Gun club management worse than Clinton?

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longspurr

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
131
Location
Wisconsin USA
Getting into many gun clubs means putting your name on a list and waiting years for membership. The 500 member club I belong to accepts a handful of new members per year based on those leaving the club and staying below 500 members.

I am looking to move to a different area of the central USA and emailing the contact for gun clubs in the areas that are prospects. So far all have said membership is limited and they are currently FULL. Unknown when a person could join the club.

The anti gunners don't have to shut down shooting in the USA, our own short sighted club management is minimizing our shooting and pushing people into not shooting, or shooting in inappropriate places .

I know the NRA helps clubs use the “robert-pitman” funds collected from sales of firearms. But when was the last time you heard of a new shooting club opening – or expanding much?

Rethinking this, I should have put this in the political - gun control section. My rant is way to serious for The Lounge.
 

Pat-inCO

Hawkeye
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
5,922
Location
In the AZ oven (Phoenix basin)
We've had two new ranges open up in the last few years. One is private
with horrendous membership fees AND significant hourly rates to shoot.
The plus side is that it's all indoors, thus the snow is only an issue to get
to the range.

The other one is owned by (IIRC) the county, developed for LE in the area.
You have to sign up with them, pay by the hour to use, AFTER you get on
the schedule. You may have heard about it in the last few days. A Boulder
county SO Commander shot himself in the leg during a training exercise. :roll:

Everything that I see is the cost of the land for it and then the cost of
insurance, to have it open to the public.

Now if I could win the lotto AND find a rich widow to support me . . . . :shock:
 

Colonialgirl

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
7,879
Location
Wesley Chapel, Florida
If you are moving to the Tampa area of Florida, There is ALWAYS the Dade City Rod and Gun Club; It's an outdoor range with a roof over the firing line, there is a pistol section with a maximum of 25 yards with several in between distances and then the Rifle section with targeting at 50 yards and 100 yards; Good Range Officers, target frames and targets provided or bring your own targets (NO silhouettes). Non members are $20 all day(under 18 free but MUST have adult supervision); Membership is $120 for a year. Open everyday EXCEPT Thursday which is range maintenance day.
Lot of nice people.
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
7,896
Location
Redlands CA USA
longspurr said:
I am looking to move to a different area of the central USA and emailing the contact for gun clubs in the areas that are prospects. So far all have said membership is limited and they are currently FULL. Unknown when a person could join the club.

Hi,

Just an idea, courtesy of the club where I've been shooting the last year:

They have two levels of membership, full and limited. The full membership involves the waiting list, currently full, but attrition usually provides a few openings each year, plus a higher annual membership fee. Full members get a gate key code and 24/7 shooting privileges on all the various ranges, which go up to 600 yd, and there's a shotgun range currently being "remodeled" as well. Yes, that IS 24 hrs a day, though I understand members provide their own lighting for night use. It's on private land way out in a canyon where noise is not an issue, and neighbors are non-existent due to USFS land bordering much of it.

A limited membership is available to "the rest of us" at a reduced annual fee, lets us shoot practice Fri, Sat & Sun on one of the pistol ranges and the 100 yd rifle range and organized events on the other ranges those days. Either membership involves a $5/day range fee, and we can bring a guest (or 2 or 3? Depends on membership level) who shoots for a bit more. $10/day I believe. Both membership levels require NRA membership.

I wonder about the "limited" membership idea and whether it would be worth bringing up to range management in other areas as a way of opening things up to more shooters? It seems to work for our club.

Rick C
 

powder smoke

Hawkeye
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
7,000
Location
Milo Maine
Back in the early 70s I was involved in a new gun club took 3 years to get it fully operational.
Building the clubhouse, range, set rule etc. Not to mention work at fundraisers Turkey shoots
that kinda thing. Long story short when the work is done and fun begins that is when folks come
out of the woodwork. Expect to pay a small fee and enjoy. We figured that out rather quickly
We set up a membership limit, a trial period for new members, and a rather large initial fee.
Weeding people you rather not have there was the biggest problem, example some are just slobs
leave trash cases targets that kinda stuff for others to pick up.
Haven't been there for years, I'm in Maine Now Starting a club is real work and expensive.
Just the Land was a big one.

