Vermont law provides that the owner or operator of a sport shooting range, and any person lawfully using the range, who is in substantial compliance with any noise use condition of any issued municipal or state land use permit required by law shall not be subject to any civil liability for damages or any injunctive relief resulting from noise or noise pollution.1 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.2
Vermont Statutes Annotated title 10, section 5227(d) states: “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.” However, even when the range is found to be not in substantial compliance with a municipal or state land use permit, a nuisance claim against the range may only be brought by an owner of property abutting the range.3 Furthermore, there is a rebuttable presumption that the range does not constitute any form of nuisance if the range was established prior to the acquisition of the property owned by the person bringing the nuisance claim, and the frequency of the shooting or other alleged nuisance activity at the range has not significantly increased since that person’s acquisition of the property.4 This presumption may be rebutted only by an abutting property owner showing that “the activity has a noxious and significant interference with the use and enjoyment” of his or her property.5
See our Gun Industry Immunity policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
- Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 10, § 5227(b).
- Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 10, § 5227(c).
- Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 10, § 5227(e)(1).
- Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 10, § 5227(e)(2).