Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Gun club wants to limit noise

To the editor:

Mary Ann Mansfield’s recent letter complaining about gunfire from the rod and gun club asked some important questions, made some assumptions and sprinkled in some mistruths.

We have never allowed “shooting at all hours.”

Shooting hours at the Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun Club are 9 a.m. until dusk. Gun clubs in other communities have installed lights in order to shoot after dark, a practice that is protected from noise ordinances by state preemptions laws, but we have chosen not to do that. We limit and enforce our shooting hours.

We know that sound does travel in mysterious ways, but given the distance and the terrain between the club and Ms. Manfield’s field, and the fact that our rifle and pistol ranges face about 180 degrees away from her location, it is very likely that her noise-maker wasn’t shooting at the club at all, but rather much closer to her home. It is legal to shoot into a safe backstop on private property nearly everywhere in unincorporated Island County.

Was the offending noise even gunfire? July is a popular month for fireworks. Many of those reports can sound like gunfire. The shotgun blast outside my window at 6:30 a.m. the other morning turned out to be a transformer exploding out on the street.

While we’ve had some problems with trespassers on our ranges in the past, our resident watchman, newly installed gate and recent security fencing have helped eliminate most unauthorized shooting. I live within 400 yards of the club, and while the shooting has never interrupted my bliss, I do check out any gunfire taking place outside our posted hours.

The rod and gun club has been here for more than 75 years. Our 650-plus members strive to be good neighbors and members of our community. We are currently seeking permits to construct an earthen berm to further reduce our shotgun reports.

We do make some noise, but so do planes, helicopters, trains, ferries, trucks, motorcycles, chainsaws, weed-eaters, dogs, coyotes and that guy somewhere near me who practices his electric guitar licks late at night.

Michael McInerney

Range Chairman

Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun Club

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