by automatic weapon fire some weekdays and every weekend. The inconsiderate shooters give all gun owners a bad name.

  2. So why are suppressors basically illegal? Are they not designed to solve this exact problem?

    1. In the real world, your implied solution – dropping the over-regulation of suppressors – would work very well. Hell, in other countries, using suppressors is considered polite, if not mandated.

      However, in this country, suppressors would solve the problem, and that’s likely a large part of why they’re still over-regulated to the point they’re basically illegal. The new American legal system is simply a way to forcefully shut down or litigate out of existence anything the statists and elitists find offensive.

      Put simply, it’s not the noise the new neighbors have a problem with; that’s just the excuse they’re using to shut down the range.

  3. This is an old story where residential development has encroached on long established small local airports and the new neighbors lobby to shut down the nuisance activity. Selfish people who won’t live with the consequences of their own decisions and shift the burden to people who just want to be left alone. (And who originally sited their activities so as to allow others the courtesy of being left alone.)

    1. I can’t stand nitwits that move in under the approach vector to an airport then complain about the noise….

      1. It’s right up there in the traditional definition of chutzpah: audacity, gall, brazen nerve – but deeper than that, “that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan.” (From Leo Rosten’s The Joys of Yiddish)

        I once knew folks who moved in to a house across the street from a fire station, and then complained about the sirens.

        WTF is with these people!?

  4. When I lived in NJ there was a very popular nightclub/bar/whatever that regularly hosted some big name rock bands, they were in the middle of nowhere surrounded by woods for close to a mile in all directions.
    It was closed down thanks to lawsuits by asses who bought land and built homes right next to the place.
    People are stupid and expect someone else to suffer for their stupidity.

  5. I live in Chattanooga and have since the late ’70s. I’ve never even heard of the Firemen and Policemen Outing Club before reading your article.

    I belong to a range a county over and we have to deal with new developments where the homeowners do not enjoying shooting sports or noise, even though our club has been in continuous operation since the early ’60s.

    The Elder Mountain location is in the Lookout Valley area of Hamilton County and is one of the faster growth areas in the Chatt metro area. It is unfortunate that an increasing amount of membership dues will be needed for their legal defense fund to fend off development and lawsuits.

    In 2008, Montlake Shooting Range, now Montlake Classic Clays, in west central Hamilton County go through a similar ordeal. But this is a private business and not a club and am surprised they survived at all. They had to change their business model quite a bit.

    1. Glad my place is in Walker County, GA. Though we have some asshat new arrivals, and the usually pandering politicians, I’m pretty sure its gonna be some time before this is a problem.

      I”m wondering if the folks complaining are somehow new residents who have arrived since Volkswagon has been in town.

  6. That reminds me of the idiots from Indiana who moved to my town and then started complaining about scent of the paper mill. What the hell did they think we were going to do, shut down a major source of jobs as soon as they set up residence? People who behave like that are self absorbed assholes plain and simple.

  7. Reminds me of the lawsuit against the range I use. The range had been there for 15 years, developers bought a lot of land around it, people moved in and promptly sued. The new people, fortunately, lost. Texas has pretty good protection laws. Now. The law wasn’t in place when they got sued.

  8. Anyone who moves in next to an established shooting range and complains of the noise should be laughed right out of the courthouse!
    Now if a new shooting range is built next to established residences I can see a reason to sue, but this moving into someplace and expecting everyone else to change what they have been doing for decades is asinine!

    1. Zermoid:
      This is a big problem for racetracks and small airports. The only thing tht has saved a lot of small fields is if they have used any federal funds for improvements. This will kill any local attempts to shut them down.
      Unfortunately, no such leverage for tracks. This can lead to sound level controls for racers! Laguna Seca CA can only hold maybe 3 race weekends that violate noise restrictions the neighbors have forced on them. Due to some asshole lawyer moving next to the track. This killed the club level racers (AFM) from being able to race there, as nothing less than OEM mufflers will pass the noise monitoring system.

      BTW, where was this “in the woods” nightclub? The one near Wildwood?

  9. At least the complainers in Virginia Beach, the idiots that complain about the “jet noise” because they moved next to Oceana, get told by their neighbors that they are idiots and should STFU. The Realtors have to tell them about the noise before selling any homes there. And the neighbors are usually Navy families. And yet, still, there are some that complain to the Navy.

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