Colorado Town Orders Local Gun Club to Drop NRA Membership Requirement


The Durango Gun Club has seen better days. Since it opened its doors in 1963, there haven’t been many major improvements. The club just didn’t have the money. So this year, in an effort to become eligible for grants from the National Rifle Association to improve the club’s grounds, they adopted a requirement that all members must also be members of the NRA. The problem is that the club is located on public land and the decision wasn’t popular with the city council. They’ve chosen to evict the gun club unless they drop the requirement . . .

From the Durango Herald:

In late February, Joe Perino, secretary and treasurer of the club, said the decision to require members to belong to the NRA was financial, not political. Being a 100 percent NRA club makes the local club eligible for NRA grants, he said, allowing it to make much-needed improvements to its shooting ranges.

The club performs many community services, including allowing law enforcement to train there and providing instruction to students.

In the city’s eviction letter, which was addressed to Malarsie, city attorney David Smith wrote that if the club’s NRA “policy is, in fact, in place, it is an objectionable use of public land and must be discontinued. If the Board of Directors of the club choose not to discontinue this policy, this letter constitutes notice to vacate the premises within the next 30 days.”

“As I am sure you are aware, the NRA has changed rather significantly over the years and has now become, through the choice of the organization, a symbolic agency for relatively extreme political conservatism. There certainly is nothing inherently wrong with this,” Smith wrote.

“The problem arises when the leadership of the Durango Gun Club, operating on public property, determines that membership within this conservative political organization should be a condition of membership in the Durango Gun Club or a condition of the right to use the leased facility located on City-owned land,” he wrote.

According to the city attorney, the NRA is now a radical conservative organization. And here I was, thinking that they were just the 2A version of the ACLU. I guess I missed the meeting where they voted to support bans on gay marriage and abortion.

With each passing day, the control advocates continue their campaign to paint the NRA as a radical out-of-the-mainstream organization on the fringe of the American political spectrum. It’s the only weapon left in their arsenal that’s at least somewhat effective. And in cases like Durango, their political prejudices will ensure the club is either run down or doesn’t exist at all.


  1. avatar Bonkers says:

    To be fair a lot of people consider the ACLU a radical left winged organization.

    1. avatar Joe Grine says:

      Which, of course, they are…. Just sayin.

      1. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        How does an ACLU enthusiast count to 10?


        1. avatar James P Barnett Jr says:

          That no. VI is terribly important

        2. avatar William Burke says:

          They’re all equally important. But the first two are equally more important than the rest.

        3. avatar James P Barnett Jr says:

          No argument. As long as we are a country of laws it is quite important to see and cross examine your accusers. And when all the resources of the state are marshaled against you having your own lawyer is essential.

        4. avatar Wm. Tomlinson says:

          I see what you did there Dr. Ken.

    2. avatar doesky2 says:

      Did I just imagine seeing some kind of link this evening about a currently in progress RF debate and then it went down the memory hole AGAIN. Like WTF is going on?

      I’m not expecting RF to be Ben Shapiro but all these false starts, unavailable playbacks, and bungled notifications seems a little embarrassing.

      1. avatar akira says:

        I saw it too. And I would also like a straightforward explanation from RF. This makes us look very bad.

        1. Yes, there was a live link while he was on the radio show. When the show was over, we took it down. We’ll post a link to the entire conversation in a new post as soon as we get it from the producer.

        2. avatar rlc2 says:

          Who is this “us” you refer to? I dont edpect more than a link to a live discussion during the time its on. Do you run a blog or other media entity? I’ d be interested in learning more about you and your creds so I can decide if you speak for me.

    3. avatar Charles Ray Batchelor says:

      And they would be right.

    4. avatar Michael Borland says:

      That’s because they are a left wing political group.The founder was a devout communist. The NRA isn’t because they have peoples from all parties as members.

    5. avatar Mark Whitley says:

      To be fair, a whole bunch of you read right wing propaganda & assume it’s all true regarding the ACLU. I did too until I actually read what they were fighting for, ‘our civil rights’ vs the government trying to take them away from us.
      Stop & think about it, if the NRA is working with the ACLU there’s got to be more to it than what you hear on talk radio.
      Read up on what they’ve (ACLU) done in just the past 5-10 years & you’ll see what I mean, & yes I’m a member of the NRA, the ACLU, & the NAGR ( National Association for Gun Rights).
      For those of you that hate the ACLU because they fight prayer in school & The Ten Commandments in the court house I’ll ask you this, would you want any person leading your child in prayer be it Muslum, atheist, Hindu, etc.? or all their dogma plastered on the wall next to the Ten Commandments on the court house walls?

      1. avatar SteveInCO says:

        I think you meant “instead of” rather than “next to.” If Christians were to go to their childrens’ schools and see somebody else’s religion plastered all over the place… well that’s what non-Christians deal with a lot. It’s of course entirely right and acceptable when it’s private entities doing this. But… and this is the key difference that many refuse to see… it’s very different when it is the government doing this with tax dollars it took from everyone, while holding authority over everyone as well.

        Government–and individuals while acting on its behalf–should be held to a standard of STFUing about religion, not promoting one of, or a generic version of a group of, or even religion in general.

  2. avatar Alan Longnecker says:

    Well, good thing for the city, they included what restrictions the club could enforce in the lease agreement.

  3. avatar Excedrine says:

    I would think they would be able to gather more members if they weren’t NRA-exclusive. But, that depends on the foot traffic the gun club gets in the first place.

    1. avatar S_J says:

      That’s what I was thinking. While our local club is supported by the NRA and many are members, the club is completely open to people who aren’t and yearly dues are low and affordable even for a poor bastard like me. I see that largely as a good thing, the NRA hasn’t been high on my list recently when it comes to protecting gun rights. They’ve done a good job holding the line but not much else, and they’ve become too easily conflated with the GOP on the political spectrum and all the problems that presents. SAF and GOA deserve more attention.

