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H.B. 360

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NUISANCE CODE AMENDMENTS - SHOOTING RANGES

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1997 GENERAL SESSION

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STATE OF UTAH

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Sponsor: Bill Wright

5    AN ACT RELATING TO NUISANCES; ENACTING PROVISIONS EXEMPTING EXISTING
6    SHOOTING ACTIVITIES RANGES UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES; PROVIDING
7    FOR ASSUMPTION OF THE RISK; AND PRESCRIBING WHEN A NUISANCE ACTION
8    IS PERMITTED.
9    This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
10    ENACTS:
11         47-3-1, Utah Code Annotated 1953
12         47-3-2, Utah Code Annotated 1953
13         47-3-3, Utah Code Annotated 1953
14    Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
15        Section 1. Section 47-3-1 is enacted to read:
16    
CHAPTER 3. SHOOTING ACTIVITIES RANGES

17         47-3-1. Shooting range exception.
18        (1) As used in this chapter:
19        (a) "Generally accepted operation practices" are those that are established by a nationally
20    recognized membership organization that:
21        (i) provides voluntary firearm safety programs; and
22        (ii) actively promotes safe shooting through procedures developed with consideration of
23    reasonably available information regarding the safe operation of shooting activities ranges;
24        (b) "Local government" means a county, city, or town;
25        (c) "New shooting activities range" includes the resumption of shooting activities at the
26    range after a period of three years during which no shooting activity has occurred at the range;
27        (d) "Person" means an individual, proprietorship, partnership, corporation, club, or other


1    legal entity; and
2        (e) "Shooting activities range" or "range" means an area designed and operated for the use
3    of rifles, shotguns, pistols, silhouettes, skeet, trap, black powder, archery, or any other similar
4    shooting.
5        (2) A local government may not enact an ordinance that requires a shooting activities
6    range to eliminate or limit shooting activities that have occurred on a regular basis at the range
7    prior to the enactment date of the ordinance.
8        (3) If a local government enacts or amends an ordinance relating to the operation of
9    shooting activities ranges, and if the operation of the shooting activities range conformed to the
10    law existing before the enactment or amendment of the ordinance, the range shall be permitted to
11    continue to operate even if the operation of the range does not conform to the new ordinance or
12    amendment.
13        (4) Any rule or regulation adopted by any state or local government that limit levels of
14    outdoor noise shall apply only to noise produced as a result of a substantial change in the use of
15    the shooting activities range and not to levels of noise existing at the time the rule or regulation
16    was enacted.
17        (5) Regardless of whether the operation of the shooting activities range complies with an
18    ordinance of a local government, a shooting activities range that exists as of May 4, 1997, and
19    operates in compliance with generally accepted operation practices may engage in all of the
20    following activities within its preexisting geographic boundaries:
21        (a) repair, remodel, or reinforce any conforming or nonconforming building or structure
22    as may be necessary in the interest of public safety or to secure the continued use of the building
23    or structure;
24        (b) reconstruct, repair, restore, or resume the use of a nonconforming building damaged
25    by fire, collapse, explosion, act of god, or act of war occurring after May 4, 1997; or
26        (c) do anything authorized under generally accepted operation practices, including:
27        (i) expanding or increasing its membership or opportunities for public participation; and
28        (ii) expanding or increasing events and activities.
29        (6) (a) The reconstruction, repair, or restoration in Subsection (5) shall be completed
30    within one year following the date of the damage or of the settlement of any property damage
31    claim, whichever is later.

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1        (b) If reconstruction, repair, or restoration is not completed within the one-year time period
2    prescribed by Subsection (6)(a), the local government may, in its discretion, preclude the use of
3    the nonconforming building or structure.
4        Section 2. Section 47-3-2 is enacted to read:
5         47-3-2. Assumption of risk.
6        Each person who participates in shooting at a shooting activities range accepts the
7    associated risks to the extent the risks are obvious and inherent. Those risks include injuries that
8    may result from noise, discharge of projectile or shot, malfunction of shooting equipment not
9    owned by the shooting range, natural variations in terrain, surface or subsurface snow or ice
10    conditions, bare spots, rocks, trees, and other forms of natural growth or debris.
11        Section 3. Section 47-3-3 is enacted to read:
12         47-3-3. When nuisance action permitted.
13        (1) Except as provided in Subsection (2), a person who operates or uses a shooting
14    activities range in this state shall not be subject to civil liability or criminal prosecution for noise
15    or noise pollution resulting from the operation or use of the range if:
16        (a) the range was established, constructed, or operated prior to the implementation of any
17    noise ordinances, rules, or regulations; or
18        (b) the range is in compliance with any noise control laws, ordinances, rules, or regulations
19    that applied to the range and its operation at the time of establishment, construction, or initial
20    operation of the range.
21        (2) A nuisance action for noise may be maintained against a shooting activities range only
22    by:
23        (a) a person who acquired property in the vicinity of a shooting activities range before the
24    date the range was established if the action is brought:
25        (i) within five years after the establishment of the range; or
26        (ii) within three years after a substantial change in the use of the range; or
27        (b) a person who acquired property in the vicinity of a shooting activities range after the
28    date the range was established for substantial change in the use of the range if the action is brought
29    within three years from the beginning of the substantial change.


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Legislative Review Note
    as of 2-11-97 1:26 PM


A limited legal review of this bill raises no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns.

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel


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