why is joining a gun/shooting club so complicated?


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noob_shooter
March 12, 2010, 09:38 PM
-Requires hours of work
-MUST be voted in or cancel!
-Several fees. Some fees seem a bit over the edge

and many more requirements...

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f4t9r
March 12, 2010, 09:45 PM
problem here is it takes years to get in.

TexasRifleman
March 12, 2010, 09:52 PM
Long waiting list for mine, we only allow so many members at a time to keep from being overcrowded.

But, once in, it's very cheap.... $100 a year. We rent portions of the range out during the week to a few small town LE agencies and host a monthly IPSC match for cash flow.

Guess it depends on the location and cost of land and insurance.

bobelk99
March 12, 2010, 09:56 PM
It's 'complicated' because everyone wants a place to shoot, and a lot of guys don't seem to be motivated to take care of the resources. Thus the referrals etc.

hso
March 12, 2010, 09:57 PM
You have to be referred at most clubs and voted in. Considering the liability the clubs take on it's no surprise that they don't want just anyone off the street to become members.

As to the "hours of work", it's either that or expensive membership fees. Also, "sweat equity" ensures a sense of ownership of the facilities that helps preclude carelessness with the facilities.

I'm not sure what you mean by "several fees". There's usually a single fee to join to access the outdoor shooting ranges. Some clubs charge additional fees for their indoor range or for the clays range because these have additional facilities to maintain. There's usually a key or key card fee if you loose your key.

TexasRifleman
March 12, 2010, 09:58 PM
Some clubs charge additional fees for their indoor range or for the clays range because these have additional facilities to maintain.

Actually yes, that reminds me that we have one of those.

We have some steel plates on the pistol ranges and for an extra fee you can get a key to the padlock to use them. I don't use that but a small fee for that seems reasonable, steel plates don't last forever.

MMCSRET
March 12, 2010, 10:19 PM
My annual membership is $50.00. This year we all had to take a safety orientation presentation, only an hour or so, in order to renew membership, insurance required it. Kind of a pain, but worth it, good range and good organization.

EddieNFL
March 12, 2010, 10:30 PM
My annual membership is $50.00. This year we all had to take a safety orientation presentation, only an hour or so, in order to renew membership, insurance required it. Kind of a pain, but worth it, good range and good organization.
Pretty simple compared to joining my primary range. Only $60 annually, but there's a test involved.

noob_shooter
March 12, 2010, 11:15 PM
well, i guess i will continue to be a pay per session guy then... i will never get in one.

earlthegoat2
March 12, 2010, 11:21 PM
I have never heard of this before.

Makes me afraid now that I just moved.

My last one was 75 per year no waiting and everyone got in.

Hatterasguy
March 12, 2010, 11:23 PM
In CT its nuts, its simpler to join a Yacht Club than a gun club.

They run about a G note a year to join, and you have to get on the waiting list and wait for someone to die to get a spot.

hso
March 12, 2010, 11:23 PM
You're lucky if you can "pay per" for access to a club range since most clubs are open only to members and their guests.

There are ranges with pay per use fees that may also have "club" annual use fee for unlimited use, but they're commercial ranges, not clubs.

Mt Shooter
March 12, 2010, 11:28 PM
Was on a waiting list for 5 years....now 80 bucks a year for a first class range. pistol bays , pistol-22/black powder. sporting clays, trap, skeet. Hand throw pattern area. 300 yd rifle range, with seats and benches and cover archery. two area's for ranges and down in the coolies live size targ's....ya was worth it

Magic_Man
March 12, 2010, 11:38 PM
I think it's stupid. I just want to go to the range & shoot when I have the time. I don't have time to clean, attend meetings, etc. I clean up my brass when I'm done. That should be enough.

mcdonl
March 12, 2010, 11:46 PM
You're lucky if you can "pay per" for access to a club range since most clubs are open only to members and their guests.

The local IDPA host is like that. $10 to enter the match, and you have to be a member of IDPA of course.

Other than that I just go to one of two sandpits near my house. I am lucky in that aspect.

I was a member of a club last year, but too many guys with more money then personality would go there so I saved my money. They can have it.