      1. avatar Excedrine says:

        I’m a member of the SAF, NAGR, and GOA. I’ve been holding off on taking the plunge into the NRA because of their stances and policies on some different things. But if you want to change the NRA, then gain voting rights within the organization. Of course, that requires you becoming a Life Member. Anyway, it doesn’t matter which civil rights advocacy group you’re a part of (with sole exception being the ACLU for obvious reason), you’re always going to be conflated with racism, bigotry, hating the poor, etc. That is the play written by the Left and the so-called lamestream “media”.

        1. avatar Jim says:

          No it doesn’t. It does require five consecutive years of membership, however.

        2. avatar RustyB says:

          But a life member does get to vote immediately…not after 5 years.

        3. avatar Rich Grise says:

          “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as a member.” – Groucho Marx

    2. avatar PPGMD says:

      Typically the people that are willing to go through the process to join a shooting club, have no issues with paying $30 a year for a NRA membership. The NRA range programs not only provides range grants and training, but they also provide cheaper sources of insurance for shooting ranges.

    3. avatar Greg Olsen says:

      There are those that believe that Non-NRA membership requirement would bring in more business. Unfortunately, it sounds like they have a “Catch-22” situation. They need financing to fix the Club up to bring in more members. Bringing the NRA in allows them to fix up the club and also allows them to access NRA programs locally such as competitions. If the politicians are liberals, then their best course of action to shut down the club would be to prevent anyone from providing assistance!

  4. avatar James P Barnett Jr says:

    I assume that if the City required membership in the ACLU to be a member of the club there would not be an issue. The NRA has changed drastically over the years. It is a radically conservative organization now bearing only a fading resemblance to what it once was.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      Can you point out to me the NRA’s “official” position on any issue other than 2A related ones?

      1. avatar James P Barnett Jr says:


        1. avatar jerry says:

          Missing something? Really? That’s funny. To answer your question, I really don’t care what this club requires of its members. Why would I? I do believe that you would have no issue with an ACLU requirement, right hoss?

        2. avatar James P Barnett Jr says:

          My best from law school is from Durango – valedictorian at Fort Lewis. Apparently the brouhaha has blown over and the club had withdrawn its “requirement.” As such it will continue to lease public property for $1.00 per year as it has since 1963. Of course I would have a problem if the gun club required ACLU membership also. If it the club was on private property it could certainly require NRA and/or ACLU membership and no one could be heard to complain.

        3. avatar Jerry says:

          Well ok. You live in a red state do you not? Just guessing. You probably would not be so hostile to the NRA and conservatives or “radical conservative organizations” if your gun rights were not relatively safe. I could be wrong.

        4. avatar James P Barnett Jr says:

          7th generation Texan. Father and his only brother and both Grandfathers were all NRA LIFE or Benefactors. I don’t know before that as all died before I was alive. I grew up reading the American Rifleman. The NRA has changed. I still love my weapons. Rebuilding a pre-war Model 70 stamped.30 GOV’T 06. Made the stock out of a piece of wood. Quite nice.

        5. avatar Another Robert says:

          You said the NRA was a “radically conservative organization”, I was asking what kind of positions they take on issues other than 2A related that would lead you to make that statement. Or are you saying that the NRA’s position on 2A related issues is “radically conservative”?

        6. avatar jerry says:

          Yep, the NRA has changed. If they had not, if they did not deal with the threat that primarily comes from the democratic party, you would be loving your weapons from afar.

    2. avatar jerry says:

      Barnett old buddy, you never disappoint. Of course you would side against the NRA and this gun club Never change pal, you are entertaining.

      1. avatar James P Barnett Jr says:

        Hey always to entertain fellows like you. This is even better not only am I a Life member in the NRA and TSRA I am also a member of the ACLU!!

        1. avatar jerry says:

          The ACLU I certainly believe. The rest, not so much.

        2. avatar James P Barnett Jr says:

          Check it out you have my name, duh.

        3. avatar James P Barnett Jr says:

          You’ll really love this – I have been a subscriber to SOF since either ’75 or ’76

        4. avatar jerry says:

          Nah, don’t want to waste any time on you. Saw your original comment and was blown away, shocked I tell you, by the position you took.

        5. avatar James P Barnett Jr says:

          I missing something here. So if the gun club required a person in order to be a member of the club the she Aldo be a member of the ACLU and you would have a problem with that?

    3. avatar Kyle says:

      The NRA is not a “radically conservative organization.” It is an organization protective of arms rights, nothing more.

  5. avatar haiku guy says:

    If the NRA were smart, they would waive the membership requirement, and make the improvements anyway.

  6. avatar ST says:

    So, NYC taxpayers paying for MAIG/Milfs Against Pistols isn’t an improper use of public funds?

    1. avatar int19h says:

      It is, but what does it have to do with this locale in Colorado? They’re not the ones making the decisions in NY.

  7. avatar Vhyrus says:

    I went to school at Fort Lewis, which is also located in Durango(in fact, if you pan right in the image above, you can see the school and its one lift ski run). If Boulder is the liberal hippie mecca of Colorado, Durango is almost certainly it’s top competition. There is, IIRC, only one true gun store in town, with a sign on the front door that reads ‘hippies use side door’ (fyi, there is no side door). The fact that they still allow the shooting range within site of a public college is the only thing surprising about this scenario.

    1. avatar Culpeper Kid says:

      The Whole Earth Catalog, the true ‘Hippie Handbook’, states that one should join the NRA to protect gun rights. Hippies never were government lovers.

      1. avatar Vhyrus says:

        the modern hippie must have rolled blunts with that chapter since they definitely do not subscribe to that particular tenant of the guidelines.

      2. avatar Rich Grise says:

        The Hippies are also pacifists, so the bloodthirsty warmongers and saber-rattlers hate and fear them.

        But it’s sad that some pro-2A folks would rag on the hippies and the potheads so badly, because we have a common enemy which is excessive government power over everybody!

        1. avatar Vhyrus says:

          The only reason I give hippies shit is because they do the same moral indignation the gun grabbers do when they talk about guns.

          “You like to shoot? How many animals have you killed this month, murderer? Or do you prefer to murder minority children in third world countries for your corporate overlords?”

