[17 Mar] Sussex Supervisors to Consider Range Ordinance

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[17 Mar] Sussex Supervisors to Consider Range Ordinance

Postby allingeneral » Wed, 09 Mar 2011 14:25:02

Legislative Alert from Virginia Shooting Sports Association (VSSA)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shooting Ranges Under Attack in Sussex County!!!

Your immediate action needed to defeat this proposal!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Public Hearing and Vote Scheduled for March 17th

The Sussex County Planning Commission and the Sussex County Board of Supervisors (BOS) will hold a joint public hearing to consider passage of a new ordinance regulating gun ranges in Sussex County. It should be noted that the planning commission is the originator of this proposal, not the BOS.

While couched in language to make it appear that the planning commission is only concerned with the safe operation of shooting ranges, the real intent becomes clear when you read the requirements to open a new range - that purpose is to make the task so onerous and expensive that no one would seek to open a range in Sussex County. It would also make expansion of existing ranges all but impossible. Even though the proposal grandfather's existing ranges, any existing range seeking to expand would likely lose their grandfather status. They would then have to abide by the
onerous and costly process set forth in the proposal.

In addition, while the proposal states that the county may submit any range proposal to the NRA for comment, the county would reserve the right to dismiss comments in favor of new ranges.

In short, this proposal is an all out attack on new and existing shooting ranges in Sussex County. You can view the full proposal here https://www.myvssa.org/sites/default/fi ... inance.pdf

Your attendance at the March 17th Board of Supervisor's meeting is needed to defeat this proposal.

This is becoming an all too familiar story in Virginia. Recreational shooters, firearm enthusiasts and land-owners are being driven away from their shooting sports heritage by bureaucratic hurdles and red-tape.

If you are a gun owner living in Sussex County or you shoot competitively or for fun at a club or range currently located in the county, it is important that you attend this public hearing and voice your opposition to this proposed ordinance.

PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

What: Joint Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors Public Hearing on Shooting
Ranges in Sussex County, Virginia.
Where: Sussex Central High School Auditorium, 21394 Sussex Drive, Sussex, VA 23884.
When: March 17, 2011 at 6:00 PM.

If you are unable to attend, please contact the Board of Supervisors and respectfully urge them to oppose this ordinance.

Blackwater District
Wayne M. Harrell
406 Jasper Lane

Post Office Box 1
Waverly, Virginia 23890
Home: (804) 834-2603

Courthouse District
T. Wayne Birdsong
116 Nicholson Drive
Wakefield, Virginia 23888
Home: (757) 899-3806

Henry District
Rufus E. Tyler Sr.
25359 Blue Star Highway
Jarratt, Virginia 23867
Home: (434) 246-4246
Office: (434) 634-2490 or (804) 834-3522

Stony Creek District
Charlie E. Caple, Jr.
12038 Palestine Road
Stony Creek, Virginia 23882
Home: (434) 246-2602

Wakefield District
C. Eric Fly Sr., Vice Chairman
38411 Rocky Hock Road
Wakefield, Virginia 23888
Cell: (757) 647-8190
cefly@seamcorp.net

Waverly District
Harris L. Parker, Chairman
300 Barkley Place
P.O. Box 616
Waverly, Virginia 23890
Home: (804) 834-3136
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Re: [17 Mar] Sussex Supervisors to Consider Range Ordinance

Postby allingeneral » Wed, 16 Mar 2011 08:42:31

:bump:

This is tomorrow if anyone is planning to attend...
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Re: [17 Mar] Sussex Supervisors to Consider Range Ordinance

Postby OleMan » Thu, 17 Mar 2011 23:09:37

This will be fuzzy because of my poor hearing and the bad sound system where the meeting was held.

There was poor homework on the part of the Planning Commission which resulted in some parts of the proposed ordinance contravening Federal and/or Virginia laws. You can probably spot a couple yourself, such as limiting ammo to .45.

