Range Assistance Program

Shooting ranges in California face many challenges. Since its founding in 1875, part of the CRPA’s mission has been to promote the shooting sports and to defend the right to keep and bear arms. To participate in the shooting sports, people must have access to shooting ranges and training. Today. too many ranges are being forced to close due to issues that could have been avoided. Accordingly, range operators must be aware of the many threats, and remain knowledgeable about resources and assistance available to proactively address predictable challenges. The CRPA/ NRA California Range Assistance Program, helps ranges continue to operate and be successful. We have a team of lawyers, experts, range designers, noise consultants, and environmental consultants standing by to help your range. The CRPA/NRA range assistance team can consult with your Board of Directors to discuss any issue. Make sure that your range is in compli­ance with federal, state, and local laws by scheduling a free range assessment visit.

Asset Protection

Many ranges have corporate governance issues that can create potential liability for the range and its officers and directors. The CRPA/NRA range assistance program help ranges develop an asset protection plan. Our team can also review your lease title documents, articles of incorporation, bylaws, etc. There are ways to structure these documents to maximize protection for range operators, officers, and directors. There are also ways to incorporate or revise bylaws to minimize the potential liability of directors, officers, and members.

The CRPA/NRA team can also help ranges to make sure that waivers, releases, indemnification agreements, and all of the other forms you use at the range are up-to-date. Also, the CRPA/NRA team can provide template signs to use at your range, and can audit all the signage you have for sufficiency.

Noise Management

As residential development encroaches on range sites, noise complaints are increasingly common and are typically filed by NIMBY groups. The CRPA and NRA were instrumental in passing legislation that offers protection to ranges against public or private noise abatement actions. California Civil Code § 3482.1 immunizes shooting ranges from private nuisance actions based on noise, and from changes or amendments to noise ordinances. The law does not, however, exempt shooting ranges from complying with municipal zoning ordinances/codes, or with any other land use regulations. The CRPA/NRA team of lawyers and acoustics experts can help you understand noise restrictions and address noise complaints against your range.

Environmental BMP’s

One of the biggest challenges facing California ranges is increased environmental regulations and enforcement. Thus, instituting an effective environmental compliance program is a must. Range owners and operators need to be aware of, and very careful about, their potential liability for environmental contamination and for exposing individ­uals to certain substances—particularly, but not exclusive­ly—lead. Currently, storm water run-off and lead reclama­tion processes are particularly hot topics. The CRPA/NRA range assistance team can confidently assess your opera­tion and its vulnerabilities.

Environmental attacks on ranges are well-coordinated. The Violence Policy Center (VPC) (an extremist anti-gun rights organization) has published a hit piece against shoot­ing ranges entitled “Poisonous Past Time: The Health Risks of Shooting Ranges and Lead to Children, Families, and the Environment.” (www.vpc.org/studies/leadcont.htm) VPC uses this “study” to justify range limitations, to scare people away from the shooting sports. Extremist supporters of neo-environmental organizations and NIMBY groups are alleged to have trespassed onto shooting ranges, or posed as legitimate visitors, to surreptitiously obtain soil, water, or air samples that they believe will show evidence of con­tamination by elevated levels of lead that they can use as evidence against a range.

To help protect your range from these enemies, the CRPA/NRA range assistance team can help you under­stand the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) report “Best Management Practices for Lead at Outdoor Shoot­ing Ranges.” According to this EPA report, gun ranges are exempt from several laws regulating the recycling of lead ammunition, and managing and disposing soils that contain elevated levels of lead under the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The catch is that the RCRA ex­emptions only apply to active shooting ranges that maintain best management practices (BMP’s), such as employing a regularly scheduled bullet/shot recycling plan and Envi­ronmental Stewardship Plan (ESP). An ESP helps protect a range from many legal attacks. Our team can help you develop and ESP and review existing ESP’s for potential problem areas.

California state laws may not fully recognize the feder­al RCRA/ESP exemption because California regulations regarding the ‟scrap metal” recycling exemption are more strict. This can be problematic for California shooting rang­es, but the CRPA/NRA’s range assistance team can help