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The freedom to shoot act

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Limpy100, May 12, 2010.

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  1. Limpy100

    Limpy100 Member

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    A new bill in pa.being brought up by state ses. john wozniat and backed by sen.john eichelberger r-blair to make new guide lines for trap ranges. he does not want to see another club suffer as black moshanon rod and gun club has.they were shut down in 2006 for lead by DCNR being pushed by the park ranger and his relatives and friends in harrisburg.Rumor has it they wanted the club gone so they could ride snowmobiles there.the club is still closed and have proved no lead problems exist.The club offered to clean it up lime it and anything else they wanted but could not get a new lease on the 23 acres they have leased for over 50 or 60 yrs.the new bill would combine a lot of state and feds with dep and health departments to act to gather and try everything they can do before any range can be closed. He is pushing now to get the club open and it looks good.Thank him for his help and call anyone in pa. you know for help also. Last word is that it ok. Now if we can sue the park ranger and relatives and friends that caused this things will be fine.
     
  2. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

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    For a pdf copy of the "Freedom to Shoot" bill,
    Click Here

    This started when the DCNR shut down a trap range that had been opened fo a LONG, LONG time. There is some background information available on this bill available at the Altoona newspaper website. <a href="http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/529450.html?showlayout=0"> Click Here<?A>
     
  3. Limpy100

    Limpy100 Member

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    Pyrdek; very good job.If you get a chance could you post this on shot gun world.We need all the help we can get.Thank you in advance
     
  4. Jack L. Smith

    Jack L. Smith Member

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    I recall that a previous PA Gov. (maybe Shaffer) signed a bill back in the 70's that protected existing gun clubs, trap ranges etc. from being shut down. It provided protection from other agencies, citizens groups & neighbors as long as the club was operating properly. It may have provided protection from complaints about noise or nuisense claims.

    Perhaps that language, if broad emough, provides protection from the cases sited above.

    Any lawyers or gun club exec's on TS have a way to find that specific legislation?

    js in PA
     
  5. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

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    Limpy,

    I have sent it to the Shotgun World forums. Thanks for clueing me into that group. I didn't know they were in existence.

    jcl,

    Can you give me a web site or other source of info on the 7H club in Patton being closed? If I can get some details, I will try to pass it on to some other trap clubs in my area.
     
  6. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    1,032
    Vermont has a specific law preventing gun clubs from being shut down. I don't know the details, but I'm sure a little research will turn it up.

    One interesting point brought up by the Governor was that having a place to shoot was better than a private back yard. He knew Vermonters are going to shoot, regardless. Better to have a "little" incentive to not do it in your own back yard. Which is legal in most places...

    Bruce
     
  7. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

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    Limpy,

    I sent the info to Shotgun World clay targets forum yesterday but it has not appeared. It looked like there was no new postings went on at all. Is this normal for that group? It seems like a waste to send something if it doesn't appear till a long timer later.

    JCL
    I just left left a message for Roy Holtz and will see what he says when/if he calls back.
     
  8. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

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    Talked to Mr. Holtz a few days ago. He confirmed that the DER has forced the 7H club to close down. They are unable to reach any kind of agreement over the past few years. 7 H is willing to sell their land to DER but DER lawyers are imposing requests that the 7h is not willing to accept since it would leave them without the land and with the potential of a very large debt.

    They are barred from ever having an shooting activity on the land they currently own as I understand the situation.

    Mr. Holtz has had several conversations and e-mails with the club's lawyers and DER representatives but DER seems to be balking at any reasonable attempts to settle the matter as I understand the situation.

    I have also received, from a different source, the following DER document which outlines their guidelines. The documant also cites an 88 page EPA document which has a link to it listed in this DER document. I apologize for the rather congested appearance of the document but that is the way it was formatted when I received it.


    255-5400-001 / September 7, 2002 / Page Number 1
    DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
    Bureau of Land Recycling and Waste Management
    DOCUMENT NUMBER: 255-5400-001
    TITLE: Outdoor Shooting Range Guidance
    EFFECTIVE DATE: September 7, 2002

    AUTHORITY:
    The following statutes grant the Department authority to act to address pollution at sites, including outdoor
    shooting ranges: Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act, the Solid Waste Management Act, and the Clean Streams Law.

    POLICY:This guidance is intended to be used by operators of outdoor shooting ranges and by Department staff
    concerning activities at outdoor shooting ranges.
    PURPOSE:
    To provide guidance on the operation, modification and location of outdoor shooting ranges in order to prevent,
    eliminate or mitigate hazards to human health or the environment resulting from the use of lead shot.

