End in sight for gun club controversy

The North Ottawa Rod and Gun Club finally received clearance to go ahead with its planned improvements for its outdoor rifle and pistol range.
Mar 6, 2014


It’s about time.

The range has been closed since Sept. 29, 2011 — well over two years — after several bullets fired from the club struck houses, and even a person, in the nearby Cutter Park subdivision.

Since that time, the Rod and Gun Club has gone to great lengths to make safety improvements to the range, and rightly so. While the gun club has been in existence for more than half a century, the surrounding area has seen an explosion of new development. What used to be undeveloped fields and farmland now features sidewalks and kids on scooters.

Still, the North Ottawa Rod and Gun Club remains a valuable asset to our community, and the outdoor shooting range is one of the club’s most popular features. The club’s membership has taken a hit with the range being shut down. The outdoor range also generates revenue for the club through sight-in days during the fall, and that money has been lost over the past few years.

The latest chapter in the ongoing saga allows the club to move forward with plans to institute a “no blue sky” baffle design — something that would, in theory, make it almost impossible for bullets to leave the range.

There are still plenty of hoops to jump through for the club, but the fact that progress is finally being made is a great step in the right direction.

We’re eager for the day when the range officer can again announce that the range is “hot,” and shooters can once again have a place to sight in their rifles or try out their latest hand-loads. 

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty 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.



Thanks go out to the Board of Directors and the many others who volunteer many hours to the North Ottawa Rod & Gun Club (NORGC)

Correction: The Club has never fired a bullet. The bullet(s) that left left the range were fired from the firearms being used by the GVSU Police during training. The accidental or negligent action caused many area enthusiasts to lose their favorite spot to hone their skills, ensure a repair was done correctly or just to "plink".

North Ottawa Rod & Gun Club 'had' a long relationship with many LE Agencies allowing them to train with live ammunition at no cost.

An article following up on status of those relationships would be appreciated.

The expenses incurred by NORGC to resolve this must be huge. I will continue to support NORGC and encourage others to join and/or come out for events.


Though all of this did the investigation expose the greedy genius(es) who granted housing development downrange of a “range”? I am pleased to see the NORGC didn't "take the bullet" and get legislated out of existence as I expected. I have a birthday gift I am itching to calibrate there.



Even though the day that the man was shot in Cutter Park was when the GVSU Police were training on NORGC's property, there were several other rounds of different caliber pulled from houses in the neighborhood. Those rounds had existed in these homes for months to years prior to the GVSU incident.

As for the follow up on the status of the relationships with LE...per the requirements of the Special Land Use permit, those relationships are over. Law Enforcement will not be allowed to shoot at NORGC.

Tri-cities realist

Pretty sad that the range will be safer without law enforcement practicing there. Sad but true.


The trees in the background are riddled with hundreds of bullet scars old and new. It was just a matter of time. A true no blue sky range is the only way to ensure bullets do not leave the range.
After it opens I'll be checking the trees again for fresh scars.


Put names and or pictures of the people involved in the process of approving a sub division down range of a rifle club right on the side of the Rod and Gun club and encourage complainants to contact those people. They are the idiots that approved it all. Gun club has the right to stay open - its not the clubs fault. Go after the nincon poops who signed and voted yes on all the subsequent hearings at the planning commission also.


The club was there long before most development in the area. Don't blame the club for poor planning and zoning decisions made by others.


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