NavyLCDR
March 12, 2010, 11:50 PM
There are two clubs fairly close to where I live. One requires that you pay a fee for a background check in addition to membership dues. You apply at one monthly meeting and then you have to wait a whole month for them to approve you at the next meeting. I asked them if a top secret military clearance and a concealed pistol license would exempt me from their background check. NOPE.

So, instead I drive 25 minutes to the farther club, pay $60/year dues, $25 NRA membership, sit through a one hour safety/rules class and I'm in. Somebody at that first club is just using the club to line their pockets doing background checks.

shockwave
March 12, 2010, 11:52 PM
The best club I've found in north FL is about $225 to join and about half that in annual dues. Otherwise, as a "day shooter," it's $14. Members have access to better rangers with less supervision.

Six
March 12, 2010, 11:53 PM
I think it's stupid. I just want to go to the range & shoot when I have the time. I don't have time to clean, attend meetings, etc. I clean up my brass when I'm done. That should be enough.

Sounds like a commercial range is perfect for you.

russ69
March 12, 2010, 11:54 PM
I would never join a club that would allow me to be a member. I have very high standards.

Thanx, Russ

hso
March 12, 2010, 11:55 PM
I think it's stupid. I just want to go to the range & shoot when I have the time. I don't have time to clean, attend meetings, etc. I clean up my brass when I'm done. That should be enough.


Then the thing to do is suggest a fee structure based on folks that want to just use the facilities for a higher annual dues payment and the lower fees for folks that want to invest the sweat equity.

kingpin008
March 12, 2010, 11:56 PM
I think it's stupid. I just want to go to the range & shoot when I have the time. I don't have time to clean, attend meetings, etc. I clean up my brass when I'm done. That should be enough.

You can do all that, at a commercial range. Because you don't feel like putting forth the necessary effort to join a club doesn't make it stupid.

Magic_Man
March 12, 2010, 11:57 PM
& I do it at commercial ranges, but I want to shoot more than 25 yards.

BullfrogKen
March 12, 2010, 11:58 PM
I think it's stupid. I just want to go to the range & shoot when I have the time. I don't have time to clean, attend meetings, etc. I clean up my brass when I'm done. That should be enough.


Then go to a for-profit range, meaning a business, and go shoot there at the half-hour rental rates.


Gun clubs are clubs. They're not for-profit, they are NON-for-profit entities.


It's impossible to answer the original poster's question without knowing more about the local conditions.


When I lived in Maryland there were two non-for-profit clubs in the entire county, which is one of the most populous counties in Maryland. Membership at one ran a couple hundred dollars a year. Expenses were high, because Maryland is an anti-gun state.


Here in PA, memberships generally run from $35.00 per year to as much as $100.00 a year, again depending on the club. Some have more expenses than others.


I know a little bit about what it takes to run gun clubs. Different clubs try to address their issues in different ways. Some rely more on volunteer time to keep the place up. Some don't have much success in volunteerism and make mandatory work days. Others don't find either successful and just charge more to the membership.


As far as sponsorship goes, you guys have to understand that when you join a private club, you literally get the keys to the door, and many times at the non-for-profits you're there completely unsupervised. Often you also get some sort of voting rights within the organization, meaning you have a right to determine how club money is spent, the by-laws, etc.

You'll have to forgive these places if they want to know who you are and what sort of member you'll be before you get those priviledges.

BullfrogKen
March 13, 2010, 12:00 AM
I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members.


- Groucho Marx

Onward Allusion
March 13, 2010, 12:07 AM
'Cause they want to keep the riff-raff out. Some clubs will require a background check if you don't have 3 sponsors. Others will only sign you on as a full member after you've been a probationary member for 6 to 12 months. The work hours add to the member's sense of ownership along with the upkeep of the facility/acreage.

Think about it...would you want gangsta wannabes or other idiots in your sportsman's club shooting sideways, rapid firing their 9's, not obeying the range officer or shoot stoppages while you're swapping targets, leaving shells hulls everywhere, or shooting the target holders? I don't.



noob_shooter (http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=89537)
why is joining a gun/shooting club so complicated?
-Requires hours of work
-MUST be voted in or cancel!
-Several fees. Some fees seem a bit over the edge

and many more requirements...

kingpin008
March 13, 2010, 12:29 AM
& I do it at commercial ranges, but I want to shoot more than 25 yards.

