Gun Range Fights Back After Town Zones Them Out Of Business

Gun Range Fights Back After Town Zones Them Out Of Business

Some towns don’t like gun ranges. It’s funny to me, though, because anti-gunners often complain about the lack of training with regard to civilian gun owners, but they also like to try and kill gun ranges whenever possible. In other words, they don’t think we’re trained enough, but they want to kill people’s ability to train.


One such case in Pennsylvania has resulted in a lawsuit after the town allegedly zoned the range out of business in secret.

A Western Pennsylvania town is the subject of a federal lawsuit over their contentious interaction with an area gun range.

Robinson Township, located in a rural area just west of Pittsburgh, was named as a defendant along with the town’s zoning officer, Mark Dorsey, in a complaint filed by range owner William Drummond last week.

Drummond, a USPSA/IPSC champion shooter, heads the Greater Pittsburgh Gun Club on land that has been run by his family off and on since 1967 as a shooting range. However, he argues that township officials have wanted to close down the operation for decades and took advantage of a change in management to do just that.

Drummond assumed a 10-year lease on the land after Iron City quit their operation last December and, moving forward under the new name and management, talked to Dorsey about continuing the club’s operation. Within weeks, the township’s board of supervisors met with one of the plaintiffs from the prior legal actions who urged the lawmakers to zone the range out of existence, the lawsuit says.

In March, with his application for an operating permit allegedly “slow-rolled” by Dorsey, the supervisors held a special meeting to amend the township’s zoning ordinance to effectively bar the gun club property from continuing operation as a shooting range. The change was adopted on April 9 without Drummond’s knowledge and his long-pending permit application was marked “denied” four days later.


Now, Drummond is teaming up with the Second Amendment Foundation to fight back. Frankly, I don’t blame him.

While people often worry about tyranny at the national level, and for good reason, they often forget that it can happen on the local level as well. Local politics can run a business out of town easily enough. In the case of a gun range, where it’s not so easy to pack up and relocate, it’s especially problematic.

To be sure, gun ranges can certainly be noisy, but almost everyone who lives near it moved into that area knowing there was a gun range. I find I have a complete lack of sympathy for those folks. It’s hardly a convincing reason to shut down a business that’s been there for decades, regardless of who is managing it.

I hope Drummond can win this lawsuit and do so quickly so the people of Dorsey will have a good place to train. I also hope the city is slapped down hard by the court for their shenanigans. They seriously deserve it. Stupid should hurt, and this is no exception.

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