Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Getting The Low Down

Last week, I got a postcard in the mail from my local rifle range (that I happened to be a member of) inviting me to a board meeting to find out what's happening with the club. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may remember that I heard that it got shut down last July, due to environmental concerns brought up by the developer who had just bought some land adjacent. He wants the range to just go away, essentially. I thought they were done for good at the time, so it was a pleasant surprise to hear that they had a meeting to discuss the future of the club.
The meeting was last night, and I was very impressed with the turnout. Standing-room only in the clubhouse, and it seemed like I was just about the youngest guy there...
Anyway, they're not out of the woods yet, not by a long shot. The judge shut them down pending reconstruction of their ranges (shotgun, pistol and rifle) so they've had to come up with plans and have them approved by the judge. The plaintiff has stymied them at every hearing, demanding changes to every plan that they've come up with so far. The NRA helped kick in to improve the pistol range and that did not sit well with the plaintiff, although that looks like it may be the first one back up in operation.
The rifle range is going to be a much bigger challenge. They are no longer allowed to have a blue-sky range, which means that from your firing position to your target you may not see open sky, which at the very minimum means a partially covered range. Since their funds have been depleted to about $300 as of yesterday, this is looking pretty grim.
As well as all that, the plaintiff turned around and sued the BLM, since the range is on leased BLM land, which is making things even more of a pain in the ass. If he makes things difficult enough for BLM, then there's a possibility that they'll just pull the plug on the whole thing to avoid the headache. It seems that at every step of this nightmare, the judge has found in favor of the plaintiff, so an appeal to a higher court may be in order at some point. With over 1500 paying members, this has affected quite a lot of folks in the local community and they have asked us to start writing letters to BLM all the way up to the Secretary of the Interior to let them know how much this place means to us. I'll be doing that here shortly.
The meeting itself was kind of irritating, in that some members were whining about their $60 memberships and how they wanted their memberships extended for free so they could have a vote on a new board. While I understand their frustration, they're not charging membership fees right now, since there's nowhere to shoot, and may not ever be - especially if the plaintiff has his way...
Besides which, since the board members were all named personally in the suit, if it all goes tits up, why would they want a piece of that? (although, worse case scenario, if it does come to a big payout, apparently all the members - including your humble narrator - may be on the hook. Nice.)
So, the next hearing, where they will present their latest plan to the judge, is on March 30th, and the following board meeting will be April 5th, so I'll know more then.


DirtCrashr said...

Heh, they should offer to extend the membership to the whiners - if they agree to be named in the suit! Ha!

phlegmfatale said...

Good luck in the fight to keep the gun range fired up. Damned developers. I thought they'd over-developed Calfornia already.