Sometimes we gotta make sacrifices, I guess. Is shooting at ranges greater than 25 yards worth a little manual labor to you? If not, be satisfied with what you have, ya know?

Free2game
March 13, 2010, 12:38 AM
I know what you mean, the public range here is only a 25m pistol range, the only other place to shoot here in Fredericksburg is this fishing and gun club, here's what you have to go through to get into it.
Potential Member Checklist:

1. Complete Application.
2. Potential Member and Sponsor must sign application.
3. Write check to Fredericksburg Rod & Gun club for $300.00 initiation fee.
4. Mail completed application and check to the Membership Chairman at the address listed above.
5. Have sponsor meet you at the next regularly scheduled Board of Directors Meeting. Do not attend the meeting without your sponsor. The membership chairman will e-mail you the date and time to be present.

There is the one on the Marine base that my dad could get me into probably (he's retired Marine Corps) that has 7-300m rifle and 1000m rifle range with pistol and trap shooting also. But that's also a 40 minute drive, if the traffic's bad, even more than that. Be a great place to shoot a .50 or some other long range rifle if you had one though.

Motigo
March 13, 2010, 12:39 AM
I guess I'm just lucky. There is a nice range maintained by the Missouri Department of Conservation not 20 miles from my house. They have a pistol section and 50 & 100 yard rifle ranges.

BullfrogKen
March 13, 2010, 12:39 AM
Paying half-hour rental fees would make me a poor man. I'm at my club a lot. Probably 30-40 hours a month.


I also enjoy the camaraderie of my friends and fellow members. I don't get that at a range I have to go shoot at which is run as a for-profit business.



To each his own, I guess.

tkopp
March 13, 2010, 02:26 AM
My club's pretty laid back. $55 a year to join, but you need a member to vouch for your character to get in. That makes shooting $2 a trip instead of $10. Club raises money through raffles, competition entrance fees, etc. The club also collects a lot of brass from public shooters who don't reload, and uses that as the carrot to get target holders made and entice ROs to spend an afternoon watching people shoot.

Guy B. Meredith
March 13, 2010, 03:06 AM
Yeesh!

It sounds like some of you need to move to the SF Bay area. I belong to three clubs with annual fees from $25 (sells reloading components to members for 6% over cost) to $72 (leases land from Bay Area Regional Parks).

Potential members of the first two are interviewed for character, no wait list.

www.diablorodandgun.com/
www.chabotgunclub.com
www.richmondrodandgun.com

SMMAssociates
March 13, 2010, 06:34 AM
My club has a limit on the number of members, and a limit on the number of "lifers".... The latter have no work hour responsibilities, although we (I'm one) generally take on about anything that comes up that fits our schedules.

In my case, I have health problems that keep me from keeping appointments. Any work has to be "if I can get there".... So, I went for a life membership. That put some cash into the club (it wasn't easy for me, but they take installments), and I can still use the facilities. (Cost me a lot more in new toys once I started seriously collecting/shooting again. But we don't tell the wife about that.)

The bare minimum membership is under $100/year, but you do have to buy into the land - about $400 (payable in installments), plus some work hours. If you can't work, you can pay them off with cash.

Sponsorship and attending a couple of meetings are required, but sponsorship is probably the hardest, and one of our local gun shops will set up anybody who asks with a member who's willing to "check 'em out". (By then we usually know if they're "legal" at least.) The dealer also gives club members a discount.

The club is quite old - maybe 70 years - so a lot of the basic work is done (although we finally got a toilet in the range area after only talking about it for about 20 years. At least the six years I've been a member :).) Ongoing expenses mean ongoing costs, and raffles & such don't quite cut it.

Guess the short answer is that yes, you have to work at it a bit, but no, it's not all that hard. The tough part is in finding a club you'd like to join, getting a visit, and then getting a sponsor. The former may be the hardest.... Our indoor range, for example, is "no magnums", and "no rifles", with the exception of .22's, and some pistol-caliber (i.e., .44Spl or smaller) rifles. If you don't like to shoot outdoors (we have a great outdoor range), you may have a problem with that. Indoor range hours are roughly 1000 to 0000, and everybody's got a key. Outdoors is about 1000 to dark, with some "under the lights" time in the fall and spring.

