MD: Germantown residents take aim at gun club in park


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gun-fucious
July 3, 2003, 09:13 AM
http://www.gazette.net/200327/germantown/news/165719-1.html

Germantown residents take aim at gun club in park


by Ellen Shiau
Staff Writer
------------------------------------------------------------------------
July 2, 2003

The Germantown neighbors of a long-standing Gaithersburg gun club want the club removed from its location within a state park now that a land agreement has expired between the club and the state.

For more than 20 years, the National Capital Skeet and Trap Club has held shooting activities on roughly 100 acres of land in Seneca Creek State Park. However, neighbors say the growth of the surrounding community has made the site incompatible with a gun club.

"The land use is just not appropriate for the development that has occurred in the area in the past decade," said Michael Kowalski, who lives on Monarch Vista Drive off Riffleford Road, just north of the club. "At this point in time, we feel strongly that there's no way you can make an argument for this."

The state signed its first agreement with the club, which predates the establishment of the park, in 1979, said John Cornell, spokesman for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. However, the department recently acknowledged the expiration of the agreement.

"The agreement between the Department of Natural Resources' State Park Forest and Park Service and the National Capital [Skeet and Trap Club] lapsed during the previous administration," Cornell read from a prepared statement. "DNR is proceeding to rectify the issue."

Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Heather Lynch said all options ú including renewing or ending the agreement ú would be considered. In the meantime, the department will establish a right of entry agreement to allow the club to use the land until the situation is resolved, she said.

The National Capital Skeet and Trap Club could not be reached for comment.

However, Kowalski and neighbor Randy Hartig said they believe the land agreement should not be renewed given the changing landscape of the area. The two have launched an effort to remove the club.

More than 20 years ago, neighborhoods now filled with hundreds of homes did not exist around the park's land. Kowalski said he knew about the club before he moved in, but land use purposes change over time and need to be reevaluated.

The repeated gunfire and noise from camps held at the club disrupt the quality of life of nearby residents, he said. Kowalski said people also have been using the club indiscriminate of the permitted hours and days ú sometimes until 9 p.m. on weekends.

"If you want to take a nap on Sunday, you can't. It's just repeated gunfire," he said. "On certain days, it sounds like someone is firing a shotgun literally 100 yards away."

However, a padlock on the gates leading to the club barred users from entry Monday.

A sign posted outside the club indicated the hours of operation as 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The club closes the fourth weekend of every month May through October.

However, Hartig also cited concerns about the negative environmental impacts the lead shots and target debris may have on the land. "The state has totally failed to meet the obligations they made [to protect the land]," he said.

Last week, WJLA-TV reported that a stream near the club contained unacceptable levels of lead. The station completed the study independent of the Department of Natural Resources, Cornell said. However, the Department of Natural Resources has begun examining the issue.

"The Maryland Department of the Environment and the Department of Natural Resources continues to gather scientific information to determine if a real problem exists," Cornell read from a prepared statement. "Evaluation of this matter will take time. We will take appropriate steps to re-mediate this matter if necessary."

Besides quality of life and environmental concerns, Hartig said the club's unwillingness to cease operations during the October sniper attacks incensed him the most.

The sound of gunshots from the club could be heard at the Shoppers Food Warehouse parking lot off Great Seneca Highway, Hartig said. Unknowing shoppers ducked or ran into the store for cover, he said.

"I really didn't get upset with them until the sniper incident," he said. "That just burned me up, and I just felt that was very uncooperative of those guys."

Kowalski and Hartig said they also have been frustrated with the state, from which they have been seeking information about the club since November. "They've been dogging us for months," Kowalski said.

They filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act in June with the state after they could not obtain a copy of the land use agreement.

Kowalski and Hartig said they would like the opportunity to participate in the process for evaluating the land use agreement. If eliminating the agreement would not be an option, they said they would like to ensure the agreement includes appropriate restrictions and enforcement mechanisms.

"We obviously want to participate in the terms and conditions of that, and we would want the state to commit to monitoring that," Kowalski said.



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Tamara
July 3, 2003, 10:50 AM
"The land use is just not appropriate for the development that has occurred in the area in the past decade," said Michael Kowalski, who lives on Monarch Vista Drive off Riffleford Road, just north of the club. "At this point in time, we feel strongly that there's no way you can make an argument for this."