http://www.goffstownfishandgame.com/
 

smoke-eater

Blackhawk
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
979
Location
Millville, N.J. USA
My club has been trying to reduce it's ranks through attrition (members not renewing, or moving away, or dying), and only allows new members who are immediate family of current members in good standing. Membership currently stands at about 1,000, and there have been recent problems with teens (mostly) using their parents' gate cards to gain access after hours, with drinking, late night skinny-dipping parties at the lake, vandalism, theft of club property, including bag targets being stolen from the archery ranges, and littering. These problems very rarely occurred in the past, and this club has been in existence since 1947. More people = more problems.
 

rugerguy211

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 15, 2013
Messages
401
I waited 26 months to get into one club, and 14 months for another.
The phone calls indicating I had finally made it to the top of the lists came literally 2 days apart.
I decided to join both clubs and see which I liked better. One is 3/4 mile from my driveway. The other is 3.5 miles away.
The clubs offer very different amenities and shooting options (leagues, facilities, ranges (indoor and out), social activities, etc), so I've decided to stay in both for the time being.
Before anyone points out the obvious, yes, I am taking a spot from someone else. Based on geography (property size, and abutters), neither club will ever be able to offer what the other does. As long as I want to keep participating in the activities I currently do, I'll stay in both clubs. Annual dues is $125 for one and $100 for the other (as long as you do some work during the year to help the club). No worky, dues is doubled for each.
There have been a few new indoor ranges built in FL over the past few years. Two that I know of, for example, in Naples.
 

Don Lovel

Hunter
Joined
Nov 10, 2003
Messages
2,269
Location
Red Dirt Oklahoma, Go Cowboys
Move to Raton New Mexico, house prices are low and lots of nice places available, then you will have full time access to the best range facility in the US, The NRA Whittington Center. They will welcome you with open arms.
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,195
Location
So. Florida
Why don't you try a public shooting range instead of a private club?

http://dnr.wi.gov/education/outdoorskills/shootingranges/RangeLocations.html
 

longspurr

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
131
Location
Wisconsin USA
NEED: Unless we find a way to educate and train new shooters, and keep us old shooters in the game, AMERICA as we know and appreciate it will disappear. Appleseed is an example of a good program for training but it needs places to go shooting to flourish.

I have been using the NRA “find a range near you” as a resource to look for ANY range near where my wife & I are thinking of relocating. That is how I found 3 different ranges – in 2 different states. When I contacted all 3 ranges the story was the same, full membership.

I also found some gun shops that had ranges. Restrictions of short range, NO centerfire rifle, and fees by the hour. For those who shoot a handgun occasionally they woul be fine. For someone who reloads and shoots rifle, pistol, and shotgun, they are not a solution.

Yes land is expensive, restrictions do apply, and some of the public are jerks. This does not stop many businesses. How many Bars, fast food restaurants, and other shops start all the time. There ARE solutions to these issues, we just need the WILL and foresight to do it.

Example: with video recording, swipe card or keypad entry, and aggressive enforcement, slobs can be held accountable and eliminated from entry.

Expense: Could the NRA or someone else use the franchise model to help start ranges?
 

Paul B

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
1,647
Location
Tucson, AZ
When I first moved to Tucson back in 1979, we had two clubs, Tucson Rod and Gun Club and Tucson Rifle Club. The first may still exist in some form, I'm not sure as quite a few years back under the Clinton Administration the Forest Service shut them down and to this day has refused to allow them to set up a new range. :x Dunno if they had limited membership of if their range was open to the public.
Tucson Rifle club is still going strong and dues are $60 a year which includes your wife and children. Last time I went with my daughter and grandkids they were all allowed to shoot free. 8) Of course I have been a member since 1979 so maybe that had something to do with it. Ranges are somewhat semi-supervised with the oldest in time of membership more or less being the range master. God only knows how many times I've been stuck with that task. :roll:
Good range though with a 500 meter silhouette range, a 200 yard and 100 yard rage all open to the public at $10.00 for the day. There are a few other ranges like the .22 silhouette range and a 1,000 yard range but those are open to members only. A cowboy and combat ranges as well for the members.
Pima county had one small range that was closed for years and is now open. I ought to go check it out and AFAIK it's $10 for the day. The other county range is out by the fair grounds and is one very nice but extremely regulated. It too is $10 for the day. It and the Tucson Rifle Club ranges are both exactly 25 miles from my front door. The little county range is only about three miles but at $10 a day, after 6 days I'd be going in the hole. One thing that ticks me off is when they first planned to reopen the little range I was supposed to have the ringmaster's job. Politics happened and I didn't get the job. :x :x :x :x Three miles from the house and I could shoot for free and get paid too. GRRRR!
There are a few indoor ranges but I've never bothered with them. I've only shot at one indoor range and that was in New Mexico while visiting one of my daughters. I took the grandsons to shoot. I didn't care for the experience. Just did not like it. Anyway, that's the rundown on places to shoot in my neck of the desert. You can go out into the desert to shoot but can very well be hassled by Game & Fish or Forest Service gestapo. No big deal but a royal PITA at times.
Paul B.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,742
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
longspurr,,, I own a range.
I also work a lot with the NRA. Grant monies do NOT come from the Pittman-Robertson act. That's tax monies collected & distributed by the states & government,,, NOT the NRA.
Yes,,,, the NRA does have some monies available for ranges & such,,, but these grants have rules attached.