Keeping membership down around 500 is our key - it's manageable, and you rarely have to stand in line for anything. We also tend to know each other, at least by sight.

Beats sticking dollar bills in G-Strings :D, and may be a better skill. Not to mention my wife not minding it.... (She won't come inside, although she did watch our promo DVD once. Nobody seems to have watched it, but it was fun making it.)

Regards,

EddieNFL
March 13, 2010, 07:07 AM
It sounds like some of you need to move to the SF Bay area. I belong to three clubs with annual fees from $25 (sells reloading components to members for 6% over cost) to $72 (leases land from Bay Area Regional Parks).

That's really great, but most of my guns are illegal in **********.

Calibre44
March 13, 2010, 07:25 AM
Over here itís usually quite easy to join a club - I am lucky enough to have two clubs within 10 miles of my home . In fact if you want your guns solely for target practice itís often a requirement to obtain a Firearms Certificate. Usually you have to serve a probationary period of 6 months before becoming a full member. Fees are typically approx 100 pounds per year.

I am a member of two ranges: one indoor and the other outdoor. The indoor club only caters for .22 shooting on 25 yard ranges whist the outdoor range caters for Centrefire and Black Powder shooting on 25 and 50 yards.

Both clubs are very friendly and often hold open days to increase membership and promote shooting as a safe, competitive and disciplined sport.

I also have access to a 100 yard range approx 20 mile away where the only requirement is that you hold a Firearms Certificate. The fee is only 10 pounds for the day.

earlthegoat2
March 13, 2010, 07:58 AM
With all due respect to the guys out there that have worked hard and long for their respective ranges and have paid the dues and taken the time and volunteered to be range officers and went to board meetings and sponsored shoots and worked to get certain things at your club that no other clubs have and sacrificed what precious little shooting time anyone really has anymore to try and further a cause that is bigger than yourself but........

I tend to think the gun club has gotten a little bit carried away with its own politics. Every year when board elections come up there is always voting drama. People get nominated who dont want to run but when they get elected they think they are top dog. The highest members in the club often times get carried away with the little bit of authority that is granted them because this is the most authority and responsiblity they have had in their entire lives. Unfortunately there is less responsibilty undertaken than anything else. Then there comes a time when they feel they have to justify their existence a little more by enacting rules that make the club more "exclusive" like you think your gun range is Augusta National.

I also think Gun Clubs in general are trying to protect themselves by not letting liabilities join their club. Hence the references. I think when guns become less fashionable again (think pre Obama) the Gun Clubs are going to have to loosen their standards once again for the sake of a little income. They can afford to be picky when so many shooters who had never touched a gun before 2 years ago want a place for their new found hobby. I can respect the fact that there is probably a little bit of resentment in long time members having their range overrun by bandwagoners.

Ranting aside, it should be noted that since there is a board and there is a voting membership that means that most of the policies handed down have been in part because the members agreed with the board. So if John the president says he wants to limit membership, Phil the VP can say sure lets make new members get references and lets put them on probation for 6 months where they will be our be our servants and spend very little time shooting until they have "put in their time". Then someone says yeah, "lets limit membership to 100 people and put the rest on a waiting list"

Soon enough you have Harvard Gun Club where the only way to get in is to be a legacy and donate X dollars now and again.

Having said all that I would gladly join a club (if it is not too much trouble for me) be a contributing member, voluteer my time, work my weekly hour or two or whatever it might be. I dont have a problem with that. I have a problem with so called, exclusiveness.

Sorry to bring politics out into the open on this discussion but I was tired with beating around the bush.

