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"Judge Muzzles Gun Club"

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"Judge Muzzles Gun Club"

Old 01-27-2008, 09:33 PM
  #1  
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Just thought I would share this with the hunting community. Who do you think is right, the gun club (established 1993) or theneighboring landowners (1984)

http://www.columbiatribune.com/2008/Jan/20080112News005.asp

A judge temporarily has limited when firearms can be used at a gun club east of Columbia in a lawsuit filed by a husband and wife who contend that gunfire at the Cedar Creek Rod and Gun Club is a nuisance.

A Boone County jury in a three-day civil trial last month agreed with the lawsuit filed by Daniel and Donna Brown and decided the club should pay them $700,000 in damages.

Daniel Brown said he was satisfied with the verdict but referred questions to his attorney.

Attorney LouLeonatti, who represents the gun club, said the suit is far from settled.

Lawyers for the 120-member club and for the Browns plan to argue about a threatened permanent injunction during another yet-to-be scheduled hearing in front of Judge Jon Beetem of Cole County.
Beetem was appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court to hear the case in Boone County Circuit Court after Boone County judges recused themselves.

If Beetem enters a written final judgment against the gun club, Leonatti plans to appeal.

The Cedar Creek Rod and Gun Club occupies a 115-acre tract in Callaway County, just east of the Boone County line and south of St. Charles Road, which becomes Callaway County Road 276 at Cedar Creek. Owned by Ralph Gates of Columbia, the land is appraised at $182,310, according to the Callaway County assessor’s office.

The club’s Web site describes it as a full-facility shotgun sports club that features venues for shooting sports such as skeet and trap shooting and sporting clay shooting. The club has hosted several shooting competitions, including the Show-Me State Games and competitions associated with the Boone County Fair.

The gun club is a not-for-profit that incorporated in March 1993, according to court records.

Daniel Brown moved into his home at 12101 E. St. Charles Road in August 1984, the Browns’ petition said, and Donna Brown started living there in October 1996. Their 3,300-square-foot home is on 2½ acres in Boone County, separated from the gun club property by St. Charles Road.

Gates, the club’s registered agent, said Thursday he has no plans to close the facility. "The gun club is not going to close up, and I think any other information you can get from our attorney."

Meanwhile, a temporary injunction issued by Beetem limits when gunfire can occur at the club. The judge permitted shooting on six dates during a four-week period after the verdict. The final hours and date listed in the temporary injunction are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday.

It is not clear what restrictions, if any, will exist after Tuesday, but lawyers said they expect gunfire will be allowed only at particular times if Beetem issues a permanent injunction with similar limitations.

The Browns’ suit filed in January 2004 alleged that target shooting at the club from pistols, shotguns and high-powered rifles cause vibrations and bothersome noise at their home night and day. They contend firing ranges are less than 1,000 yards from their home, making it difficult for them and their son to sleep and rendering their property "uncomfortable and impossible to enjoy."

The Browns said in their suit they have made numerous complaints that started before the construction of the gun club, and they have made "numerous" phone calls to the sheriff’s departments of Boone and Callaway counties.

Tyler Breed, a St. Louis lawyer representing the Browns, said he believes the judge "outlined a plan with limited hours of operation, and I would expect that would happen ultimately" in a permanent injunction.

Leonatti said the gun club would file a motion for a new trial or seek to lower the amount of damages after the injunction hearing. He said the gun club plans to appeal the damage amount and possibly the permanent injunction after the judge enters a final judgment.

"How the permanent court order ends up, we’ll have to take that to the membership, and they’ll have to make a decision," Gates said.
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:00 PM
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Default RE: "Judge Muzzles Gun Club"

Looks like a case for some scientific testing - decible meters, vibration meters, etc. If the shooting is below local ordinance sound levels and conducted during daylight hoursit seems as though the club should win. I wonder what would happen if some manufacturing facility,construction yard, etc. moved into that property.
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:09 PM
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Default RE: "Judge Muzzles Gun Club"

why would you build that close to a shooting club if you were bothered by firearm noises? This is the same as these people that build homes in the country next to farms and then complain about the manure smells.
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:11 AM
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that goes on all the time here in Iowa. we have been farming since the early 50's. we had some person buy an acreage that is surrounded buy our land. our family has owned it for 30 + years. they have lived there two years. they called the sheriffs on me last spring because i was planting to late at night and the lights from the tractor was shinning in there bed room window. it was 2 am. but i was far enough away that they couldn't hear it. the cop comes out and tells me i cant plant i told him where does it say i cant in the law. he ended up leaving and i finished the field at 3 am. the funny thing is they are also bitching about a hog confinement that was there before they bought the place. its been there for ten years.
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:23 AM
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Default RE: "Judge Muzzles Gun Club"

ORIGINAL: cayugad

why would you build that close to a shooting club if you were bothered by firearm noises? This is the same as these people that build homes in the country next to farms and then complain about the manure smells.
The people that were suing were there first and the gun club moved in several years later and they built the club within 1000 yards of them. I think they might just have a right to saywhat is considered noise and a nuisance.

