WEST virginia legislature
2016 regular session
House Bill 4174
By Delegates Kurcaba, Statler, Weld, Fast, Kelly, Azinger, Waxman, Blair, Upson, Frich and Phillips,R
[Passed March 12, 2016; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend and reenact §20-2-58 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §61-6-23 of said code, all relating to shooting ranges generally; exempting activity at indoor shooting ranges from the prohibition of shooting or discharging a firearm within five hundred feet of any church or dwelling house; amending the definition of "shooting range" to include an indoor range otherwise lawfully compliant; exempting activity at indoor shooting ranges from criminal penalties for violations for shooting or discharging a firearm within five hundred feet of any church or dwelling house; modifying and clarifying the limitations on nuisance actions against shooting ranges; and exempting indoor shooting ranges which have necessary licenses and are compliant with applicable laws, rules or ordinance from nuisance law.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §20-2-58 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that §61-6-23 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 20. NATURAL RESOURCES.
ARTICLE 2. WILDLIFE RESOURCES.
§20-2-58. Shooting across road or near building or crowd; penalty.
(a) In addition to any other prohibitions which may exist by law, it shall be unlawful for any person to shoot or discharge any firearms:
(1) Across or in any public road in this state, at any time;
(2) Within five hundred feet of any school or church; or
(3) Within five hundred feet of any dwelling house: Provided, That a person who is a resident of a dwelling house, and his or her authorized guest, may shoot or discharge a firearm in a lawful manner within five hundred feet of the dwelling house where the person lives, if the firearm is being discharged with the express or implied knowledge and consent of all residents of that dwelling house, and no other dwelling houses are located within five hundred feet of where the firearm is discharged; or
or near any state, county or municipal park in areas of which
the discharge of firearms is prohibited or other place where persons
gather for purposes of pleasure.
(b) Any person violating this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $500 or confined in jail for not more than one hundred days, or both fined and confined.
Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, any person
operating a gun repair shop, licensed to do business in the State of West
Virginia and duly licensed under applicable federal statutes, may be exempted
from the prohibition established by this section and section twelve, article
seven, chapter sixty-one of this code for the purpose of test firing a firearm.
The director of the Division of Natural Resources shall prescribe such rules as
may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the exemption under this section
and section twelve, article seven, chapter sixty-one and shall ensure that any
person residing in any dwelling home within five hundred feet of such gun
repair shop be given an opportunity to protest the granting of such exemption.
(d) The provisions of this section are not applicable to indoor shooting ranges the owner or operator of which holds all necessary and required licenses and the shooting range is in compliance with all applicable state, county, municipal laws, rules or ordinances regulating the design and operation of such facilities.
CHAPTER 61. CRIMES AND THEIR PUNISHMENT.
ARTICLE 6. CRIMES AGAINST THE PEACE.
§61-6-23. Shooting range; limitations on nuisance actions.
(a) As used in this section:
(1) “Person” means an individual, proprietorship, partnership, corporation, club or other legal entity;
(2) “Shooting range” or “range” means an area, whether indoor or outdoor, designed and operated for the use of rifles, shotguns, pistols, silhouettes, skeet, trap, black powder or any other similar shooting.
(b) Except as provided in this section, a person may not maintain a nuisance action for noise against a shooting range located in the vicinity of that person=s property if the range was established as of the date of the person acquiring the property. If there is a substantial change in use of the range or there is a period of shooting inactivity at a range exceeding one year after the person acquires the property, the person may maintain a nuisance action if the action is brought within two years from the beginning of the substantial change in use of the range, or the resumption of shooting activity.
(c) A person who
owned property in the vicinity of a shooting range that was established after
the person acquired the property may maintain a nuisance action for noise
against that range only if the action is brought within
years after establishment of the range or two years
has been no shooting activity at a range for a period of two years, resumption
of shooting is considered establishment of a new range for the purposes of this
section. Actions authorized by the provisions of this section are not
applicable to indoor shooting ranges the owner or operator of which holds all
necessary and required licenses and the shooting range is in compliance with
all applicable state, county and municipal laws, rules or ordinances regulating
the design and operation of such facilities.
Conferees on the part of the House
Conferees on the part of the Senate.