Gunfire is noisy business, and the men and women who own and manage shooting ranges – both indoor and outdoor – are beginning to take soundproofing measures to protect the hearing of their employees and customers, and avoid complaints from neighbors.
Shooting ranges are constructed with safety in mind; solid surface walls, ceilings and floors create hard, reflective surfaces that exasperate noise in the form of echo and reverberation – exactly the types of noise that results when gunshots are bouncing around a hard surface space.
Gunshots register high in decibel levels, meaning high noise levels. When the firing range is indoors, the noise levels go up exponentially. For this reason, gun club members are required to wear hearing protection, since gunshot noise is directly related to hearing loss. The risk increases for those members who practice frequently, and for employees, as does the risk for other noise related health problems, including elevated blood pressure, depression, and other problems.
Gun ranges are isolated, to varying degrees, from neighbors. However, that is not to say that neighboring homes and businesses are immune to the sounds emanating from the local firing range. A common problem for gun range owners and managers occurs when the isolation factor is inadequate, and shooting noise leaks out of buildings, or is carried from an outdoor range. Not only are the decibel levels problematic, the repetitiveness of the fired guns over a long period of time can drive neighbors to distraction. More often than not, neighbors in close enough proximity to the gun range will file complaints and begin a course of action to drive the gun range out of the community.