Some provisions were pointed out as not common sense - such as being closed on Sundays (some of the best attended functions are scheduled Sunday afternoon shooting safety training for 4-H youth and Scouts because that's what the parents want); and having a range safety officer "walk the perimeter" of the property before allowing firing (er - the range safety officer could be out of sight and thus possibly in danger).

Nearly all who addressed the Supervisors and Planning Commission were opposed to the ordinance.

Officers of the Airfield Shooting Club (ASC), employees of the 4-H Center (ASC's landlord), a rep from the VCDL, a rep from the NRA and citizens of the county spoke in opposition to the ordinance. I may have missed someone or some group who spoke, but it was encouraging to hear so many people and groups speak up for the rights of gunowners and shooters.

It appears that the ordinance will go back to the planning commission for rework before the Board of Supv. hears it again.

Sussex is a largely rural county of slightly over 12,000 people - yet the anti-gunners are active and trying to drive the train; so every shooter or gunowner and (the shooting organizations) possible should show up and voice opposition to any such ordinance.

Hopefully more thorough results of the meeting will be posted on the web sites of VCDL, VSSA or ASC.
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Re: [17 Mar] Sussex Supervisors to Consider Range Ordinance

Postby allingeneral » Fri, 18 Mar 2011 09:14:30

Outcome of this meeting, as reported by VCDL:

Tonight about 30 pro-gun citizens showed up at the Sussex Board of Supervisors meeting to speak against an ordinance that would make having a range in Sussex almost impossible.

The Wakefield Airport Shooting Club President, Tim Drury, and I went over the lengthy list of problems with the proposed ordinance and decided who would cover what issue when we addressed the Board.

UNPROFESSIONAL, INEPT, CONFUSED, AND DISENGAGED

One of the Board of Supervisor members, Mr. Fly, did a great job in tearing the proposed ordinance to pieces before any of us had a chance to speak. And time after time he asked the chairman of the Planning Committee questions: Why were they even considering this ordinance? Why is the ordinance putting restrictions on INDOOR ranges as to time and days of operation? And so on. The Planning Committee looked like deer in the headlights - no one providing one straight answer to any of his questions about the proposed ordinance. They looked very inept, unprofessional, confused, and disengaged.

Mr. Fly said that the only part of the ordinance he would support was the offset from the range to the nearest residence and road. He said that was about all they could legally regulate on ranges.

A MASSIVELY FLAWED ORDINANCE

The first citizen to speak was a very articulate gentleman who opposed the ordinance.

Tim, who is a lawyer, went second, addressing various issues including:

* It would not be possible to post all state, federal, and local gun laws, expect someone to read all of them, and sign a document stating that they understand all those laws before they could shoot

* It would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act to require the range safety officer to walk the entire perimeter of the shooting range before allowing people to start shooting

I addressed mostly legal issues dealing with preemption:

* The County cannot ban ammunition larger that .45 caliber on the range

* The County cannot make people enter and exit the ranges with only unloaded guns

* The County cannot tell citizens that they are not allowed to shoot explosive-tip, armor-piercing, or Teflon-coated ammunition on the range

* I pointed out that their micromanagement of the range was unworkable and unacceptable

* I told them that if they violated the State's preemption laws, VCDL would sue them, they would lose, and they might have to pay VCDL's legal expenses as well

Several other speakers, all opposing the proposed ordinance, came to the microphone after I sat down.

THE VOTE AND WHAT NEXT?

When the time came to vote, there were a couple of proposed amendments (one to remove the restriction banning shooting on Sunday) and then the vote. After more back-and-forth they finally voted to send the horribly flawed ordinance back to the Planning Commission for further study.

At this point the proposed ordinance is in limbo. Once the Planning Commission decides to have their next hearing on the ordinance, we need to be at that hearing to see what they come up with and to address any issues. I hope that they just decide to can the whole thing.
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Re: [17 Mar] Sussex Supervisors to Consider Range Ordinance

Postby allingeneral » Fri, 18 Mar 2011 09:15:25

Thank you for your report on the meeting OleMan :thumbsup:
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