        2. avatar Rich Grise says:

          ” moral indignation the gun grabbers do when they talk about guns. ”

          That hasn’t been my experience. Freedom is for everybody, after all! I don’t think it’s so much moral indignation as a difference in focus. And you have to admit, some gun guys just hate their lifestyle and everything.

          We don’t have to have a circle-jerk, but could we at least not be at war with each other while the common enemy looms?

        3. avatar William Burke says:

          The hippie ethos died around 1971. How long ago was this, exactly?

        4. avatar William Burke says:

          Ooooh! COMPLICATED!!!

        5. avatar rlc2 says:

          I’m with Rich on this. 2A rights matter to everyone. Instead of allowing one or two old grumps to go OT on which. org is politically correct here or not I’d prefer to talk the specific issue which appears to be the heavy handed political correctness of Durango City Council…

          TTAG is a pretty inclusive place. A troll wishing to stink it up might even start flame wars based on OT issues just for fun. The respect for one anothers differing beliefs and backgound and who cares about skin color sex and

        6. avatar rlc2 says:

          pt 2. sorry dang kindle resizes the comment box and cant geg to where i left off…

          anyway…you get the point.

          hippies…todays independent and libertarians…we share much more than we disagree on and if there are any who didnt cokpletely fry their brains left in Durango I’m sure they would be laughing at that Council.

    2. avatar Terry Maines says:

      Your description of Durango is way off base. While there is a quite Liberal base (mostly due to Ft. Lewis) there is also a strong conservative base (Ranchers, energy workers). There are also a number of gun stores (Goods for the Woods, Gardenswartz, Big5, Sports Authority and a bunch of Pawn shops). It is a great town and the mix in political views is kind of cool.

  8. avatar James P Barnett Jr says:

    It would be good PR if the NRA went ahead and helped the club refurbish.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      I think you and Haiku Guy are on to something there.

    2. avatar Mike retsocer says:

      It would be interesting if the majority of the club members chose, voluntarily, to maintain NRA membership. That way they would still be eligible for NRA funding. And it would be a nice demonstration for the town.

  9. avatar int19h says:

    I don’t think whether it’s “radical” or not matters. It is a private organization with political goals, and I can totally see why gratis use of public land would be incompatible with that. Public money should not be used to support any political goals other than through regular institutions of state – i.e. as legislated by a duly elected parliament etc.

    I’d imagine they could stay if they were okay with renting it from the city, but I doubt that NRA grants would cover that expense.

    1. avatar James P Barnett Jr says:

      Well said.

    2. avatar Steven says:

      In the final paragraph it is mentioned that this is a “leased” facility, so they already do pay rent. Is it actually written into the lease agreement that the city can determine which membership rules are okay and which one’s are not?

      1. avatar irock350 says:

        No, and there doesn’t have to be the city owns the land. There is probably a clause that gives them the ability to terminate the lease at any time. The gun club should be more worried about raising funds to purchase land and build a new facility. When you own the land you set the rules. It is impractical for a renter to tell the lease owner what they will or will not do.

    3. avatar Willy Maykit says:

      >>>>>>It is a private organization with political goals, and>>>>

      The NRA’s political activity is based on the civil right to keep and bear arms, which is protected by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.[9] The group has a nearly century long record of influencing as well as lobbying for or against proposed firearm legislation on behalf of its members, and calls itself America’s longest-standing civil rights organization.

      Please…tell us exactly what political agenda does the 501c3 ,nonprofit NRA espouse?

      1. avatar William Burke says:


        What a weird point of view for a supposed 2A “supporter”.

    4. avatar Yellow Devil says:

      In principle you may have a point, but according to the City’s attorney:

      “As I am sure you are aware, the NRA has changed rather significantly over the years and has now become, through the choice of the organization, a symbolic agency for relatively extreme political conservatism…”

      So basically the city designated the NRA as a extreme political conservative organization, without even citing the specific reason. That’s the troublesome aspect of this decision. Let me put it this way, if a local environmental club was leasing the same grounds and required membership in the Sierra Club, would they have a problem with that? Would they city cite extreme political liberalism? I’m guessing probable not, but I admit I don’t know.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Meanwhile, Pueblo middle schoolers taken to range to learn gun safety:

        I’ve been to Pueblo, and it’s kinda been in the back of my mind for a couple years. My daughter wants to move back west, but Montana and Wyoming are out, because she doesn’t like that level of winter. Pueblo isn’t too large, the State Fair is held there. Any thoughts, anyone?

        1. avatar James P Barnett Jr says:

          Pueblo is a nice town close to good hunting and fishing as well as the gunsmithing school at TSJC.

        2. avatar William Burke says:

          So the Arkansas River’s good fishing, huh? What fish? My interest is rising.

        3. avatar James P Barnett Jr says:

          Fly fishing above the reservoir and below the dam for browns and rainbows. The reservoir itself has good bass large mouth, small mouth and what they call yellow bass. I like fly fishing for your and trolling for small mouths. I haven’t fished the Arkansas in several years. Have been fishing in the Roaring Fork and the Frying Pan down valley from Glenwood Springs regularly for about 15 years now.

        4. avatar James P Barnett Jr says:

          Oops down valley from Aspen toward Glenwood Springs.

        5. avatar William Burke says:


        6. avatar James P Barnett Jr says:

          Nothing wrong living there either. That is Aspen or Basalt which is a little down valley. Pricey tho beautiful. Lots of smart talented people there and more than a couple of head turners too. Hunting is excellent, as well. Definitely more bang for your buck in Pueblo tho.

  10. avatar Shawn Bugbee says:

    Any chance we can take a gander at the lease? I’m wondering what the termination clauses might be.

  11. avatar JPD says:

    There seems to be another part to this story. Apparently Durango has plans to use this property for their own benefit. I read they have plans for a bike trail/city park facility to generate more revenue. Like they say, follow the money….(and the corruption)

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      There already is a bike trail/city park facility there. Its right next door. They possibly want to expand it.

  12. avatar Publius says:

    NRA membership requirements is a major reason I won’t join a gun club. Once I saw them lie about Romney’s anti-gun record to try and get a Republican elected, I canceled my NRA membership and won’t consider joining again until they stop being a shill for the Republican party.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      As if there were actually any real pro-2A democrat office holders at the national level. And if there are, I am certainly not too proud to be corrected on this point. It’s not that I’m particularly wedded to the GOP per se.