CZ223
March 13, 2010, 08:11 AM
Most expensive club in my state, $150/year. As far as I am concerned, it is a bargain. We have a rifle range that goes out to 600 yards with firing points at differnet intervals. It has fifteen firing point with targets that are raised and lowered by others during matches. We have at least 8 IDPA bays. We have 9 regular Trap fields plus wobble trap and a sporting clays course. We have a 52 position Bullseye pistol range and an indoor pistol range. In addition to all that we also have 3 25 yard, 1 50 yard and a 100 yard covered utility ranges. We also have a range that is dedicated for Law enforcement and civilian training courses. We have several buildings on the land including a brand new Trap club house. With over 800 members it is amazing that this place isn't crowded all the time but it is rare that I can't get a range to myself for several hours at a time. By the way, I am heading there this morning.:evil:

Joining this club was a little problematic in that the rules weren't very clear, or I just didn't read them very well. It took me almost three months to get it done but was well worth it. Since joining a little over a year ago I have had to do nothing, though I have volunteered to build targets or cook at a shoot. At the last club that I belonged to their dues are up to $125 and they litteraly have about 1/5th of the facilities. I worked my butt of there for almost 15 years. I was a member of the board of directors for 5 years and started and ran the Cowboy action program there for 4 years and continued to help for 4 or 5 more. There were about 20-30 people who could be counted on to help and the rest did nothing. I showed up at almost every work party, usually with a truck full of tools, just so some guy who "just wanted to shoot" could get upset that we were in the way of his shooting. The few times I showed up to practice and there was a work party going on I just rolled up my sleeves and helped. These guys would generally get all huffy and leave.

I got very frustrated trying to improve the club that I was at. No matter how good my intentions there was always someone who disapproved. I got tired of attending BOD meetings that dragged on for hours and never really accomplished anything. I haven't been back there for almost two years and, while I wish them well, they continue to drive off the people who do the most. I also belong to another club that is much closer to my home but I only joined so that I could shoot my pistols there occassionaly. I might even let that membership expire because it is such a hole. The membership there is $50/yr plus work.

A club requires a lot of work and money. Clubs that keep there dues down generally depend on a volunteer work force to maintain and improve the facilities. Even when a club has a substantial income from dues, like the one I now belong to, volunteer labor or "work requirements " let the club use more of that money for improvements. You should also remember that with the political climate the way it is every club out there needs to be prepared to defend itself against litigious neighbors who move in and then try to shut the club down. A club without money in the bank for a legal defense fund could be out of business in a short period of time.

So, pay your dues, or don't. Help out, or don't. But don't whine when there are no more places to shoot.

Ragnar Danneskjold
March 13, 2010, 08:31 AM
When I applied at my local club, which operates a number of ranges that are only about a 10 minute drive from my apartment, I got referred by a buddy who I attended the police academy with. I ended up getting denied membership as they have a 1 year probation period, and I could only be around for the first 10 months due to my military deployment. Suffice to say, I still make the 40 minute drive to my nearest gun shop range.

Ingsoc75
March 13, 2010, 08:45 AM
I guess I'm just lucky. There is a nice range maintained by the Missouri Department of Conservation not 20 miles from my house. They have a pistol section and 50 & 100 yard rifle ranges.

I love that also! Being from St. Louis, I could drive 20 min to a manned state range, pay $3/hour and shoot all I want OR I could drive 45 min to an unmanned state range and shoot for free!

Living in Alabama, I now have to drive to a national forest range (where you need a truck/SUV just to get to the range.

CZ223
March 13, 2010, 08:49 AM
You rarely beat around the bush.:D You are right, some club officers act like they own the place. It is also true that some enact rules soley to justify their position, or so it seems. Unfortunately, the only time regular members get involved is during general elections, and most don't even bother then. The BOD at my last club, as well as my new club, always encourages new members to become involved by attending meetings and even to join the board. When new members join the board with lots of good ideas and intentions, they often get shut down by the "Old Guard". Add to this the complaints that you hear on the range from members who never show up to work and what you end up with is shear frustration. And, when the board does agree on something, and actually accomplishes something, it is inevitable taht a few will show up to ask why we spent money building a roof rather than improving the road or vise versa. You can't win.

Guy B. Meredith
March 13, 2010, 09:05 AM
By the way, all the clubs I belong to and most others in the SF Bay Area are open to public use. The only difference is that members get discounts and have say in club decisions.

Chabot is by far the largest for non-shotgun sports for public use.

danprkr
March 13, 2010, 09:38 AM
well, i guess i will continue to be a pay per session guy then... i will never get in one.

Your call of course, but at my club I had to pay an initiation fee, and the yearly dues, but as long as I shoot more than ten times per year. Which is easy if you count me and the wife going every month it more than pays for itself. So, do the math before blowing it off.

