A proposal to protect existing shooting ranges from legal challenges has won the support of a legislative committee.

The Legislature’s Judiciary Committee voted 6-3 Thursday to endorse the bill, which was partly inspired by a conflict between some Cape Elizabeth residents and the 61-year-old Spurwink Rod & Gun Club.

The committee still must review the final amended language, and five members were absent Thursday and have yet to enter their votes, although the outcome is not expected to change.

Committee members voted 8-2 to endorse the bill Wednesday, but they reopened the debate and voted again Thursday after one member asked for a reconsideration. The bill is expected to face floor votes in the House and Senate in coming weeks.

The bill would ban local ordinances or nuisance lawsuits, such as those based as noise complaints, that limit the operation or cause the closure of existing shooting ranges.

Supporters of the bill said more than 100 sport shooting ranges across the state are threatened by encroaching development, challenging both their futures and Maine’s hunting heritage. Fish-and-game clubs in Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, Lisbon, Orrington, Phippsburg and West Gardiner recently have generated concerns, complaints or opposition from neighbors, the bill’s supporters said.

Opponents of the bill took issue with a portion of the proposal that would allow shooting ranges to expand membership and events without limits.

Cape Elizabeth’s Spurwink Rod & Gun Club was temporarily shut down last year and has been forced to build walls and containment and sound barriers after residents of a relatively new neighborhood raised complaints about noise and safety.

Opposition from neighbors also led to the shooting range losing its tax-exempt status and paying higher insurance premiums.

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