The drive into the
Hartland Sportsmens Club in Delafield has been
barricaded since 2010 when the city revoked the permit
for the gun club after a bullet from one of its firing
ranges grazed a pregnant women dinning at a nearby pub.
A recent court decision may allow club members to seek a
new permit from the city.
Kelly Smith/Special to the
DELAFIELD - The Hartland
Sportsmens Club apparently is asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to
overturn a decision by the Second District Court of Appeals that the
city had the authority to revoke the gun club's conditional use
permit in 2010.
The city revoked the permit
after finding evidence the club was violating safety standards
following the accidental shooting of a woman at a nearby pub.
She was grazed by a bullet
that escaped from one of the club's five firing ranges on a 35-acre
complex on the southeast corner of the city.
City officials were notified
late Thursday afternoon by lawyers representing the city's insurance
company that the gun club had filed a petition for a Supreme Court
review, according to City Administrator Tom Hafner.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court,
like the U.S. Supreme Court, does not consider all appeals and
decides which cases to hear based on the potential legal
significance of the high court's review of a decision, according to
City Attorney James Hammes.
Hammes will meet with the
Common Council in a closed session on Monday night.
Mayor Michele DeYoe said she
anticipates the council will be briefed by both Hammes and insurance
company lawyers about potential strategy and legal issues, if the
high court decides to review the case.
The mayor also anticipates
the lawyers will discuss whether the city should begin a review of
the pending application by the gun club for a new permit.
After the city revoked the
permit in 2010, the gun club sought a new permit in 2013, arguing
that it was willing to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on
improvements and new safety precautions at the club, located at W.
302-N. 963 Maple Avenue, about a mile south of Interstate 94.
After the city rejected the
gun club's new application, the club filed a series of legal actions
against Delafield in Waukesha County Circuit Court.
The appeals court upheld the
lower court's decision that the city acted arbitrarily in denying
the permit application in 2013 and ordered Delafield to reconsider
the gun club's permit application.
City officials were preparing
to reconsider the application until they learned of the gun club's
petition to the state Supreme Court, according to DeYoe.
The club is apparently
appealing the decision by the Court of Appeals that the city had
authority to revoke the permit in 2010.
In that decision, the appeals
court rejected arguments by the gun club that a state law - The
Range Protection Act - prohibits local governments from shutting
down firing ranges based on local ordinance violations.
The court ruled the state law
"does not exempt a sport shooting range from all statutes,
ordinances, or resolutions, but only those related to discharge of
firearms and noise."
Lawyers for the gun club did
not respond to telephone messages by The Freeman.