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Gun range starts petition to counter CK Safe and Quiet
Supporters of the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club have started their own petition drive to encourage Kitsap County not to adopt a new gun range ordinance. The new petition drive follows on the heels of some 300 signatures collected by CK Safe and Quiet that were delivered Feb. 24 to county commissioners in support of a new ordinance.
“Just what we’ve seen here at the range is more than 100 signatures in just three days,” said KRCC range master Marcus Carter on Tuesday afternoon. “I would like to think that, at the low end of it, it is gonna be 3,000 signatures. We’ve done that before where we’ve gotten 4,000 signatures in support of the gun club. We’re anxious to show, and we don’t know how much weight it will carry, that the vast majority of this community does support the gun club.”
In the petition, supporters of the gun club call on the county to emulate Pierce County and adopt a similar gun range protection ordinance that would discourage frivolous nuisance lawsuits. The petition also calls on the county to honor a pair of letters of understanding, from 1993 and 2009, that protect the activities of the gun range.
Carter notes that the county has already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars prosecuting himself and the gun club. He says that the idea that bullets are leaving the range simply is not true and that a proposal in the new ordinance to limit the amount of noise at the range to 86 decibels is absurd.
“A piano is about 85 decibels,” he said. “There isn’t any place, in any county, in the country for that matter, that they can identify that has enacted that kind of a restriction on a firing range.”
Kitsap County won a lawsuit in 2012 against the club which alleged it didn’t follow development regulation and ultimately resulted in the club closing for a time. However, a subsequent ruling allowed the club to continue operation until the appeal is decided. That could take another 18 months, some sources have said.
Carter says that prior to the 2012 lawsuit, KRRC had as many as 1,200 members. Dues were raised to help with legal expenses and the rolls shrunk, but he says there are now a little more than 700 members. That number doesn’t include members of the general public who regularly use the facility.
The possibility of a new ordinance has been talked about for years. Terry Allison, who has been active with CK Safe and Quiet since its inception in 2009, said neighbors in the area of the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club (KRRC) have been waiting for the county to pass a gun range ordinance since July 2010.
“We’re tired of waiting,” said Allison. “It’s been almost four years and we don’t even have a draft ordinance to look at.”