Death of a Gun Club.

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Death of a Gun Club.

Postby JU-87 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:06 pm

Death of a Gun Club.
2/26/2019

If your Gun Club does not own the land that there Range is on, it is doomed.

I joined Westbranch Rifle and Pistol Club ( wbrpc.org) on Neff Rd., in Medina , Ohio in about 2001. While talking to fellow members at the range, I was told that the club, founded around 1955, did not own, but rented the land that the range is on. The lease was always for 4 years. Some said "the land owner is REALLY pro-second amendment!" Others said " We should have bought the old Clendening Boy Scout Camp ( right down the road), but the president and trusties decided not too."

I emailed the (then) club president, and asked if what I heard was true. He wrote: " I hear this from time to time. You guys are worried about nothing! We have a great relationship with the landowner!"... "We even put a roof on (there) house, free of charge!"

People grow old and die. The "Old Man" died, his Widow assured the Club they could stay as long as she lived. She was right. Later she died.

There Son inherited the property. Things where OK for a few years, but then he and his wife began asking for restrictive rules ( concerning reducing operating hours) during the lease, which the club members correctly voted down. The relationship with the landowner grew increasingly toxic, and he announced (about) 3 years ago that the lease shall NOT be renewed. The club offered to buy the land for 2 times the value. He said: "the land is not for sale, will never be for sale."

The present and final lease expires on December 31, 2019.

That made the present club leadership start to aggressively look for suitable land in the area to build a new range. I commend them for there current efforts. They have had a few prospects, but village leaders will not give a guarantee that they can build a rifle & pistol range, or flat out say "no."

The club leaders have discussed "merging" with 3 separate area clubs that own there land. They express interest in WBRPC's $455,000 in assets, but not in 600 or so new members. They could not agree on favorable terms, so that's out.

In northern Ohio, no one lives in a big city like Cleveland , if they can afford not to. That makes the suburbs grow, and more farmland get's converted to new home sub divisions.It's difficult to get approval to build a new rifle range within 1 to 1 1/2 hours of Cleveland. I would LOVE to have a rifle range next to my home, but I seem to be in the minority.

I really liked this club. Many great memories there: Junior Rifle with all my kids, Service Rifle, or just plinking and shooting the breeze with other members...

The past club leaderships have donated untold thousands of hours in work for the club since about 1955. But ultimately they have failed the membership. They felt by "ingratiating" themselves to the landowner(s), that the club could keep renting forever. I believe that all those years of rent money could have bought some similar land nearby MANY time over.

I wrote this as a warning for gun clubs that don't own there own land. Learn from Westbranch Rifle and Pistol Club's mistake. Buy land as SOON as you are able.

If your Gun Club does not own the land that there Range is on, it is doomed.
"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun... Let your gun, therefore, be the constant companion of your walks." Thomas Jefferson, 1785.

Read "War is a Racket" by MG Smedly Butler,USMC. He was awarded the Medal of Honor twice. http://warisaracket.org/

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Re: Death of a Gun Club.

Postby Mr. Glock » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:59 am

A valid point. I’m sure we will see not only this issue, but the infamous “noise” issue grow over time.

City/suburb folks want to move to the country, then try to change it when they get there.
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Re: Death of a Gun Club.

Postby AlanM » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:11 am

I understand that you've offered the owner twice what the land is worth and they turned it down.
Has anyone pointed out that the land is probably HIGHLY contaminated with lead and if they wish to sell or develop the land for any other use it will cost many times that to clean it up?
About the ONLY thing the land is good for now is what it is, a gun range.
Possibly a wood lot if they've got 20 or 30 years for trees to grow before they break even, if ever.
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Re: Death of a Gun Club.

Postby Brian D. » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:15 am

Very true. Not only should the club own the land, if possible they should try for deed restrictions on surrounding properties.

Supposedly that's what Pickaway County Sportsman's club did many years ago. My understanding was that their founding members included realtors and a judge or two.
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Re: Death of a Gun Club.

Postby rattlehead » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:20 pm

Brian D. wrote:Very true. Not only should the club own the land, if possible they should try for deed restrictions on surrounding properties.

Supposedly that's what Pickaway County Sportsman's club did many years ago. My understanding was that their founding members included realtors and a judge or two.


How does that work? (I don't know enough about the topic)
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Re: Death of a Gun Club.

Postby Brian D. » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:16 pm

Honestly, I don't know if that tactic can still be used. Maybe if a gun club board of directors includes connected politicians or rich folks..
Quit worrying, hide your gun well, shut up, and CARRY that handgun!

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Re: Death of a Gun Club.

Postby Gramps » Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:30 pm

Our local gun club is owned by the club, (we are thankful of that) has been as long as I remember and I am old. Over 90 acres with rifle and pistol ranges, an archery club and range with another archery range inside.

We also have sporting clays one weekend a month and trap shoots on Wednesday evenings.

