Gun club must be safe

More than 16 months after stray bullets fired from the North Ottawa Rod and Gun Club outdoor range found their way to the Cutter Park subdivision in Grand Haven Township, it’s time to move forward with a plan to re-open the range.
Feb 25, 2013

 

Club officials did the right and responsible thing by shutting down the range in

September 2011, and have worked hard over the past year and a half in developing a plan to include increased safety measures.

The club brought in NRA experts to evaluate the range, but no recommendations have yet been received, despite the fact that several months have passed since the evaluation.

That left gun club officials to take matters into their own hands. Instead of waiting around for a solution to drop out of the sky, they instead formed a committee to visit several gun clubs across the state. Those proactive efforts have led to several planned safety improvements at the club, which will be implemented this spring.

Then comes the issue of opening the outdoor range.

Some feel that, because of a nearly spotless safety record prior to the incident back in September 2011, the rifle and handgun range should be allowed to open without delay. Others feel that, without the endorsement of outside experts, the club should not be allowed to reopen the range.

We commend the gun club and its leaders for taking a proactive approach to enhancing the safety of the range. At the same time, we feel strongly that an outside safety group must first sign off on the safety improvements made to the range.

The North Ottawa Rod and Gun Club is a valuable community resource. It provides a safe place for area residents to enjoy the shooting sports, while at the same time strengthening the future of shooting sports by introducing youngsters to gun safety.

We’re happy to see the majority of the club’s weekly activities have continued despite the closure of the outdoor range. We eagerly await the opening of the range, but only if we’re certain that every necessary step has been taken to make it as safe as possible.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

Comments

MacUser

I think a big thing is missing. The gun club is extremely safe, the Grand Valley police that were shooting there are not. IF the rules that are posted are followed, there is no way that a bullet can go outside of the range. IF the people disregard the posted rules, then it is a set up for what happened. Best rule that the gun club could make is no more police training here, just let the target shooters and people who actually read and follow the rules shoot.

wmugrad

Yes GVSU caused the incident that resulted in the worker to be hit by a bullet. They were 100% at fault THAT DAY!! What about all the houses that had bullets in them not caused by that particular shooting? Or the bullets that some young kids dug up while playing in their yard? The gun club IS NOT safe and hasn't been for quite some time though it was trusted to being up to date on range design that the hole in the siding of houses was thought to be from thrown rocks. It took someone to be shot, to take a closer look at those mysterious holes in sidings, which then got owners to look on roofs. Many more bullets were found so Macuser, please explain to me and the Cutter Park residents how the Gun Club is extremely safe!

wmugrad

Yes GVSU caused the incident that resulted in the worker to be hit by a bullet. They were 100% at fault THAT DAY!! What about all the houses that had bullets in them not caused by that particular shooting? Or the bullets that some young kids dug up while playing in their yard? The gun club IS NOT safe and hasn't been for quite some time though it was trusted to being up to date on range design that the hole in the siding of houses was thought to be from thrown rocks. It took someone to be shot, to take a closer look at those mysterious holes in sidings, which then got owners to look on roofs. Many more bullets were found so Macuser, please explain to me and the Cutter Park residents how the Gun Club is extremely safe!

GH55

This really should be a situation where not just following the rules is the case. If you don't follow the rules someone dies! Kind of like driving, but we know how well those rules are followed also.
The mode of operation should be containment.
I used to shoot on ranges while in the military that provided almost complete containment. The range protection consisted of a number of concrete arches with approximately 4 inch thick lumber on the face. On a 350 meter range I seem to recall about 5 arches which gave the impression of shooting down a tunnel. You could shoot over the arches but your angle of aim would have been well over 75 degrees from horizontal.
Depending on a dirt berm, a 7 foot height difference from shooter to target and the rules being followed 100% of the time, leads to 16 month closures. Building houses directly down range of a rifle shooting range was also not well thought out!

rainbowjoe

The obvious solution is to simply ban the GVSU police force from the facility. My suspicion is that some pent-up Type A personalities were a bit reckless/careless with their weapons during training. As a result, a man got shot, property was damaged and our shooting range is closed. Increase the height of the berms and install overhead barriers to prevent errant shooting. No need for "outside experts." There is ample local expertise.

Eyebolt

Again it is ignored that rounds were found in walls, roofs, gutters, and etc that dated before the incident where a man was injured. Their safety record was perceived to be "nearly spotless" before this incident so the holes in siding were generally chalked up to be caused by kids, lawnmowers throwing rocks, and so on. It was only after the day that a house and a man was it that people started to wonder what was behind the holes and started finding the bullets.

wmugrad

I love how there is NO mentioning of the houses which had bullet damage caused PRIOR to the GVSU incident. While they are at fault for that particular day, they are not to blame for the numerous bullets found embedded in roofs, siding and being dug up by young children out playing. I, for one am ashamed at the Tribune for not even so much as bringing up those facts! Shame on you and shame on the Gun Club president for his obvious stupidity over this issue. There are some major safety issues that need to be addressed before opening and raising the berm doesn't come close to making it safe!

SPYKE

I have been out there. The trees on top of the berm are riddled with bullet marks fresh and old. In fact most of the trees with bullet scars are dying thus the reason multiple bullets find there way to Cutter Park. Without an overhead roof like Muskegons facility there will continue to be bullets raining. Lets go for a bike ride kids put your flaq jackets back on.

 

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