LIVINGSTON – The Livingston Parish Council at its March 9 meeting took one more step toward approval of proposed regulations on the location and operation of firing ranges.

A public hearing is set for the March 23 meeting of the Council before members cast the final vote on the legislation drafted by the Ordinance Committee.

“The old ordinance said the council had to approve the gun range if it was in the area, but couldn’t say it couldn’t be there,” Ordinance Committee Chairman Shane Mack said. “To me, it made it to where it was such that the old ordinance said the council had to approve the gun range if it was in the area, but couldn’t say it couldn’t be there.

“We felt we needed to establish a set of rules and guidelines for anyone in Livingston Parish if they want to open that type of business,” he said.

The ordinance will not apply to “general discharge of firearms or the use of bows and arrows” or “incident target practice areas on private property.”

The proposal would outlaw establishment of firing zones within a half-mile of a home, school, church, daycare center or recreational area.

The legislation would permit operation 8 a.m. until one hour before sunset seven days a week.

All shooting station and targets on a shooting range facility shall be located a minimum of 300 feet from any property line, and the surface danger zone must be contained within the property boundary line.

It will also impose decibel limits based on the parish noise ordinance.

Owners must obtain a permit, and a change of ownership would require an application process.

The ordinance proposal came in response to a permit request by landowner Jay Foster, who wants to build a firing range in a residential area along Hutchinson Road in Springfield.

The council at its Nov. 17 meeting shot down Foster’s request, based on concerns from residents who feared the range would destroy their quality of life. The current laws do not address noise levels and hours of operations.

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