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How Gun Clubs Die

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Voolfie, Nov 13, 2011.

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  1. Voolfie

    Voolfie Member

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    Wilmington, DE
    Today, I thought I'd just visit a local club I'd heard about to find out about them: their hours, whether or not they're open at all to the public, what the process is for membership. This particular Club is in Gibbsboro, NJ.

    I pulled into the lot and walked up to a couple of guys standing outside the clubhouse and told them I was new and asked if this was indeed the club house. I entered and walked up to the bar and engaged a fellow in conversation about how things worked. He was quite friendly, but indicated that the individual behind the bar was the person to speak to. When he came over I told him that I was interested in the club and wanted to know about membership. He said, "Membership's closed. How'd you get in here? I replied, "I walked in the door". He said, "That door's supposed to be closed." The friendly fellow at the bar said, "Doesn't he just need two sponsors and have his application in by 12/1?" The "gentleman" behind the bar said, "Yeah, but membership's closed". "OK", I said, "Thanks for the information" and I left. As I was leaving I heard someone say, "Got to keep that door closed." Now, I was dressed in slacks with a turtleneck and sweater, so it's not like I was wearing a Swastika or anything. So, I'm absolutely floored by the kind of reception I got. Do these people not know or care that with people like that as their 'public face' their membership is going to dwindle and that their club is going to be out of existence within a generation? Maybe they were serving alcohol without a license or something, but the rudeness was staggering.

    I just don't understand clubs like that. Obviously, I'll never go back there again and there are plenty of other clubs in the region, but this one is fairly close to me - which is why I decided to look into it.

    It's just pathetic and tragic.

    -Voolfie
     
  2. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Sounds more like a bar posing as a gun club.
     
  3. shotgunpeople

    shotgunpeople Active Member

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    Sad story but I have a feeling this is happening at more than just this club...

    Bar hounds are taking over the clubs like this, and it is a hard thing to change back to a shooting club after the damage has been done...

    Dave in SC
     
  4. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    IL(The gun friendly Southern Part)
    How about a name so everyone will know where we are not welcome.
     
  5. quartering

    quartering Active Member

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    two points: first, the key word is club. most clubs don't allow walk ins - you have to be invited in as a guest of a member. and potential members are either invited to join or are vetted by members prior to membership. second, i've seen several clubs reducing membership numbers and increasing annual fees substantially in an effort to make the club more exclusive - face it, the top 10 guys in any club could own it, so why should they want to have to deal with the other 490 or 990 of us around if they don't have to? it's just the way it is. good luck with it
     
  6. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    CLUB GEEZERS STRIKE AGAIN! LOL!!

    -Gary
     
  7. RobertT

    RobertT Well-Known Member

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    Knowing the name would be helpful, not only for the benefit of thoughtful shooters but perhaps this misfit club might have concerned members who will take notice?

    Robert
     
  8. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Good point Robert.
     
  9. Eric XT

    Eric XT TS Member

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    I tried to join another club this summer and the same thing happened to me but the guy told me "This is a private club so go f**k off." I was very surprised when I heard the guy say that.
     
  10. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Private clubs can do whatever they want.

    Unfortunately this usually does not coincide with the wishes of the general public.

    HM
     
  11. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    Before I read, not my club....

    I usually visit two or three new clubs each year. Two this year!

    You be surprised how visitors are treated at some clubs (even clubs that hold shoots, but not having one underway when visited).

    Usually within ten minutes my wife and I make eye contact and know both are thinking "never coming here again"...

    I can only imagine what first time shooters (possible new members) are thinking when they are basically ignored.
     
  12. Voolfie

    Voolfie Member

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    I have had some experience over the years with prestigious and exclusive private clubs (not just gun clubs) - both as a member and as a guest/prospective member - and I've never been treated like that. No, there is no excuse for that kind of behavior.

    I'm not entirely sure why, but I'd rather not say the name of the club. Trap shooters in the Southern New Jersey area will likely know the club of which I speak.

    -V
     
  13. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    Unbelieveable.



    But then again...not that hard to believe. I know a rifle and pistol club like that. Only accepts "x" number of members at a time - you have to wait for somebody to die, or drop their membership...then send your membership application in during a ONE WEEK period, and wait for the reply. If you miss the one-week annual application window, or they run out of slots before they get to you - "no soup for you."



    On the other hand, there's another private club 45 minutes from there, which will admit anyone who will pay the dues. They're at 800 or 900 members, have plenty of money for projects, hold some kind of match almost every week, and have lots of volunteers to help out.



    Some clubs just want to be their own little treehouse.
     
  14. roger8918

    roger8918 Member

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    My guess is it's Square Circle Sportsmen
     
  15. bggwind

    bggwind TS Member

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    I'm not sure if it's too far out of your way, or if you're already aware of this particular club, but the gang down at the Quinton Sportsmans Club are among the nicest and genuine you'll ever meet. Very active shooting community, and outstanding folks. They were very warm and welcoming to me, and I try to get back to shoot there whenever I am able (even though there are 3 other clubs closer).

    http://www.quintonsportsmensclub.com/
     
  16. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    I understand the right of private clubs to restrict their membership to whoever they want and how ever many they choose. That said, do they have to be absolute dickheads about it as per the OP's story? I just don't see how any club(private or not) can justify this sort of behavior.
     
  17. 682Fan

    682Fan TS Member

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    It is Square Circle. I was a member there years ago. I am surprised that you got in the door so easily.
    You must be recommended / sponsored by two members, basically go through an introductory period of unspecified length and attend meetings, be voted on (in your absence) and finally sworn in. They want to eyeball you for a while.
    Members must perform two workdays each year or pay more.
    With only one trap, a bit too pricey for me at $200 / year.

    Arnie
     
  18. Ross

    Ross Well-Known Member

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    Can honestly say I've never been treated like that, have been to clubs that weren't exactly friendly right away but it didn't take long to find the "right" person. Some that I just didn't feel comfortable with, maybe because I didn't have a ton of money to spend, so I just kept looking. Most of my shooting was in the upper mid west at small 2 to 4 trap clubs in Ia.--Ill.--Wisconsin. Since moving to Ga. in 86 I have joined a very nice private club they do allow guests and do have a waiting list as it is on the small side & limited to 600 members. PLEASE DON'T let this make you think that they are all that way. Hope you find the "right" clubs and have a good time. Good Luck---Ross Puls
     
  19. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I had been shooting on and off at the Portland Gun Club, and showed up one day when they were having a private pig roast for club members. One of the club officers invited me to grab a plate and dig in. After I finished my pork dinner, I signed up as a new member.
     
  20. Rick in Ohio

    Rick in Ohio Member

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    Columbus, OH
    I belong to 20 rilfe & trap clubs around the country and I have only run across one club that really needs a change in management. This club I am talking about I was a member there also but I got smart and left. I do feel sorry for the members that are still there and it could be a great club to shoot at to if only they had a change in management.

    Management is the key word!
     
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