Article 53C.

Sport Shooting Range Protection Act of 1997.

14-409.45.  Definitions.

The following definitions apply in this Article:

(1)        Person. - An individual, proprietorship, partnership, corporation, club, or other legal entity.

(2)        Sport shooting range or range. - An area designed and operated for the use of rifles, shotguns, pistols, silhouettes, skeet, trap, black powder, or any other similar sport shooting.

(3)        Substantial change in use. - The current primary use of the range no longer represents the activity previously engaged in at the range. (1997-465, s. 1.)

 

14-409.46.  Sport shooting range protection.

(a)        Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person who owns, operates, or uses a sport shooting range in this State shall not be subject to civil liability or criminal prosecution in any matter relating to noise or noise pollution resulting from the operation or use of the range if the range was in existence at least three years prior to the effective date of this Article and the range was in compliance with any noise control laws or ordinances that applied to the range and its operation at the time the range began operation.

(b)        A person who owns, operates, or uses a sport shooting range is not subject to an action for nuisance on the basis of noise or noise pollution, and a State court shall not enjoin the use or operation of a range on the basis of noise or noise pollution, if the range was in existence at least three years prior to the effective date of this Article and the range was in compliance with any noise control laws or ordinances that applied to the range and its operation at the time the range began operation.

(c)        Rules adopted by any State department or agency for limiting levels of noise in terms of decibel level that may occur in the outdoor atmosphere shall not apply to a sport shooting range exempted from liability under this Article.

(d)       A person who acquires title to real property adversely affected by the use of property with a permanently located and improved sport shooting range constructed and initially operated prior to the time the person acquires title shall not maintain a nuisance action on the basis of noise or noise pollution against the person who owns the range to restrain, enjoin, or impede the use of the range. If there is a substantial change in use of the range after the person acquires title, the person may maintain a nuisance action if the action is brought within one year of the date of a substantial change in use. This section does not prohibit actions for negligence or recklessness in the operation of the range or by a person using the range.

(e)        A sport shooting range that is operated and is not in violation of existing law at the time of the enactment of an ordinance and was in existence at least three years prior to the effective date of this Article, shall 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, provided there has been no substantial change in use. (1997-465, s. 1.)

 

14-409.47.  Application of Article.

Except as otherwise provided in this Article, this Article does not prohibit a local government from regulating the location and construction of a sport shooting range after the effective date of this Article. (1997-465, s. 1.)