    APPLICABILITY:
    This guidance provides recommended procedures for implementation by operators of organized outdoor shooting
    ranges and information for Department staff in responding to environmental issues and questions pertaining to
    outdoor shooting ranges.

    DISCLAIMER:
    The policies and procedures outlined in this guidance document are intended to supplement existing requirements.
    Nothing in the policies or procedures will affect regulatory requirements.
    The policies and procedures herein are not an adjudication or a regulation. There is no intent on the part of the
    Department to give these rules that weight or deference. This document establishes the framework, within which
    DEP will exercise its administrative discretion in the future. DEP reserves the discretion to deviate from this
    policy statement if circumstances warrant.

    PAGE LENGTH: 88 pages
    LOCATION: Volume 5, Tab 70
    TECHNICAL GUIDANCE: Some general principles should be utilized when considering options to address
    environmental concerns at outdoor shooting ranges. There are several areas of general environmental concern that
    should be examined at outdoor shooting ranges. These concerns, as well as general principles pertaining to them,
    follow:
    • Protection of surface water bodies. Routine shooting (shot drop areas) should not occur over streams,
    springs, ponds, wetlands, including swamps or marshes, or in areas which are subject to eroding into wetlands
    or streams. Wetlands are important habitats for migratory animals, fish and organisms at or near the bottom of
    255-5400-001 / September 7, 2002 / Page Number 2
    the food chain. A single exposure to lead in such a setting can significantly harm fish and other animal
    receptors. Entire flocks of exposed birds, such as ducks or geese, can be adversely affected by lead exposure.
    Lead can bioaccumulate in fish and other exposed wildlife. This can create a risk to the health of higher order
    wildlife and humans who may ingest them.
    • Elimination of routes of lead migration. Lead dust and minute particles can be subject to dusting and
    enhanced migration through wind and soil erosion. When this is an identified concern, measures should be
    taken to minimize or prevent such migration. This could be done through establishment of vegetation or other
    soil erosion controls. In addition, if soil tests indicate that soil in the shot drop area is acidic, the soil can be
    treated chemically with lime or certain phosphate compounds to prevent dissolution of the lead and
    subsequent migration to surface waters or other areas of the environment.
    • Elimination of direct human contact with lead-contaminated soil. Lead is a hazard when ingested by
    humans, particularly children. Since active shooting ranges inherently require some access control for safety
    reasons, ingestion of lead-contaminated soil is not normally a concern. Ranges should provide some means to
    prevent unauthorized access by children. These may be fences, barriers or sufficient isolation distances.
    Techniques to contain lead can also be utilized to minimize or prevent direct exposure to lead-contaminated
    soil.
    • Elimination of features which may attract wildlife to contaminated shot drop areas.
    • Establishment of long-term goals to change from lead shot to non-toxic shot materials such as bismuth,
    tungsten and/or steel.
    These environmental concerns and some practices that can be used at outdoor shooting ranges to address them are
    explained in greater detail in EPA’s Best Management Practices for Lead at Outdoor Shooting Ranges. That
    document is incorporated by reference and is included as the appendix to this guidance. That document can also be
    accessed online at www.epa.gov/region2/waste/leadshot.
    APPENDICES: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2 (January 2001). Best Management Practices
    for Lead at Outdoor Shooting Ranges. New York, New York: Division of Enforcement and Compliance
    Assistance, RCRA Compliance Branch; report no. EPA-902-B-01-001.
     
