Advice Needed

Well, it’s taken a mere six months but I already have a problem in my private preserve. Two miles south of our lanai, there is an outside NRA range that Governor Rick Scott allowed to build with absolutely no sound barriers or protective walls.

Today, I had a housewarming party on my lanai and the range was so noisy, my guests left because they “didn’t feel like drinking cocktails in the middle of Baghdad.” As many of you know, gunshot noise has an incredibly wide range; particularly AKs.

My husband has spoken politely and respectfully with the owner of the range to no avail so now it’s my turn. I can’t fight the law but I’m hoping to reach an agreement with the owner. Here is the speech I’ve written today and will deliver in person tomorrow and would appreciate any advice y’all can give:

“Sir, I am an avid supporter of the NRA and the second amendment and I certainly appreciate the work you’re doing here. You are exercising your rights but I hope you can understand that as a property owner, I have the right to enjoy my home and to entertain guests. Is there a way we can come to a mutually beneficial agreement?”

(I’m thinking of silencers or the development of some kind of enclosed space as the FBI and CIA have built.)

I could truly use some help here because I’m dealing with an angry militant and I don’t quite know what to do.

1+

Users who have liked this post:

  • avatar

49 thoughts on “Advice Needed”

  1. EThompson:
    Today, I had a housewarming party on my lanai and the range was so noisy, my guests left because they “didn’t feel like drinking cocktails in the middle of Baghdad.”

    Stop inviting Democrats to your parties!

    One problem is Florida is so flat that you can’t simply site shooting ranges in valleys. So the sound will carry. Artificial enclosures are very expensive and not possible for shotgun ranges and many “practical” ranges.

    7+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
  2. Short of fully enclosing the space, simpler and cheaper measures will be of little help to you. You’re two miles away, which means that lower frequencies dominate. Higher acoustic frequencies suffer greater attenuation traveling through two miles of atmosphere. The remaining lower frequencies are more difficult to block with a wall because of their longer wavelengths.

    A simple wall will not do much good unless it’s very high. Complete enclosure would help but you’ll likely have trouble getting them to go along with that. In the meantime, you’ll have the most trouble hosting outdoor events at dusk or after, when sound carries the best. Midday will generally work better because sound refracts upward with that temperature profile. Not much comfort, I know.

    7+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
  3. Sound mitigation on firearms ranges depends a lot upon their nature, their orientation with respect to those sensitive to the noise, and the arms fired there.

    I live around 600 metres from the firing position of my village’s rifle range (almost every village in Switzerland has one), around 45 degrees from the line of fire.

    Stand de tir de Lignières

    Around 15 years ago, my house, being the closest to the stand with an unobstructed path, was used to measure several options to reduce the noise.  The result was the installation of the acoustic tiles you can see on the ceiling.  This, and firing from the ports in the stand, reduced the sound pressure level by around 1/2 over firing in the open.

    This is the sound pressure level from the firing of the cartridge and muzzle blast.  With a supersonic projectile, as fired by the Swiss service rifle and similar military weapons such as the M-4 and AK-74, there is also the shock wave of the bullet moving faster than sound, which propagates in a cone along its trajectory.  Depending on your angle with respect to the trajectory, you may hear this as a “crack” or as a “shhhhthwock”, which is what I hear at my house.

    With subsonic rounds, as fired by some pistols, there is no sonic crack, and only the muzzle blast can be heard.

    With treatment at the firing point, it is possible to attenuate the muzzle blast as was done in my village.  Nothing can be done about the supersonic crack from the bullet.

    Suppressors (“silencers”) are not an option because the United States irrationally treats them as things only the élite can possess.  In Germany, you can buy them over the counter.  Suppressors reduce the noise emitted at firing but also change the ballistics of the projectile, and are thus considered unsuitable for practice for situations in which they would not be used.  They do nothing to reduce the supersonic crack once the projectile leaves the barrel.

    You can enclose a pistol range, but unless you have the budget of a Blofeld, you can’t put a 300 metre rifle range (which is the standard in Switzerland) inside.

    I hear the bang, crack, and shhhhthwock of rifle fire frequently on nice days here.  I consider it the sound of freedom.

    10+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
  4. ctlaw:
    Stop inviting Democrats to your parties!

    This was not helpful. I don’t associate with Democrats and I find it annoying that you assume the complaints about excessive noise is a partisan issue. Besides, I already know everything you just noted about Florida and it didn’t address my rights as a property owner.

    Next.

    0

  5. John Walker:
    I hear the bang, crack, and shhhh—thwock of rifle fire frequently on nice days here.  I consider it the sound of freedom.

