Lawsuit Filed Against Private Gun Range Approval in Michigan

Approximate boundaries of Leapers Farm

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)-— On July 12, 2022, the Northfield Township board voted unanimously (6-0) to grant a conditional use permit for a private gun range on Leaper’s ranch to be used for testing firearms optics. The range will be constructed five feet below ground level with a nine-foot berm on either side for most of the proposed 600-yard range. There will be intermediate ranges of 100 and 200 yards. About 300 to 500 shots a day are expected.  On commenter at the hearing stated, “85 decibels will be allowed at this site”.

The final occupancy permit for the site will require sound testing before being granted.

Eighty-five decibels is about the sound of heavy traffic or a suppressed .22 rifle. It was not reported where the sound measurements would be taken.

On August 2, twelve residents of Northfield Township filed a lawsuit to reverse the decision of the County Board. From mlive.com:

WHITMORE
LAKE, MI – Todd Brown, owner of Oasis Equestrian Center, has big concerns about a firearm optics testing facility going in across the street from his Northfield Township property – and he isn’t the only one.

Twelve residents of the township north of Ann Arbor have decided to take legal action against the township, after the facility was granted a conditional use permit on July 12. The residents filed a lawsuit in the Washtenaw County Trial Court on Aug. 2 seeking a reversal of the township board’s approval.

Leapers is an optics company that has expanded into shooting accessories. The company is based in Livonia, Michigan, on the West side of Detroit, about 20 miles from the proposed range. Most of Leaper’s optics are made in Mainland China and in Taiwan.

From Leapers.com:

Leapers, Inc. develops, manufactures, and distributes a wide range of innovative and technologically advanced hunting and shooting sport oriented products across a multitude of different platforms. We started out as a garage business, with a 4X28 compact scope as our first product. After more than 3 decades of hard work, Leapers is now located in a 4-building complex in Livonia, Michigan, with over 150,000 square feet of space for in-house product design, development, manufacturing, and advanced order fulfillment and distribution. Our UTG brand and its sister brand, the Made-in-USA UTG PRO, have gained wide market recognition and strong customer support across the globe. With manufacturing plants overseas as well as in Michigan, plus UTG Europe distribution center in Germany, we continue to dedicate our efforts to promoting the outdoor quality lifestyle and providing customers complete and total solutions for all their hunting and shooting needs. Innovation, quality, value, and service are the central themes of our brand.

The planning consultant for Northfield Township stated the range is within the allowed uses for what is currently zoned, AR, or agricultural. Gun ranges are specifically allowed and regulated. From the Norfield zoning regulations:

(17)

Gun clubs, subject to the following:

a. Individual ranges, areas containing more than one range, or the entire property shall be enclosed with a minimum six-foot chainlink fence with two strands of barbed wire stretched on arms sloping inward from the top of the fence. Range fencing shall enclose the range proper, backstop, side walls, or greenbelt, shotfall area for shotgun ranges, firing line, ready areas, and any other area in which a person might unwittingly subject himself to reasonable hazard.

From Northfieltownshopdocuments.

Planning consultant Vidya Krishnan noted the site is 81 acres and zoned AR, and gun ranges are permitted as a conditional land use. She noted the Planning Commission recommended approval of the conditional use permit with conditions on June 15 th , and clarified that this is not a conditional rezoning and not a variance. She explained this is not a use that would be allowed in the RTM zoning district because no outdoor use is allowed there, and AR is the proper district for this use. She added that if this were to be interpreted to be an industrial or commercial use, this use would be allowed by right in those districts, with no ability for the Township to set conditions for construction and operation. She also explained the difference between the Township’s Master Plan, which is a policy, and Zoning Ordinance, which is the law.

