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Clubs / Ranges becoming overly restrictive and obtuse

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  • 31-10-2022 12:07pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 21


    Hi all,

    Perhaps it’s just the ranges I’m a member of, but things seems to be getting awfully restrictive and so I was wondering, does anyone know what is happening to cause this?

    e.g. substantial price increases, restrictions on non-members attending with members (talk about stunting the growth of the sport), previous services now being curtailed (storage, sales, etc.) etc.

    I won’t name the range(s), but from other long-standing members I’ve spoken with, there is just this sea change of approach that is really changing the previous welcoming attitude and those members are now considering their alternatives.

    Further, these changes happened after the renewal period, which does seem a little sneaky…

    Any input or ideas as to why this is happening?



«1

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 553 ✭✭✭Munsterlad102




  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 1,505 Mod ✭✭✭✭otmmyboy2


    Not that I've seen at mine either.

    Very happy with it altogether, and any questions or queries are well answered to boot.


    OP, have you or the other members enquired why these changes are happening, and if so what was the answer?

    Never forget, the end goal is zero firearms of any type.

    S.I. No. 187/1972 - Firearms (Temporary Custody) Order - Firearms seized

    S.I. No. 21/2008 - Firearms (Restricted Firearms and Ammunition) Order 2008 - Firearm types restricted

    Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 - Firearms banned & grandfathered

    S.I. No. 420/2019 - Magazine ban, ammo storage & transport restricted

    Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2023 - 2023 Firearm Ban (retroactive to 8 years prior)



  • Registered Users Posts: 21 aWant4aNew


    Nothing specific I’m told, only responses like “our hands are tied” and things like that. It’s a bit maddening as clearly there is something behind it.



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 1,505 Mod ✭✭✭✭otmmyboy2


    Huh, well if you are dissatisfied with the range and there are other members who are similarly minded maybe contact the range operator again, as a group, voice some grievances, and if they are not addressed you can always vote with your feet and join another range.

    It is the nuclear option but if you are sufficiently dissatisfied and making no headway then that may be the best recourse.

    Never forget, the end goal is zero firearms of any type.

    S.I. No. 187/1972 - Firearms (Temporary Custody) Order - Firearms seized

    S.I. No. 21/2008 - Firearms (Restricted Firearms and Ammunition) Order 2008 - Firearm types restricted

    Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 - Firearms banned & grandfathered

    S.I. No. 420/2019 - Magazine ban, ammo storage & transport restricted

    Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2023 - 2023 Firearm Ban (retroactive to 8 years prior)



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,658 ✭✭✭Feisar


    Just to run through your points:

    Fee increases: doubt the ranges costs are going down so a reasonable increase I wouldn't have an issue with.

    Storage/sales: Were these ever actually part of membership or an added nice to have? Maybe someone looked at it and said we are wasting our time expending effort doing this with no return from it.

    Guests: was it free and were people taking the piss bringing their buddy every week? Or were people bringing guests with no insurance?


    There are often reasons for change in any outfit, maybe management are feeling the pinch and need to tighten up on costs but aren't effectively communicating to their customers?

    First they came for the socialists...



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  • Registered Users Posts: 550 ✭✭✭BSA International


    Been on a few ranges. Only one I wouldn't return to. RO's were Nazis.

    I previously left my current range as I had a few issues. Went to two others. Realised how good I had it on my original one after a few years and returned. "Far away hills are green".........



  • Registered Users Posts: 12 anotherguy33


    Yea this is happening on my range. Highly restrictive now, with no pro-active solutions being brought forward. Very frustrating for members who rely on certain services to continue in the sport. There are reasons behind it, but who knows what they could be? The one thing I have learned about target shooting is the people involved in it only have the best intentions, in time issues should be resolved.

    Post edited by anotherguy33 on


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,994 ✭✭✭✭Grizzly 45


    Lads, remember you are customers at these ranges and if you ain't happy with the service say so.

    Make it official if you feel you are getting bad service and send a letter to the secretary outlining your problems/concerns and ask for a meeting to discuss the problem[s]. Doesn't have to be an EGM with all present. A chat over a cuppa in the canteen can be just as informative and helpful.

