Saturday, August 2, 2014

Kitsap Rifle & Revolver Club members speak out against proposed ordinance against gun club

Kitsap Rifle Club members speak out against proposed ordinance
Rachel Anne Seymour
11:45 AM, Jul 31, 2014

SILVERDALE — More than 50 people offered almost three hours of testimony at a public hearing for Kitsap County’s proposed gun range ordinance Wednesday afternoon.

Most spoke against the ordinance, arguing that it is unnecessary, would not increase safety and would force clubs to close. Nearly all of the people who spoke against the ordinance were representatives or members of the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club.

Marcus Carter, KRRC executive director, was a member of the committee assigned to write the ordinance. In a 4-1 vote, the committee voted to present its ordinance to the county commissioners in April. Carter voted against it.

The committee also included representatives from Poulsbo Sportsman Club and Bremerton Trap and Skeet, one resident of each county commissioner district, and representatives of county government.

The proposed ordinance would require gun ranges to apply for five-year operating permits with the county. The initial application requires a safety plan, which must be evaluated by a National Rifle Association adviser, and an emergency plan.

Ranges also will be required to submit facility layouts and designs of shooting configurations.

For noise control, the ordinance states “a shooting facility may implement any or all of the following noise controls:” Limiting hours; erecting baffles to reduce or redirect noise; planting trees or foliage to absorb noise; installing noise barriers or insulation; using firearm silencers; or other engineering controls as deemed feasible.

KRRC member Charles Ely asked the commissioners, “why have you deemed it necessary to require an operation permit and why do you somehow think it contributes to public safety?”

Ely argued that the purpose ordinance was not safety, but to curtail the activities of KRRC, which has been in a legal battle with the county since September 2010.

Several members of Poulsbo Sportsman Club spoke at the hearing, stating they support the ordinance.

Poulsbo Sportsman Club Vice President Jim Reynolds told the commissioners “the committee proposal is the fairest approach that meets the broadest needs of the community.”

Reynolds said the requirements are “not excessively burdensome or unreasonable.”

Poulsbo Sportsman Club President Doug O’Connor, who noted he also is a member of KRRC, said: “There is nothing intended in this ordinance that would cause anything to shut down a club.”

Tom Hamilton, Bremerton Trap and Skeet Club president, said he wanted the commissioners to be aware that too much regulation would end up costing the nonprofit clubs too much. He pointed out that the commissioners also have the option of doing nothing with the ordinance.

Neighbors of KRRC spoke out in favor of the ordinance or some other form of gun range regulation, saying that they believe bullets have left the club’s range.

KRRC members denied that rounds have left their facility.

The proposed ordinance has not yet been placed on an agenda for a county commissioners meeting, a requirement before it can be voted on.


By passing this ordinance you will hurt the gun clubs and cause more of their current members to not shoot there but they will still shoot. They will go on adjacent DNR lands in both Kitsap and Mason County and do their target shooting there instead. DNR's rules are simple, you must shoot into an earthen embankment, not on or across roads or trails, you can only use commercially manufactured targets and cannot shoot during hours of darkness. So go ahead and pass this ordnance and then enjoy living with these much less restrictive rules. DNR would love to get all target shooters to shoot at one of the commercial ranges since it is much safer! 
I urge your county commissioners to think twice before passing this or a similar ordnance since you might just create a bigger problem for yourself. BTW, I am NOT a member of any gun club, I target shoot on DNR lands.....

A new permit every five years insures that county will receive a new funding source, and can again attack the gun ranges every five years to test the waters of gun control and of course necessarily increase cost of permits each five years as cost of doing business.

"Neighbors of KRRC spoke out in favor of the ordinance or some other form of gun range regulation, saying that they believe bullets have left the club’s range." 
One person spoke about how a bullet was shot originating at KRRC, glanced off a rock, deflected into the air, then came down hitting his house. Everything here is speculation and assumptions. 
1. The person never had a bullet to support the fact this is was the cause. 
2. Even if he could produce the bullet, how is it he would know it glanced off a rock. 
3. With all the open land between KRRC and the house, it is known that people will go out into this open area to target practice. How can he say for sure, if there was a bullet, that it actually came from KRRC. 
He's probably raising unicorns in the backyard too!

Looking at Google Earth looks like the first home inline with the high power rifle range is well over a mile away, up hill, through heavily wooded terrain. 
Noise should not be an issue, since state law exempts gun ranges from noise nuisance lawsuits. So that leaves safety. Is the "safety" concern with the homeowners to the left, right or behind the gun range, because I just don't see any "in front" of the firing line. 

Speaking of noise-- How is it that the expensive sound experts, hired by the County (and paid for, of course, by you and I) ,despite their best efforts, could not provide any "conclusive" results to support the claims of CK Safe and Quiet about excessive noise reaching their properties. If there is no excessive or nuisance noise that can be measured at the "affected" locations, then what is to be gained from mandating expensive measures to contain sounds at the shooting ranges, and how would any "reduction" of the nuisance sounds be measured when they were not there in the first place?

Shame on the other gun clubs. Are they just reacting to Marcus Carter's opposition to the ordinance by supporting it? This is the time when the clubs should be standing together, shoulder to shoulder, because what happens to one WILL happen to all. That's a fact, Jack...