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Thread: Indoor shooting ranges

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Big Owl's avatar
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    Indoor shooting ranges

    I have received a tentative request to add indoor shooting ranges as a permitted use within our zoning ordinance. It will have to go through the regulatory process to amend the zoning code. I am trying to find performance standards for indoor ranges. I know that the NRA and the National Sport Shooting Federation has standards for operating safe ranges; however, I have been unable to find these standards as it appears that there are cost associated with aquiring these documents. Is anyone aware of standards for indoor shooting ranges? if so could you share them or provide contact information for acquiring this information?

    Thanks for your help

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    An indoor range just opened in my jurisdiction and we do not have any supplemental regulations for such use either. The use is permitted by right in a few zoning districts and all the requirements for construction came from my building inspector and fire marshal as this is in a multi-tenant building.
    It's been open since July and has been extremely successful and profitable for the owner.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    My home city's (Appleton, WI) police department has an indoor shooting range in the basement of their recently remodeled and expanded station. Perhaps you could try them or some other law enforcement agency for what typical standards they might use.

    Good luck. IMHO, this is a very needed commercial service, especially with increasing public interest in concealed-carry.

    Mike

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Regardless of what definitions you come up with I would strongly recommend you making this a conditional use for distance to residential areas and noise abatement construction standards, etc.
    @GigCityPlanner

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Big Owl's avatar
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    Thanks for the responses thus far. I have looked at a lot of ordinance from surrounding cities and counties. The approaches used vary greatly, from permitted by right with no performance standards to special uses subject to extensive distance requirements from residential, schools, and churches. One community requires that they be named as an additional insured party.

    I have determined that the issues are shot containment, noise, and environmental. Shot containment is an obvious safety issue, as it would be a good thing if a wayward bullet went somewhere it shouldn't. Noise could be an issue to surrounding uses and residents. It not limited to the noise of the guns themselves but the exhaust systems needed to vent fumes and other emissions; and dust collection systems for lead dust. The biggest environmental issue that i have determined is lead which is extensively addressed by OSHA. However it could be a stormwater/wastewater issue depending upon how the lead waste is disposed of.

    I feel that the environmental and noise issues can be addressed easily enough. The issue that I am struggling with is shot containment. Any ideas on any nationally recognized standards?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    We consider it "indoor entertainment" which is a permitted use in a few commercial districts with no performance standards. We have one in town, in a fairly dense commercial corridor that backs up to residential. To date, we have had no issues or complaints relative to noise, containments, etc.

  7. #7
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    Indoor Firing Range

    The CDC and NIOSH have several reports on standards for most aspects of running an indoor gun range. A link to a lot of these reports is available here: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/ranges/

    You don't mention what zone you are considering adding indoor gun ranges as a permitted use. I assume it is commercial (and/or maybe industrial), and I agree that it should not be permitted in residential zones, but I do not see why an indoor firing range must be a certain distance from schools, churches, or other "sensitive" properties. This is assuming they meet NIOSH and OSHA standards of operation and employee and customer safety. Adding the proper insulation to reduce noise and filtration systems to mitigate lead dust and other particulates should merit their ability to locate anywhere it is a permitted use. This report may be of particular interest, as it highlights a lot of the shortcomings of indoor firing ranges, and presents a best practices portion that could give a little more insight into how indoor firing ranges should be handled.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    i've used this link for design options on ranges.
    http://www.hss.doe.gov/secpolicy/pfs...n_criteria.pdf

    It's from the health and safety office of the department of energy.
    I hope that helps.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

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