    We don't complain enough or speak up for ourselves here in Ireland for whatever reason when we pay for and get bad service. You are putting down between 300/400 quid PA to be a member of the club, so you are due an explanation as to what's going on if it is affecting you. The days of "Well,if you don't like it ...FO!!!" are long gone.As a happy customer tells 10 people. An unhappy one tells 100, and as we are a small community in Ireland, it won't take long to know which club[s] to avoid.


    " Grind my gears" point here

    Nazi " range officers...Yes, it is a pity some people mistake a hi-viz vest for being a divine authority on all things shooting.

    While we have no problem and accept 100% that a RO is a vital and necessary feature of range safety, it is no excuse to act like Gunnery Sgt Hoffmann USMC with a bad case of piles! Your job is to ensure the line is safe before and after shots are fired and deal with any sort of potential mishap occurring etc.Not reprimand[loudly] people for wearing their ear protection in a manner they find comfortable and non-distracting as was... once... in my case.

    We go shooting to chill and relax and are all adults who are entrusted with firearms by society,so the last thing we want or need is one of our own throwing their weight about because some minor authority has gone to their head once they don the RO vest. Certainly, bollock anyone out for a gross infraction of safety rules, that's what you are there for. But if people want your "advice" or "instructions"on a shooting question,we will ask for it.

    "If you want to keep someone away from your house, Just fire the shotgun through the door."

    Vice President [and former lawyer] Joe Biden Field& Stream Magazine interview Feb 2013 "



  • Registered Users Posts: 21 aWant4aNew



    A few messages have correctly guessed the range - I guess it’s a specific problem there rather than a general range issue more widely.

    In terms of services, etc. it seemed highly profitable, with little in the way of downsides and with many members making use, but I suppose I don’t have the insight to say one way or the other if it was worth it.

    In any case, it will be interesting to see what more comes down the line - I’m told some members have requested a discussion.



  • Registered Users Posts: 550 ✭✭✭BSA International


    One thing to remember is as a member of a range you pay to use the facilities. Unless it's a member owned range you probably have little to no say in the way the range is run.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 550 ✭✭✭BSA International




  • Registered Users Posts: 2,447 ✭✭✭garrettod


    The advantage to naming the range, is that you might draw further support from other members who feel the same way 😊

    Thanks,

    G.



  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 12,581 Mod ✭✭✭✭2011


    Quite a few ranges are not commercially run, mine included. We have a small membership with some hardworking volunteers who maintain the range.

    The intention is not to increase the membership.



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 28,544 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cass


    substantial price increases,

    Not implausible considering the current climate. Shopping gone up in price by up to 21%, energy prices gone up by 37%, heating and fuel by nearly 35%. Not to mention timber, steel, and other materials have risen in some cases by almost 80%.

    My point being this increases in running costs cannot be born by the ranges without the members feeling some of the pain at some point.

    Only recently I went into my local convenience store and they had two of four fridges disconnected saying for any complaints to contact Leo Varadkar or Michael Martin. Joke obviously but everyone is feeling it and in order to stay open places have to either cut their cloth according to their measure or increase prices. Sometimes both.

    restrictions on non-members attending with members (talk about stunting the growth of the sport),

    Not surprising. Like Netflix saying they're going to monitor ISPs if users and those outside the ISP of the account holder may be disconnected from the service, or something to that. The idea being if members are paying 300 to 850 a year for use of the range and guests pay either nothing or 20 a visit for the same amenities then it's a loss to the range and like all things this feature must be being abused for the range to feel the need to take action.

    previous services now being curtailed (storage, sales, etc.) etc

    I know ranges that went from weekly storage to monthly to yearly only. The reason was, again, abuse of the service with people not paying and the range being left with costs that they had to fork out for. Also people abusing it in the form of storing multiple items and arguing about having to pay individually for each firearm.

    There is also the cost to the range for the security needed, the RFD license needed to store them, the restricted RFD license if they cater for this, the need for the RFD to be on-site whenever a member wants their firearms, and of course the cost of keeping goods/ammo on site for it to sell slowly if at all.

