Ranges being "closed"

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Tim N
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:18 pm
Location: Branxton NSW

Ranges being "closed"

#1 Postby Tim N » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:19 am

Hi All,
I wish this wasn't a topic to discuss but there seems to be a fairly uncompromising push to have ranges "comply immediately" or be shut down.
Can anyone shed some light on what has been happening to cause range closures?
Is this a government changing legislation to harass or just enforcing existing rules?
We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training. Archilochos 680-645 BC

Posts: 495
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:44 pm
Location: Orange,N.S.W.

Re: Ranges being "closed"

#2 Postby Razer » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:56 am

It is a concern Tim as I could see the writing on the wall years ago and it is good that you raised concern in a thread.
As I wrote re: Events, Lyndhurst OPM at Easter now, and I quote:
I voiced an opinion some years ago that the biggest threat to our sport is not lack of new members, but, the closure of ranges.
I am still of the same opinion.
I was last at Mudgee Range in 2014 and the sight of housing creeping up the left hand side looked to be a looming problem but when I spoke to a member, he said that they were 'rock solid' as the safety zone was all crown land.
With the NSW Firearms adjudicating on whether or not a Range is open or closed, no Range is safe.
Orange Rifle Club Range was closed because there was 'only' 100+ metres to the right to a road and the regulations needed 130(?) metres.
With a 100% safety record counting for jack shit the range was closed to centre fire( we could shoot rimfire from 600 yds though. #-o .
The Orange Club was forced to relocate and it went to Eugowra
but due to distances involved, many members opted to shoot at
At the first AGM, the relocated club did not have enough members to continue so merged with Eugowra.
A club that was founded in 1896, was still on the same site albeit adjustments, was used in the Second World War for army training( concrete machine gun blocks were still in the clubhouse along with a raised timber target rifle platform) . There are still grenade pits from grenade training.
It was once the premier Range in the Central West shooting from 900yds with 20(?) targets. Given the history of a Range it is of no consideration as there was not even an article on its closure in the local paper. :(
Vale Orange Range and Club, thank you so many great memories. =D>
My apologies for sounding pessimistic, but no Range is safe in Australia unless the club owns the land 'and' the safety zone.
With privately owned land in many safety zones, it only takes one person to refuse to sign a Permissive Occupancy letter and the Range is consigned to history.
Do not take anything for granted with your ranges, they are the most targeted means of government firearms reduction agenda as many shooters use them to retain their firearms license. :evil:

John S
Posts: 300
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:32 pm
Location: NSW

Re: Ranges being "closed"

#3 Postby John S » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:00 pm

Tim, I would say enforcing existing rules. The rules are very black and white. I do have the inside knowledge of Orange, however Razer is correct...if one property owner refuses to consent to permissive shooting rights then it is over red rover.

Look at it logically. Many of our ranges were built outside the town areas, many years ago,
like Orange. The town has grown around the range and the safety zone has been compromised...only a matter of time before they are closed. In fact under a previous firearms registry administration, I would suggest that firearms registry in the past were perhaps too kind to us. A new administration, a new broom and wam bam thank you ma'am!

Of course politically, the shooting sports have few supporters in the electorates, so we do need active representation at a local, state and national level. Look at the political outcome in the seat of Orange at the recent by election.

Like a lot of things in life..we don't appreciate the value of things until they are gone!


John S

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Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:49 am

Re: Ranges being "closed"

#4 Postby macguru » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:03 pm

Could someone from Mudgee RC that has specific knowledge about the situation there give us a report ? I can remember when i was there 5 years ago there was talk about moving the range because of housing development... Is the closure permanent ? are negotiations ongoing ? is there an alternate site for the range ?

I am sure all shooters in NSW would like to know what this means ...

Andrew Beavis
North Sydney RC.

Posts: 3
Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 10:14 am

Re: Ranges being "closed"

#5 Postby pbasky » Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:34 pm

I am the present Captain of the Mudgee Civilian Rifle and Smallbore club (only been in that position since January 2017) and can advise that the fullbore range has been closed. The reason for the closure is that our danger area encroaches onto a neighbours property and he has refused to sign a permissive occupancy agreement. Past owners of the land have signed these agreements. We were a 14 target range and we now cannot even use target 14 (furtherest away from said landowner) to run our club shoot as the danger area is still over his land. We are looking at moving target 14 further to the west to comply with the danger area but all sorts of problems are in the way, namely the side of a hill and danger area above and beyond any relocated butts. It will never be a 14 target range again so no Easter shoots in the future but we may be able to use another range in our DRA next year. We are still looking at our options at this stage. One option would be to relocate to the Windamere Shooting Complex but this would cost millions. We are still able to use our Smallbore range.

Paul Baskerville
Mudgee RC

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Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:49 am

Re: Ranges being "closed"

#6 Postby macguru » Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:37 pm

Paul , who owns the land at the present range ? I assume its crown land not private ? If so could the commonwealth be willing to offer a swap then they could sell off the old range for housing and give you some of the funds to develop another site ? i am just thinking this up as i write it.... Its a shame that most ranges are on crown lands, where past governments encouraged civilian marksmanship and no longer value this skill ......

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Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 10:14 am

Re: Ranges being "closed"

#7 Postby pbasky » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:52 am

Hi macguru
Thanks for your comments - the range is on Commonwealth (crown) land and that is an option we could chase up.
Will keep you posted

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Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:55 pm

Re: Ranges being "closed"

#8 Postby lonerider43 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:27 pm

ive been looking over qld weapons licensing trying to find some info on what can and cant be done or too a range.
like using the mantlet as a backstop or adding a 100 yrd range,mantlet hight and so on.
does anyone have a link to this sort of info ?
its not an nraa/qra issue,its a qld weapons licensing deal.

Australian's Against "Gun-A-Phobia"

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Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:55 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Ranges being "closed"

#9 Postby johnk » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:08 pm

Ask weapons Licensing. They have the responsibility for all civilian ranges in Queensland.

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