    Great but you don’t live in an environment that is primarily focused on the outdoors every single day. And again, what about my rights?

    0

  6. EThompson:
    And again, what about my rights?

    You’d have to check legislation about nuisances in your jurisdiction.  For example, one can’t usually complain about noise from airport operations in one’s vicinity or construction sites, but homeowners’ associations often impose covenants which might apply to those in the development.  If the range is located two miles away and not subject to such rules, then municipality or county rules (if any) would apply.

    In general, there is no right not to be annoyed by loud noises.  If there were, my proposal for a year-round open season on operators of gasoline-powered leaf blowers would have been adopted decades ago.

    9+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
  7. John Walker:
    If there were, my proposal for a year-long open season on operators of gasoline-powered leaf blowers would have been adopted decades ago.

    Here’s an irony for you; this is precisely one of the reasons I left SW Florida.

    3+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
  8. Ok, well, is there some incentive you can offer? Just thinking out loud here… but maybe a donation from you in exchange for certain restricted shooting times?

    0

  9. I’m just concerned that if you approach this person empty handed while insisting on rights you may not actually possess under the law, you may alienate him without gaining anything you want.

    3+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
  10. John Walker:
    If there were, my proposal for a year-long open season on operators of gasoline-powered leaf blowers would have been adopted decades ago.

    My town banned leaf blowers of all kinds middle of last year. Adherence to this new law has been spotty at best. Not sure why they included electric ones in the ban, aside from pure NIMBYism. It has been somewhat quieter but lawnmowers are still a nuisance.

    4+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
  11. Who is the owner?  You say “NRA range”; is it affiliated with the NRA?   If it is, go to the local chapter and explain that you are a supporter and is there any solution they could propose?  If there is any affiliation, it may be important to the individual landowner or operator  to maintain that.  They can threaten him with withdrawal of it, even if (as appears to be the case)  the range isn’t breaking any laws or regs. Same thing if there is any corporate private entity involved in ownership.

    —and do you have any neighbors who can also hear the shots?  If so, try to enlist them in the above efforts.

    5+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
  12. Hypatia:
    Who is the owner?  You say “NRA range”; is it affiliated with the NRA?   If it is, go to the local chapter and explain that you are a supporter and is there any solution they could propose?  If there is any affiliation, it may be important to the individual landowner or operator  to maintain that.  They can threaten him with withdrawal of it, even if (as appears to be the case)  the range isn’t breaking any laws or regs. Same thing if there is any corporate private entity involved in ownership.

    It is. Thank you. This is helpful advice and I’m on it tomorrow.

    It is now 6:00 p.m. EST on a Sunday and WWIII continues. 🙁

    1+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
  13. EThompson:

    Hypatia:
    Who is the owner?  You say “NRA range”; is it affiliated with the NRA?   If it is, go to the local chapter and explain that you are a supporter and is there any solution they could propose?  If there is any affiliation, it may be important to the individual landowner or operator  to maintain that.  They can threaten him with withdrawal of it, even if (as appears to be the case)  the range isn’t breaking any laws or regs. Same thing if there is any corporate private entity involved in ownership.

    It is. Thank you. This is helpful advice and I’m on it tomorrow.

    It is now 6:00 p.m. EST on a Sunday and WWIII continues. 🙁

    And did you see my edit above?  If possible, see if you can get any neighbors to agree with you.  Then you can say you are speaking for the residential community.

    1+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
  14. Without knowing more, I would guess that threes and shrubs are going to be the best mitigation.  Perhaps approach them with a proposal for joint planting / installing.

    Unfortunately, I suspect that the legal matter will hinge upon the fact that the range pre-dates your purchase.  You could have bought anywhere — you settled next to a range.

    8+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
  15. Haakon Dahl:
    Without knowing more, I would guess that threes and shrubs are going to be the best mitigation.  Perhaps approach them with a proposal for joint planting / installing.

    Unfortunately, I suspect that the legal matter will hinge upon the fact that the range pre-dates your purchase.  You could have bought anywhere — you settled next to a range.

    I settled two miles from a range that didn’t exist when I bought the undeveloped acreage 3 years ago. But again, this is all irrelevant to my post.

    Hypatia gave me what I was looking for- some sound legal advice.

    2+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar
  16. Haakon Dahl:
    Without knowing more, I would guess that threes and shrubs are going to be the best mitigation.  Perhaps approach them with a proposal for joint planting / installing.

    Unfortunately, I suspect that the legal matter will hinge upon the fact that the range pre-dates your purchase.  You could have bought anywhere — you settled next to a range.

    This is kind of what I was thinking: buyer beware.