    I'm not making excuses for any range and perhaps some range(s) are extracting the urine to some extent but given the exact same things you mentioned are happening in my everyday life when it come to electricity, petrol, heating oil, food, clothing, etc I'm only surprised some range have put off increasing their prices or decreasing their range of services in lieu of closing down.

    Every day I read in the papers about some old shop, or longstanding business having to close it's door due to spiralling cost of running. It may be that the measures you speak of are stop gaps and worse is to come or perhaps even closure of some ranges if things continue as they are.

    Lastly if the range is privately owned you can talk to the owner. If the range, as said above, is member owned then you're a stake holder and can call a meeting, EGM, or similar to discuss this and if nothing else get answers or explanations as to what is happening.

    Forum Charter - Useful Information - Photo thread: Hardware - Ranges by County - Hunting Laws/Important threads - Upcoming Events - RFDs by County

    If you see a problem post use the report post function. Click on the three dots on the post, select "FLAG" & let a Moderator deal with it.

    Moderators - Cass otmmyboy2 , CatMod - Shamboc , Admins - Beasty , mickeroo



  • Registered Users Posts: 550 ✭✭✭BSA International


    Can I ask do you mean not increasing membership cost or numbers of members?



  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 12,581 Mod ✭✭✭✭2011




  • Registered Users Posts: 550 ✭✭✭BSA International




  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 12,581 Mod ✭✭✭✭2011




  • Registered Users Posts: 1,791 ✭✭✭LIFFY FISHING


    It is a pity when some lads join ranges that they dont educate themselves in relation to what the legal requirements is for ownership / possesion / storage and purchase of ammunition are.

    I know of some lads who have bought firearms and for lots of reasons have left them with onsite RFD's to " store".

    They are of the impression that it is legal to purchase ammunition without a valid licence for said firearms and a RFD selling said persons ammunition without a licence.

    Same entitled people think ownership of a firearm and been a member of a range is like being a member of a library where one can check in and out firearms.

    One has to questuon the motivation of posting a " whinge" on boards for " opinions" on what is a personal issue that they have with a range.

    Did they approach the range operator for an explanation or was it just easier to do a bit of kite flying on a forum...behind a user name...



  • Registered Users Posts: 39,303 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    Still not sure if you mean $$ or numbers. Both are “membership”.

    Agree with all this. Commercial ranges are businesses like any other. And like all other business, they feeling the impacts of inflation. Which impacts required costs.

    If people abuse rules and the business losses money. Then the rules will be tightened.

    If secondary services are not making money. Then it makes sense they would consider stopping them. Although the other side of that is if people consider access to those services as inherent to the value of the membership.


    Ultimately you are a customer, not a business partner or a buddy. If you aren’t getting your moneys worth, go somewhere else.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 550 ✭✭✭BSA International




  • Registered Users Posts: 21 aWant4aNew


    On the whinging comment - cheers.

    My primary concern was the introduction of a cap (max 3 times) for non-members to attend (in the company of a member and for which used to cost c. €25). as well as the restrictions placed on the storage of firearms, or more specifically, the lack of being able to access your stored firearms.

    I like to bring my wife and father, separately, two or three times a year, purely to shoot on my own firearms. This is no longer possible and neither are in a position to join the club (as now required) owing to the further associated requirements for being a member (own licenced firearm, etc.). The storage change is also frustrating, as I don’t live in an area that would allow for a monitored alarm and as such, have a cap on the number I can hold at home. Again, this service cost money and seemed to be well used.


    When joining, these aspects were not concerns. What frustrates me most, is that these changes were implemented after the renewal period and as such, the ability to vote with one’s feet is not available as I have committed financially until at least next summer. When the range was approached, all that was shared was that “hands are tied”.


    It’s interesting in any case; as my main takeaway is that this is a club/range specific issue and not widespread as I thought might have been case.

    thanks all for the input.



  • Registered Users Posts: 81 ✭✭targetx


    "My primary concern was the introduction of a cap (max 3 times) for non-members to attend (in the company of a member"

    Anyone who comes to a range as a visitor more than 3 times is abusing the facility that everyone else is paying for and could potentially save money by not becoming a member. So if your guest wants to come on a regular basis, then he/she should become a member like everyone else does.


