Title 55: Property in General
Chapter 26: Sport Shooting Ranges
Sections 55-2601 through 55-2606 address issues on sport shooting ranges, other than outdoor sport shooting ranges owned by the state of Idaho. For regulations on such Idaho-owned ranges, see Title 67 (State Government and State Affairs), Chapter 91 (Idaho Outdoor Sport Shooting Range Act) or the PPG Idaho Firearm Resource Center page on Idaho Code Ann. §§ 67-9101 through 67-9105.
Idaho Code Ann. § 55-2601 – Sport shooting range — Liability for noise pollution. A person who operates or uses a shooting range is not subject to civil liability or criminal prosecution related to noise pollution if the range was established before any regulations on noise, or if it complies with the noise control laws on the books at the time it was established. [Subsection (1).] Shooting ranges are exempt from liability due to state or local government controls to limit noise level of an outdoor atmosphere. [Subsection (2).] Municipal noise controls cannot require a sport shooting range to limit or eliminate shooting activities that were occurring regularly before the ordinance was enacted. [Subsection (3).]
Idaho Code Ann. § 55-2602 – Sport shooting range — Nuisance action — Limitations. A property owner cannot instigate a nuisance action for noise at a shooting range near their property if the range was already established when the person acquired the property – unless there is a “substantial change” in the use of the range after the owner acquires the property. (For definition of “substantial change,” see Idaho Code Ann. § 55-2604 below.) In that case, they have a maximum of three years after the beginning of the substantial change to file the action. [Subsection (1).] If the shooting range is established after the person already owns the property, they can file an action within five years after the shooting range is esbalished, or within three years of substantial change in usage. [Subsection (2).] If a shooting range has been inactive for three years, “resumption of shooting is considered establishment of a new shooting range for purposes of this section.” [Subsection (3).]
Idaho Code Ann. § 55-2603 – Local regulation of sport shooting range. Except as otherwise provided in this action, local governments are allowed to regulate the location and construction of a new sporting range [Subsection (1)], and regulate the noise level created by a substantial change in range usage [Subsection (2)].
Idaho Code Ann. § 55-2604 – Definitions. Because the definitions are highly specific, the following are quoted instead of paraphrased, with boldface emphasis added. As used in this act:
(1) “Local unit of government” means a county, city or a town.
(2) “Person” means an individual, proprietorship, partnership, corporation, club, or other legal entity.
(3) “Sport shooting range” or “range” means an area designed and operated for the use of rifles, shotguns, pistols, silhouettes, skeet, trap, black powder, archery, or any other similar sport shooting.
(4) “Outdoor sport shooting range” means any range described in subsection (3) of this section, including any range operated exclusively for the use of law enforcement, with the exception of:
(a) Any totally enclosed facility that is designed to offer a totally controlled shooting environment that includes impenetrable walls, floors, and ceilings, adequate ventilation, lighting systems and acoustical treatment for sound attenuation; or
(b) Any range described in chapter 91, title 67, Idaho Code.
(5) “Substantial change in use” means that the current primary use of the range no longer represents the activity previously engaged in at the range. The following actions shall not constitute a substantial change in use:
(a) Expanding or increasing membership or opportunities for public or law enforcement participation related to the primary activity as a shooting range;
(b) Making repairs or improvements to enhance safety or noise abatement;
(c) Increasing events and activities related to the primary activity as a shooting range;
(d) Acquiring additional lands to be used for buffer zones or noise mitigation efforts;
(e) Establishing or expanding range use hours between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.;
(f) Establishing or expanding law enforcement agency range use hours between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
Idaho Code Ann. § 55-2605 – Preemption of local authority — Noise standards — Zoning. Because the regulations in this Section are highly specific, the following is quoted instead of paraphrased. “Local governmental law is herein preempted and local governments shall not have authority to establish or enforce noise standards for outdoor sport shooting ranges, not otherwise exempted from local regulation by this chapter, more restrictive than any standards established for state outdoor shooting ranges in chapter 91, title 67, Idaho Code, nor shall a local government have the authority to make any action described in section 55-2604(5), Idaho Code, a violation of a local zoning ordinance nor shall the undertaking of any such action cause an outdoor sport shooting range to be in violation of any zoning ordinance.”
Idaho Code Ann. § 55-2606 – Severability. Severability means the provisions in the chapter are independent. If any provision is declared invalid for any reason, that does not affect the validity of those remaining.