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So I wrote to this reporter.....

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by Ranb, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. Ranb

    Ranb Belfair, WA Active Member

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    Josh Farley is a reporter for the Kitsap Sun newspaper in Bremerton WA. He wrote a piece on the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club that seemed unbiased, or at least it was not a hit piece on gun owners like I frequently see elsewhere.

    I asked if he wanted to write a story about how the club is being sued in part over noise complaints but is prohibited by law from doing anything to reduce the noise, other than stop shooting. He is familiar with the lawsuit against the club, but he was not aware of the legal problems associated with reducing noise.

    He is interested in the story. I told him how I built an enclosure to reduce the noise of high powered rifles and Russ Hauge's (Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney) opinion that it would be illegal to use due to the broad nature of RCW 9.41.250(c). I also described Attorney General McKenna's refusal to issue a formal opinion on what devices that reduce gunfire noise were legal (or illegal) to use in WA.

    Anyone have any ideas on what to contribute to the story? Thanks.

    Ranb
     
  2. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I'd suggest making sure he writes about how they are commonplace, not as regulated, and considered good form in the U.K. Also dispel the hollywood myths as that is the only experience most people have with them. They don't "silence" shots, aren't tools for assassins or poachers, etc.
    Not sure what the OHV laws are in WA but in Oregon, for example, ATVs must be at or below 93db (and they do measure folks and ticket them if too loud), yet muffling much louder gunshots is illegal? Might be an interesting comparison there.
     
  3. Ranb

    Ranb Belfair, WA Active Member

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    We talked on the phone for a while too. I told him about NFA regulations and the low crime rate associated with silencers. I also said they do not make a gun silent but usually reduce noise enough to shoot without ear plugs. The thing that impressed him the most was that while a rifle range can be sued for making too much noise, it is illegal to install anything to reduce noise.

    I will bring up the lack of silencer regs in other countries, but personally I have never thought it was an effective means promoting them as those countries usually have many more laws regulating other types of firearms.

    Ranb
     
  4. Bhowe

    Bhowe Seattle Member

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    This 'enclosure' you built...are we talking a can or something else like an outdoor baffle system? Just a little confused. Thanks Ranb
     
  5. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    Hey Ranb, have a look at what 4 corners Rod and Gun has done in Salem, OR. They have a similar situation with regard to their proximity to populated areas.
    Certainly no one would object to setting up barrels like are shown here:
    Four Corners Rod and Gun Club

    See pictures 4-8 for the sound barrels used on their 100+200 yd range.
    They don't suppress the sound as much as they direct it forward into the berm/target area.
     
  6. Ranb

    Ranb Belfair, WA Active Member

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    The enclosure I built was made from three foam filled steel doors. They are connected lengthwise to form a triangular box. I sealed the ends with plywood. I cut a 6" by 12" hole in each end to allow the rifle barrel to be inserted and the bullet to exit. It is about 80" long and 33" wide on each side. It should work well, if I am ever allowed to use it. I didn't take any pics of it, but I will after I return home from working on the east coast next week.

    It looks like this one, but larger. http://apto.a.p.pic.centerblog.net/b7beb35b.jpg

    I was going to try welding two 55 gallon drums together, but without some sort of insulation, I figured they would just make a loud booming noise like a drum. The foam in the doors should absord some of the noise and the steel will resist the heat from the 50 bmg muzzle brakes.

    Ranb
     
  7. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    The ones at 4 corners do have insulation. It does as you describe. It stops the "booming" of the drum itself.
    You might send them a note, describing your (Kitsap's) situation and see if they will provide you with any info as to db reduction.
     
  8. MA Duce

    MA Duce Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    The 55 gal drums would work fine....as for insulation...roughen up the exterior with sand paper and use the expanding insulation foam you can get in home improvement stores...spray and immediately trowel it to a uniform layer as you go. It will expand to a more or less even layer. Should do a lot to deaden the sound.
     
  9. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    As Ranb said, using drums IS illegal in WA as the law reads,

    RCW 9.41.250: Dangerous weapons ? Penalty ? Exemption for law enforcement officers.

    RCW 9.41.250
    Dangerous weapons — Penalty — Exemption for law enforcement officers.

    (1) Every person who:

    (a) .....
    (b) .....

    (c) Uses any contrivance or device for suppressing the noise of any firearm,

    is guilty of a gross misdemeanor punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.

