Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club will now need two approved permits — not just one — to resume shooting at its gun range on Seabeck Highway.
In addition to land-use permits, the gun club must receive approval of a shooting-range-operating permit, as required by a 2014 county ordinance, according to an order issued Friday by Judge Pro Tem Jay Roof in Kitsap County Superior Court.
The range has been closed to all shooting since Dec. 2, when Judge Susan Serko of Pierce County Superior Court found the gun club in contempt of court for failing to apply for land-use permits within six months, as she had previously ordered. The land-use permits are needed to remedy violations of county code, including clearing, grading and other construction conducted without permits, Serko ruled.
In April 2015, Roof prohibited shooting at the range when the club failed to apply for an operating permit. The permit, required by the new county ordinance, spells out minimum standards of operation for shooting ranges in unincorporated Kitsap County. About a year later, Roof lifted that injunction and allowed shooting to resume after the club applied for the permit under protest.
Since the gun range is already closed under the Pierce County order, Roof’s ruling on Friday has no immediate effect. But it will require that the club obtain an approved operating permit — not just an approved application — before shooting can resume.
Roof said his latest ruling on Friday reinforces his position that the county ordinance is constitutional and does not violate the club’s Second-Amendment rights to possess firearms. The question of constitutionality is under appeal to higher courts, he noted, but that does not prevent him from issuing a permanent injunction that prohibits shooting…