Second Amendment Foundation Sues to Protect Western Pennsylvania Shooting Range

greater pittsburgh gun club saf lawsuit

courtesy facebook.com

The Greater Pittsburgh Gun Club has been battling Robinson Township off and on for years. The club claims that the township is attempting to zone them out of existence and now the Second Amendment Foundation is taking up their cause, filing a lawsuit in federal court. Here’s the SAF’s press release . . .

SAF SUES PENNSYLVANIA TOWNSHIP, OFFICIAL OVER GUN RANGE DISPUTE

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation has filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of the owner of a local gun club in western Pennsylvania against Robinson Township and its zoning officer, alleging violations of Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights “by subverting the club’s operation.”

SAF is joined by William Drummond, owner of property on which the Greater Pittsburgh Gun Club is located, and has been since 1967. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The case is Drummond v. Robinson Township.

Legal troubles between the range operation and Robinson Township date back to 1993, when the township brought a nuisance action against the range, then known as the Greater Pittsburgh Trap and Skeet Club. The club prevailed. A second action mounted two years ago also failed.

But now the operation, under Drummond’s management since December 2017 via a lease, is having trouble again. New zoning restrictions have been adopted and the lawsuit says that the defendants, under color of law, have deprived the plaintiffs, their members and their customers, of their right to keep and bear arms in violation of the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

“This amounts to a local government attempting to drive a legal operation out of business through the use of zoning restrictions,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “There have been meetings about which Mr. Drummond was not informed, and we believe this has been done in order to close down the historic range operation.

“We’re seeking a permanent injunction against the defendants,” he added, “and a court order for the Township to issue all the necessary permits for operation. We expect the federal court to bring an end to what appears to be a long running effort to shut down this range facility, and hold the township responsible for this nonsense.”

 

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

comments

  1. avatar Ogre says:

    I’ve seen this happen elsewhere – the range was originally built out in the countryside where it wouldn’t disturb anybody, but development and suburban encroachment in the form of zoning laws eventually forced the range to shut down. Is that what’s happening here, or is it just some anti-2A neighbors and township officials with a hair up their arse who just don’t like the range and guns? Whatever the cause, I hope the 2A Foundation and the range prevail in this lawsuit. But somehow, even if they win, I think it will just be postponing the inevitable.

    1. avatar Spock says:

      I would imagine it is the former. I live about an hour north of there, and the place is pretty well built up. I was actually surprised to hear that there was a shooting range in that area.

    2. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      ” …the range was originally built out in the countryside where it wouldn’t disturb anybody, but development and suburban encroachment in the form of zoning laws eventually forced the range to shut down.”

      They are doing the exact same damn thing with with local airports that primarily handle light aircraft and business jets.

      It’s the same game. The people who moved in complain they hear aircraft and that it spoils their ‘peaceful enjoyment’. So they sue, and win, and get airports shut down.

      It’s bullshit and needs to end. We need a federal law that states you can’t complain about noise if you were the one moving into an area where an airport or gun range is pre-existing…

    3. avatar frank speak says:

      actually it’s both…they originally objected to the full-auto fire…even though a number of police agencies trained there…always thought it was a great place to shoot…and to party!…but the less said about that the better…..

  2. avatar L says:

    Good on the SAF.

  3. avatar LarryinTX says:

    Nice looking range. Been there 50 years? That’s cool. May have to send SAF some more bucks.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      actually heard it had shut down because of owners legal problems…and new highway construction…gonna’ have to take a ride out there and see what gives….

  4. avatar Michael says:

    Belonged to a range back east that had been founded by a bunch of WW 2 vetrans, ’46-47. Over 30 years later a developer built three houses more then a mile behind and away from the range. Owners made a big enough stink to get a public hearing. First house owner stood at the podium, reached into his shirt pocket and proceeded to show one and all what he had found in the driveway next to his car as he was coming to the meeting. An unfired .22 cartridge. Since it was readily apparent that no member of the gun club could possibly THROW that far the complaint was dismissed. After, the meeting, there was much good natured kidding around in the parking lot and for reasons unknown, the home owner quickly sold his house (at a substantial loss) and moved far, far away. 30

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      “good natured kidding”?
      You mean, like “How’s it feel to stand up in public and prove to everybody that you’re a lying sack of feces?”

  5. avatar little horn says:

    damn yankee’s lol

  6. avatar RCC says:

    As Orge said –
    It happens all the time people move to rural location then find out they don’t like the piggery, cattle feed lot or range that’s been there for many years or decades. Not helped when there are two different councils involved and the city lets them build next to farming in a different county.

    My favourite was the ones who tried to shut down an army range that had been there for over 110 years. Judge asked did they not notice all the signs, the high fence, sentry posts etc before they bought house over the road.

  7. avatar Mark N. says:

    Happened (still happening?) in my parts, where the sheriff’s department established a range over a mile west of town–a heavily used range because our cops like to shoot–and the town built out to it. Now on one of the streets abutting the range, the residents keep finding fired .40 cal bullets littering their streets and yards, and no, they are not happy. I haven’t heard anything about it in the news for a while, so maybe they worked a deal like raising a few berms.

  8. avatar b725 says:

    Like all the people that move to Virginia Beach and want the Naval Air Station closed due to the noise. It’s been in operation since 1946 when it was built way out in the country. The city allowed development all around to include the crash zone. The Navy said, OK we’ll close. City then realized the economic impact, and bought up the houses within the crash zone, at taxpayers expense.

  9. avatar frank speak says:

    original range extended out to 400 yds…plus a couple of other ranges as well as the [excellent] trap & skeet…did my long range sighting-in out there before my wyoming trip….[paid off!]….

  10. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    The socialist progressive hate airports and gun ranges.

  11. avatar Sora says:

    Donate to SAF. They’ve been fighting harder than NRA, who mainly focus on political elections.
    Send donations monthly.

  12. avatar bob says:

    Dense public expansion is like a cancer slowly progressing. Once people start to catch on it will be too late.

    Don’t like my neighbors crammed too close, never did understand town folk who like living like rats in a lab.

  13. avatar GS650G says:

    PA has rules that support gun ranges already present when developers build near by. It’s basically Too Bad. That doesn’t mean some places and people won’t try to buck it though.

  14. avatar DaveC79 says:

    Every time I read an article about the 2A foundation I think, “I need to give these people money”. So I do, and you should too. These people are fighters!

  15. avatar Roger says:

    Before I purchase a property I do surveillance on the neighborhood and street at different times of the day and night before I make an offer.

  16. avatar Shawn says:

    Robinson township will win. The range will be shut down. Why? The judge will hate guns, hate gun owners and wants all guns to be banned and confiscated. I also expect the owners will either have there land confiscated without compensation or forced to sell at a loss way below what it is actually worth.

  17. avatar Robert says:

    The same B.S. has happened to gun clubs/ranges around the Baltimore area. “Newbies” have also tried it around existing farms because of “odors.”
    Same old “horse shit.” Move out of “the city” because you want “the country,” then try to change “the country” to be like “the city!”

  18. avatar Scott Chapple says:

    When zoning laws change the Govt. cannot shut down buildngs, businesses that were operating there prior to the change. A gun range in Grand Rapids Mi. was taken to court because the people that built expensive houses near the range claimed the gun fire, noise etc. bothered them. The judge rulled that the gun range could stay because it was there first.

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