Why I said all this is there is concern for many of us the encroachment of people may someday relatively soon be an issue.
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Re: Death of a Gun Club.

Postby djthomas » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:19 pm

rattlehead wrote:
Brian D. wrote:Very true. Not only should the club own the land, if possible they should try for deed restrictions on surrounding properties.

Supposedly that's what Pickaway County Sportsman's club did many years ago. My understanding was that their founding members included realtors and a judge or two.


How does that work? (I don't know enough about the topic)

AFAIK deed restrictions (known as covenants) can only be placed by a person holding title to the land at the time the covenant is placed. What probably happened here is the club bought up surrounding property. They recorded covenants on the parcel and sold the property on the open market. Assuming you had an outlay of cash that could be tied up for a little while it wouldn't really cost you anything. You'd essentially be a property flipper who did a little extra paperwork along the way.

Two other possibilities:
1. The club approached the landholders and offered them a sufficient incentive (read: money) to place a covenant on their own property.
2. Or maybe the club owned the land at one time and decided to subdivide the outer parcels because they no longer needed them.

Regardless, at some point either the club or persons sympathetic to its causes held title to the land in question. Be that as it may, covenants cannot run forever. There will come a time where those restrictions are no longer enforceable even if they don't explicitly expire. I believe Ohio goes by the common law rule of 21 years after the death of the last person alive at the time of the covenant's creation.
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Re: Death of a Gun Club.

Postby smokewagon » Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:33 pm

Westbranch could have resigned the lease with the land owner if they;
1: banned the current sitting board members from the property.
2: cut the number of members in half.
3: double or tripple the rent.
4: RANGE WOULD BE CLOSED SATURDAY AND SUNDAY!!, and be closed after 5:00pm on weekdays.
Doesn't sound like it would be much of a club. Rumors of an organic garden going in its place. Good luck with that, hope you need lead in your diet.
I'll be sad to see it go...
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Re: Death of a Gun Club.

Postby smokewagon » Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:38 pm

And one more thing, they offered to pay 3x what the property the club sits on and the land owner rejected it. Then they offered to buy him a 500k property with a house in place of his property valued at 350k, this also was rejected. He just wants the club gone obviously.
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Re: Death of a Gun Club.

Postby JU-87 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:39 pm

Smoekwagon was (obviously) there at the meeting, as was I. What he wrote is true.

I tried to be as "nice" as I could, writing this post.

The board of directors, for the last 60 years, has failed the membership.

I (we) will now spend my "gun club money" somewhere else.

Sad. It was a nice club.
"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun... Let your gun, therefore, be the constant companion of your walks." Thomas Jefferson, 1785.

Read "War is a Racket" by MG Smedly Butler,USMC. He was awarded the Medal of Honor twice. http://warisaracket.org/

Henry Kissinger said, "Military Men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in Foreign Policy" and has not denied this quote to this day.
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Re: Death of a Gun Club.

Postby AlanM » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:08 am

My youngest daughter has a degree in bio-chemistry from OSU.
I just sent her an email describing this situation and asking if there could be any danger in consuming vegetables grown in that soil.
AlanM
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Re: Death of a Gun Club.

Postby JEaton » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:11 am

AlanM wrote:My youngest daughter has a degree in bio-chemistry from OSU.
I just sent her an email describing this situation and asking if there could be any danger in consuming vegetables grown in that soil.


I hope not, Elk Creek Hunt Club has all the grape vines for their winery out among the sporting clays course. Hmmm maybe that is why each bottle weighs 58 pounds :)
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Re: Death of a Gun Club.

Postby AlanM » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:46 am

I just got a reply from my daughter.

Here's my question and her response.

Code: Select all
Sorry I was actually in Seattle this weekend for a dog show and did not have a lot of time to shoot an email. My first instinct was yes, there is definitely a potential toxicity issue.

A cursory search found this:
https://soils.ifas.ufl.edu/lqma/Publication/Cao-03b.pdf

I'm sure there is other literature as well.

Tamara

On Fri, Mar 8, 2019 at 8:06 AM AlanM <AlanM@[i]redacted[/i]> wrote:

    A gun club in the Media area of Ohio that has been leasing land for
    about 50 years is being evicted at the end of the year.
    The son of the original owner apparently hates guns and gunners.

    He plans to used the land to grow organic vegetables.
    Is there any danger of contamination of root vegetables (or greens for
    that matter) grown in soil with a lot of lead in it?
    Would people eating those vegetables be in danger?


https://soils.ifas.ufl.edu/lqma/Publication/Cao-03b.pdf
It seems that there is an increase of lead in root vegetables grown in lead bullet contaminated soil.
AlanM
There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men. - RAH
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Re: Death of a Gun Club.

Postby Javelin Man » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:53 pm

Would any of this potentially make the gun club liable for cleaning the toxic soil? Are they just setting themselves up for paying for an EPA disaster?
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