    "I like to bring my wife and father, separately, two or three times a year"

    If the limit is 3 times per visitor and you like to bring your guests "two or three times a year" then where is the issue?


    I don’t live in an area that would allow for a monitored alarm and as such, have a cap on the number I can hold at home

    Really? Monitored alarms are available nationwide by GSM, IP or Landline....and the service will probably cost less than you might be paying for the storage.


    "The storage change is also frustrating"

    Fair enough, any change can be frustrating. But have you discussed this with the RFD who is actually responsible for your storage and who is taking your money on a monthly basis. Have you asked that RFD if they can deliver the service that you expect? The range might have been facilitating in the best interests of members but perhaps there might be a genuine reason why this cannot continue and the range might not be obliged to tell you the exact reason. So instead of whinging about the range, ask your RFD what exactly you are paying for with the storage fees?


    Are you aware that shooting ranges are heavily regulated by An Garda Siochana and the Dept of Justice and must comply with very strict legislation and authorisation conditions which you probably know nothing about by the sounds of your moaning. Legislation and authorisation conditions can cover such matters as visitors and guests. I suggest you write an email to your range and respectfully raise your questions, maybe then you might get an answer that you understand.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,447 ✭✭✭garrettod


    Regarding the issue of not having unrestricted ability to bring guests, I think everyone needs to remember that there are costs (most notably insurance), and safety concerns for fellow members, to consider.

    I think that 3 "free" visitor passes per year, is reasonable, tbh.

    Thanks,

    G.



  • Registered Users Posts: 39,303 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    Guest absolutely have an inherent business cost. Insurance, Consumables, labour, wear and tear, energy. Just like every other user.

    I was under the impression that the guest would be paying a reasonable fee to use the facilities*. And in this case the range has put a limit of members being paying guests.

    If it’s a case that people want unlimited free guests. I’m not surprised it was limited. People will take the piss in those spots. A weekly permanent guest is a 2-for-1 deal.

    *I am aware on the restriction of day memberships, I don’t believe guests is in breach, but open a user of Irish ranges so open to correction



  • Registered Users Posts: 550 ✭✭✭BSA International


    Paying guests use range slots. Members should never loose a slot to accommodate guests. I've seen members abuse guest visit courtesy. If someone wants to use a range more than 3 times pay the membership. They can go whenever they want then.



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 28,544 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cass


    There is one key aspect that may be overlooked here.

    Someone with enough visits, even as a guest, may be able to use these visits as a good reason to get a firearm. A situation they may not ordinarily fulfill without being a member .

    Forum Charter - Useful Information - Photo thread: Hardware - Ranges by County - Hunting Laws/Important threads - Upcoming Events - RFDs by County

    If you see a problem post use the report post function. Click on the three dots on the post, select "FLAG" & let a Moderator deal with it.

    Moderators - Cass otmmyboy2 , CatMod - Shamboc , Admins - Beasty , mickeroo



  • Registered Users Posts: 550 ✭✭✭BSA International




  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 28,544 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cass


    And has been done. I don't doubt it's the reason in the range SI in 2015 they made it a legal requirement for ranges to keep attendance records which would be inspected every 6 months. Lads joining, getting a firearm they ordinarily wouldn't get, then rarely or never attending the range.

    I know of two people who have had firearms revoked based on this action.

    Over the past two years I've also found with renewals I'm being asked for proof of membership of a range AND attendance records ( when my firearms are "tied" to the range).

    If someone could show a few attendances to a range, while not a member, they may get a rifle or other firearm they would not, and possibly should not, have gotten.

    Forum Charter - Useful Information - Photo thread: Hardware - Ranges by County - Hunting Laws/Important threads - Upcoming Events - RFDs by County

    If you see a problem post use the report post function. Click on the three dots on the post, select "FLAG" & let a Moderator deal with it.

    Moderators - Cass otmmyboy2 , CatMod - Shamboc , Admins - Beasty , mickeroo



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  • Registered Users Posts: 550 ✭✭✭BSA International


    Lads shooting bunnies with 308's got on range membership where a 22 would be safest comes to mind .......



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