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Solitary foe disrupts gun range shooting test

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Joe Potosky, Sep 5, 2008.

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  1. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    Solitary foe disrupts Index gun range shooting test

    By Kaitlin Manry - Herald Writer - Washington

    INDEX -- The plan was: shoot toward the politicians.

    A half-dozen people gathered in waist-high grass Thursday morning to shoot in the direction of state representatives, local mayors and sportsmen.

    If the shooters were right, none of the birdshot from their shotguns would reach people lined up more than 600 feet away on the border of an old shooting club in Index.

    They wanted to prove that shooting clay targets on the land is not a threat to hikers and people walking along nearby railroad tracks. They hoped the event would convince the U.S. Forest Service, which owns the land, to reissue a gun club permit that expired years ago.

    They never found out how far the shot would fly.

    The shoot was called off after a lone protester refused to leave the field. Index resident Bob Hubbard leaned against a hay bale, drinking Coke and holding homemade signs protesting the sportsmen's use of the field. Hubbard said he has been hit by shot while walking near the club.

    "You don't have the right to wear your guns in the courthouse," he told the angry sportsmen. "You don't have the right to shoot me."

    Snohomish County Sheriff John Lovick, who would like to see the gun range re-­established, attended the event to better understand the issue. Unlike State Reps. Dan Kristiansen and Kirk Pearson, he did not volunteer to be shot at as part of the demonstration.

    Lovick tried to persuade Hubbard to leave, but he wouldn't budge. After calling county prosecutor Janice Ellis, Lovick determined Hubbard had a right to be on the land.

    Some of the sportsmen wanted to stand around Hubbard, cover him with a tarp and continue with the shoot, but they eventually heeded Lovick's advice and disbanded without a demonstration.

    "We just thought the appropriate thing to do was to stand down and walk away today," Lovick said.

    The shooters had been planning "Shoot for the Truth" for weeks and were upset to see the event preempted by one person. Like many at the event, Pearson, R-Monroe, was angry that Forest Service district ranger Barbara Busse didn't attend the event to see the shoot firsthand.

    "They should at least be courteous enough to come out," he said, standing in the field. "I think it's very irresponsible for Barbara Busse to not come out, and I'm very dismayed that the agency would take a cavalier approach to something like this. What's the U.S. Forest Service afraid of?"

    Busse was out of the office Thursday and couldn't be reached for comment. However, Forest Service spokeswoman Renee Bodine said Shoot for the Truth was unsanctioned. Forest Service workers had no reason to attend, she said.

    The Forest Service has conducted three live-fire tests at the club and found that some shot does make it past the property line, she said.

    "There was no necessity for any further testing," Bodine said. "It's not an event we'd attend because it's not authorized. I'm sorry if they're upset with us, but we have to be concerned about the general public."

    The Index Sportsmen Club used the land for 57 years until the Forest Service demanded a cease-fire about three years ago, said Debbie Copple, president of the club. The group's permit, which a club must have to shoot in a national forest, expired years earlier.

    In order to shoot on the land again, the club needs to submit a management plan and install a shot containment curtain to catch wayward shot, Bodine said.

    The curtain would cost $80,000 and is unnecessary, Copple said.

    As disappointed hunters prepared to drive away Thursday, Copple urged them to continue pressing for a permit and not to lose hope.

    "I'm sorry to have drug you out here for really no reason," she said. "We are hopeful that this is the beginning of the end of the stall and the beginning of the end of whatever that is going on that is so wrong."
     
  2. maclellan1911

    maclellan1911 TS Member

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    ok so they wont let you shoot clay targets, can you hunt on this land? With centerfire ammo? people just suck.
     
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