Now my range doesn't require me to volunteer, and I usually don't volunteer my time, but the several times a year that I deal with large (dishwasher & refrigerator size) boxes I do take them to be used on the target holder.

Gaffer
March 13, 2010, 10:49 AM
Having been an officer of a club and the silhouette program director for 15 years I can give you some insight into why clubs have strict rules and new member hurdles to jump over. The main reason is the apathy of members who want to have fun without any work or common sense. The damage to facilities by members w/o even any remorse is astounding. The cost of repair to targets and rails because of unthinking members led me to quit running the silhouette program. To heck with it, if they don't care enough to be responsible, I am not going to work my a$$ off so they can screw it up further. That my friends is why it cost so much and there are application regs!

Jaybird78
March 13, 2010, 11:19 AM
I belong to a private club. It's a great place to shoot. There are pro's and con's to any club. I pay $175 a year. It was about $75 10 years ago. If you CHOOSE to do 10 hours of volunteer work the fee is halved. You must be a NRA member also.

I have had a few incidents with "old timers" there that think THEY own the range. I try to be courteous most of the time but there has been times when I told them to get bent. For the most part with the dues being HIGHER it keeps the Gangstas out of our club. It's a PRIVATE club for a reason.

I don't have anymore entitlement to use your bathroom in YOUR PRIVATE RESIDENCE then you have access at a PRIVATE club (gun, pool, knitting, whatever).

Rant over and life is not fair.

ljnowell
March 13, 2010, 11:55 AM
I recently joined a local club. 75 dollars a year. No required hours of work, but everybody helps. Nothing real fancy, 25, 50 yard pistol and a 200 yard rifle range. rap setup, if you like that. Indoor bathrooms in an airconditioned and heated clubhouse facility. Nice place to drink coffee, play cards, or clean a gun. Most of the members are 50+ years old, friendly, and like to talk and shoot. They also like to share guns and hang out. Its worth the work to have a nice place to shoot with nice people.

smokin hot AR10
March 13, 2010, 12:25 PM
At the Club that I belong to, you also need to know somebody so you can have a sponsor. Your sponsor is responsible for your actions for the first year.

The Club only takes, as many members as there are openings. The membership is limited to some magic number.

At my Club, they only accept new members in April. You are able to send in your application any time before that but sooner the better. The spots fill up quick. When sending in the application a check for $160.00 is also needed to go with it. This is for application fees and the first year membership. After that, itís $120.00 a year.

In April, when all the new members that are accepted, they have to attend a safety course, learn Club rules and they take a tour of all the ranges and get to ask all the questions of what they can and can not do.

It is pretty easy and not to time consuming. My only problem is the old Elmer Fudds that have not kept up with the current Club rules since they became a member back in 1957.:mad:

Whenever I do have problems with older Club members that are disrespectful and attempt to treat me in an ill fashion manner, I drop the Club President an email and it makes life a lot better. My Club is big on respect and they do enforce it. You just have to be willing to step up to the plate and take actions on it. ;)

Justin
March 13, 2010, 12:31 PM
I swore off of public shooting ranges after having to explain to various idiots that covering another person with the muzzle of a loaded weapon is an unwise practice.

I'll take internal politicking over ignorant and armed any day.

My current club is a 45 minute drive from my home, but the facility is one of the best I've seen. Rifle berms from 100-425 yards, and six pistol berms. The club itself has an active shooting community, running USPSA, High Power, Steel Prairie Dog, Silhouette, and Tactical Rifle matches monthly and weekly Steel Challenge matches. Since joining I've become the assistant match director for the tactical rifle matches and the USPSA shooters were kind enough to reimburse several members for RO training and certification from NROI.

NMGonzo
March 13, 2010, 01:28 PM
they want to make sure the other members don't get shot by some goofball

CajunBass
March 13, 2010, 02:29 PM
Cause them's the rules. You either play by the rules, or you don't play. If you don't like them, you're free to go someplace, start your own club, and make your own rules.

Pretty simple it seems to me.

SMMAssociates
March 13, 2010, 02:32 PM
Plenty of internal politics in my club. I try to ignore it.... One of our very active members from an administrative standpoint (he's now "Sergeant At Arms") tells me all about it :)....

