Virginia Bill Prohibits Shooting Ranges Near Residential Areas

Legislation introduced in Virginia by Senator John Bell prohibits outdoor shooting ranges within 500 yards of property zoned for residential use. Senate Bill 353 has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee where it awaits a hearing.

Take Action Today! Virginia sportsmen and women should call their state senators and ask them to OPPOSE Senate Bill 353. Virginia members can contact their senators by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Directory.

The Virginia legislature has implemented a full-fledged attack on shooting sports by introducing numerous pieces of legislation that threaten the operation of all of shooting ranges in the state. Based on the language specifically in SB 353, a shooting range cannot operate within 500 yards of a zoned residential area unless it meets extensive range design criteria laid out by the U.S. Department of Energy.

This new language will cause major issues for future ranges, but more importantly it negatively effects shooting ranges that have been in operation prior to the introduction of this legislation. SB 353 has no protections for existing ranges and would subject taxpaying businesses and organizations to choose between shutting down operations or a fine up to $100,000.

“This bill would eliminate ranges that have been around for years, and make it near impossible to build a shooting range near the cities, where the bulk of people live, and those are the areas where ranges are needed the most,” said Jacob Hupp, associate director of state services for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Shooting ranges provide an important service to sportsmen and gun owners. They’re vital for sighting in firearms prior to hunting season, and are essential for firearms training and safety.”

About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research.  Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: OnlineFacebookTwitter and Instagram.