Saturday, April 21, 2012

Shooting range "standards"

The word "standards" was bandied about during last week's ZBA hearing on the proposed shooting range in McHenry County (Ill.) along (state highway) Route 120 and Queen Anne Road.

Today I received a link for the NRA Range Sourcebook. The description of the Sourcebook indicates that the book contains suggestions but not standards. In fact, the description reads, "All information contained within is in the form of suggested practices only, and no standards are stated or implied. Failure to follow any of the suggestions in The NRA Range Source Book in no way implies that the range is being operated negligently. Nothing contained within The NRA Range Source Book shall be construed as a standard for the evaluation of any specific shooting facility."

And the first page of the description includes, "Proper design work requires practical understanding and knowledge of local ordinances, codes and engineering principles. Therefore, it is recommended that an architect, engineer, or consultant experienced in range planning and design be consulted from the onset."


This, of course, cannot mean that proper planning and range design cannot be completed without this Sourcebook.

Maybe it's sort of like brain surgery. You either a) find a good brain surgeon who has done 100 surgeries in the last 12 months or b) you can get some books on surgery and start reading.

The petitioner may now face even more of an uphill battle, since the hearing ran long on Thursday and got only to the point where audience questions were accepted, following which the audience was going to get a shot at making comments. First the questions, then the comments.

The petitioner and his attorney had their chance last Thursday to make the best "first impression" on the ZBA members and the public. The board members then asked their questions. Now there is a 7-day break. When the hearing reconvenes on Thursday (April 26) at 1:30PM, the audience will have had a week to mull over what they heard last week and start peppering the Board and the petitioner with questions and comments. If all 40 residents return and don't bring more with them, probably another three hours will be filled - this time, probably, with mostly negative questions and comments.

Will the hearing conclude in the same manner as a trial, with the petitioner getting another chance to state why the Board should approve his request? Or will testimony end with the questions and comments from the audience, which may set the tone for a decision by the Board?

Should interested parties bring their shooting ear protection to the meeting? Will somebody figure out how to capture the sound of 12-gauge shotguns, .44 Magnums and .50 cal. rifles and bring a recording to the meeting?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The "suggestions" of the book are de facto requirements, enforced by the premises liability insurance wing of the NRA. This is the only insurance you can get for a range.