Now,,, my range is private.
Why?
Insurance.
Liability.
Stupid people who do not respect my property.
Limited funds to make sure it's secure.
Liability.
Anti-gun sentiment which forces the expenses of keeping one open due to lawyer bills.
Stupid people destroying my property.
Unable to afford to pay a full time staff person to keep it safe.
Rambo wannabes who use glass targets, trash the place, etc.
Too many uneducated, unsafe people who refuse to abide by simple rules of safety.

I could go on & on with a long list of reasons my range is not open or why so many ranges are limited, expensive, or hard to get into.

Look at what happens to unregulated ranges built with P&R money, on public land. Abuses by idiots cause nothing but problems.

Land is expensive in places where it would be convenient for the public to shoot. Plus, you need a lot of land to make it "safe" (or maybe I should say "as safe as you can.")
Wide open cheap land is too far away for many people.
Noise is a concern for neighbors.

Like I said,,, lots of issues. With most being caused by idiots who do not respect the property or obey safety rules.

If you want more ranges,,, we need to educate people about SAFETY & RESPECT.

If you want more places open to shooting,,, you need to have an educated public WILLING to allow a range "in their backyard."

Heck,,, anymore almost ANYTHING can get people riled up against many issues.

Local example;
Duke energy has a power plant in the Asheville area. It's a coal fired plant. Been there for decades. People need the power,,, but the eco freaks keep complaining about the coal fired plants & the coal ash waste. (Coal ash USED to be recycled,,, but due to eco freak concerns,,, not anymore.)
So, due to a recent spill of a coal ash pond,,, all the issues & protests etc,,, Duke has decided to shut down that plant.
The eco freaks rejoiced.
BUT,,,,,,,,,,, power is still needed,,, so Duke has decided to run power from Spartanburg SC, to a large substation on the power plant site. These power lines need to travel across a lot of private property to get from Spartanburg to Asheville.
There is now a HUGE outcry from people all along the proposed potential route sites,, (they haven't selected a single route yet,) to where it is causing a LOT of threats, name calling, city councils passing resolutions, etc. People are saying things like; "Not in my backyard," "My property values will decrease," "The lines are ugly," "We don't need the lines" etc.

Bottom line; Everybody needs power,, but do not want the plants or lines near them.
Same thing with gun ranges.
People want a place to shoot,,, but nobody wants ranges near them.

Heck,,, last year,,, a guy built a gun range, in a legal place, over 1/2 mile from a "gated community development." No problems UNTIL they started holding 3-gun competitions & the amount of gunfire increased. Then the gated bunch,,, complained, went public, got a lawyer, etc. At first,,, the county commissioners seemed to be in favor of the range.
But after 3 public hearings,, suddenly,,, the range was dis-allowed, "due to a lack of permits." Shut them down.
All because a group of wealthy people living over 1/2 mile away complained.

Want a range? Go try & build one. See what headaches you get.
If you do get one built, then try & keep it. AND afford it.