      1. avatar Publius says:

        Except lying about Romney’s anti-gun agenda (just as bad as Obama’s) is an unforgivable sin. Every other gun rights group that I’m aware of refused to recommend either Romney or Obama, yet the NRA blatantly lied about his record to try to get him elected. If Romney had won, we’d have had gun control forced through because Republicans would have been falling all over themselves to do whatever a Republican president wanted.

        1. avatar Willy Maykit says:

          The NRA’s political activity is based on the civil right to keep and bear arms, which is protected by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.[9] The group has a nearly century long record of influencing as well as lobbying for or against proposed firearm legislation on behalf of its members, and calls itself America’s longest-standing civil rights organization.

          Please…tell us exactly what political agenda does the 501c3 ,nonprofit NRA espouse?

        2. avatar James P Barnett Jr says:

          They questioned anyone’s patriotism who asked about the rationale for invading Iraq; small government; Glenn Beck; anti tax Grover nordquist sits on the board it attacks EPA Clean Water act under the guise that some how the Second Amendment is bring infringed. It is a money making machine

        3. avatar Another Robert says:

          They attack the EPA when it moves to require “green” bullets and steel shot and crap like that in the name of environmental protection. I see that as 2A related. I haven’t heard of them opposing the EPA on coal-fired plant restrictions, emissions requirements, etc, etc. Maybe you could provide some examples?

        4. avatar Another Robert says:

          You mean like we have gun control forced on us because the democrats are falling all over themselves to do whatever a Democrat president wants? I don’t think so. Even the phony “pro-gun Democrats” refused to follow Obama off that political cliff. You think the actual pro-gun Republicans would follow Romney off it? Still waiting for an example of a real pro-gun Dem in national office. Maybe you can point out some phony “pro-gun” Republicans while you’re at it. Honestly, I am willing to be educated on this point if you can provide some concrete examples.

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      Be prepared to be attacked, by Republican True Believers.

  13. avatar David B. says:

    Does anybody know how much money the NRA has? They make pleas based on each “election cycle being the most pivotal in our nation’s history and you must act now!” and I reckon they get a pretty penny from their fear mongering. But how much do they really have? Do they even need members or have they become self supporting through their endowment funds. Midway trumpets that they donate the money you round up on your purchase to the NRA and that the NRA will use it to fight the gun grabbers, but if you read the fine print, the NRA only uses the interest generated by the donations. They must have a lot if they are investing in ranges. Does it matter financially if they have 3 million or 4 million or 5 million members? Just curious.

    1. avatar Beau Wenger says:

      OK, here’s the story. Basically, the NRA exists in 2 entities: 1) the NRA and 2) The NRA / ILA. The NRA itself is a non profit who basically promotes programs to enhance the shooting sports. They are the organization that originally set up most of the Hunter’s Safety Programs and they support competitive shooting matches including codifying many if not most of the rules for the various shooting disciplines. They are the certification organization for firearms instructors and on and on and often help various ranges improve their facilities. The NRA also produces the magazines for their members and provides other benefits of membership including an individual insurance. The ILA is the Political arm that actively lobbies legislators, involves itself in campaigning and promotes court remedies to restrictions on guns. While the NRA likes to tout it’s membership numbers as evidence of their strength (and I would argue there is some correlation), it is the Political Victory fund (PVF) that is used to make political contributions, fund informational campaigns, launch lawsuits etc. Much of the constant bombardment for contributions is from the ILA to add to the PVF to fund the political activites..

      1. avatar Mike Christmann says:

        Well said, Beau.

    2. avatar Charles Ray Batchelor says:

      They are, we’re always one vote away from having our guns banned like they are in New York and Connecticut or haven’t you been watching the news lately.

  14. avatar Rich Grise says:

    If it’s a private club on private property, who joins is nobody else’s business. But it seems government has forgotten that its job is supposed to be to protect private property, and instead it’s taken over the job of Organized Crime.

    And sheesh! If somebody’s selling something, how is it anybody’s business if they restrict their own customer base?

    When do they start ordering the KKK to accept “African Americans?”

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      I think the problem is that it is not on private property. It is on property leased to it by the city.

    2. avatar Vhyrus says:

      When the KKK gets free public use land to erect their burning crosses, thats when.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        ” free public use land ”

        Oops. Never mind.

  15. avatar Michael p says:

    I would love to see the lease!

  16. avatar James P Barnett Jr says:

    For what it’s worth just heard from my best friend from law school. The gun club has had a $1.00 per year lease and had had that sweet deal since 1963.

    1. avatar Charles Ray Batchelor says:

      So do a lot of Non-profit organizations using public land, doesn’t give the city the right to interfere with their use of the leased land.

  17. Note to Durango Gun Club:

    You might want to consider raising your membership fees from $55 to something that will keep your outfit afloat.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      To what? $550? The membership fee is in dispute, WHERE?

  18. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    How the hell does a place like Durango CO become a nest of worthless commie scumbags? Amazing.

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      If you know anything at all about Durango, this is far from a recent development. They take the dirty hippie stereotype to it’s logical conclusion, and it has been that way since before I first went to college there back in 2000.

  19. avatar former water walker says:

    I’d rather have Romney than ANY Dumbocrat. None of the other pro gun groups have a 100th of the influence of the NRA. They sure didn’t fight for me in Illinois. The NRA did.

    1. avatar JeffR says:

      The SAF filed McDonald v. Chicago, so you may want to tip your hat to them.

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      They’re all controlled by the same uberstratum of the elite. And your GOP errand boy would have done the same thing; just in a slightly different manner.

      Stop playing the game. The card game is rigged. If you think that Mormon stooge was any better, you fell for the oldest shell game on Earth.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        There’s my favorite bigot, front and center for all to see.

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          Ralph, I bear no enmity towards any group on Earth… except Mormons. I have had personal experiences with a number of them, and I’ve unilaterally found them to be duplicitous, lying backstabbers. WAY beyond any other group of human beings.