As long as things don't impact my use of the facility too much, it's like any other organization. There will be politics whenever a group gets past a certain size, or picks up a certain kind of member. (We had a guy who rose from "who's that" to "wants to be President" in less than a year, and quit when he couldn't get the office. Nice guy, but he didn't realize how long it would take to break that ceiling. Nothing racial or religious here - just "who the heck is that?" from a lot of older members.)

For the most part, I think the officers tend to be guys who want it, and some are more interested in the power than others.... I was a member of a computer-related group years back that tended to elect the guys who didn't show up for meetings. That worked fairly well :D....

IMHO, if it's a private group, you're going to have politics.

You're also going to have guys who are overboard on safety, or "what time the range opens" or about any other topic. I'm sure somebody's going to want to limit the number of flushes we can use in the new bathroom....

We also had a guy who complained when the folks using the rifle range were shooting low and leaving a lot of lead in the grass in front of the targets....

Yeah, fighting this takes time from shooting and other sports, but....

The downside is in finding a group you can tolerate, and working to keep it that way. I was lucky....

Regards,

Deanimator
March 13, 2010, 02:44 PM
The club to which I belong takes care to keep people who will be trouble out, and to remove those who turn out to be trouble.

A few years ago, a local doctor joined and was approved. One night he showed up to open shooting. The range officer noticed something wasn't right with the man, who subsequently dropped his firearm on the floor. Investigating, the range officer discovered that the doctor was highly intoxicated. He disarmed him, sent him home and called a board member.

The board of directors held an emergency meeting at which they voted to expel the doctor and refund his membership dues.

I don't think it was a week later that local news reported that a local doctor had been found passed out drunk in his car by the side of I-90. There was a loaded gun on the seat next to him. He did not possess an Ohio CHL or recognized equivalent. Do I need to say who that doctor was?

Keeping control of membership keeps the club and its members out of trouble. What would have happened if that doctor had accidentally shot himself or another member? I'll tell you. No club.

I belong to that club because it's SAFE. The last time I was on one of the local public ranges, within the space of five minutes I was swept by the guy in the stall next to me, then saw three guys wrestling over a loaded Remington 870 while yelling at each other in Serbo-Croatian.

I'll take the "hassle" of a private range any day.

bds
March 13, 2010, 03:48 PM
Surprisingly, there's a gun/shooting club in central California that is easy to join (no waiting list or expensive annual fees) and well maintained by club staff. It's next to the Lemoore Naval Air Station. http://lemooresportsmansclub.com/

It's a 24 hour/7 range and has stocked lake with camp ground too.

Pictures and photos:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=6338882#post6338882

jnyork
March 13, 2010, 06:16 PM
My club in Lander, WY, is easy to join. Make the application, pay the dues, ($75.00 per year, $50.00 for NRA Members, $25.00 if you work a little) get the little safety and rules briefing from the guy who signs you up. Gets you the key to the gate of a full-service rifle and pistol range with silhouette, high power, etc out to 1000 yards, also the key to the indoor 50' smallbore range. We have about 300 members out of town of 8,000.

Guy B. Meredith
March 13, 2010, 07:51 PM
When I was in competition I was active at sweat equity for events, but have never been involved in the politics. I no longer compete and for a few years did not shoot more than once or twice a year, but do continue to pay annual dues to support their activities.

None of the clubs put up with anything but the best of attitude and manners. One turkey from the Livermore club came down while they were renovating their pistol range. This lifetime NRA member was a poster boy for the Brady bunch and the last I saw the local police were in earnest discussion with him at the range master's office.

As Range Safety Officer I had the Russian speaking group who uncased their EBRs behind the firing line and swept everybody, the Japanese tourist who grabbed two semi autos and waved them about behind the firing line shouting "Rambo!" and the Chinese extended family who could not keep from gravitating to/swarming the family member on the firing line on top of the endless stream of clueless locals. That is why we have a Range Safety Officer.

mcdonl
March 13, 2010, 08:00 PM
CZ... I know you club. Great people, I have relatives who are members, a friend who is an instructor there and I like to go there and shoot. I took my IDPA introduction there and CCW class as well.

Someday, when I have the time and money I will join but until I will just go there a couple of times in the summer and enjoy the facilities.

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