3rd Circuit revives Second Amendment challenge to zoning restrictions on gun club

3rd Circuit revives Second Amendment challenge to zoning restrictions on gun club

Image from Shutterstock. A federal appeals court on Tuesday said a federal judge should take another look at a Second Amendment challenge to a Pennsylvania township’s zoning restrictions on “sportsman’s clubs” shooting ranges. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Philadelphia revived the lawsuit Tuesday, report the Associated Press , the Volokh Conspiracy and Law.com . How Appealing links to the Aug. 17 opinion . The Robinson Township enacted the new zoning regulation after residents complained about William Drummond’s plans to reopen the Greater Pittsburgh Gun Club as a shooting range and to sell firearms there. The new regulation governs sportsman’s clubs allowed to operate in interchange business districts. It requires the clubs to operate as nonprofits and to ban center-fire rifle practice. A different, more permissive ordinance governs shooting ranges allowed to operate in industrial and special conservation districts. Judge Cheryl Ann Krause wrote the panel opinion that directed the trial judge to use intermediate scrutiny to examine the zoning restrictions. The township will have to show on remand why it “embraced the unusual rim-fire rifle and nonprofit ownership rules over more common, less burdensome alternatives,” the appeals court said. “If nonprofit status moderates commercial intensity, as the township insists, why permit for-profit shooting ranges?” the appeals court said. “And if center-fire rifles amplify noise and safety concerns, why allow them at shooting ranges—indeed, everywhere other than sportsman’s clubs? To the extent the township posits that adjacent uses or other circumstances explain its ‘truly exceptional’ decision to […]

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