          Bigot? I was a civil rights marcher, in the South. I was an outcast in high school, for supporting civil rights. You have no right to lecture me, lest you be pure as the driven snow.

        2. avatar jerry says:

          Not sure if he is a bigot Ralph, maybe just not right in the head. I mean really, some of the shit that he posts on here.

        3. avatar rlc2 says:

          Yep. Burke you are entertaining in a car crash kinda way but you gotta remember this is a place to discuss gun culture. Religion not so much and your personal grievances with one…even less.

          Nit saying I agree or not..before you strawman me…just saying: chillax dude.

      2. avatar Kyle says:

        Romney had an anti-gun record, but that was back when he was governor of a very blue state. As president, dealing with the GOP at the national level, it would have been a different ballgame, and there would have been very heavy resistance to him pushing for gun control. Doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have pushed for something though, but how a politician behaves as governor of a state that leans opposite the views of their party versus how they are as president are two different things.

        If a Democrat from a pro-gun, anti-abortion state is elected president, you can bet your butt they will be anti-gun and pro-abortion.

    3. avatar William Burke says:

      P.T. Barnum was right. How long will you allow the GOP to play you like a sucker?

  20. avatar Jake Tallman says:

    Wow, TTaG news is thorough. I live in Durango (the town in question), and it’s been a surprising shitstorm. The thing I really don’t get is the requirement for an NRA membership. If it’s a finance issue, charge more membership dues. It’s certainly an odd situation, one that locals haven’t been thrilled with, but I can’t help but feel there’s more to it.

  21. avatar Jim says:

    The NRA should just go ahead and fix the place up, make it one of the best ranges in that part of the country, let everyone in and shoot, then if they so happen to want to join, that will work also.

  22. avatar William Burke says:

    God save Durango! God preserve the Strater Hotel. May God inform Fort Lewis College, which sits on a mesa, 500 feet above the town.

    God save the Animas River. Please enlighten all who dwell thereabouts.

    1. Billy Burke is again … jumping the shark.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        What about my $1000 challenge, Big White Worm? Don’t want to take me up on it? Just want to do backhanded attacks on me? You DO realize two can play this game, don’t you O Slimy White Grub?

        Actually, I won’t stoop to your level. Take the $1K challenge, or STFU .

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          “What about my $1000 challenge”

          What’s this? I’m a whore. What do I have to do qualify to get a thousand bucks from you?

        2. avatar William Burke says:

          Paul claimed I am not using my real name, as if that’s any of his GD beeswax. I told him to pick the moderator of his choice, on a $1000 bet.

          You want in on this bet also? Baby needs some new mukluks. He won’t put his moolah where his trap is.

        3. avatar Rich Grise says:

          “You want in on this bet also?”

          Oh. didn’t know it was a bet, I thought it was some sort of prize.

          Never mind.

        4. avatar William Burke says:


        5. Billy, are you drunk? You are sounding more incoherent than usual.

  23. avatar Roy says:

    If the NRA isn’t a conservative organization, what’s Wayne LaPierre doing speaking at CPAC?

    1. avatar Col. Angus says:

      Chris Christie spoke there and he’s no conservative. Besides, is defending constitutional rights necessarily a conservative thing?

      1. avatar Jerry says:


        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          I’d be willing to bet that a lot of Libertarians may be stronger Strict Constitutionalists than some Conservatives.

    2. avatar Another Robert says:

      Because liberals at the national level are interested in curtailing the 2nd, not supporting it. And yes, supporting individual constitutional rights as envisioned and expressed by the Founders is pretty basic conservative ideology. Expanding the power of the state at the expense of the rights of the individual is pretty basic liberal/collectivist ideology.

  24. avatar Don says:

    There isn’t a damn thing wrong with the club having “only” NRA membership requirements. We do this all the time up here in Washington. It’s a private club right??? I would tell the city council to go F%%k themselves!!! It’s a private club right???

    1. avatar Martin Smith says:

      It IS a private club. The facilities are on PUBLIC land-owned by the city of Durango.

  25. avatar Bill Holly says:

    This is the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. As much as I like seeing the beauty of the Colorado landscape, been there many times, the dopers and anti-gun people can now have it. I’ll spend my money traveling to other states. Just the opinion of this Benefactor member of the NRA.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      While I think it’s an admirable choice, what did the “dopers” ever do to you?

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        “While I think it’s an admirable choice, what did the “dopers” ever do to you?”

        Probably nothing but live rent-free in his head. 😉

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          What a shame. I hear there’s a 100% vacancy rate in it.

  26. The Founding Fathers of this country were called radicals by Tyrants too.

  27. avatar Timmy Soupmanson says:

    There are tens of thousands of Democrat members of the NRA. I would bet there are a lot of libertarian members also. The NRA even endorses Democratic candidates based on their pro-gun stance. Calling them a radical conservative organization is a little bit of a stretch. A hard core conservative organization like that would never allow or endorse any Democrats.

    Methinks there is a liberal on that city council whom participates in that hysterical liberal hatred of the concept of civilian firearms ownership or, and I’ve seen this happen nation-wide, somebody wants that property and this is the shot across the bow (no pun intended) and beginning of the process to shut the place down. That somebody is usually a family friend or somebody in the good old boy network who has a better idea for the use of that property. It’s all about development and taxes……….. follow the money………

    Out of curiosity, have any of you notified the Colorado Second Amendment Foundation ? Disregard, they know now.

  28. avatar Quint says:

    How about they just raze the dues to cover the price of an NRA membership. Then you automatically get a membership in the NRA. It would bee a gift for joining the club.

  29. avatar Mary says:

    Since the City Council has chosen to evict the gun club, I guess they are prepared to set up a first class gun range for use by their Police Dept. Members in the club can begin to look elsewhere to establish their 100% NRA club….too bad this could not have worked out to a WIN WIN situation.
    The city should have had in place on city property a gun range/training facility all along for the police.

  30. avatar Matt says:

    I vote we give them all the loans they need, to buy the property and build a new club, that is out of reach of the city.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      That would be yet another example of the Free Market producing a win+win+win situation.