Hey, listen, Stephen Hawking; you should have thought about this before you built/bought a house right next door to an outdoor range. But that's okay, man, you're the star of the movie; the folks at the gun club were just sent over from central casting to add a little local color to the drama that is Your Life. :rolleyes:

Dave P
July 3, 2003, 10:58 AM
Yep, it sounds like need one more farewell party. Democracy at work:fire:

gun-fucious
July 3, 2003, 12:05 PM
you might think he would be more concerned about being .5 a kilometer from the county sewage plant...

keyhole
July 3, 2003, 02:12 PM
You mean someone prefers the smell 24/7 over the occasional sound of gunfire?:confused:

When we built our ranges, there was no one around. A year later, one guy built a log cabin 1/2 mile north. he did not appreciate us shooting, and said that he did not build there, to hear us shooting all the time. I said, ( as the atty had told me earlier), " We were here first".:evil:

eediots!

greyhound
July 3, 2003, 02:26 PM
These clowns aren't really concerned about the club's impact on the eviroment, they just see an opportunity to make the "evil gun club" go away. I'm surprised the sheep didn't resort to bleating about "the children".

Nightfall
July 3, 2003, 05:11 PM
Well of course the evil shooting club should move away! Who cares if they were there before everyone else moved in? Who cares if they had a binding agreement with the state? Who cares if by closing it down, they'll destroy the business of multiple people, and eliminate the recreation activity of countless more area people? I mean, jeez, that noise might annoy some people who decided to live next to it knowing full well it was there! Besides, we all know guns are evil, might as well cleanse the community of this sick, disturbing activity. :rolleyes:

Chris Rhines
July 3, 2003, 05:42 PM
National Capital has a real spot in my heart. I learned to shoot there, and worked as a trap boy there for a few years during high school.

For more than 20 years, the National Capital Skeet and Trap Club has held shooting activities on roughly 100 acres of land in Seneca Creek State Park. Idiot. National Capital has been around for close to a hundred years. If anyone has a claim to that land, they do.

The repeated gunfire and noise from camps held at the club disrupt the quality of life of nearby residents, he said. Cry me a river. Life knows, the constant bleatings of statist cretins has a negative impact on my quality of life.

Besides quality of life and environmental concerns, Hartig said the club's unwillingness to cease operations during the October sniper attacks incensed him the most. Just because your lily-white butt was hiding in the basement, doesn't mean that everyone else has to.

This has really got me irked. Any MD THRers up for a bit of activism?

- Chris

spacemanspiff
July 3, 2003, 06:23 PM
"If you want to take a nap on Sunday, you can't. It's just repeated gunfire," he said. "On certain days, it sounds like someone is firing a shotgun literally 100 yards away."
awwww, does the poor baby need a nappy-poo? well lets warm some milk and get his favorite blanky.

can anyone name anything beneficial to have ever come out of Maryland?

Cliff
July 3, 2003, 06:50 PM
Chris,
Whatcha got in mind?:evil: :D

Standing Wolf
July 3, 2003, 09:57 PM
Commoners don't need guns, anyway. The leftist extremists know what's best for them.

DragonRider
July 3, 2003, 10:02 PM
Looks like I finally have a reason to take a gun to MD. Do they have a website so I can get directions.

John

Majic
July 4, 2003, 12:10 AM
Why would you purchase your home close to a gun range if noise bothers you? That's like demanding the government to move the river you built your house next to because you had to endure a flood.

Travis McGee
July 4, 2003, 02:12 AM
The giveaway is their angst over the range not ceasing ops for a few weeks while two black muslims went on a random shooting vacation over 100s of miles of highway in two states and the district.

Kharn
July 4, 2003, 08:35 AM
Kowalski said people also have been using the club indiscriminate of the permitted hours and days ú sometimes until 9 p.m. on weekends.

Next time, he should plan ahead and have the Club President's phone number on speed dial. Anytime someone's shooting outside posted hours give him a ring and complain. The Club President can either handle it himself or call the cops to get the trespassers removed.

