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AUSTIN EDITION - Gun clubs want state regulation

Associated Press

ST. PAUL -- Encroaching suburban home developments have owners of gun clubs in search of state protection for their shooting ranges.

They've asked the Legislature for statewide regulation of gun ranges, worried that local rules are making it difficult for them to stay in business as homeowners complain about noise. In exchange, the gun clubs would face a few new restrictions and noise monitoring.

The Senate is primed to vote on the gun-range bill. Similar legislation is moving in the House, too.

Minnesota has an estimated 320 gun clubs.

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One is the Bald Eagle Sportsman's Association, an 80-acre site with pistol, shotgun and rifle ranges that has been at its spot in Hugo since 1957. The club recently installed night lighting and reintroduced muzzle-loaded weapons.

Those actions have annoyed people living near the range, who say the noise has disrupted their quest for quiet.

"When they have (shooting) meets, it's unbearable," said Grace Axelson, 69, who lives within 100 yards of the gun club.

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