HB 4580: Protect Michigan Shooting Ranges

Summary:  HB 4580 amends the definition of “sport shooting range” under the Sport Shooting Range Act to specifically include those with “commercial activities.” The SSRA protects existing shooting ranges from nuisance lawsuits and restrictive zoning ordinances due to suburban sprawl.

Analysis:  In a recent case – Addison Twp. v. Barnhartt – the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that a shooting range was not protected under the SSRA because it conducted commercial activities, even though no such exclusion exists in the statute. The COA made this ruling based upon its interpretation of the word “sport,” even though”sport shooting range” was already defined in the statute.

The Michigan Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments on the case, in which Michigan United Conservation Clubs had filed a “friend of the court” brief. If the COA’s ruling was allowed to stand, it could jeopardize protections for Michigan’s 400-plus shooting ranges.

HB 4580 clarifies that commercial activities do not disqualify a shooting range from protection under the act.

Current Status: Introduced on April 17, 2013. Referred to Committee on Local Government.

MUCC action: Filed amicus brief in Michigan Supreme Court case, supports legislation.

Sponsor: Rep. Mike Shirkey (R-Jackson)

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