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Miramar gun range (Article)

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Joe Potosky, May 19, 2010.

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  1. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    Congressman Hunter aims sight at military over gun range

    By Ed Zieralski, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

    Back when he was a student at San Diego State, Congressman Duncan Hunter, R-Lakeside, often shot trap and skeet at the San Diego Shotgun Sports Association on what now is the Marine Corps Air Station.

    “It was a great, central place for us and all San Diegans to shoot, a place for veterans and wounded warriors to go shoot, too,” Hunter said yesterday.

    But in October 2008, the range was closed by the Marine Corps due to environmental concerns. The Marines said too much lead was leaving the range and damaging nearby environmentally sensitive areas.

    “This range has been there since 1957,” Hunter said.

    Hunter has been working with range officials and the military to get the range reopened since the Marines closed it, but thus far he has been unsuccessful. That may change now that Hunter today successfully added an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2010 Defense Authorization Act that outlines funds for the Department of Defense’s fiscal year spending.

    The House Armed Services Committee today passed the amendment that requires the Marines to complete its environmental assessments by Dec. 31and get the range reopened as soon as possible. Both sides on the committee had to review and agree to Hunter’s amendment before it passed today as part of an en bloc package.

    “We’re not putting anything into law, but this asks the Secretary of the Navy to look at this, get the range open and do the necessary environmental assessments needed to keep it open,” Hunter said today. “The people of San Diego have had a longstanding relationship with the military there and to have that relationship cut short is really upsetting.”

    The Miramar gun range has been open since 1957 and most recently has been operated by the San Diego Shotgun Sports Association. The range has been providing recreational shooting for active duty military and their families in addition to the public. Olympic shooting hopefuls such as Susan Sledge and Brian Burrows practiced at the range because it has the only international trap range in the area. Both have been forced to shoot elsewhere since the range closed.

    Robert Keefe, president of the San Diego Shotgun Sports Association, said on the group’s Web site that the Marine Corps has an inaccurate interpretation of the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act. He said the Marines also are talking about conducting a multi-million dollar remediation that could cost upwards of $30 million.

    Keefe said today that he is encouraged that the range will open soon.

    “We’ve been going back and forth with the Marines since they closed the range in 2008,” Keefe said. “This has been a non-stop, daily battle for us. I even went back to Washington and met with Hunter and the Deputy Commandant. I’m cautiously optimistic that the way the language was written in the amendment that we’ll get the range reopened. This clearly puts the ball in the Marines’ court. And we’re hopeful the Marines will take action to reopen the range before that.”

    Keefe said the Association has contacted the Environmental Protection Agency to get direction on a lead management program and to address the Marine's environmental concerns. He said SDSSA has collected and recycled its lead shot many times in its 35-year history at the military base. He said the Association has prepared a formal Lead Management Plan based on the EPA’s Best Management Practices, and the Association is ready to address any environmental concerns at the range through "responsible practices."

    “SDSSA is working closely with the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Congressman Duncan Hunter in formulating a strategy and putting together a plan that will show, what we feel is the best, most logical and cost effective way to address the environmental concerns," Keefe said on the Association's Web site

    The Miramar gun range was founded as the North Island Gun Club in 1947, but the Navy requested the range move to Miramar Naval Air Station in 1957. In 1977, it was relocated by the Navy to the south side of the base, near the junction of Highway 163 and I-15, off Kearny Villa Road. The San Diego Shotgun Sports Association formed in 2001 and has had a lease with the Marines.

    The Association had more than 600 members at the time the range was closed. Keefe said that number has dropped to 493. He said the closure cost the Association its Scholastic Trap Shooting team that was ranked No. 1 in the state two years ago. He said the range also offered hunter safety and shotgun safety instruction and other programs that had to be discontinued due to the shut down of the range.

    "This closure not only affected our membership, but it hurt the entire shooting community of San Diego," Keefe said.
     
