N.H. Lawmakers To Take Up Issue Of Noise From Gun Ranges In 2020 Session | New Hampshire Public Radio

N.H. Lawmakers To Take Up Issue Of Noise From Gun Ranges In 2020 Session

Dec 27, 2019

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Some Democrats in the statehouse want to make it easier to sue local gun ranges for noise violations. 

The proposed bill would repeal a 2004 law that grants gun ranges broad immunity from lawsuits, as long as they follow local noise ordinances that were already in place when the range opened. 

Sen. Jeanne Dietsch, a Peterborough Democrat, is sponsoring the bill. Along with requiring gun ranges to adhere to any new noise ordinances, the measure also lays out a gun range’s potential liability for damage caused by stray ammunition.

Dietsch, who is co-sponsoring other gun-control related legislation, believes that, broadly speaking, gun laws have swung too far in favor of the firearms industry.

“When I was growing up, we had reasonable gun laws, and those have been destroyed, without reason,” she says.

The Monadnock Rod & Gun Club in Dietsch’s hometown has been at the center of multiple lawsuits for encroaching on a neighbor’s land and filling in wetlands. 

Gun ranges are lining up to oppose her measure.

“That is a ridiculous proposal,” says Bill Lauze, president of the AlderBrook Sportsmen’s Association in Littleton.

“If airplane jets bother you, don’t choose to live by airport. If railways bother you, you want to consider that before buying next to an active railroad. And if shooting startles you, you may not want to move in the vicinity of a shooting range.”