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Meade County Commission to Discuss Regulating Shooting Ranges at November 8 Meeting

Don’t let the excitement of Election Day distract you from the November 8 meeting of the Meade County Commission, which will give first reading that glorious patriotic day to an ordinance governing shooting ranges in South Dakota’s sprawlingest county.

Invoking its authority under SDCL 21-10-32 to regulate the location and construction of sport shooting ranges, the Meade County Commission proposes to require any new sport shooting range and any existing range planning a substantial expansion to obtain a license from the county for a fee yet to be determined. Shooting range license developers would have to submit a detailed site plan, including a noise study, to obtain a license. The ordinance would limit noise to 64 decibels outside the nearest occupied residence, school, hotel, hospital, or church. The ordinance would further limit noise by restricting hours of operation to no earlier than half an hour after sunrise to half an hour before sunset.

The ordinance would require setbacks from occupied structures and public roads of a half-mile along the line of fire for rifle ranges and 300 yards for shotgun ranges. Ranges would have to be built according to standards set out in the National Rifle Association’s Range Source Book.

Meade County State’s Attorney Kenneth Chleborad says the proposed ordinance is “not directly related” to Game Fish and Parks’ plan to build the Kristi Noem Memorial Shooting Range for Guns and Campaign Photos, but he acknowledges the GF&P proposal was the “impetus” for this discussion. A key part of the discussion will be the county’s authority to regulate a project proposed by the state. To that point, it is worth noting that SDCL 21-10-33 defines the sport shooting ranges that local governments may regulate to include “any shooting range located on public or private land or operated by a private entity or by a public entity, and includes a law enforcement shooting range.” The 2013 Legislature added that phrase about public or private ranges.

The Meade County Commission meets Tuesday, November 8, at 9 a.m. at 1300 Sherman Street in Sturgis.


  1. leslie 2022-11-01 06:41

    Chleborad is a questionable lawyer, of proven incompetence and ethical misbehavior favoring big money clientele’s illegal acts. He came from a big firm in Rapid City in his youth, and relying on his obvious questionable judgement advising the largest county in the state, is a fools errand.

    This gun project has many curious aspects being papered over with public funds misapplied by our governor’s irregular direction. Let the gun guys buy their own frickin’ “amusement park”!

  2. Matthew k 2022-11-01 15:35

    The gfp can’t take care of what they got. Zebra mussels in our lakes, buying tails of predators too promote tourism because they can’t believe there habits aren’t good enough. Trying to put a campground in our state park and a golf course in Harrisburg. They need to be held accountable for there action with taxpayer dollars. But we have a wantabee rodeo clown trying to be in charge of things she has no clue about!!!!!!

  3. Jake 2022-11-01 16:08

    Sometimes one would think that the GFP should be merged with the Tourism Dept in our state, as their primary focus seems to be on bringing tourism dollars into the state for us. Ironic, that the political party that out of one side of their mouth speaks of their hatred of socialism is mouthing the greatness of socialism disguised as ‘conservative values’ out of the other side of their mouths! Subsidies for the oil industry, military and its suppliers, tourism and such aren’t socialism to them but giving Medicaid to working people and paying teachers for the future leaders of theirs and other parties is. Ironic, but so true. Hypocritical also. Having been in power in this state so long it’s just normal operating procedure…..
    That gun range is just another of the socialistic dreams this governess woke up to in her security fenced, Persian carpet laced mansion provided for her thru the tax-payers of this state. Ungrateful at all to the lower 70% of people in her state (tho they have always bought her over-taxed food, diapers and medicines)!

  4. larry kurtz 2022-11-01 16:26

    Game, Fish and Plunder has zero credibility after massive failures of the legislature and state agencies now throwing up their hands on zebra mussels. Clear Lake is the latest waterbody lost to the invasive bivalves.

  5. Arlo Blundt 2022-11-01 16:47

    The abject neglect of state government toward establishing and maintaining a systematic program to keep zebra mussels out of our lakes is a tragedy. Once zebra mussels inhabit a lake, you can’t get them out. They destroy the forage base and game fishing in that lake. The lake becomes a clear water, sterile, desert.