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      Nothing is “out of reach of the city” forever.

  31. avatar Wassim Absood says:

    I agree with the city in the sense that public land should never have a requirement for membership in any organization to use it.

    I disagree with the NRA being a radical right-wing group.

  32. avatar Dan says:

    Was that actually a condition in the lease when they signed it? Or does the city feel they can arbitrarily impose new conditions on their contracts at their whim?

  33. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    So here is the easy solution for the gun range: offer a significant discount to NRA members … or charge a steep premium if a patron is not an NRA member.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      BINGO. Problem solved. Wowee, common sense is difficult, isn’t it?

  34. avatar John says:

    Here is a thought…

    Drop the requirement per the towns request.

    Then let every member know if they can get 100% of the members to be NRA members they can qualify for NRA funds for range improvements.

  35. avatar Henry Bowman says:

    This is a very common requirement – I have never belonged to a gun club that did *not* have NRA membership as a prerequisite qualification.

    Decades ago, the Director of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM), a U.S. Government organization under the War Department (Army) and later the Department of Defense, required NRA membership in order to purchase surplus military firearms.

    The NRA was then, and is now, the premier organization in the country for promoting marksmanship and the safe, responsible use of firearms through education and marksmanship competition. It was instrumental in establishing marksmanship training during the buildup for WWII. Back then, the government recognized the NRA as a responsible civic organization and a force for good.

    This began to change after 1968, when the Gun Control Act was passed. The NRA eventually had to become politically active through the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), in order to protect the Second Amendment. It is NRA-ILA that garners the most attention (and vitriol) these days.

    The anti-gun politicians and media could care less about the NRA and its civic activities (e.g., support for law enforcement, support for building safe local ranges, safety education, etc). For them, NRA-ILA is the face of the NRA, and it is their enemy.

    I’m sure that in 1963, it was completely non-controversial for the city to lease the land to a gun club on very favorable terms – they probably viewed it as a win-win proposition. But now that left-liberal anti-gun politics seems to inform their thinking, it’s not a firm foundation for the club.

    I think the best thing for the club to do would be to drop the requirement temporarily, and then enlist the NRA-ILA and state association to help them in a campaign to defeat the politicians that started this. Then reinstate the NRA requirement once they are defeated.

    Good luck.

  36. avatar Peter Rieck says:

    As a retired New York State Trooper, I’d like to know if the state requires Hunters to take the Hunter Education Course developed, and put in place by the NRA as in the other 49 states? If so This town is being very idiotic! The NRA is an organization which promotes gun safety as well as fighting to maintain our Constitutional Rights! I have been a Hunter Education Instructor for 46 Years, and when I started out, My title was: “NRA Hunter Safety Instructor!” Also the NRA “Eddie Eagle” Program promotes safety, with it’s message to Young Children: “If You find a gun, Don’t touch it, Go get an adult!” GUNS ARE NOT KILLERS, PEOPLE ARE! This I can attest to after 36 Years in Law Enforcement!

  37. avatar Grayeagle says:

    I would advise the gun club just go ahead and relocate. When local formal politics gets into the decisions of a private club, it’s over! Besides, with the city council now showing it’s fangs, why invest in structures and renovations that could easily be lost to political whim. I don’t agree with requiring mandatory membership in the NRA because it limits membership, and could preclude folks from being members because of cost. Shooting is expensive now with the cost of ammo, thus adding to that could marginalize folks the club would otherwise want as members. Lastly, the NRA is solely focused on the 2nd Amendment. That does not make them ultra right wind conservatives. Because the NRA are Constitutionalists, naturally in the realm of politics, those outside the NRA are going to most likely be politically conservatives. Liberals are inherently anti-gun, thus anyone they encounter that is pro-gun is going to be automatically labeled right wing nut case. I bet the club with this publicity can now solicit and receive sufficient funding to relocate and build new facilities. Even the NEA might step up for publicity purposes as the goals if the club will most likely mesh with those of the NRA. Just do it and put city council in your rear view mirror!!!

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Yeah, I hear relocation costs next to nothing.

    2. avatar Charles Ray Batchelor says:

      If the club built the building, they should move the building off the land when they terminate their lease so the city can’t get free use of a building that the city didn’t pay for.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Nasty! I love it!

  38. avatar Louie says:

    Way to go Timmy Soupmanson, I really believe you hit it Right on. I believe useing the N.R.A. is just the thing they felt was the thing they could use to get them out.Someone in the citys Godfathers have a son or a brother or some big outside big money wants that spot.And if it wasn’t the nra thig it would be something eles.And after 60yrs. Why didn”t the gun club look for something they could have called their own. Farther outside the city 60 years is a long time tobe paying rent.

    1. avatar Charles Ray Batchelor says:

      Because they paid $60 for 60 years of use.

  39. avatar Alpine says:

    Here in Colorado, there is a big push against any fees to use public lands. Forcing people to join the NRA is no different than a tax to park at a trailhead. The city got this one right. If the gun club doesn’t like it, they can buy their own land. But Durango real estate prices will probably rule anything out within an hours drive.

  40. avatar Megalith says:

    “And in cases like Durango, their political prejudices will ensure the club is either run down or doesn’t exist at all.”

    Ding, ding, ding, ding!!!!! We have a winner! That’s exactly what they’re trying to force you to do. Close shop forever or never improve and expand membership. It’s their way or the highway. Time for new city council members.

  41. avatar Mark Dalton says:

    It would be great to see a group or individual offer up land and a building for a new club, and then allow the police to train in the new facility… provided of course that they are NRA members.

  42. avatar Ed Pate says:

    Same bunch of Libs ,that voted gay marriage & legal pot on same ballot.
    You people in Colorado need to to vote.You’ve already lost the country’s largest firearm supplier.Get back to where you were before Hollywood came to town.
    Otherwise you will become the state of potheads and rainbows!
    Return to the folks you used to be,VOTE

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      YEAH! Kick the hippies out! They don’t pay any taxes, and when they get high, they laugh at the “decent” people.

      You DO realize pot legalization began as a conservative/libertarian cause? Of course not. Dang liberal libertarians! The fools like freedom!

