Do you have a favorite gun club—the type where everybody knows your name? Maybe you even volunteer for projects or serve as safety master. Well imagine one day a group of people show up, lawyers at their sides, and inform you they’re shutting down your happy little club. Think it can’t happen? It already has. It seems an increasing number of city folks are moving out into the countryside and complaining about the cow paddies—or, in this case, the sound of gunshots. Here are some of the top ways they’re attacking local gun clubs, so you can be prepared in case they come knocking.
Big Real Estate Gives You the Boot
Whether your gun club is owned by a cash-strapped public agency or private owners struggling to make payments, real-estate developers are taking advantage of the difficult economy. Public agencies need the money to save their budgets, and real estate payments are a real burden on many Americans. If either sell to developers, regardless of the reason, your club is history.
Bogus Lead Contamination Lawsuits
Oh, tort reform. Will America ever see the day? Right now all the new lady down the street has to do is file a phony claim that the bullets fired on your range are contaminating the soil and water supply. The lawsuit (or lawsuits) bankrupt your club despite its proper handling of lead disposal. “Shooting Range Protection Laws,” such as those championed in Washington and Minnesota, are designed to protect gun ranges from these frivolous lawsuits. Sportsmen should ensure their political representatives know how they feel about the legislation.
Surprise: You’ve Been Rezoned
One second you’re a gun club, the next—oops!—sorry, firearms can no longer be discharged in this part of the township. No exceptions. Private clubs have found their areas rezoned, and the anti-gun lobby has in a few cases banned shooting on public lands. Often these are caused by public pressure as development encroaches upon clubs that have been in existence long before the new homes started showing up. This is another threat that could use some help from the state legislature.
Nobody Can Afford You
Here’s one you may not have considered: An alarming number of jurisdictions are requiring all ammo expended at shooting ranges to be of the expensive non-toxic variety. A lot of gun club dues are paid by casual shooters—if they show up one day and a box of .30-06 costs $50, will they just go home? If shooters vanish, so will gun clubs.
A bit of advice: If you don’t like the sound of guns, don’t buy a home near a gun range. Yet some people seem to be moving in next to gun ranges that have existed probably far longer than the home and complaining that—surprise surprise—they can hear gunshots all day. Lawsuits filed over so-called “noise pollution” have threatened to shut down many ranges throughout the United States. A few have even succeeded, which is why many pending “range protection laws” have an inclusion against exactly such a claim.