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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Page County Gun Owners Beware

Last Tuesday, November 20th, the Page County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing to consider a proposed noise ordinance which would repeal and replace current law, "Chapter 81, Noise", in its entirety.

The Board is considering the change in light of a ruling of the Virginia Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality and enforceability of noise ordinances. Included in the proposal are the various types of noise that localities try to regulate and the proposal contains an exemption for "formal or informal sport shooting," but would not allow for the discharge of "automatic weapons," or “other like types of firearms and weaponry.”
(d) The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to formal or informal sport shooting. The operation or use of a sport shooting range by any person shall not be the subject of a violation of this chapter, provided that the sport shooting range is operated pursuant to the provisions of special use or conditional use permit. Formal or informal sport shooting does not include the discharge of automatic weapons, grenades, cannons (whether powder-fired, carbide or compressed gas) or other like types of firearms and weaponry, including weapons requiring registration pursuant to Section 18.2-295, Code of Virginia (1950), as amended, or as defined in 26 U.S.C. 5845(b) or (f).
The Board did not vote on the proposed noise ordinance.  They did however give direction to staff to review the County’s nuisance ordinance and suggested they would be open to amending it to include a noise provision. Page County gun owners should contact their supervisors and inform them that state law governs noise restrictions on shooting ranges and that it expressly forbids localities from changing the noise ordinance after a range has been approved or an application has been filed, regardless of the type of firearms used. 

VSSA will continue to monitor the process and alert members when necessary.

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