Shooting clubs are finding their original locations increasingly surrounded by urbanized zones as more housing is created and small, residential conurbations are developing into larger towns and cities. Even if they find suitable alternatives, there are often protests blocking their plans. There is evidence that the presence of gun clubs in urban areas and the surrounding countryside alike does lower property values.
Building and Development Evidence
Building inspectors and development officials are usually against the introduction or relocation of a gun club because they have evidence that, during the submission of gun-club proposals, potential property buyers will only complete their purchase on land or a house if the planning application for the gun club is rejected. If a gun club is built, fewer properties are sold, which then impacts adversely on the value of other properties in the same area. Therefore, this supports the theory that property prices are adversely affected by the approval and relocation of gun clubs.
Sale of Properties
Local residents who live in areas where gun clubs are being proposed or have already been built also have evidence their properties are worth less as a result of the proposal or construction. They have noticed their homes take longer to sell, sell for less money or do not sell at all.
The noise of regular and prolonged gunfire causes substantial noise that is sudden, loud and lasting. This is cited by residents as the most concerning factor in bringing house values down because people considering a move into the local area do not want to hear gun shots and residents already living in the area may wish to move out. In an example of a case brought to court in Hamilton County, Indiana, a gun-club proposal was rejected because of concerns that noise pollution would become a serious problem in the area, as reported by Case Law.
Unattractive, Noncompliant Construction
Another reason why property prices can be affected by the appearance or relocation of a gun club is because of the unattractive construction of the firing range, buildings and perimeter fences associated with a gun club. Often the gun club takes over large portions of attractive local countryside and spoils it by the development of new buildings. Some firing ranges have also been shown to have been built without adhering to the guidelines about safe, proper buildings construction, as in a case in Delafield, Wisconsin, reported by Living Lake Country.
Lead Shot Health Hazard
Property prices are affected by the lead-shot health link. Lead shot poses a threat to clean water supplies, the health of wild animals and plants and the health of local people and their children. When shot is fired, it tends to create a fine dust which travels through the air or into water. Lead is poisonous when ingested and is absorbed by the gut and lungs, leading to potential nervous-system problems in children and adults. For example, Springer Link reports a direct correlation between firing ranges and elevated lead exposure and poisoning in waterfowl and other birds.
Gunfire Safety Concerns
Many local residents have cited concerns about serious injury to people and property resulting from direct gunfire or stray bullets from gun clubs, particularly in the case of the perimeter fences not being high or protective enough. This is a factor people consider when moving to an area with a gun club, and has been included in potential resident's lists of reasons for not moving into an area or purchasing a particular house. Safety concerns and risk of accidents therefore reduce the value of properties in gun-club localities. There are several cases of injury as a result of accidental shooting at gun clubs. One such example of where a man shot himself and two others during rifle practice at his local gun club in Lakeland, Florida, was reported by theledger.com.
Natasha Parks has been a professional writer since 2001 with work published online and in book format for "Thomson Reuters," the "World Patents Index" and thomson.com. Her areas of expertise are varied and include physics, biology, genetics and computing, mental health, relationships, family crises and career development. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biophysics from King's College, London.