Comments Requested from Sporterifle Shooters
New York – -(AmmoLand.com)- To all Sporterifle Shooters, I am sure some of you have heard of some problems between Sporterifle and the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association. I feel it is time to explain the situation to all.
Sporterifle and NYSRPA have enjoyed a somewhat rocky but workable relationship for 50 years.
Two years ago, just before our summer meeting, I was approached by Joe DeBergalis, Vice President of NYSRPA, with a proposal to offer a discount on NYSRPA dues. But in order to enjoy this we had to have 100% of our shooters be NYSRPA members.
This was unacceptable to the Sporterifle board for the following reasons:
- We believe that membership in any organization should be of free choice. We encourage membership in NRA, NYSRPA etc., but believe it should be free choice of the individual, not forced to participate in an activity.
- It would be unfair to our out of state shooters.
- It would put an additional burden of record keeping, either on Sporterifle or the team Captains to keep track of and collect NYSRPA dues.
- It would open the door for NYSRPA to demand a fee every time a shooter shoots that would go to NYSRPA.
- It would open the door for NYSRPA to have a voice in our policies and finances. Mr. DeBergalis was very unhappy that I would not support this idea and that I informed him that my allegiance was Sporterifle first and NYSRPA’s interests a distant second. He then threatened to take my views to the NYSRPA Executive Board and Tom King, NYSRPA President.
I did not attend any further meetings of NYSRPA board after that, to avoid any further conflict. I announced at last year’s banquets that I would not run for re-election. My feelings were that I could not do anything further to advance Sporterifle with the NYSRPA. Historically the Director is a person recommended by Sporterifle and then accepted by the NYSRPA and has a seat on both boards. I could not in good conscience feel I could represent the interests of both groups when the views were so opposite.
The Sporterifle board discussed this situation at our summer meeting 2009, and I again stated why I would not seek the office again at the end of this term (summer 2011). Sporterifle Board decided not to offer another candidate for the NYSRPA board. About December of this year I received a letter from Mr. DeBergalis accepting my resignation from the NYSRPA board that I had never tendered. I answered by registered letter that I had not resigned and that I had every intention o f finishing my term but not seeking re-election. A couple of weeks later I received a letter from Tom King saying that I was off the board, period. I then called Mr. King and restated my position.
He told me that Sporterifle was under NYSRPA control, they could take it over and run it as they saw fit. He also stated we could lose our NRA matches. He implied that he and Mr. DeBergalis would use their influence as NRA board members to force the NRA to drop our match sanctions even though we had done nothing wrong.
We, being the Sporterifle Board, decided that we needed legal advice as to what, if any, hold NYSRPA had over us. We had a meeting with a legal firm in Rochester who reviewed the situation. As we are incorporated in the State of New York as NYS Sporterifle and we received no money or goods from NYSRPA and there was no contract, in the lawyers’ opinion, NYS Sporterifle was under no obligation or control of NYSRPA. The lawyers also suggested several things we should do in order to “Bullet Proof” our situation. We authorized them to proceed.
At the present time there is no connection between NYS Sporterifle and New York State Rifle and Pistol Association. We have been removed from NYSRPA’s web site and we have removed their name from our web site and from all of our documentation. I expect you will see some changes in our match offerings due to this change and the situation with the NRA matches. I also expect to see a small increase in Sporterifle fees to cover the cost of the lawyers.
Tom King is running for re-election to the NRA board this March. Many long-time NRA and higher level NRA members get to vote on this position. In view of Mr. King’s actions toward Sporterifle, I cannot support his re-election bid. I also hope that you who can vote in this election and your friends and relatives who can vote in this election will NOT vote for Mr. King for NRA board. His actions toward Sporterifle and his willingness to deprive the NRA of $2000 a year that we send the NRA in match fees in order to pursue his personal vendetta does not make him a fit person to hold that office.
We believe that what we are doing is in the best interest of Sporterifle and the Sporterifle shooters. As always, we solicit and request your comments and feelings on the above. I am well aware that Sporterifle shooters are happy to leave the administration and conduct of Sporterifle to us as leaders, but feel that this is important enough to hopefully elicit your thoughts and comments. This is not a situation we created, but a situation being forced upon us by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association.
We were willing to go on doing the same as we had in the past; NYSRPA was not.NYS Sporterifle Director
P.S. Our NRA match was approved and will go on as planned.
NYS Sporterifle is a postal target competition using 22 cal. rimfire rifles. The shooting position is off-hand standing with the target at 50 feet. The sport is designed so that expensive special equipment is not required. It is possible to be competitive with equipment you may already own. Visit: www.sporterifle.org