    0

  17. EThompson:

    Haakon Dahl:
    Without knowing more, I would guess that threes and shrubs are going to be the best mitigation.  Perhaps approach them with a proposal for joint planting / installing.

    Unfortunately, I suspect that the legal matter will hinge upon the fact that the range pre-dates your purchase.  You could have bought anywhere — you settled next to a range.

    I settled two miles from a range that didn’t exist when I bought the undeveloped acreage 3 years ago. But again, this is all irrelevant to my post.

    Hypatia gave me what I was looking for- some sound legal advice.

    Well this was info we did t seem to have. If your property rights existed before theirs then you will have a leg up when it comes to local ordinances and such. I might start there, at least research them and have them in your back pocket in case your negotiations fail.

    3+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
  18. EThompson:
    Hypatia gave me what I was looking for- some sound legal advice.

    Since you already got what you came for, I’ll feel free to post a tangentially-related anecdote. We were doing some experiments that involved the acoustic propagation of gunshots. Somehow, we got the LA County Sheriff’s Department to send a couple of guys over to fire some weapons into a berm in a parking area near the lab, which was in a commercial park.

    The (commercial) neighbors were not pleased but what were they gonna do? Complain to the cops about the cops? Mostly, folks were alarmed because there was shooting, not because of the noise per se. This was in 2004, so 9/11 was a not-so-distant memory and terrorism was on the brain.

    4+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
  19. Robert A. McReynolds:

    EThompson:

    Haakon Dahl:
    Without knowing more, I would guess that threes and shrubs are going to be the best mitigation.  Perhaps approach them with a proposal for joint planting / installing.

    Unfortunately, I suspect that the legal matter will hinge upon the fact that the range pre-dates your purchase.  You could have bought anywhere — you settled next to a range.

    I settled two miles from a range that didn’t exist when I bought the undeveloped acreage 3 years ago. But again, this is all irrelevant to my post.

    Hypatia gave me what I was looking for- some sound legal advice.

    Well this was info we did t seem to have. If your property rights existed before theirs then you will have a leg up when it comes to local ordinances and such. I might start there, at least research them and have them in your back pocket in case your negotiations fail.

    Thanks Robert but what my husband and I have since found, Governor Scott gave free reign to the establishment of both NRA and privately owned shooting ranges within 3 miles of a residential neighborhood with no clue whatsoever about the noise ramifications. (He was running a senatorial race after all.)

    He was a friend and golf partner of my late father and the family supported him of course but he lives on a 5 acre property in a 20 million dollar home in Naples that would no more allow a shooting range in the neighborhood than I would.

    Thanks to the EPA, there is plenty of undeveloped property in this country and no reason to infringe upon the peace and quiet of residential space.

    0

  20. Alongside freeways, one often sees vertical walls that deflect the high frequency sound from the traffic.  They don’t mute the general low frequency roar, but they do reduce the sharp sounds.  If the range built a wall close alongside the range, between them and residential areas, that would help.  You would still have noise, but without causing the startle reflex.  Eliminating all the noise would be prohibitively expensive.  Range owners are often a bit bristly due to constant harassment, so prepare to be patient.  Good luck!

    3+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
  21. ET, just one more thing: if it turns out that the guy you’ve spoken to and his cronys are  the local chapter of the NRA, take it to the next level of the organization.  Keep taking  it right on up until you find some exec who doesn’t give a shot about the individual you’re dealing with.

    And BTW: trees don’t provide any kinda noise barrier. Besides, you wanna wait twenty years or so for ‘em to grow up?
    More BTW: it doesn’t matter who was there first, really.  It matters whether the land use is legal.  If you moved into a zone which allows the land use of a shooting range, you can’t complain if somebody puts one in after you arrive.

    1+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
  22. Hypatia:
    ET, just one more thing: if it turns out that the guy you’ve spoken to and his cronys are  the local chapter of the NRA, take it to the next level of the organization.  Keep taking  it right on up until you find some exec who doesn’t give a shot about the individual you’re dealing with.

    And BTW: trees don’t provide any kinda noise barrier. Besides, you wanna wait twenty years or so for ‘em to grow up?
    More BTW: it doesn’t matter who was there first, really.  It matters whether the land use is legal.  If you moved into a zone which allows the land use of a shooting range, you can’t complain if somebody puts one in after you arrive.

    You are right about trees and I understand your final point. I am fully aware that any compromise here is going to be made on a personal level. I’m even prepared to compensate if I have to but I’m not finalizing anything before hiring a lawyer familiar with Florida state law.

    Thanks again for your invaluable input.

    0

Leave a Reply