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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 105-S.F.No. 1908 
                  An act relating to natural resources; establishing the 
                  Shooting Range Protection Act; requiring expedited 
                  rulemaking; proposing coding for new law as Minnesota 
                  Statutes, chapter 87A. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  [87A.01] [DEFINITIONS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [APPLICABILITY.] The definitions in this 
        section apply to sections 87A.01 to 87A.08. 
           Subd. 2.  [PERSON.] "Person" means an individual, 
        association, proprietorship, partnership, corporation, club, 
        political subdivision, or other legal entity. 
           Subd. 3.  [SHOOTING RANGE OR RANGE.] "Shooting range" or 
        "range" means an area or facility designated or operated 
        primarily for the use of firearms, as defined in section 
        97A.015, subdivision 19, or archery, and includes shooting 
        preserves as described in section 97A.115 or any other Minnesota 
        law. 
           Subd. 4.  [SHOOTING RANGE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.] "Shooting 
        range performance standards" means those rules adopted by the 
        commissioner of natural resources under section 87A.02 for the 
        safe operation of shooting ranges. 
           Subd. 5.  [LOCAL UNIT OF GOVERNMENT.] "Local unit of 
        government" means a home rule charter or statutory city, county, 
        town, or other political subdivision. 
           Sec. 2.  [87A.02] [SHOOTING RANGE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [ADOPTION OF STANDARDS; REVIEW.] (a) The 
        commissioner of natural resources must develop and adopt 
        shooting range performance standards, according to the expedited 
        rulemaking process under section 14.389.  The shooting range 
        performance standards must provide for compliance with 
        applicable noise standards under section 87A.05 and for the safe 
        use of shooting ranges within their boundaries, including the 
        containment of projectiles.  
           (b) The shooting range performance standards must provide 
        for the operation of shooting preserves within the boundaries of 
        the preserve, including an exemption from any discharge distance 
        limitations generally applicable to hunting on other land, when 
        the shooting preserve is in compliance with all other applicable 
        laws and is in operation on or before the effective date of the 
        performance standards adopted under this section or prior to the 
        development of any structure that would cause the preserve to be 
        out of compliance with the discharge distance.  
           (c) The commissioner must review the shooting range 
        performance standards at least once every five years and revise 
        them if necessary for the safe operation of shooting ranges. 
           (d) In the adoption of any amendments to the shooting range 
        performance standards adopted under paragraph (a), the 
        commissioner shall follow all notice and public hearing 
        requirements for the regular rule adoption process under 
        sections 14.001 to 14.28. 
           Subd. 2.  [INTERIM STANDARDS.] Until the commissioner of 
        natural resources adopts the shooting range performance 
        standards under subdivision 1, paragraph (a), the November 1999 
        revised edition of the National Rifle Association's Range Source 
        Book:  A Guide to Planning and Construction shall serve as the 
        interim shooting range performance standards, having the full 
        effect of the shooting range performance standards for purposes 
        of this chapter.  The interim shooting range performance 
        standards sunset and have no further effect under this chapter 
        upon the effective date of the shooting range performance 
        standards adopted under subdivision 1, paragraph (a). 
           Sec. 3.  [87A.03] [COMPLIANT RANGES; AUTHORIZED 
        ACTIVITIES.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [AUTHORIZED ACTIVITIES.] A shooting range 
        that operates in compliance with the shooting range performance 
        standards must be permitted to do all of the following within 
        its geographic boundaries, under the same or different ownership 
        or occupancy, if done in accordance with shooting range 
        performance standards: 
           (1) operate the range and conduct activities involving the 
        discharge of firearms; 
           (2) expand or increase its membership or opportunities for 
        public participation related to the primary activity as a 
        shooting range; 
           (3) make those repairs or improvements desirable to meet or 
        exceed requirements of shooting range performance standards; 
           (4) increase events and activities related to the primary 
        activity as a shooting range; 
           (5) conduct shooting activities and discharge firearms 
        daily between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.  A local unit of 
        government with zoning jurisdiction over a shooting range may 
        extend the hours of operation by the issuance of a special or 
        conditional use permit; and 
           (6) acquire additional lands to be used for buffer zones or 
        noise mitigation efforts or to otherwise comply with this 
        chapter. 
           Subd. 2.  [NONCONFORMING USE.] A shooting range that is a 
        nonconforming use shall be allowed to conduct additional 
        shooting activities within the range's lawful property 
        boundaries as of the date the range became a nonconforming use, 
        provided the shooting range remains in compliance with noise and 
        shooting range performance standards under this chapter. 
           Subd. 3.  [COMPLIANCE WITH OTHER LAW.] Nothing in this 
        section exempts any newly constructed or remodeled building on a 
        shooting range from compliance with fire safety, handicapped 
        accessibility, elevator safety, bleacher safety, or other 
        provisions of the State Building Code that have mandatory 
        statewide application. 
           Sec. 4.  [87A.04] [MITIGATION AREA.] 
           (a) Except for those uses, developments, and structures in 
        existence or for which approval has been granted by October 1, 
        2005, or as provided in paragraph (b), no change in use, new 
        development, or construction of a structure shall be approved 
        for any portion of property within 750 feet of the perimeter 
        property line of an outdoor shooting range if the change in use, 
        development, or construction would cause an outdoor shooting 
        range in compliance with this chapter to become out of 
        compliance. 
