Success FOR NOW in York County, VA for Lafayette Shooting Club

Virginia Citizens Defense League
Virginia Citizens Defense League

Covington VA –-( We had an excellent turnout at the York County Planning Commission meeting Wednesday night.

As predicted, many of the neighbors of the Lafayette Shooting Club (LSC) showed up and brought a host of totally unrelated complaints against Lafayette.

Some of the claims were false, some already fixed, and some only supposition (lead pollution in a nearby lake?).

VCDL members and members of Lafayette fought back, continually pointing out that this was only about a new building, picnic area, and gravel road, not a general complaint-fest.

In the end the vote to recommend the changes that Lafayette wants to the Board of Supervisors was 4 to 0 (a fifth Supervisor abstained from participating as he is on the Board  of Directors of Lafayette).

We are not done yet, as the final decision will be made by the Board of Supervisors at a later date.  You can bet the neighbors will be there with their list of unrelated grievances.  We need to make sure that the neighbors don’t prevail in what is really a case of extortion (“give in to our demands on ‘safety’ and we won’t fight your request to add a new classroom, picnic area, and gravel road”).

Lafayette is standing tall and we need to continue to stand with them.  I will advise when the Board of Supervisors will be hearing the case.

Here is coverage of the meeting:

York Planners Forward Proposal for New Construction at Lafayette Gun Club
July 11, 2013 By Gregory Connolly

More than 40 people spoke at a public hearing concerning the construction of new buildings and a new pathway at Lafayette Gun Club at a York County Planning Commission meeting Wednesday. The commission voted 4-0 to recommend the Board of Supervisors approve the proposal.

About 22 people spoke in favor of the addition to the club, almost all of whom are members of the club. About 15 people, most of whom are residents the Brandywine subdivision that abuts the gun club, spoke against the addition.

The meeting attracted so many people that televisions broadcasting the meeting had to be set up on the first floor of York Hall. Some of the people who attended the meeting wore handguns on their sides.

The application calls for a 6,000-square-foot multi-purpose building and a 3,280-square-foot picnic pavilion. The multi-purpose building would be used for club meetings and classroom training space to help alleviate a lack of space in the current building. It also originally asked for a gravel path that leads to a 22-acre man-made lake adjacent to the gun club and to Brandywine, though it now only asks for a path that extends farther into the gun club’s property rather than to the lake.

The proposal would not increase the size or capacity of firing ranges at the gun club, nor would it add more.

Commissioner Todd Mathes abstained from the discussion and the vote. The commission normally has seven members but currently only has five due to commissioners Christopher Abel and Alexander Hamilton finishing their terms in June. The four commissioners who participated in the vote all brought up what they perceived to be a lack of communication between the gun club and Brandywine residents.

“Perhaps if you all communicated more often and better we wouldn’t have this full room,” said commissioner Timothy McCulloch. “We’d all be at home sleeping.”

Vice Chairwoman Melissa Magowan referred to the situation as a “perfect storm” between the growth of the gun club and of Brandywine. She said approving the proposal would likely cause more people to visit the gun club, which would intensify the problem. She ended up voting in favor.

The supporters of the addition primarily cited the commission’s role in considering the application, which they said should be to focus on whether an addition is legally allowed on that land rather than the safety and environmental concerns brought up by many people who opposed the proposal. Supporters also discussed the use of the facility by Boy Scouts and law enforcement organizations who train there, saying the expansion would better serve those groups and their members who rely on the club for important safety training in an area that lacks formal shooting clubs.

York County Sheriff J.D. “Danny” Diggs spoke in support of the proposal, saying the gun club is a valuable asset to the community and the region. He said it’s important to view the proposal as a property issue and that membership in the club has been rising due to the current political climate.

Opponents of the addition primarily cited safety issues, environmental issues and the expansion of the gun club’s membership and use of its 25.6-acre property in recent years. They also brought up the usage of the lake by gun club members.

One Brandywine resident said she was kayaking on the lake June 29 when pellets from a shotgun blast landed in the lake water nearby. The gun club owns about 4.4 acres of the lake while the Brandywine Lakeowners Association owns about 17.8 acres. Another Brandywine resident said her shed had been hit twice with gunfire. She also said she had seen people urinating in plain view at the club near the indoor shooting range.

Many of the Brandywine residents said they were frustrated with the growth of the club, which has climbed to about 3,600 members, according to the club’s president, Don Streeter. Club members cited the usage records at the club, which show 3,376 visits to the gun club since January, which breaks down to about 140 per week.

Read More:


Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right. Visit: