AN ACT RELATING TO MUNICIPAL REGULATION OF FIREARMS AND HUNTING, FISHING, AND TRAPPING
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 10 V.S.A. § 5227 is amended to read:
§ 5227. SPORT SHOOTING RANGES; MUNICIPAL AND STATE
(a) “Sport shooting range” or “range” means an area designed and operated for the use of archery, rifles, shotguns, pistols, skeet, trap, black powder, or any other similar sport shooting.
(b) The owner or operator of a sport shooting range, and a person lawfully using the range, who is in substantial compliance with any noise use condition of any issued municipal or state land use permit otherwise required by law shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution, civil liability for damages, or any injunctive relief resulting from noise or noise pollution, notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary.
(c) If no municipal or state land use permit is otherwise required by law, then the owner or operator of the range and any person lawfully using the range shall not be subject to any civil liability for damages or any injunctive relief relating to noise or noise pollution.
(d) Nothing in this section shall prohibit or limit the authority of a municipality or the state to enforce any condition of a lawfully issued and otherwise required permit.
(e)(1) In an action against a sport shooting range that is not otherwise exempt under subsections (b) and (c) of this section, the sport shooting range shall be entitled to a rebuttable presumption that the range does not constitute a nuisance if the sport shooting range meets all of the following conditions:
(A) it is established prior to surrounding activities unrelated to the sport shooting ranges; and
(B) it has not significantly changed since the commencement of the prior surrounding activity.
(2) The presumption that the sport shooting range does not constitute a nuisance may be rebutted by a showing that the activity has a substantial adverse effect on health, safety, or welfare or has a noxious and significant interference with the use and enjoyment of the surrounding neighborhood.
(f) If any subsection of this section is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect the other subsections of this section that can be given effect without the invalid subsection, and for this purpose, the provisions of this section are severable.
Sec. 2. 24 V.S.A. § 2291 is amended to read:
§ 2291. ENUMERATION OF POWERS
For the purpose of promoting the public health, safety, welfare and convenience, a town, city or incorporated village shall have the following powers:
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(8) To regulate or prohibit the use or discharge, but not possession of, firearms within the municipality or specified portions thereof, provided that such regulation shall be consistent with section 2295 of this title.
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Sec. 3. EFFECTIVE DATE
This act takes effect upon passage.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street