2007 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative McBride
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 95-13-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE AREAS OF APPLICATION FOR THE LIABILITY EXEMPTION FOR SPORT-SHOOTING RANGES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 95-13-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
95-13-1. (1) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) "Local unit of government" means a county, municipality or other entity of local government;
(b) "Person" means an individual, proprietorship, partnership, corporation, club, or other legal entity; and
(c) "Sport-shooting range" or "range" means an area designed and operated for the use of rifles, shotguns, pistols, silhouettes, skeet, trap, black powder or any other similar sport shooting which complies with the provisions of subsection (3) of this section.
(2) (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a person who operates or uses a sport-shooting range in this state is not subject to civil liability or criminal prosecution for noise or noise pollution resulting from the operation or use of the range if the range is in compliance with all noise control laws, resolutions, ordinances or regulations, issued by a local unit of government, that applied to the range and its operation at the time the range was constructed and began operation.
(b) A person who operates or uses a sport-shooting range is not subject to an action for nuisance, and a court of the state shall not enjoin the use or operation of a range on the basis of noise or noise pollution, if the range is in compliance with all noise control laws, resolutions, ordinances or regulations issued by a unit of local government that applied to the range and its operation at the time the range was constructed and began operation.
(c) A person who subsequently acquires title to or who owns real property adversely affected by the use of property with a permanently located and improved range shall not maintain a nuisance action against the person who owns the range to restrain, enjoin or impede the use of the range where there has not been a substantial change in the nature of the use of the range or by a person using the range.
(d) Rules or regulations adopted by any state department or agency for limiting levels of noise in terms of descried level which may occur in the outdoor atmosphere shall not apply to a sport-shooting range exempted from liability under this section.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, nothing in this section shall be construed to limit civil liability except in the limited case of noise pollution.
(3) (a) In order to qualify for the limitation of liability afforded by this act, a sport-shooting range must be located wholly within a tract or parcel of land consisting of not less than three hundred twenty (320) contiguous acres. All persons owning property any part of which lies within one thousand (1,000) yards of any boundary of the sport-shooting range property shall have standing to appear and object to the location of the sport-shooting range at a hearing to be conducted by the Industrial Development Authority Board.
(b) The person seeking to operate the range and secure the limitation of liability afforded by this act shall bear the expense of the hearing and other costs associated therewith.
(c) Actual notice shall be afforded to all persons having standing to object if the identity and addresses of those persons can be determined by examining the property tax records of the county. Actual notice shall be made in writing mailed via first class mail, postage prepaid, not less than thirty (30) days prior to the date set for the hearing.
(d) Publication shall be made in a newspaper of general circulation in the county once a week for three (3) weeks, the first such publication to be made not less than thirty (30) days prior to the date of the hearing.
(e) Claims of persons who do not appear and object shall be barred as provided in this act.
(f) Notwithstanding any provision of this act to the contrary, the cause of action of any person owning property in the vicinity of the proposed range and having standing to object prior to the time of the hearing shall not be barred by the provisions of this act provided the property owner registers his complaint with the board at or before the hearing.
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SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.