  9. the old guy

    the old guy TS Member

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    You've all got some of the facts straight here, but a little knowledge is dangerous, so please bear with me. Park Manager, Chris Reese and his daughter, Rachel Waggoner, went on this crusade 4 years ago. Right off the bat, there's a ban on nepotism in State Government. No one has even questioned this fact. They both have college degrees in recreation and/or park management. They had no expertise or training on taking lead samples, yet they gathered up a jar of pellets they scraped off the ground and somewhere came up with a percent of lead in the area. Yes, we have evidence that they wanted to give our clubhouse and grounds to the snowmobilers. Yes, we have evidence that they and Reese's wife stated they were going to get rid of us during a Church Social event in Philipsburg. They shut us down for the "Lead" problem. Unfortunately, our membership decided at the outset not to hire a lawyer and fight them. We looked for other alternatives, but found none. Finally under the leadership of Dave Laux, we hired a lawyer, a consultant from a list of "approved" consultants provided by DCNR, several experts in the range management field and after spending over $30,000.00 we have proven without a shadow of a doubt, legally, scientifically, environmentally and well within the bounds of common sense, that we and our lead are no problem to the birds and bees, flora and fauna or humans that frequent the park. The original "Scope of Work" provided by Reese and Waggoner was constantly changed, modified and updated as we began to provide answers to their "problem". They tried to nickle and dime us by making us study a Robin who MIGHT have eaten a worm that MIGHT have ingested a lead pellet and MIGHT have fed it to its' young. We had to study the moles and shrews that MIGHT ingest lead pellets and then be eaten by a hawk. We had to study Kestrels who MIGHT catch a Dragonfly or Mouse that MIGHT have ingested lead. We had to test our water well. They thought they had us there, but we found NO lead in it. We had to study PAH's, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons which coulkd be found in clay targets. PAH's are found in soil, oil and COAL!!!! We debunked that when we explained they were putting down mega-millions more PAH's by paving parking lots and roads with asphalt. We are exposed to mega-millions of PAH's from COAL trucks running the highways. They claim we are shooting in wetlands. Our lawyer visited the site wearing high rubber boots and asked me where the wetlands were that we were shooting into. I told him we were standing in it. The swampy area was well outside the area of shotfall. I took him to a boundary line and told him to straddle it. I explained he could fire a gun with his right hand into an area approved for hunting but could not fire with his left hand because that was club property. We have gathered an impressive array of State Senators and Representatives who have worked tirelessly on our behalf. Lots of mistakes were made along the way. We were referred to someone in the NRA Range Division. He was the wrong guy!! We discovered that fact by accident. The right guy was across the hall but the first guy for some reason didn't send us to him. That wasted a year. The right guy, Eric Whitescarver, would have helped us immeasurably, but by that time we had spent tons of money and had far surpassed the environmental impact studies, risk management analyses, BMP's that Eric would have guided us through. At this point, we have presented John Norbeck, Parks Department Chief, with a lease, a check for one year lease payment, an ESP (Environmental Stewardship Plan)also called a BMP (Best Management Plan) and an EPR (End of Project Report). These documents total over 350 pages. The DCNR Attorney, Kim Hummel, told our lawyer that they would need 10 days to review the documentation. So far they are in the 20th day. They flat refuse to sign the lease. They don't want us to drop lead in this Park, yet they operate dozens of Parks throught the State that have been built on Revolutionary War, Civil War and other battles where lead was the projectile of choice. They have done nothing to remediate that lead laden ground and allow thousands of people to traverse those grounds annually. Throughout all this, Norbeck, Reese and others have attended meetings with DEP, Game Commission, Fish Commission and our Legislators. Norbeck stated at one meeting that they had given us a new lease and we wouldn't sign it. That document said the "Discharge of Firearms was Prohibited". Norbeck denied that phrase was in the lease. Our lawyer pointed out to him where it appeared 3 times. Norbeck presented an expert from the Game Commission who is responsible for the rifle ranges on State Game Lands. He told us that they "cleaned up" the rifle ranges, including Scotia, by doing some minor excavating, some minor sifting to remove the big chunks of lead, treated the material with a compound called EcoBond and put the lead laden material right back into the backstops. Our Consultant, Dr. Richard Peddicord, in his ESP explains how we would use EcoBond and lime to neutralize the lead. Norbeck's only expert witness actually substantiated our plan. At that meeting, Norbeck greeted Peddicord, shook hands with him and told him how pleased he was with the work Peddicord had done for him on a project in another State. He was happy with the results of that project but Peddicord's work here wasn't satisfactory. DEP, Fish Commission and Game Commission have publicly stated that they have no problem with our operation. We are in a standoff not knowing whether this denial is Norbeck, his boss, DCNR Chif John Quigley or Gov. Rendell. That's about it. We're waiting and would appreciate any pressure anyone out there can put on the powers that can get our lease signed.
     
  10. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

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    To: The Old Guy


    Thank you for providing much additional detailed information as to how this problem originated and then what actions took place.

    With the information you provided, maybe other clubs that face a similar attack can see what actions to take and, probably more important, what things NOT to do.

    This is a matter that should concern all clay target shooters, be they trap, skeet, sporting or just plain recreational non-organized shooters.
     
  11. the old guy

    the old guy TS Member

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    It's important to stop any rumors that we know are floating around. There's so much more detail and if anyone needs it they can write to me. Our findings are proprietary but we will help where we can.
     
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