      1. avatar jerry says:

        Hell yeah! Getting high is what liberty is all about!!

  43. avatar Dave s says:

    The problem with a range on public property is if the club invests and improves the club, There is nothing preventing the city from terminating the lease and essentially confiscating the clubs assets. Not an incentive to upgrade the range.

    1. avatar Charles Ray Batchelor says:

      The city would have to buy the building or pay for the improvements made.

  44. avatar Ralph says:

    Assuming that the lease allows the G to interfere with the members’ 1st Amendment right of association, here’s what the club should do:

    Change the annual membership to whatever it is now, plus $35 (coincidentally, the annual NRA dues). Offer a $35 discount to NRA members and donate to the NRA the extra $35 from the non-NRA members.

  45. avatar Ronaldo Ignacio says:

    In my town (Blue island in a sea of Red), there is a shooting range located in the basement of the community building. (It used to be an armory) The club that runs it charges you 3 times more for a membership if you are not an NRA member, because the NRA subsidizes the liability insurance. No one has complained.

  46. avatar Tom B says:

    I agree that the NRA has become too much of a GOP convention than a second ammendment supporter. All of their keynote speakers are the GOP foxnews spokespeople.

    They alone are more responsible for ammo spikes as early as 2008. They were campaigning hard well before any inkling of Obama doing anything against 2nd ammendment and when he finally did after a shocking mass shooting they screamed how they were vindicated for saying it for four years.

    Still a lifetime member. Just wish I could influence them to focus on the second ammendment and safety again

    1. avatar Charles Ray Batchelor says:

      Nope, they are very much a 2nd Amendment Group. They mainly support the election of GOP politicians because most pro-gun rights politicians are GOP. They put out a list of all politicians that rate them by their 2nd Amendment support in laws. Democrats routinely rank low so don’t get any support. Ironically Gabby Giffort was ranked high as she was one of the few Democrat Pro-gun rights politicians out there before her shooting.

  47. avatar Jim hines says:

    If it’s city property are they liable for letting it run down? What if someone trips and falls?

    1. avatar Charles Ray Batchelor says:

      Like every member of the club on the day after their lease expires.

  48. avatar Steve Rock says:

    So why don’t they raise the dues another $25/yr then make a bulk donation to the NRA annually. Or they make plans to leave the public property because the city probably will just keep coming up with reasons to make their life miserable.

  49. avatar former water walker says:

    Whatever. Believe what you want. MORE pro NRA sentiment on here than not. And NO I’m not a registered Republican. I’ll still tip my hat to the NRA. Unless you’re planning on living as a hermit you have to take a stand for something. I also live in Cook County,Illinois & know who’s NOT on my side. Dumbocrats like Rahm. I’m also happy the NRA is NOT the organization I remember when I was a kid(1960’s).

  50. avatar steward says:

    This isn’t about guns or the Second Amendment.

    This is about equal protection and the Fourteenth Amendment.

    The gun club is on *public* land that they lease for $1.00 / yr. That agreement was entered into where anyone could join the gun club.

    When the gun club required membership in a political organization to use land subsidized by the town, it violated equal protection.

    I understand they’ve dropped the requirement – too bad. The NRA should have made a loan to relocate or to buy the land, if they wanted to see if there really was a Second Amendment issue behind the change.

    1. avatar Charles Ray Batchelor says:

      Unless the lease say anyone can join without any restrictions like being a felon, being under the age of 18, est then your argument isn’t valid. The club does have the right to set reasonable requirements for membership like membership dues, co-membership requirements, training, est.

  51. avatar Timm Ross says:

    Not happy with the ACLU, I believe that everything is simply defending our ” Bill of Rights”. Although I’m a member of NRA, we don’t need our nose in everything on 2 nd.Amendment statements.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Putting Bill of Rights in quotes suggests strongly that that’s not it’s actual name, as in Pete “Horse Face” Licavoli. His name was Pete Licavoli, and if he got so much as a hint you called him “Horse Face”, you were due some wicked “ventilation”!

      1. You know, kind of like “William Burke” … big mouth, big talker, grand claims…no guts even to use his real name. Classic Internet Keyboard Commando.

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          What about the BET, Pillsbury Doughboy? PUT UP or SHUT UP.

  52. avatar Walt Holden says:

    Everyone needs to get in the game. If you are not NRA, you are freeloading off everyone that is! These are your rights, and this is forever!

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Your implication – no, wait – it’s far more than an implication – is that the NRA is the only way into the game. This is not the case at all. There is the Second Amendment Foundation, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Gun Owners of America, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and several others, as well as dozens at the state level.

      Believe it or not, many are frankly better defenders of RKBA than the NRA.

      Almost all of them are way less willing to compromise your rights away, and compromise – which means conceding piecemeal rights away, with nothing in return – than the NRA.

      The NRA wants you to believe only they have skin in the game, and that’s just not so!

  53. avatar Tim Pruett says:

    They have facility for the all law enforcement in Bodo Park next to the LaPlata county jail.

  54. avatar Tim Pruett says:

    In the Durango area

  55. avatar William Burke says:

    Gunny, you are not the arbiter of what I need. Go bite some moving car tires.

  56. avatar Able Patriot says:

    So, the gun club practices what EVERY single union in the USA practices…mandatory membership? YES! The gun club IMPROVES public use land? YES! The gun club membership is open to EVERYONE? YES! But the single requirement that members pay a fee to be a member of an organization that moobats hate, they get screwed BY the moonbat politicians for improving life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness on “public land?” Land that, by the way, the members OWN because they are part of the public! Let a UNION want to do something there and the boneheaded moonbats would not care? Wake up and stop being STUPID people! ‘We the People’ are getting tired of this mess…and this is a 2A believing ARMED group…just sayin…

  57. avatar Cliff Schaumburg says:

    Interesting. I understand their reason for making NRA membership a requirement. As a Life Member for many years I personally see membership in the NRA as a necessity to protect our Second Amendment rights, I suppose that could be interpreted as a “political” agenda but it’s ultimately a bi-partisan issue…many democrats own and use firearms for fun and protection. The real political agenda in this situation is that of the city and their attorney.
    By the way I shoot at the NRA HQ Range and there is no NRA membership requirement to shoot there…just a simple safety test and a fee for the range time.

