Easements to Protect a Shooting Range Safety Zone

Montana law allows the use of an easement to protect a safety zone adjacent to a shooting range.

Why is this useful or important?  It is expensive to buy land.  Yet, shooting ranges require quite a bit of property for safety reasons.  An easement is a legal method of gaining permission to use property for a specific purpose, without actually buying the property.  Easements usually cost much less than outright purchase of property.  Thus, it may be possible to purchase an easement on adjoining property to use as a range safety zone.  The exact terms and cost of such an easement would be negotiated between the buyer and seller.  However, Montana law specifically recognizes use of easements as a way to protect a safety zone adjacent to a shooting range.  Once an easement is in place, it is a "servitude" that stays on the property, no matter who may own that property in the future.

Anyone wishing to use an easement to secure a range safety zone should work with an attorney to establish the terms of the easement.  For example, a farmer being approached for a safety zone easement might wish to write in permission to shut down the range for a day at a time, with a week's notice, in order to work his fields.  There could be other conditions, that, if granted, could make a protective easement quite inexpensive - much less expensive than buying land outright.

Here's the Montana law about easements for shooting range safety zones:

 70-17-101.  Servitudes attached to land. The following land burdens or servitudes upon land may be attached to other land as incidents or appurtenances and are then called easements:
 (1)  the right of pasture;
 (2)  the right of fishing;
 (3)  the right of taking game;
 (4)  the right-of-way;
 (5)  the right of taking water, wood, minerals, and other things;
 (6)  the right of transacting business upon land;
 (7)  the right of conducting lawful sports upon land;
 (8)  the right of receiving air, light, or heat from or over or discharging the same upon or over land;
 (9)  the right of receiving water from or discharging the same upon land;
 (10)  the right of flooding land;
 (11)  the right of having water flow without diminution or disturbance of any kind;
 (12)  the right of using a wall as a party wall;
 (13)  the right of receiving more than natural support from adjacent land or things affixed thereto;
 (14)  the right of having the whole of a division fence maintained by a coterminous owner;
 (15)  the right of having public conveyances stopped or of stopping the same on land;
 (16)  the right of a seat in church;
 (17)  the right of burial;
 (18)  the right of conserving open space to preserve park, recreational, historic, aesthetic, cultural, and natural values on or related to land;
 (19)  the right of receiving sunlight or wind for recognized nonfossil forms of energy generation; and
 (20)  the right of using land adjacent to a firearms shooting range as a range safety zone.