Gerald Conrady has lost for the second time in court over his contention that Lincoln County has no legal right to tell him where he can set up a shooting range. Conrady contends that state law denies counties such powers. He lost in Lincoln County Circuit Court over a year ago, and then again today in a ruling from the Oregon State Court of Appeals in Salem.
Conrady was told earlier in Lincoln County Circuit Court that while there are great freedoms to own and shoot firearms in Oregon, those freedoms do not deny the powers of counties to place conditions on where they can be discharged, especially when it comes to shooting ranges. Mr. Conrady’s shooting range is between two Seal Rock residential areas. And beyond the closeness of guns being fired, the noise from semi-automatic and other loud firearms greatly upsets the neighbors.
The Appeals Court said Conrady’s reading of state law was in error in that the history of gun-related statutes and case law in no way creates a logical path to Conrady’s contention that anyone can set up a shooting range in a Timber Conservation Zone, regardless of it’s proximity to homes, businesses or other inhabited structures or areas where human activities can be generally expected like on trails, roads or highways.
The Appeals Court re-affirmed the lower court ruling that the county shall consider accommodating shooting range (indoor or outdoor) facilities, but that the applicant must obtain from the county a conditional use permit to do so. Lincoln County was clear from the start that such a conditional use permit would not be approved due to the shooting range being so close to residential areas.
Mr. Conrady’s next step in his argument would be in front of the State Supreme Court if he choses to appeal the Appeals Court ruling.