  58. avatar Gary Graham says:

    I believe that the N.R.A. should remain in the durango range, I believe that most law inforcement are members of the N.R.A. They practice with there firearms, this is a nessasery. The council should reconise this.

  59. avatar PeterC says:

    When I lived in Massachusetts twenty-some years ago, I was president of a 250-member gun club that had a range on leased town land, a former landfill, for which we paid several thousand dollars a year. We required our members to be members of both the NRA and GOAL, which is the NRA’s MA affiliate. One of our new members once complained at a monthly meeting about having to be an NRA member. He said, “I didn’t join the club to get involved in politics.” I told him, “Buddy, you got involved in politics when you bought your first gun in Massachusetts!

  60. avatar Gary says:

    Rename the location to Durango Shooting Range (or such) and make the “club” a membership aside from the location. For identification purposes, require shooters to have at least one affiliation with a firearms’ organization. For example, they could be a member of the NRA, local/national range club, etc. Incentive is a reduced fee to shoot, targets, % off on ammo, etc.

  61. avatar rlc2 says:

    I belong to a nice private range that requires NRA membership and I dont mind a bit. Its also about one half the cost of the more chi-chi range that doesnt require same. And my range has a nicer group of folks some of whom are very experienced and willing to share same if you ask. And very family friendly where I feel safer bringing kids since they are good about low key but effective safety education and rules.

  62. avatar Al Lowe says:

    The NRA is not a political group. It is a not-for-profit organization. The NRA-ILA IS a political group. But, the story I read says the gun club made membership in the NRA mandatory, not the NRA-ILA. I don’t see the conflict.

  63. avatar Richard Goerlitz says:

    The ACLU, Jesse Jackson & his Kid, Al Sharpton does more harm than good. What happened to MLK.

    I’ve been to Durango Many, Many times over 50 years. Almost moved to the area. Its turned into nothing but a Preppie-ville, tourist attraction. The Arizona and California Preppies have ruined Colorado.

    I have quit the NRA myself after supporting them for 30 years. They have gotten off track. But I buy Guns and a lot more Ammo.

  64. Again, the solution here is ridiculously simple. If they can’t have their all-NRA member requirement, then they should raise their fees from the paltry $55 a year they are charging, now to $150, with a $100 initiation fee.

    If people are so cheap they are unwilling to pony up to pay for the use of the facility, then maybe it should just shut down.

    The problem with this gun club is that it has been living off government largess for way, way too long.

  65. avatar Inspired Sailor says:

    Perhaps there is a modicum of truth to the radical political stance. I can see a radical position on 2nd amendment rights but not with the political stance of NRA in general. Perhaps a reevaluation of telling people how to vote is in order. I think we know who to vote for and against.

  66. avatar George says:

    I want to join the N.R.A. !

  67. avatar Clay says:

    okay the NRA is a good Organization or was when I was younger I live in Florida and the Florida Chapter of the NRA has been supporting very bad gun legislation that is giving the state more control over our gun rights and recently we tried to pass a bill that would prevent the federal government from enforcing federal gun legislation in Florida and the Florida NRA stood against this bill that would have protected Floridians from the Feds and in this messed up world there are cases in which the ACLU have been supporting the rights of gun owners over the state and local governments never thought that I would be in disagreement with the NRA or in agreement with the ACLU but we live in very interesting times and just so it is clear I am a major supporter of the 2nd Amendment and want to see it restored to what it use to be with the restoration of the Militia act as well I was a gun smith in the Marines guns are life and freedom

  68. avatar Murderwon says:

    Having lived in Derangedgo, Montrose, GJ and Delta, why not just drive a mile in any direction and shoot to ones content?

  69. avatar Darmyman says:

    Lets see the city throw some grants there way if they are forcing the club away from the only method the gun club has to obtain them. Local politics is so petty much of the time.

  70. avatar Martin says:

    Sorry about this gun clubs dilemma. It’s a shame when a city, county, township, or a state tries to take someone’s rights away. I live in the City of Chicago, one of the most notorious cities for politics as well as the states. For the longest time Chicago didn’t want Chicago gun owners to have guns or certain weapons as well as the state of Illinois. The NRA stepped in after a long battle with the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago to come forward and show them that they were violating the people of Chicago and the state of Illinois rights to keep and bear arms. This is the main issue here. We have a right to go where we want to go, be free in our choices as what organization we choose to be in, whatever our freedom to pursue our happiness takes us. Why would there be any resistance from political organization to keep you from pursuing something that makes you happy, as long as your not breaking any laws. I don’t see any one being politically hurt here? I don’t see why changes can’t be made to see that this particulate club has help from a helping organization to better equip and to set in place training courses as to educate the members of this club. What is really being introduced here is the power of a council showing that their palms haven’t been greased properly. An opportunity to make some cash here but how unless they throw some stones and see where they fall and who will come up with some cash or gratuities for them. Politics as usual. Seen enough of it, read enough of it, lived in a state and city that has been plagued with enough of it. The only ones that truly suffer is the ones that just want to enjoy their inalienable rights as set forth by Patriot forefathers…………… Thank You and God Bless all of America no matter where you live………..

  71. avatar Kilee says:

    I believe that schools are built with public funds? in fact I think teachers are paid that way too, Therefore it is an objectionable use of public land and must be discontinued!! There stance on guns, marriage, pot, education, politics,common core, global non warming and much more offend me very much. Should these publicly funded entities choose to not discontinue there attacks on the beliefs and ideals that made this the great country it was then they will need to vacate the premises within the next 30 days.”

  72. avatar David says:

    I know for a fact that you can still get NRA grants even if all your members don’t belong. As a committee member of the friends of the NRA I help raise money for local gun clubs and youth areas and get them grants for improvements. Contact your local NRA rep as ask about the friends of the NRA in Colorado and apply for a grant it is very simple.

  73. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    What would be really cool would be for a local landowner to donate some property to the Club and then they could thumb their noses at the town ‘leaders’.

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