Northampton County Club in Trouble

Local news outlets are reporting a gun club near Easton, Pennsylvania, is being investigated by the State Police to see if there is any merit to residents accusations that gunfire from the club is hitting their homes.

I haven’t been to the club, so I don’t really know what kind of backstops or baffling they have. From a Google Eyes view, it certainly looks like it’s possible rounds could be impacting residences.

Clubs get a lot of things like this blamed on them even when it’s not coming from the club directly. In some cases I’ve seen, the person hurling accusations at a club are not even downrange, or in one case was in the ballistic shadow of a mountain that stood between the club and the residence.

Hopefully if it does turn out the bullets are coming from the range, they have the resources to correct the problem. A lot of clubs live hand to mouth, and a determination that a range in unsafe can be enough to shut a club down for good.

I’d note that area has seen a lot of in-migration from New Jersey and New York, and there’s a contingent of residents that commute to New York City from that area, so you’ll have plenty of people in the area who don’t want to coexist with a gun club.

7 Responses to “Northampton County Club in Trouble”

  1. Joe Huffman says:

    A few years ago the city of Redmond Washington was trying to shut down a range and the mayor claimed she found “bullets from the range” in her yard. Reporters took pictures and wrote up the story with the usual amount of scary language.

    The “bullets” were unfired cartridges. It was never reported who actually put them there.

    Their ignorance is one of our most potent weapons.

    • R says:

      There was also the issue of the one of the local police departments being the only range users during an event were rounds did get off the property at the club Joe is discussing.

  2. Bram says:

    Their backstop could be higher, but I still doubt it unless people shooting there are being really stupid.

    One reason my club is very friendly to cops and invites them to practice and qual there free of charge.

    • Sebastian says:

      Having been an officer at a club for the past 6 years, that some of their members are complete idiots, prone to doing foolish and dangerous things, is a certainly.

  3. Bill Twist says:

    A quick google of “John Morganelli Gun” turns up some interesting things:

    “He’s being supported politically and financially by Pennsylvania’s most prominent gun control organization, CeaseFirePA.

    Over the summer, the Philadelphia-based group wrote Morganelli a $1,000 check for his campaign. On Wednesday, its executive director, Joe Grace, lauded Morganelli for his support for “common sense” gun safety measures, including the mandatory reporting requirement.”

    I wonder if that has anything to do with it.

  4. jdunmyer says:

    That backstop looks very inadequate to me. Our Club installed a “pavilion” or “gazebo” of sorts at the pistol range with an “eyebrow” that hangs low enough to keep rounds on the backstop. It took only days for bullet holes to appear on the eyebrow, constructed of a 2X4 box, sheathed with 3/4″ plywood and filled with gravel. It will stop a .30-06.

    Pistol shooters, especially novices, are all too prone to launching rounds over the backstop. If there’s “action” involved, IE: shooting on the clock, even experienced shooters can make a mistake by violating Rule 3 while reloading or clearing a malfunction.

    • Bill Twist says:

      If you look at the pistol range on Google Earth, the nearest residence is about a mile away from the firing line. Between that and the firing line it’s all farm fields except for a golf course. That’s at the extreme range of a handgun, and that’s only if you’re pointing it up at over 30 degrees elevation. I think the more likely problem would be with the rifle range. There are houses about a third of a mile downrange from that firing line.

      At my club there is a single house within half a mile of the firing range and close enough to be in line with it that it would be a concern, but the berms are pretty high. You’d have to intentionally shoot over them.