Noise Issues for Shooting Ranges



The most common complaint received by gun clubs and ranges across Canada is noise. Unfortunately noise complaints from neighbours have also resulted in range closures through municipal government actions. Often these ranges were in place for years or decades before the homes of those complaining were built. Gun clubs and shooting ranges are not alone in this predicament as many establishments in the motor sports and restaurant industry face similar disputes with neighbours over outdoor noise.

RCMP Shooting Ranges and Sound Guidelines: Download PDF



Links to news articles regarding noise complaints faced by clubs for reference purpose.

Alberta
Dunvegan Fish and Game
"Local Resident Demands Gun Range Be Closed Down "
http://www.fairviewpost.com/2011/04/27/local-resident-demands-gun-range-be-closed-down

Mountain View Marksman Association:
"Alberta gun club closes over noise bylaw, threatens legal action"
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/alberta-gun-club-closes-over-noise-bylaw-threatens-legal-action/article579345/
"Shooting range hearing date set"
http://www.mountainviewgazette.ca/Shooting-range-hearing-set-20130709

Spruce Grove Gun Club:
"Spruce Grove Gun Club the latest to fall victim to Alberta’s urban sprawl"
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/when-firearms-meet-suburbs
"The county refused to renew the 44-year-old club’s permit after a handful of area residents complained about noise and safety."
http://www.outdoorcanada.ca/Five_fantastic_new_facts_about_fishing_and_hunting_in_Canada
Parkland Subdivision and Development Appeal Board results
http://canliiconnects.org/en/summaries/40110
SIGN THE SPRUCE GROVE GUN CLUB PETITION!
https://www.change.org/p/parkland-county-and-mayor-save-our-gun-club


British Columbia
East Ridge Gun Club
"I will be asking what studies have been done regarding safety issues, noise levels"
http://www.vernonmorningstar.com/opinion/letters/295343631.html

Gabriola Rod, Gun and Conservation Club
"BC Assessor says Gun Club noise not a factor in devalued property assessments"


Salt Spring Island Rod and Gun Club:
"Saltspring shooting range draws fire, but stays open"
http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/saltspring-shooting-range-draws-fire-but-stays-open-1.1763572
"Salt Spring Rod and Gun Club is exempt in daylight from the local noise bylaw, but the B.C. Supreme Court says that could change if it starts discharging large artillery pieces."
http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Mulgrew+Judge+quashes+noise+tickets+Salt+Spring+Island+club/8881114/story.html?__lsa=12a3-eee9
"Court directs gun club compromise"
http://gulfislandsdriftwood.com/opinion/court-directs-gun-club-compromise/#.Vt3-Av9OXIV


Nova Scotia
Pictou County Trap and Skeet Club:
"Council still pondering noise complaints over gun club" "“Silencers might do the job,” he said. “Now that we have two ministers of justice in the area, maybe they could help us out."
http://www.ngnews.ca/News/Local/2013-07-24/article-3327405/Council-still-pondering-noise-complaints-over-gun-club/1
"The club has been in Riverton for more than 50 years"
http://www.pictouadvocate.com/2013/07/31/trap-and-skeet-club-has-limited-noise-remedies/


Ontario
Crumlin Sportsmen's Association
"A London gun club doesn’t want housing in its backyard — and vows to fight it."
http://www.lfpress.com/2014/05/27/the-organization-fears-noise-complaints-from-new-neighbours

Niagara Regional Police Revolver Club
"future of a 70-year-old gun club could be up in the air"
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2012/05/16/possible-land-sale-jeopardizes-gun-club

Orono Fish and Hunt Club and Union Rod & Gun Club:
"Clarington residents make noise over inaccurate gun club testing"
http://www.durhamregion.com/news-story/3500319-clarington-residents-make-noise-over-inaccurate-gun-club-testing/

Ontario Provincial Police use of quarry in Norfolk County for a shooting range:
"Complaints by neighbours go beyond noise and include concerns over safety and the environment"
http://www.simcoereformer.ca/2014/07/10/shooting-range-complaints-go-beyond-noise-lawyer

Reticle training facility
"the locations of the outdoor ranges was moved further north and west at the request of neighbours for sound"
http://www.recorder.ca/2015/11/03/new-details-emerge-at-reticle-meeting
"When you have a regulated range, you have safety rules and regulations"
http://www.recorder.ca/2017/12/14/worries-over-lack-of-gun-range-oversight
"We’re constantly responding to legislative requirements"
http://www.recorder.ca/2017/12/18/reticle-regulation-sufficient-ceo

Uxbridge Shooting Sports:
"Residents take their final shot at Uxbridge gun range bylaw"
http://www.durhamregion.com/news-story/4469262-residents-take-their-final-shot-at-uxbridge-gun-range-bylaw/

Windsor Sportsmen's Club:
"Club's plan for rifle range worries neighbours"
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/club-s-plan-for-rifle-range-worries-neighbours-1.1057920


Prince Edward Island
Big Boot Gun Club:
"Millvale residents want new shooting range closed"
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Community/2010-06-21/article-1521628/Millvale-residents-want-new-shooting-range-closed/1
"Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission has denied an appeal related to a shooting range in South Granville, P.E.I."
"wanted the commission to overturn the province's decision to grant a permit to the range."
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/shooting-range-appeal-denied-1.885715


Solutions:
Gun suppressors (Also known as silencers or mufflers)
"Hiram Maxim, the inventor of the modern firearm suppressor, would likely agree. He invented the suppressor in 1902 to solve the noise pollution complaints of his neighbors. Sound familiar? Over 100 years after his invention, noise pollution is still a problem."
http://www.nssf.org/factsheets/PDF/Suppressors.pdf
Unfortunately suppressors are Prohibited Devices under Canadian Federal Law. However there exists no logical reason for why suppressors are prohibited in Canada. It is also practically unheard-of for a suppressor to be used in a crime anywhere in the World.
No one can give a valid reason for how suppressors make firearms more dangerous. It's like saying a chainsaw is more dangerous with a muffler on it.

The likely reason why suppressors are prohibited in Canada is false media portrayals. Movies and television falsely portray them as a criminal tool. They also falsely portray how effective they truly are. In reality they are great for reducing range noise and hunting noise but impractical and pointless for use in crime.

An excellent paper on the topic of suppressors in Canada:
http://members.shaw.ca/cronhelm/Images/LegalizeSuppressors.pdf

DO NOT build houses near pre-existing shooting ranges!
These may seem like common sense but nonetheless people don't seem to get it.

Reduced range use hours and days
Noting that most gun clubs already restrict shooting times to daylight hours, further reduction of times is a common solution. Additional restrictions to permitted days for shooting can also be introduced.

Soundproofing materials for indoor ranges
Complaints about noise from indoor ranges is far less common, however there are many soundproofing material options available for such situations. If a club has both indoor and outdoor ranges this option may also be worth considering to reduce the overall noise emitted.

Extension of berms in length and height
Extending the length and height of berms can be effective to reduce noise levels. Construction of new berms where none existed may also be worth consideration.

Make friends
There is no harm in talking with neighbours and trying to find a compromise over complaints. Perhaps an offer for them to try shooting sports and a free membership?

Combining different remedies may be the most effective approach to compromise with neighbours who are being disturbed by noise.

The problem of noise complaints against gun clubs extends far beyond Canadian borders. The Lost Target has compiled an extensive list of examples:


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