Here in Mesa, AZ we have a state owned range that has been here for many years and developers have built to within a mile of the range. People have complained about the noise, but have been told the range was here first and they were informed by the builder about the range before they bought their homes.

Thestate of AZ has done some upgrades to the range to help eliminate/reduce the noise and so far that has been enough to deter the lawsuits.What the gun range there needs to do is look into doingsome of the same upgrades as was done here to help reduce the noise and to foster some good will with its neighbors.



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Old 01-28-2008, 06:06 AM
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Default RE: "Judge Muzzles Gun Club"

It's all these stupid urban types. Moving in next too an gun club or a farm and then complaining about... Stupid people...
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:57 AM
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i would hate to side with anything that bands shooting so i won't. but in the last two years the local boyscout camp has put up a real shooting range and are now holding skeet shoots. it wouldn't be so bad but it an't the scouts doing the shooting its city people that can't shoot in their own backyard. my land is just over the hill from the range and the week before the big shoot the guns get warmed up and then its on till the contest is over. it don't really bother me but i could see where some would not like it.
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:57 AM
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Where I used to live the sportsman club was a mile outside of town to the East. I lived on the far West side of town and could still here them shooting on their trap league night and Saturdays with the wind. With development of the town over the last 20 years the housing has gone out futher East of town and right now some of the houses are within 200-300 yardsof the sportmans club proprty. Between the houses and club is a interstate highway and a overpass for the county road so there is quite a berm. The new house I built 3 years ago is just down the street from the nearest house to the club. So, I still hear the Wed. night league and Sat. morning shooting. Doesn't bother me a bit anymore than that traffic noiseoff in the distance. Unfortunatly I think the gun club will have to shut down eventually because of the development. I just hope they can relocate if that happens and make some improvements like addinga rifle range. Right know they only have a small pond for fishing, pistol range, and a trap and skeet field. If they would open a rifle range I would join it and support it but I'm not into trap and skeet. Thats why I join the sportsman club two hours away near my inlaws. More to offer and half the cost of membership. Sad to say but sportsman clubs are closing everyday due to people such as the Browns.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:22 AM
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Default RE: "Judge Muzzles Gun Club"

The people that were suing were there first and the gun club moved in several years later and they built the club within 1000 yards of them. I think they might just have a right to saywhat is considered noise and a nuisance.

My mistake.. I thought the gun club was there first. In that case, I can understand the complaint of the home owner. The impact the gun club would have made moving in next to a home would be a disturbance. There should have been some kind of agreement made with the area residents before they were allowed to open a gun range. I am going to guess this is a person that bought property in the country and simply opened a range. Occasional shooting is one thing. Constant shooting is another all together. And I also agree that the gun club should be then made tostop their noise. I honestly misread the first post.

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Old 01-28-2008, 10:31 AM
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Default RE: "Judge Muzzles Gun Club"

I bought 16 acres at the end of a road that dead-ends about 300yds from a freeway. The whole quarter mile street is lined with houses on 1-2 acres...I am the only farm-zoned property on the street. My side of the street I have a 200yd buffer created by my property before the houses start, on the other side of the street there is no buffer. Behind my property is several miles of open farm fields. A quarter mile the opposite side from the freeway is a road that parallels my property also lined with houses.

Last spring, I built 2 berms so that I shoot a little off parellel (ie a little away) from the freeway and into the berms, with any wild rounds going out into the open field (fat chance of that happening). I have only lived there a year, and right when I moved in I went around and met all the neighbors and worked into the conversation that I was going to build a shooting range and would shoot quite often. A few were hunters, I always invited them out to join me on my range (and some have). I also made sure nobody worked nights or weird shifts....by doing this I made sure I didn't get complaints and knew if anyone would have issues.

The real point, however, is that despite my proximity to other houses few of them even know I have a gun range!! The guy on my side of the street 200yds down never even knew it until I told him because my barn blocked his view of the backstops. The people across the street say it's pretty loud if I'm shooting from 400yds, since it's right by the street within 50 yds of their house, but from my fixed 300yd bench where I do most shooting most of them cannot hear it if they are indoors. Noone has EVER complained about the noise. These people are upset that there is shooting "within 1000 yards" (!!!) of their property. This is ridiculous if the shooting really is 1000 yards away.

I would guess that these people are seeking to create an issue where one probably doesn't exist. A gun club I used to shoot at was shut down periodically for the same reason....by people who lived a MILE from the gun range and 150yds from a freeway but claimed that the gun range was the cause of their noise problems (the case was eventually thrown out but it took 5 years total).


I agree with the farm examples, we had those problems too. This is where the "right to farm" acts came from. I don't like everything my neighbors do, but it's their property so I let it go. I don't want them to tell me what to do, if I did I'd live in a subdivision. Nothing ruins the country like the suburbanites moving there to "get out of the city" but they bring all the problems with them and try to recreatethe city all over againso they can drive further to work and have the same problems (and ruin it for the rest of us).
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