[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Mount Vernon 11-13-1957 as Ch. 36 of the General Ordinances, approved 11-15-1957. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- SHOOTING RANGE
- Any indoor range or gallery wherein firearms and firearms ammunition are used.
It shall be unlawful for any person to maintain a shooting range within the limits of the City without first obtaining and keeping in full force and effect a license therefor, and the same shall be conducted and maintained in compliance with the regulations hereafter set forth.
Application for a license to maintain a shooting range shall be made by the person desiring to maintain such range, upon forms to be furnished by the City Clerk, and said application shall contain the full name and address of such person, and in the case of a club, society, partnership or corporation, the full names and addresses of the trustees, partners and/or officers. Such application shall also set forth the street address of the premises where such shooting range is located.
No license shall be issued nor such license renewed until the premises wherein such shooting range is located shall have been inspected by or under the direction of the Commissioner of Public Safety and said range certified by him as conforming to the specifications hereinafter set forth. Said certification shall be endorsed by the Commissioner of Public Safety upon the application. If the Commissioner of Public Safety refuses to so certify, the reasons for his so doing shall be set forth by him in detail upon such application.
If, upon such inspection, a shooting range is found and certified by the Commissioner of Public Safety to be in proper condition and constructed in accordance with the specifications prescribed by this chapter, then, upon payment to the City Clerk of the license fee hereinafter set forth, a license shall issue to such person applying for same.
No person previously convicted of a felony shall be a licensee or shall work or be employed upon the premises of any shooting range.
All licenses shall be issued by the Mayor and countersigned by the City Clerk.
[Amended 12-27-1989, approved 12-28-1989]
The annual license fee for each shooting range shall be $100.
Shooting ranges where firearms are used and their operators and employees shall be subject to the following regulations:
License to be displayed. The license issued pursuant to this chapter shall at all times be prominently displayed upon the premises where such range is located.
Liability insurance. Every person applying for a license to operate a shooting range shall carry liability insurance for damages arising out of the operation of such range to one person in an amount of not less than $25,000 and in an amount of not less than $50,000 for damages arising out of injuries to any number of persons.
Competency of employees. The licensee of a shooting range shall employ no one who is inexperienced in the use and care of ammunition and firearms. The Commissioner of Public Safety shall be the final judge of the competency of attendants at shooting ranges and shall demand proof of such competency.
Type of ammunition. None but soft lead, spatterproof or spatterless ammunition shall be used at shooting ranges.
Safety precautions. No person, marksman or attendant shall be permitted on the range forward of the firing point at any time while the range is officially open for business.
Loading of firearms. While the magazine of a firearm may be loaded when the firearm is not in use, in no case shall a live cartridge be injected into the firing chamber until the firearm is being handed to a marksman ready on the firing line.
Inventory of firearms. The licensee of the shooting range shall supply to the Commissioner of Public Safety a complete list of all the firearms used on such shooting range, giving the type, caliber, manufacture and serial number of each firearm. All licensees shall immediately report the loss or disappearance or substitution of any such firearm to the Commissioner of Public Safety.
Good order; minors. Every licensee of a shooting range shall maintain good order and allow no person under 16 years of age upon the premises unless accompanied by his parent or guardian.
Zoning regulations. No shooting range shall be licensed or permitted in any area zoned by the City as a residential area.
Shooting ranges wherein firearms are used shall be maintained and constructed in accordance with the following specifications:
Backstop. The backstop or bullet stop shall be constructed of steel plates at least 3/8 of an inch thick, substantially fastened and reinforced at the seams or butts to form a continuous plate from wall to wall. The plates shall extend from floor to ceiling or at least eight feet above the floor and be mounted at an angle of 45° to the line of fire and floor. No horizontal seams or butts will be permitted to cause dangerous ricochets. If bolts are used for fastenings, they shall be flatheads and the plates countersunk so that bolt heads are flush with the surface of the plates.
Sand trap. There shall be installed on the floor from wall to wall, directly beneath the entire backstop, a sand trap to catch the bullets deflected from the backstop. The sand shall be either white beach or fine building, at least six inches deep throughout and shall be held in place by means which will not cause dangerous ricochets.
Firing stalls. There shall be installed at the firing point and parallel to the line of fire, steel plates at least 1/4 of an inch thick, six feet long and at least seven feet high, faced with a fire-retardant, sound-absorbent material at least 1/2 inch thick. These plates shall be spaced at least 36 inches apart to form firing stalls. In the center of each firing stall and at a convenient height from the floor, there shall be installed a wood shelf at least 12 inches wide, to mark the firing point and act as a barrier to prevent participants from entering the range forward of the firing point. Angle iron or the like shall not be used for bracing on the front edge of the partition plates but may be used on the rear edges.
Target carriers. There shall be installed in each firing stall an electrical or mechanical target carrier capable of transporting the target to and from the firing point to the position where it is to be fired upon. These target carriers are to be constructed so as to present no right-angle surfaces to the marksman which may cause dangerous ricochets.
Range proper. The range proper must be completely enclosed beyond the firing point and lined with bulletproof material. All surfaces on the range forward of the firing point presenting a right angle to the line of fire, including pipes, columns, etc., shall be properly treated so as to eliminate the possibility of a dangerous ricochet. All electrical wiring in the range proper must be concealed and all electrical wiring for target equipment must be installed behind the firing point.
Soundproofing. All walls and ceilings shall be faced with satisfactory sound-absorbent material.
Ventilation. Ventilation shall be installed to exhaust the powder smoke, gases and sand dust from the range away from the marksman, in the direction of the backstop.
Repairs. Whenever any exposed surface in a shooting range shall show holes or undue wear from being constantly struck by the missiles used, such exposed surface shall be immediately repaired or replaced.
It shall be the duty of the Police Department to see that the provisions of this chapter are enforced and obeyed.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as applying to or governing the military forces of the state or United States or police authorities or nonprofit clubs and nonprofit associations which are members of the National Rifle Association.