Terrible news from my gun range **Update on page 2**

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The gun range I belong to is Big Rock Gun Club, it’s over in East Texas. I’ve been a member there since 2013, shortly after moving to Texas. The manager Steve, just died this past Saturday.

I knew him, we weren’t great friends, but I would see him there at the range sometimes. We all had the gate code to the range and mostly when I would go, it would be just me or maybe a couple more people shooting.

But Steve did a great job managing the range. The land was leased from the neighbors and access is down a 3/4 mile dirt road. There are two other houses on the road. One house the people there are members of the range.

The other house, well, they moved here last year and bought the place sight unseen. I remember talking with Steve about it.

Apparently they own part of the road we need to get to the range. I’m not sure other details about who owns what. But apparently Steve died on Saturday, and so today they blocked their part of the road leading into the gun range. Which is just really dirty of them to do this.

I’m not sure what will happen. I’m just a member, and I’m not sure if the range has any other leadership besides Steve or not. I don’t think the range was making any money. There are around 400 members I think, probably less, and the dues are around $150 a year. I’m not really sure how much, we had a family membership and I always paid more each year. The range was trying to save up and build an actual clubhouse with kitchen and indoor plumbing. Right now there are some porta potties there.

There is a discussion on FaceBook about this. It’s open to the public, so I can read it, but can’t comment. If you want to read about it, the club’s name is BRGC IDPA on Facebook.

I’m really sad about Steve, I did like him, whenever I’d see him we would talk for a bit. He met my wife and daughter several times and would always ask about them. And boy, did he have some nice high end rifles.
 
Joined
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Yeah, I’m reading the comments on FB, it looks like this can only be resolved in court. I know the land owner who owns the land for the gun range also lives on the 3/4 mile dirt road. Their house is right across from the people blocking the road.

Anyway, I know the gun range signed a 25 year lease just a couple years ago. It’s some woman that lives there, and her now dead husband was one of the guys along with Steve who founded the gun range. So luckily she supports the range
 

Pat-inCO

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In the AZ oven (Phoenix basin)
You might want to check with a lawyer. There are many states that require the owner
of land that provides (the only?) access to another piece of land, maintain that
access. A Texas lawyer will most likely know.
 

caryc

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Picture nine pieces of property. They are situated like this.

123
456
789

If you own piece #5, the owners of all the other pieces can not block you from getting to your property. Piece #5 will have to have an easement road along one of the other pieces for the owner to gain access to his property. It will be recorded in the deeds to the properties. You can usually tell where an easement road is because there will be electric poles and phone lines running along the easement road so that all properties will have access to electric power. The electric company can not just put in telephone poles wherever they want to. They have to have been granted permission to access an easement road.
 

hittman

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Kevin said:
I know the gun range signed a 25 year lease just a couple years ago. It’s some woman that lives there, and her now dead husband was one of the guys along with Steve who founded the gun range.

Wonder if only the now deceased husband signed the easement and the widow has no legal obligation to honor it. - ?? -

Regardless, doesn’t sound like she’s very gun friendly or maybe even people friendly.
 
Joined
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As others have said... y'all need a lawyer... it will cost a couple thousand straight out.... I'm not a lawyer even though I play one here on the internet a good bit.... common sense tells anyone that a person can not block access to someone else's property.
 
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hittman said:
Kevin said:
I know the gun range signed a 25 year lease just a couple years ago. It’s some woman that lives there, and her now dead husband was one of the guys along with Steve who founded the gun range.

Wonder if only the now deceased husband signed the easement and the widow has no legal obligation to honor it. - ?? -

Regardless, doesn’t sound like she’s very gun friendly or maybe even people friendly.

No, no, the widow of the founder is friendly. It’s the new neighbors who live across the access road from her who are causing the trouble. They bought the house and land sight unseen and moved in from out of state last year.

Unfortunately, I don’t live close to the range at all, and in fact, I don’t even know any of the other members. I like this range because honestly, the times I go to shoot are mostly off times when there are very few if any people there at all.

Steve was about the only person I ever talked to at the range. He had an office set up there, one of those converted shipping containers, so he would spend a lot of time there. He didn’t live very far away.
 

Rick Courtright

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Hi,

I'm sorry to hear of your loss, Kevin.

Add me to the "Get an attorney" list and don't waste time. I know CA has an anti-landlock law but don't know if that's common elsewhere. I've been led to believe it's not. Folks across the street had a go 'round with it when someone wanted to build on the back of their lot which had been subdivided years before, and access which had always been a handshake deal suddenly changed character.

Whatever paperwork's available will probably help an attorney find a starting point. Hope there's something to stand on.

Rick C
 

mr surveyor

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As a Texas land surveyor ... not an attorney giving legal advice, it first sounds to me like the "neighbors across the road" aren't from around here .... and second, I bet the "neighbors across the road" just bit off way more than they can chew. I don't know enough of the details to really have a firm opinion (my personal opinion), but from what you've posted and alluded to I'll stick with my first guess(s)

get a legal opinion first!


jd
 

BROKENBEAR

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Most states will have on their books laws pertaining to land locked property and most will use prior use as a precedence in that if access (road in this case) has been granted for "X" years (10 seems the norm) then the "court" is bound to "perfect" said access as a legal right of way and means of ingress and egress for it's prior use

Get a lawyer

Bear
 

Mike J

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I am sorry for your loss.

I agree with everyone else. The range members need to get an attorney to represent them. I don't know about other states but I'm Georgia requires people adjacent to a property without direct access to a road to give an easement. They can fight y'all & make you spend some money but they will lose.

If I were you I would join facebook just so I could contact the other members & participate in the process. You might make some new friends.
 

NikA

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I've encountered a similar situation in my neighborhood and I will just mention that the lease situation and the semi-commercial use of the property will almost certainly play a role.

The parties being denied access are not the owners, and the intended use for profit increases traffic on the road/easement in a way that might be expected to impact the owners of that property. There may be a precedent for previous use, but what I've seen locally is more consideration may be placed on the rights of the owners than use by lessees.

Good luck with your fight.
 
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Mike J said:
I am sorry for your loss.

I agree with everyone else. The range members need to get an attorney to represent them. I don't know about other states but I'm Georgia requires people adjacent to a property without direct access to a road to give an easement. They can fight y'all & make you spend some money but they will lose.

If I were you I would join facebook just so I could contact the other members & participate in the process. You might make some new friends.

Mike:
I did in fact join Facebook. I created a separate email address and didn't give them my phone number. But it appears the gun range hired an attorney to get this all sorted out. I can't go down this coming weekend, but maybe sometime next week I'll go and see if the road is cleared.

And for the record, I'm still anti- FB. I sure won't search out any friends from high school. Yuck!
 
Joined
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I had a FB friend request last month from a guy I went to high school with.... and I accepted him as a friend than then I got some really strange messages... something about had I gotten the money owed me from the government... he had gotten my name from the fedex men when they brought him his check.... that was one more big red flag.... I finally figured out it was some scammer using this guys name.

Good luck with the range thing....
 

Bear Paw Jack

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Big Old Boy said:
Should be an easement for access I don’t believe they can legally Block the road.

That's my understanding as well, especially with the history of being able to use the easement. Get an attorney.

Kevin sorry for your loss.
 

kmoore

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In Oregon if a private road or property has been open for use, the laws I researched a few years ago said it is Likely going to stay that way. I don't remember any case law that said otherwise. But that's a different state.
The county might even say the gate needs to be left open or unlocked. To provide emergency or other access. Never know until you make that phone call.
 

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