Just a bit of thought from the other side of the fence.
 

smoke-eater

Blackhawk
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
979
Location
Millville, N.J. USA
I just read a post on http://www.newjerseyhunter.com, about a gun club in the pines of south Jersey that still prohibits females from membership! This is 2015, isn't it? :shock:
Now that this archaic policy has been exposed to the public, I'd imagine they'll be changing it soon.
 

longspurr

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
131
Location
Wisconsin USA
Contender
I know you are very right! What I am asking for is to look for "the glass half full". How do we change attitudes for the gatekeepers of existing ranges and build more? The world is changing tremendously & positive changes are from new technology and fresh ideas.

I don't know if cross posting is allowed, but I just found this on another forum.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=788024 some of the posts are below.

I am cubmaster for a cub scout pack. We have meetings on Tuesday in the basement of the local senior center because monday and wednesday are taken up by the local shooting club. Their range is in the basement of the senior center.
************************************************************
I googled looking for a place to shoot up here in NW Wisconsin cabin country. It showed a range on a dirt road. I needed to go that direction yesterday. I couldn't see anything according to the satellite image. But I through my deer rifle in the truck anyway.

Turns out a really nice range with recently upgraded. Rifle out to 400 yards! Me and the .30-06 had trouble throwing our pumpkins at the 200yard marker. I have some work to do. We plan another trip next weekend.

Who knew a range was out there between the woods and fields?
 

stevemb

Hunter
Joined
Aug 8, 2012
Messages
2,769
If you hunt, find 5-20 like minded folks and go together on a chunk of acreage. I'd never invest in a club. At a hunting camp, I can vacation, picnic, BBQ, shoot, camp, canoe, cook whole critters, drink beer, hunt, shoot. Get away from the city folks. Poll your family, maybe enough like-minded right there. My family has a camp adjacent to the Alleghaney Forest, my friends and I have a camp w/200+ acres, also near 1000's of acres of Nat'l, State, gamelands. We don't need no stinkin' club. eck, on my 3 acres, my backyard is a range. Whats it cost ? More taxes, further drive to work, wearing out vehicles early. Everything costs, everything.
 

Biggfoot44

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 6, 2009
Messages
821
It's not the fault of existing clubs. They are maintaining the quality of club experience for their membership.

Bottom line realities: Dream factors are close , expansive outdoor facilities , and low cost dues.

I know that amongst groups of firearms enthusiests will be disporportional rural and very rural people. But flip the viewpoint to overwhelming % of US population , those factors are contradicttory.

Outdoor ranges need land to be safe. And a lot more land to have enough buffer to not have the gunfire be heard. If parcels of that size exist in close proxmity , a club would be bidding against developers of large commercial projects , and the land would sell for many millions of $ , not supportable by a few hundred members paying a few hundred/yr in dues. Add in political and reglatory pushback , where licensing and zoning take years of fighting and $$ for lawyers , and can still be unsucuessful. The alternatives ?

Indoor ranges require a lot smaller fooTprint of real estate, and even in urban-ish areas , suitable industrial type property can be found. Political fighting still bad. The range facilities will cost a cpl million. A few of them take a "Guntry Club" aproach . Upscale lounge facilities , dues structures like an upscale golf club. Prices out average gun club guys , in favor of corperate expense accounts. Otherwise run as a "public" range , meaning open to general public @ $10-25/ hour, along with lots of armed security companies and govt training.

For old school gun clubs you need to travel. In the new normal 50mi is reasonably close.

Not saying these developements are good , or that I like them , but reporting the New Normal. My long time club had years long fight to stay in existance. A Phyric victory in now have twice the membership , using 1/4 of previous facilities , paying about 5 times the dues. I kept an Honary membership for old times , but can't afford to shoot there. The Club closer to where I moved 24yrs ago I decided to join after the situation of origional club became really bad. About two weeks after deciding I ought to join , they lost their lease. Third range has sprawling outdoor facilities , and reasonable for the region dues. But is about 2hr drive , w/o traffic. Ends up making "going shooting" an ALL day affair, plus the marginal fixed gas expense. With my schedule , means I rarely make it there.
 

mhblaw

Blackhawk
Joined
Jan 15, 2009
Messages
899
Location
North Dakota
Come to central ND. We have a nice club with no membership restrictions, annual dues of $100, annual range fee of $100 (for indoor and outdoor range) and two public ranges (rifle, shotgun, handgun) within a few miles. But it is a secret...
 
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