  6. Mark Anderson 2022-11-01 17:27

    Well at least you don’t have Pythons. A few years ago we went to Miami the old way on Highway 41 and when we got down by the everglades I was talking about those Burmese invaders and sure enough there was one curled up on the side of the road about a mile past Clyde Butchers Big Cypress Gallery. Anyone up for a walk?

  7. Carpe Diem 2022-11-01 17:28

    Zebra mussels are here to stay and all of the fluff the GFP wants to throw at it to appease the lake homeowners will not stop the progression. Every time a bird lands on a body of water infested , it has potentially spread the bivalves as it moves to the next body of water. Inspecting boats and pulling plugs is only appeasing the masses.

  8. P. Aitch 2022-11-01 17:32

    A well-off relative who recently retired was set on buying a condo at Lake Kampeska until the word came out about zebra mussels. They bought on the Gulf Coast neat Tampa, instead.

  9. Mark Anderson 2022-11-01 18:22

    Crayfish, South Dakotans. Crayfish.

  10. Matthew k 2022-11-01 19:42

    I went fishing at fort peck last week there was a zebra mussels check point for everyone. They were very good and nice about there job. In and out in 15 minutes. Maybe instead of 350 conservation officers that act like a jackass they could have a check point in S.D. Oh wait that 10 million is going towards a gun range !!!! Wish she had a chest to pin it on !

  11. grudznick 2022-11-01 20:08

    It is hilarious that zebra muscles have become the new Libbie/GFP fight to replace the old COVID/mask fights of yesteryear. Zebra muscles. You can’t stop Zebra Muscles.

    Some fellows say they are like donkeys on the demon weed, bearing down on you and painted with striped paint.

  12. Arlo Blundt 2022-11-01 21:44

    Where I spend summers on a lake in Wisconsin, Grudz, we are in full scale war against Zebra mussels. A sizable slice of the summer economy comes from fishermen. The Wisconsin DNR provided a small grant to the Lake Property Association and that organization raised money from residents and we hire a couple retired fellows and a college student to monitor the boat ramp. All boats are inspected and washed, bait buckets and dry wells have water drained and replaced, and fishermen educated before the boat goes in the water. Boats must be dry before they go in the water. Boats get an inspection when they come out of the water. We have no zebra mussels in our lake while others in northern Wisconsin are infected. Lake property on those lakes has decreased in value, ours has not been affected. Fishing remains good. You can stop zebra mussels.

  13. Arlo Blundt 2022-11-01 21:48

    Mark Anderson is reminding us of the Rusty Crayfish, another plague like invasive species. Like Zebra Mussels it originates in the Black Sea(thanks Putin) and is transported to our waters by the ballast water of ships entering our ports.

  14. grudznick 2022-11-01 22:53

    That’s really big and invasive government, Mr. Blundt. Perhaps the “conservatives” who hate the Zebra Muscles will jam that on the GFP this year. We shall see, but I grudznick sure doesn’t want to hear any more whining about GFP making campgrounds or shooting ranges if they are going to stand on the boat docks with rifles and search warrants.

    You can’t pick how the GFP runs your life, either they control it or they don’t.

  15. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-11-02 04:53

    It’s ironic that Meade County is considering an expansion of government power—regulation of shooting ranges—to stop another big-government project that might be better handled by the private sector.

  16. larry kurtz 2022-11-02 05:37

    Recall that in 2016 South Dakota’s senior US Senator called an end to lead contamination in the watersheds that support all life in the United States, “silly.” Lead tackle is often swallowed by fish then ingested by other wildlife and not just by raptors. A potent neurotoxin, lead is released by coal-fired power plants, too. The Victoria Lake area on Beretta Road above Rapid City, South Dakota is a lead Superfund site in the making after decades of unrestricted shooting.

    Here in flaming liberal Santa Fe County the commissioners are gathering forces from the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and shooters alike because Buckman Road is beginning to look and sound like Beretta Road and people with ten million dollar homes in the area are freaked out from the noise at all hours so a range is inevitable, too.

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