It's the Labor Day weekend, and our neighbors are trying out a new automatic or semi-automatic weapon. I certainly hope they are shooting into the hillside, and will get over their fixation with loud noises.
I've determined that they are apparently shooting just outside the Panther Lake no shooting zone, which extends to 500 yards from the lakeshore. They are still well within the population area of the old Three Lakes town as it has grown more densely populated in recent years. Most of the people living further from the lake are in the five acre lots that the area is zoned for. Those who live between Panther Lake Road and the Lake are in lots that were part of the old town of Three Lakes and tend to be less than one acre, although many of them are combined to make larger estates.
It may be time to extend the no-shooting area to the west. Particularly after the Panther Lake Ridge development goes in--there will be an additional 30 families living in the area, but outside the no shooting zone. It would make sense to extend it to at least 1000 yards from the Lake (from the 500 yards it is currently).
There are two issues involved here. One is the noise, but we can probably live with that if it is intermittant. The other, and more important, is the safety issue. Presumably people who own guns have had safety training and know how to shoot without hitting someone or damaging property, but that is not guaranteed.
When I was a kid growing up in Montana we went to a shooting range to sight in our guns and do target practice. When I was in the Boy Scouts we used the facilities at the ROTC department at MSU. And when we went hunting we were generally well away from people--Montana had a population of about 2 people per square mile back in those days, and most people lived in towns, so if you were in a rural area where there were deer, there weren't likely to be any other people around except other hunters. I found that out the hard way one time when I got my car stuck while solo hunting in the Bridgers, and had to walk several miles back to a main road to snag a ride back to town. Or another time when I shot a deer about 3 miles from the nearest road. . .