Kharn

Chris Rhines
July 5, 2003, 08:29 AM
What did I have in mind? Aside from the tar and feathers? :D Good question. I was thinking about a few letters to the local papers, to start with. Also, if DNE is going to have an open forum on this, I think National Capital should have a cheering section there.

Good ideas? Feel free to PM me if you want to share ideas.

- Chris

TheOtherOne
July 5, 2003, 12:06 PM
Is this like those people that build their house next to the railroad tracks and then complain when the trains keep coming by?

"There's children in the neighborhood now, it's just not safe"

mussi
July 5, 2003, 03:35 PM
"There's children in the neighborhood now, it's just not safe"

Hell criminy. What would those poor sissies do when I moved right next to them and celebrated the morning out run with my BMW 330i, letting the engine go into full power, with heavy metal music?

The little kids will run. And I hope so their bliss ninny parents. Looks like that range needs to organize weekly meetings of the local Hell's Angels chapter.

bbrins
July 5, 2003, 04:40 PM
Mussi,
There is a Hell's Angels chapter in Calvert that is looking for a new clubhouse if that would help.


Those people don't understand how lucky they are having a range right next door. I'd be in heaven if I had one that close.

gun-fucious
August 21, 2003, 11:43 PM
State allows gun club to continue shooting after stream tests

http://www.gazette.net/200334/gaithersburg/news/173683-1.html



by Ellen Shiau
Staff Writer
Aug. 20, 2003

Lead shot from a Gaithersburg shooting club located in Seneca Creek State Park has not impaired the water quality of a creek running through the property, according to a state environmental agency.

However, community members continue to raise concerns about the National Capital Skeet and Trap Club, whose long-term land agreement allowing it to operate in the park recently expired.

The Maryland Department of the Environment tested Great Seneca Creek in July in response to an analysis conducted by a local television station that found an alarming level of lead in the creek.

Contradicting the television station's results, each of the state's samples tested below the acceptable limit for lead, department spokesman Richard McIntire said.

"There was no impact to the stream," he said. "The bottom line is everything is fine."

The department took several samples July 9 from eight stations between Interstate 270 and Route 28, according to a report.

Faulty testing procedures used by the television station led to the inaccurate results, McIntire said.

"There is a certain way that you test particularly for lead," he said. "We were very skeptical of their whole sampling method."

However, community members remain skeptical about the state's findings.

"Everyone expected the MDE results to say that," said Germantown resident Michael Kowalski, who lives near the shooting club and opposes the renewal of the club's land agreement.

Kowalski said visitors to the shooting club can see lead pellets from the club in the stream.

Ed Merrifield of the Potomac Riverkeeper, a group dedicated to restoring and protecting the Potomac River, said a scoop of a hand into the creek will turn up more lead shot than stones or sand.

"It is not right to have lead in the water," Merrifield said. "Lead is not good basically for any creature that is alive."

Merrifield said Potomac Riverkeeper does not oppose the existence of the shooting club but wants to ensure the protection of the creek. "We're interested in clean water," he said.

McIntire said the state has not determined whether to remove the lead shot from the creek because it has not caused an immediate problem as evidenced by the test results.

"When they cross certain thresholds is when immediate action has to be taken," he said.

In addition to environmental concerns, Kowalski and neighbor Randy Hartig have been fighting the renewal of the club's land agreement because of the club's impact on the quality of life for area residents.

"Our children are trying to go to bed, and they hear gun shots," neighbor Dara Murray agreed. "It scares them, and it keeps them awake."

Murray said if it can't be closed, the club should eliminate evening hours during the school year and limit hours in the summer because many area families have young children.

The National Capital Skeet and Trap Club did not return a phone call or e-mail for comment.

The state signed a temporary right of entry agreement Tuesday that allows the club to use the land, said Heather Lynch, spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The department's secretary is reviewing the state's policy toward all gun clubs on state land and has made no long-term decisions, she said.

Kowalski said he's disappointed with the state's "reprehensible neglect" of citizens concerned with the gun club. The state has yet to involve the public in its decision-making process and has been difficult to communicate with, he said.

Lynch said the state has not determined the process it will take to review the land agreement, including whether the state will hold public hearings.

