County staff members will not examine options to regulate gun noise near residential subdivisions after a split vote on the Board of Supervisors.
An initiative proposed by Supervisor Kristen C. Umstattd (D-Leesburg) would have had the staff looking at options to regulate gun noise, which is specifically exempted from the county’s noise ordinances, near homes. She said she has received many complaints from parts of Leesburg adjoining the county’s rural areas.
“They are hearing, fairly frequently, rapid gunfire going on for extended periods of time in excess of 45 minutes, going on as night approaches and after dark,” Umstattd said. “This has caused two veterans with PTSD to suffer enormous stress. It has caused people trying to enjoy their homes to not be able to.”
Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles) joined the effort, pointing to a previous meeting where he pushed to accelerate writing a new ordinance to allow commercial shooting ranges in rural areas to give people a place to practice. He was voted down in that push.
A narrow majority of supervisors also voted down Umstattd’s idea.
“When you have an issue of noise, whey isn’t the first step to have neighbor conversations?” said County Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large).
Supervisors voted 4-5 against Umstattd’s proposal, with Umstattd and Letourneau joined by Supervisor Michael R. Turner (D-Ashburn) and Juli E. Briskman (D-Algonkian). Supervisors Tony R. Buffington (R-Blue Ridge), Caleb A. Kershner (R-Catoctin), Sylvia R. Glass (D-Broad Run) and Koran T. Saines (D-Sterling) voted against.