  2. gyrine

    gyrine TS Member

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    Good to hear that some progress is being made in getting the range back open. This has been a typical governmental screw job, "I'm from the Government and I'm here to help you" bulls***. As a proud former Marine I am extremly embarrased the the Corps has done little or nothing to get the range back open. I spent a lot of weekends back in the 80's shooting registered targets at Mirimar, it was a first class facility and shotgunners from all over SoCal looked forward to shooting there. Duncan Hunter has been trying to get something moving for the past two years, when even he, as chairman of the armed services committee, cannot get the ball rolling there is some serious liberal stonewalling taking place. Congressman Hunter is to be commended for continuing to push. Thank you Sir. gyrine, Rich Strickland
     
  3. Gary Waalkes

    Gary Waalkes Well-Known Member

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    Several years ago I was working a contract that took me out to San Diego and I always looked forward to the weekend and shooting at Miramar. Hope they get it open again.
     
  4. chipped1

    chipped1 TS Member

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    Here is an article from a year ago. Feels like groundhog day to me.

    Hunter Prepares Amendment to Reopen Miramar Gun Range
    For Immediate Release: June 16, 2009

    Washington DC - Congressman Duncan Hunter announced today that he will be offering an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2010 Defense Authorization Act that attempts to restart recreational shooting activities at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar. The gun range at MCAS Miramar, previously operated by the San Diego Shotgun Sports Association, was closed last year when lead shot was discovered beyond range boundaries.

    The Hunter amendment specifically encourages the Marine Corps to expedite its Preliminary Assessment and Site Investigation and also submit a report to Congress that includes a plan and timeline to reopen the range.

    "For more than fifty years, San Diego families have enjoyed recreational shooting and received quality firearm instruction at the Miramar Gun Range," said Congressman Hunter. "Indefinitely closing the range would deny these families and our Marines one of the few locations available for trap and skeet shooting, as well as recreational marksmanship. I look forward to working with the Marine Corps to ensure the continuation of a shooting range at Miramar that accommodates anyone interested in these activities."

    During its operation, the Miramar Gun Range provided free recreational shooting to Marines and their families. It also was the only Olympic training venue in the region and a favorite spot for local, state and federal law enforcement to augment their training.

    The House Armed Services Committee is currently considering the Fiscal Year 2010 Defense Authorization Act, legislation that authorizes programs and funding for the Department of Defense for the upcoming fiscal year. Upon its approval by the House, the legislation will be referred to the Senate for consideration.
     
  5. Buster 25

    Buster 25 Member

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    I also was dismayed to learn of Miramar Trap Range being closed in 08.
    When My Son Graduated from Navy Boot Camp, He and I shoot Miramar on his first Liberty...
    I also ran my First 100 straight that same shoot.
    HOWEVER, I can understand the MARINE CORPS position too some degree.
    The MARINE CORPS took it up the SIX... Big time back in the early 1960 when it was forced to close Camp Mathews, Near La Hoya, Calif.
    The MARINE CORPS fought Tooth & Nail too keep the property...why? ORDNANCE Tons of Ordnance.
    Camp Mathews was the primary training base for MARINES shipping out during WW-ll & Korea.
    Well, Developers just had too have the property...Political pressure was brought to bare, the property was turned over too USC, Shortly there-after a housing development was built.
    When the first seasonal rains came, all sorts of STUFF washed out of the hills & valleys...unexploded M-26 frag. grenades, 60 & 81-mm Mortar 20mm & 30mm shells, 90mm Tank round.
    I was a member of the EOD team from 1st Tank Bn. that recovered the Tank 90mm duds.
    As I recall no was hurt or killed, However, There was more then a few set's of dirty underware in the Greater San Diego, Area that month.
    All I am saying here is Don't come down too harsh on the CORPS.
    With the Clowns in the White House and the Congress, The MARINE CORPS is just covering it's SIX.
     
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