In an earlier blog post, we discussed how the Commonwealth Court found that a Stroud Township ordinance prohibiting the unauthorized discharge of firearms in the Township did not pass constitutional muster. The Township only permitted shooting ranges in two of the Township’s zoning districts and required a minimum lot size of five acres for a shooting range. The Commonwealth Court stated that the Second Amendment not only protects an individual’s general right to keep and bear arms but also the related right to “acquire and maintain proficiency in firearm use.” However, the Commonwealth Court did clarify that the rights protected by the Second Amendment are not unlimited and do not entitle every person to have a shooting range on his or her own property. The Commonwealth Court provided examples of reasonable restrictions that might pass constitutional muster including minimum lot size requirements, setback requirements and safety and design requirements. This week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal from the Commonwealth Court’s decision that was filed by the Township.
Please feel free to contact any member of the McNees Wallace & Nurick Land Use Group for assistance with any land use or development issues and/or if you have any questions regarding this post.