           (b) A change in use, new development, or construction of a 
        structure subject to this section may be approved if the person 
        seeking the approval or, at the discretion of the governing 
        body, the approving authority agrees to provide any mitigation 
        required to keep the range in compliance with this chapter.  The 
        person requesting an approval subject to this section is 
        responsible for providing documentation if no mitigation is 
        required under this section.  Failure to provide the 
        documentation or any mitigation required under this section 
        exempts the range from being found out of compliance with the 
        shooting range performance and noise standards of this chapter 
        with regard to the property responsible for the mitigation if 
        the failure to provide the documentation or required mitigation 
        is the sole basis for the range being out of compliance with the 
        shooting range performance standards.  Any action brought by the 
        owner of the property against the range is subject to section 
        87A.06.  With the permission of the range operator, any 
        mitigation required under this section may be provided on the 
        range property. 
           Sec. 5.  [87A.05] [NOISE STANDARDS.] 
           Allowable noise levels for the operation of a shooting 
        range are the levels determined by replacing the steady state 
        noise L10 and L50 state standards for each period of time within 
        each noise area's classification with a single Leq(h) standard 
        for impulsive noise that is two dBA lower than that of the L10 
        level for steady state noise.  The noise level shall be measured 
        outside of the range property at the location of the receiver's 
        activity according to Minnesota Rules, parts 7030.0010 to 
        7030.0080, as in effect on the effective date of this act.  For 
        purposes of this section, "Leq(h)" means the energy level that 
        is equivalent to a steady state level that contains the same 
        amount of sound energy as the time varying sound level for a 
        60-minute time period. 
           Sec. 6.  [87A.06] [NUISANCE ACTIONS; COMPLIANCE WITH 
        SHOOTING RANGE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.] 
           A person who owns, operates, or uses a shooting range in 
        this state that is in compliance with shooting range performance 
        standards is not subject to any nuisance action for damages or 
        equitable relief based on noise or other matters regulated by 
        the shooting range performance standards.  This section does not 
        prohibit other actions.  
           Sec. 7.  [87A.07] [CLOSURE OF SHOOTING RANGES.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [CLOSURE.] Except as otherwise provided in 
        sections 87A.01 to 87A.08, a shooting range that is in 
        compliance with shooting range performance standards and the 
        requirements of sections 87A.01 to 87A.08 shall not be forced to 
        permanently close or permanently cease any activity related to 
        the primary use of the shooting range unless the range or 
        activity is found to be a clear and immediate safety hazard by a 
        court of competent jurisdiction.  In any action brought to 
        compel the permanent closure of any range in compliance with 
        shooting range performance standards and this chapter, or to 
        permanently cease any activity related to the primary use of the 
        shooting range, there is a rebuttable presumption that the range 
        or activity is not a clear and immediate safety hazard.  If the 
        shooting range provides evidence that the cause of a proven 
        safety hazard can be mitigated so as to eliminate the safety 
        hazard, the court shall not order the permanent closure of the 
        range, or permanent ceasing of the activity found to be a clear 
        and immediate safety hazard, unless the range operator fails to 
        implement the necessary mitigation to remove the safety hazard 
        by the date that is determined reasonable by the court. 
           Subd. 2.  [PRELIMINARY INJUNCTIONS.] Nothing in this 
        section prohibits a court from granting a preliminary injunction 
        against any activity determined to be a probable clear and 
        immediate safety hazard, or against any individual determined to 
        be the probable cause of an alleged clear and immediate safety 
        hazard, pending the final determination of the existence of the 
        safety hazard. 
           Subd. 3.  [PERMANENT INJUNCTIONS.] A court may grant a 
        permanent injunction only against a particular activity or 
        person instead of permanently closing the range unless the court 
        finds that the remaining operations also pose a safety hazard 
        under this section. 
           Sec. 8.  [87A.08] [APPLICABILITY OF OTHER LAWS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [PUBLIC SAFETY LAWS; ZONING.] (a) Nothing 
        in this chapter prohibits enforcement of any federal law.  To 
        the extent consistent with this chapter, other state laws 
        regarding the health, safety, and welfare of the public may be 
        enforced.  To the extent consistent with this chapter, a local 
        unit of government with zoning authority jurisdiction over a 
        shooting range may enforce its applicable ordinances and permits.
        Nothing in this chapter shall supersede more restrictive 
        regulation of days and hours of operation imposed by the terms 
        and conditions of ordinances and permits that are in effect on 
        the effective date of this section. 
           (b) If the operator of the shooting range shows evidence 
        that the range can be brought into compliance with the 
        applicable state law, local ordinance, or permit, the range may 
        not be permanently closed unless the range operator fails to 
        bring the range into compliance with the applicable law, 
        ordinance, or permit under this section by the date that the 
        court determines reasonable.  Nothing in this section prohibits 
        a court from granting a preliminary injunction against any 
        activity determined to be a violation of a law, ordinance, or 
        permit under this section or against any individual determined 
        to be causing an alleged violation, pending the final 
        determination of the existence of the violation. 
           Subd. 2.  [PERMANENT INJUNCTIONS.] A court may grant a 
        permanent injunction only against a particular activity or 
        person instead of permanently closing the range unless the court 
        finds that the remaining operations also create a violation 
        under this section. 
           Sec. 9.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Sections 1 to 8 are effective the day following final 
        enactment. 
           Presented to the governor May 24, 2005 
           Signed by the governor May 27, 2005, 4:50 p.m.