    It does not say if the device has to be on the gun, it says ANY device. So even external baffles or barrel would be illegal. It is a very poorly written law.
     
  10. Partsproduction

    Partsproduction Tillamook Oregon Active Member

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    So I guess if you decided to set up the bench inside a concrete blockhouse and shot through the windows that would be a "device"?
     
  11. atypicalparkie

    atypicalparkie sowfeast poetland, ohraygun Member

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    ...so this is pretty fascinating to me. If I were a little more awake, I'd start digging into the laws & statutes etc that NWcid so kindly provided links too. The fundamental thing, of course, is that the law is rrreeeaaalllyyy poorly written, as are most local noise 'nuisance' statutes (e.g., there are different calibrated scales commonly used to measure the decibel level of sound, and different jurisdictions use different ones, or don't specify which 'weighting' they use for measurements, but this can sometimes work in our favor!).

    Though my focus has been on recording studios, band practice spaces, etc the methods of reducing noise all rely on the same physics. Though for shooting ranges there are a bunch of things that'd be easier to implement than what's needed to reduce sound leakage from a rock band or recording studio:D And the examples shown at Four Corners and the pic from Ranb are really clever! Lining 55 gal. drums with 4" rock wool would work quite well, for example... though even better can be this stuff: UltraTouch Insulation Batts... it's cheaper than rockwool and has equivalent or better noise reduction characteristics, is available in 4" batts AND is Class A fire resistant... I use this stuff in my own studio, good stuff.

    I can post a buncha charts n' graphs if y'all want, I'm a geek like that :laugh:
    Or, please feel free to PM me with questions, I love helping solve noise control issues...
     
  12. Ranb

    Ranb Belfair, WA Active Member

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    I have been digging, lobbying and writing for over two years to get bill 1604 (allow silencer use) a hearing in the judiciary committee. I know about the law. It is the latest development that is my concern right now. The club is being sued for noise, but the law prohibits noise reduction, even with devices not attached to the gun.

    Ranb
     
  13. atypicalparkie

    atypicalparkie sowfeast poetland, ohraygun Member

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    yep I got you there, Ranb. It is a totally surreal law that doesn't allow noise reduction devices, even not attached to firearms... it makes my head spin...
     
  14. Ranb

    Ranb Belfair, WA Active Member

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    When I met with Pedersen about getting the bill a hearing in committee months ago, he told me that I was the only person who told him it was a priority. He claimed he never heard from anyone else, House member or WA resident. I was unable to locate anyone who wrote to him supporting the bill before it died in committee.

    That is why we can not use any firearm noise reduction in WA. While there are several people writing to him now, he is going to continue to ignore the bill until other Democrats in the House tell him they want it passed into law. People try to tell me that it is the Democrats that are holding the bill back, but the only legislators that told me they would not support the bill are Republicans.

    Ranb
     
  15. pchewn

    pchewn Beaverton Oregon USA Well-Known Member

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    What you need is a better title for your bill.

    Something like:

    "The Child Hearing Protection Bill" (Because this will prevent little Johny's ears from the evil gun sounds.)

    "The Right to Silence Bill" (Protecting neighbors from unwarranted noise from rifle ranges)

    "Bill to prevent and control nuisance noise"

    Or something like that.
     
  16. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    I think a case could be made that the device does nothing to suppress the sound of the gun or it's report.
    It merely directs the sound. Specifically downrange.

    All one would have to do is put a Db meter a few yards in front of the gun, with and without the sound "director/focuser" in place.
     
  17. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Oregon Well-Known Member

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    "Hearing Safety Act"

    Would the reporter be open to trying out some suppressors himself? Might get him a bit more excited and invested in the story to have firsthand knowledge of them (and maybe gain a new shooter in the MSM).
     
  18. simpleguy

    simpleguy Clackamas Active Member

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    How about the "Good Neighbor Noise Reduction Act"
     
  19. Ranb

    Ranb Belfair, WA Active Member

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    I'm sure he would, if he could do it legally. Remember, not even the police military or dealers can use them in WA, so he would have to leave the state. Got any he can try out?

    Ranb
     
  20. Ranb

    Ranb Belfair, WA Active Member

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    I doubt it. But it might be a contrivance. They are also banned. :)

    Ranb