National Gun Group Sues Pennsylvania Township, Official Over Gun Range Dispute

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National Gun Group Sues Pennsylvania Township, Official Over Gun Range Dispute

Bellevue, WA – -(AmmoLand.com)- The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) 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 the 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.”


Second Amendment FoundationThe 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.

  • 16 thoughts on “National Gun Group Sues Pennsylvania Township, Official Over Gun Range Dispute

    1. In a township I lived in in Pa. the goody two shoes put a hold on an up grade of a township road for over 4 years because of a prime breeding area for a Bog Turtle which after long debates and years of fighting it was proven that no one had seen any of them in over almost 100yrs, finally road was done but without the major road up-grades!!!!!!!

    2. In some states zoning ordinances cannot be applied retroactively to outlaw previously allowed uses. They are grandfathered in and can continue to operate as they have in the past. My home state is like that, something one of our more contentious fellow townsfolk found out the hard way when he tried to shut down certain farm operations in an adjacent farm.

      He got one of the town zoning ordinances changed to eliminate night time spraying because the operation at a neighboring farm disturbed his sleep. But because this had been done for decades at this particular farm AND federal regulations required certain pesticides be sprayed at night with no/low wind, his efforts came to naught. He took it to court and the court struck down the ordinance as being moot due to overriding state and federal laws and regulations.

      I wonder if the plaintiffs in the shooting range case may be able to bring up the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto law or present the zoning changes as bills of attainder?

    3. Look in the county codes and see if there is an exemption clause. In NC there is a clause that exempts any USDA or bona fide farms from all county codes. This was established to protect farms, especially hog, turkey, chicken, and cattle operations from the lowlife leftist idiots that move to the country – they move right next to a well established farm and then start bitching about the noise and smell until the farm is put out of business. So NC made this clause to protect farms. The qualification is NOT based on acreage, just on product. If it is agricultural, and you produce a minimum of (I believe) $1000 annually, then you qualify. I have 6 acres and have 50 beehives and I have a USDA number, the county NEVER bothers me because they have no jurisdiction AND the neighboring city cannot annex my property without my written permission! If the PA county has this clause, the rang owner could lease the whole property to a beekeeper to put hives on the outer areas of the property – problem solved.

    4. This is nothing new regardless if it is second amendment or anything else that somebody doesn’t like, I was involved in racing years ago and found out that land values and tax bases sell all, housing projects, shopping malls, sell and move all. In racing they built housing projects, then when the people moved in oh the noise is not barrable so pass a zoning restriction, even though it was there first, it happens no matter what you get involved in some scum-ball doesn’t want you to enjoy a hobby or a sport that you enjoy only what they tell you can nothing else. Most of the tracks are gone all replaced by vacant shopping malls, run down warehouses, and low income in shambles housing projects, but we second amendment people also have the same battles with the EPA clean up the lead at all ranges or they will close us down and we end up having to suck-up and do it or have no place to shoot!!!!!!!!!!

    5. Several years ago the Charlotte county FL Sheriff was forced to close their range because of this kind of Shite! I know one deputy that still bitches about.

    6. The comparison to airports is pretty spot on. A small General Aviation airport is a benefit to a community, but too many people will move into the adjacent land because it’s cheaper — after all, there’s an AIRPORT right over there! — but they ignore the noise issue, and the fact that vehicles will be flying overhead on a regular basis, and there will likely be a fair bit of traffic into and out of the vicinity at all hours. Then, after getting all moved in, the whining, bitching, and protesting at local government meetings starts up.

      “I can barely sleep at night with that buzzing drone every ten minutes!”
      “The smell of the fumes from the airport is giving me . I may sue because I’m getting sick.”
      “I don’t know who any of these people going in and out of our neighborhood are. They might be DRUG DEALERS for all I know, flying drugs in from Nicaragua!”

      And unfortunately, no one from the local government stands up and says “you knew the airport was there when you moved in. It’s been there for sixty years. If you are a light sleeper, asthmatic, or paranoid of unknown people in and out of your neighborhood, you should have selected property FURTHER AWAY from the airport, or even in a gated community. I suggest installing soundproofing on your bedroom, HEPA filtration, and buying a gun, some cameras, and a set of roll-down steel shutters for your doors and windows. Or MOVE.”

      Instead, the local politicians shake their heads sympathetically and start voting in restrictions on the airport, which was there FIRST. Eventually there are X’s on the runway approaches and weeds growing in the FBO parking lot, and another GA airport is gone. Gun ranges are pretty much treated the same. Sit on the necks of your local politicians and threaten them with everything from 2A lawsuits to charges of mopery and dopery in the spacelanes, whatever it takes.

    7. This is part and parcel of how progressives operate:

      “Don’t like a fact? Make up your own”

      “Truth is a matter of perspective”

      “Don’t like the game? Change the rules.”

    8. It’s like so many things where noise is concerned. People move into an area without checking to see if there’s an airfield, gun range, gravel pit, etc. Then they have the gall to bitch about it.

    9. Over the years I’ve seen several gun ranges closed because of “urban encroachment”. It’s sad but often inevitable that as populations increase and open space decrease, gun ranges lose out to the overwhelming numbers of non-shooters living in proximity. One solution has been locating ranges on public lands (BLM, Forest Service, etc.) which will never see residential development. Most Federal land management agencies in many areas, especially in the West, will work with locals in conjunction with the NRA to lease public lands for shooting ranges.

      1. Find a “Rare” endangered insect or other critter living on the range property that can only exist in the open confines of the range . One that urban sprawl would endanger .

        1. But that would also close down the range because they wouldn’t allow ANY activity there. This is what happened to Ft. Bragg NC. The environmentalists found red-cockaded woodpeckers, there in the 80’s and shut down many training areas. This woodpecker had not only co-existed but flourished alongside the military activity prior to the restrictions, but that doesn’t matter.
          It didn’t take long for local property owners to go out and cut down any trees that had these birds nesting in them so that the government wouldn’t come in and restrict their land use! What was meant to help the bird ended up doing the opposite.

          1. After the Northern Spotted Owl reared it’s cute head in the ’90s, a local timber company immediately went to work cutting much of the old growth on their 100,000+ acres of timberland. They could see the writing on the wall.
            The leftists never stop to think about the possibilities of the unintended consequences of their actions. They’re not smart enough to.

        2. Now THAT’S funny! Use their own “lock up the land!” arguments against them! (Land-for-we-but-not-for-thee.”)

          1. @Gentlemen, Find an “expert” for sale that will identify and swear to an endangered or rare insect. Maybe he could even bring his own.

    10. I imagine the grip is over noise and makes a great case for the noise suppressor being taken off the NFA requirement of a tax stamp. Seems a case where Robinson a high price and rapidly growing area wants to be rid of a long standing institution that they see as a distraction and detriment to the township. I hope the owners are successful in their suite against the township and is awarded legal fees and damages.

      1. How right you are. Four Corners Rod and Gun Club has faced the encroachment of civilization for decades. There you have to shoot through 55 gal drums, set up to muffle the sound. Albany Rifle and Pistol club had to haul in huge amounts of earth fill and erect 30ft high berms to line the 200yards of their main range, all because of one complaint. Imagine a range where you can only shoot suppressed. Imagine buying and owning a suppressor for any firearm, be as easy as buying any accessory. Good luck SAF!

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