Opinion: This correspondent believes the persons filing a lawsuit to reverse the Town Board’s unanimous decision will be unsuccessful. The zoning in question specifically allows for gun ranges.  With the Bruen decision, gun ranges are protected to some degree by the Second Amendment.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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john

Americans need to fight back hitting the anti gun crowd in their bank accounts. Money take that to the fight while making them pay outrageous legal fees then sue the crap out of these folks Make a few good examples out of these folks use every legal tacitic to bleed those left wing democrats dry

Henry Bowman

One easy way to bleed them dry, something that literally anyone/everyone can do, is to get on their mailing lists. Getting their agitprop will keep you abreast of their schemes, but mainly having them spend money on mailing to people who will NEVER donate to them means that if we ALL do it, it will cost them big $$$, and force them to run to Daddy Bloomturd for more allowance money. Between that and expensive lawsuits that they’re likely to lose, we can (eventually) put them out of business!

Chuck

Haha. I like that. Just their bulk mailing costs alone, are probably in the vicinity of 5 to 6 cents per piece.
The ultimate “Nickel and Dime” them to death.

Buckshot

And hopefully they include a postage paid return envelope so you can send their junk back costing them double

Henry Bowman

YES! THANKS! I forgot to mention the 2nd half!! And in that case, I say use something flat and heavy! (i.e.; lead rolled flat and thin) THAT should burn a hole in their postage budget!!

Russn8r

Yep. The commies shouldn’t be the only ones who realize this is a cold WAR. In college I “joined” SDS & volunteered “for” a Tom Hayden campaign, back when he was married to Jane Fonda. “Repurposed” a few thousand $s of yard signs etc. Still have a redistributed Tom Hayden commemorative Zippo.

Ran across this gem today:

Henry Bowman

Haha. Mine is too lazy to assault; sits in the corner all day & night…

Henry Bowman

True, at some point we need to bring in some heavy artillery and sue these SOB’s for defamation, etc. I’m not sure what, but a smart lawyer could think of something. There should be consequences to people who advocate for depriving us of our rights, and not just RKBA… Maybe 18USC241?

One could, depending on what district, likely end up with a Trump-appointed federal judge. It is the greatest gift Trump ever gave to gun owners: A federal judiciary that has shifted substantially to the right and dedicated to an originalist interpretation of the laws according to the Constitution!

Bigfootbob

Exactly. We need to adopt this philosophy, Process is Punishment!

The left understands this concept, we must also.

john

The anti gun agenda backed by the left and the democrats this company is at a disadvantage for the short term. This will also play out in court and the 12 protesting will lose. Then the company can sue and bankrupt those people costing them million in legal fees .

The correct lawyer is all that is needed bleed those protesting wallets dry

Last edited 1 month ago by john
Henry Bowman

Someone needs to drop a dime to FPC. They have some of the very best pro-2A legal eagles out there!

Aj

I think it’s funny all you can say is those leftist, anti gun, ect ect, almost everyone against the range is pro 2nd amendment…… We are anti out door gun range next to my house and business

hippybiker

Sounds like a bunch of hair bun wearing Pansies and nosy Karen’s are whining about those”Nasty Guns” again! SHTFU!

gene

not sure what the problem is with these people stupidity or ignorance. just mind your own business and leave these people alone

Aj

First of all I would like to say that I am 100% pro gun but, think about this, you buy a property to run an equestrian business and put your whole life savings and everything you have into it, then they build a shooting range next door. Your equestrian business is now done. People do not ride horses and give riding lessons to children as young as 3 with shooting all day. To top it off the shooting range that moved in next door dropped your property value so you now owe more than it’s worth so you can’t even… Read more »

Rock

I live about 200yards from a range that is used daily (no shooting Sunday) and in the evenings on Thursday for trap shoots… After about a month you don’t even notice the range at all, FACT ! There is a deer farm next to it (150 yards) and MANY farms with animals A-N-D horses for riding/training, just as in the humans, the animals are over their skittishness in a couple weeks. People ride their horses (some with buggies) on the roads near the range, WHILE IN USE, without issue. Seems someone that blurts out what he “thinks” will happen instead… Read more »

PavePusher

What are you babbling about?

Chuck

NIMBYISM at its finest?

Bigfootbob

Without a doubt, bastards. I lived in Seabeck, Washington and for almost 20 years there was an ongoing battle between a NIMBY resident who bought a home next to a long established gun range, in concert with an over zealous anti gun dimocRAT prosecutor against a bulldog Range Master named Marcus Carter. I mention the name of the range master only because he’s a local giant slayer who not only defeated a trumped up charge of manufacturing a machine gun, but he took it to the NIMBY, prosecutor and staff and won in court acting as his own attorney. ($5.00… Read more »

Tionico

Kitsap County used to be one of the most backward, anything goes, wild and wooley counties in Washington. Not any more. Silverdale, and now Port Orchard have gone full librul. My grandparents lived worked, owned businesses there back starting in the 1930’s. I was a city kid and was amazed at what one could do, and no one would bat an eye. “Priviledged” persons were able to get rules changed so they could do what they wanted. Now its almost as bad as the Orange County California is now, the place where I grew up. Try and do anything, SOME(busy)BODY… Read more »

Oldman

The stoopids are just following the guy’s money.

Ope

Oldman,that’s exactley the way I figure it too.

willyd

It’s bad with trying to get a range approved, but check for years as Race Tracks have gone through the same, Property values are beat down around them, some GOODY TWO SHOE buys the house, then complains about the noise, files a Lawsuit, wins and the Track is GONE!!!!!! Anyone who enjoys something,some how manages to twist up one of these GOODY TWO SHOES stands to be in thier cross hairs!!!!!

Henry Bowman

Not a fan of anything made in China… but on principle I hope the range wins out! On an unrelated note, I’ve noticed it’s been more than a week since Little Quisling Harold has darkened the doorposts of Ammoland. If this is an indication he’s been ‘disinvited’ from ever submitting articles on Ammoland, I’d say a celebration is in order! We have plenty of genuine pro-2A journalists that can take Harold’s place. We need to ‘draft’ Jared Yanis to write short intros for his Guns & Gadgets videos, so Ammoland can embed his videos on this site. That will benefit… Read more »

Russn8r

Probly off recharging his batts on a slurry of LaPierre-RINO rhetorical DNA. Must take a lot of energy to spew unprincipled prag platitudes and still sound vaguely pro-2A.

Henry Bowman

I’ve seen him posting on some RINO news sites, so that might be why.

Russn8r

Atlantic? NRO? Lincoln Project? Log Cabin Soc? He does look like a “log cabin Republican” with those pouty lips.

STRIKE GROUP ROGAINE!

Henry Bowman

Bahahahaha!! ROFL

IDK, but I’ve seen him on DCNF, Western Journal, and another (forgot which one).

Russn8r

LOL

Henry Bowman

Here’s another triggering meme…

Ledesma

This might be why many Americans refrain from any participation all together. Because final compliance isn’t possible. They’ll always be the next lawmaker, the next city council, the next cop or the next liberal beating at life’s door.

Boom

Actually, leapers is a manufacturer of accessories, that have had a recent foray into optics…. Not the other way around…..jus saying.

AZ Lefty

Yes those 12 people also have rights; to call it anti gun is what is to be expected form deep state operatives whose career was in the Federal Government- right Dean

Wild Bill

Just so that I understand you better, what rights do you assert that these twelve people have?

Wild Bill

Twenty-three hours and no response. He must be reading up on it.

hippybiker

Rights? You say! They have the right to shut up and mind their own business!

Tionico

Leftard, those twelve people have rights, yes, but in this cse their RIGHTS are delinted by the long-in place local zoning laws, that specifically name and allow firearms ranges within that zoning. Would I have the “right” to demand my neighbour be prohibited from painting his house that hideous electric lime green neon collur he wants? Nope. No HOA here, so he can paint it the way HE wants to and I have the right to sell my place and move somewhere were no one paints their houses that wretched colour…. yet. I also have the right to campaign to… Read more »

Russn8r

You have the right to remain silent, Comrade. Use it.