However, she said the agency strives to be open and responsive. "I know that the secretary is interested in what all constituents have to say in this matter," Lynch said.

greyhound
August 22, 2003, 08:55 AM
Our children are trying to go to bed, and they hear gun shots," neighbor Dara Murray agreed. "It scares them, and it keeps them awake."

I knew it. Switch from "Its harming the enviroment" to "For the children."

What next?

FPrice
August 22, 2003, 09:04 AM
"For more than 20 years, the National Capital Skeet and Trap Club has held shooting activities on roughly 100 acres of land in Seneca Creek State Park."

I wonder if this will be enough to convince the skeet and trap shooters that the anti-gun people are coming after them also. Maybe they aren't going after their guns, but deprive them of a place to shoot, and there is not much use owning them evil assault shotguns that can shoot hundreds of deadly projectiles.

We (ALL gun owners) are all in this together.

XLMiguel
August 22, 2003, 09:35 AM
Effing morons. They can't be bothered to pay attention or du their homework when house shopping, but now they want everyone else to give up and make it right for them.:banghead: :cuss: :fire: :fire: :fire:

These are the same variety of whiner-weeners that bought houses just south of Dulles airport and complain about the noise; or buy in farm country and then complain about animal smells. Hells bells, the airport's been there for over 35 years and you do know that heavy jets are noisy, right Sparky?? It's not like they held off flying over while you were shopping. :fire: :fire: :fire:

I only have one thing to say to the ninnies - MOVE!!!

BenW
August 22, 2003, 10:27 AM
They can't be bothered to pay attention or du their homework when house
shopping, but now they want everyone else to give up and make it right for them.

Well if it's any consolation, idiots like this don't just go after gun clubs. When I was a youngster working at the county dump, land availability was getting tight where I lived. The city decided to zone the land right next door to the dump for residential housing. All the homes they built were large luxury homes. Within six months of moving into their new homes, all the homeowners hired lawyers to try and shut the evil dump (that was there first) down because seagulls that ate at the dump were roosting and pooping on their expensive tile roofs.

One of the accomodations we were forced to make was to have a couple of workers spend their entire day (at taxpayer expense)shooting blank pistols and flare guns in the vicinity of the gulls to drive them away. It didn't work, and after telling us to use blanks to scare the gulls off, the homeowners then started complaining that the noise from the guns was too loud.:rolleyes:

Another example is where my parents live in the Central Valley of CA. Lots of LA and San Francisco people have been moving into the area because of cheaper housing. Now these people want the dairy farms (that were there first) shut down because they don't like the smell of cow manure.

If you can't be bothered to investigate your surroundings before moving into a new home, you deserve what you get.

genie
August 22, 2003, 10:28 AM
as others have said before, this article is a fine example of insane troll logic at work...

kenehsr
August 22, 2003, 10:40 AM
They have the right to find out about the surrounds before they buy. They should have done there homework first before they bought the house. All I have to say is live with it or get out.:p :rolleyes: cry me a river:(

gun-fucious
August 22, 2003, 11:41 AM
missing the 800 acre waste treatment plant on the east side of the neigh-boar-hood,
the long distance high tension wires on the west,
and the shotgun range on the south,
requires industrial strength blinders

mwithers72
August 22, 2003, 11:50 AM
You know this really burns me:fire: If the gun club was there when they moved in why should the gun club have to close? I know that when I bought my last house I took a ride around the block. If I saw something I did not like I moved on to the next place. But I love the fact that they switched to the children when the lead in the water did not work out for them. Will they try to shutdown the water treatment plant next. I mean how could they buy a house and not know that the gun club was there? It only takes up 100 acers??? :cuss: :banghead: :fire: :rolleyes: I know that they may say "my house is a big envestment and I dont want the gun club to devalue my home or my comfort in living" well you should have done your research before you bought your house!!!! They choswe to live their and the gun club was there before them. If their was not the issue over the agreement with the state we would not be talking about it now. They saw a chance to attack and did. :cuss:

Roadrunner
August 22, 2003, 12:29 PM
They probably want the club shut down because selling any local homes or property might be difficult with the club still operating.

They were morons for buying a home near an outdoor range and realize any potential homebuyer will look elsewhere for a new home instead of being next to an outdoor range.

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