I’m trying to join a private shooting club.Â The Pennsylvania Game Commission has closed the public outdoor range in my county, and although I maintain a membership at at Classic Pistol, a local shooting range, it’s limited to indoors, 25 yards.Â The cool thing about it, though, is you can shoot full auto, rifle, pistol; pretty much whatever you want, except for black powder and API rounds.Â Their facilities, for an indoor range, are second to none in the area.
But this place I want to join is very local, and the facilities are nice.Â They have a top notch trap and skeet setup, an indoor pistol range, a plinking range, and a 200 yard outdoor rifle range.Â It’s available for shooting all hours.Â There is a downside though.Â They don’t allow magazines to be loaded with more than five rounds, even on the plinking range.
I got a letter today stating that I have to qualify, and be voted in.Â Now, I totally understand qualification; they have an interest in making sure I am not a dummy, and can safely handle and shoot a firearm. Â But what worries me is this part of the letter:
PLEASE NOTE. ALL GUNS MUST BE CASED WHEN ENTERING THE CLUB.Â HOLSTERS ARE NOT A PROPER CARRYING CASE.
It’s a private club, and they can make their own rules.Â But that significantly annoys me, enough to make me reconsider whether or not I want to join.Â On the one hand, they have really nice facilities, and it’s close to where I live.Â On the other hand, it’s shooting club, an NRA affiliated shooting club, in a state where 6% of the population is licensed to carry a loaded concealed handgun, and these guys are uncomfortable with the idea of concealed carry?
I can walk into my other indoor shooting range carrying a concealed weapon with no problem.Â Their only rule is that, in the showroom, the firearm must either be cased or in a holster.Â That’s reasonable.Â Being a gun club, and not being comfortable with carry is kind of stupid.
I’ve been told they’ve had problems with bozos at the clubs doing things that are unsafe.Â I am sympathetic to this, and understand making new potential members jump through some hoops, by requiring sponsorship from current members, having to pass a safe shooting test, getting voted in at a meeting, etc.Â I think these are all reasonable things for a private club.Â But I have no desire to join a club that treats its members as potential bozos, or accidents waiting to happen, and institutes rules that treat them as such.Â That’s what anti-gunners do, and I have little tolerance for it.
So the question is, do I want to tolerate the rules, join, and work to try to change the club from within?Â Or do I tell them to get lost, andÂ continue to drive an hour and a half to Lehigh County every time I want to do some clay or outdoor shooting?Â I’m not sure.Â I’m always a fan of trying to work within the system, but I don’t take kindly to being treated as anything other than an adult who knows how to competently handle, and yes, carry a firearm.