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  1. #1
    User
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    White River District
    Age
    56
    Posts
    322

    Default SHOULD I STAY OPEN?

    After more than a year of applications, inspections, re-applications etc,etc, my outdoor shooting range in the White River district has finally been fully accredited by the NRCS and the SAPS. So this should be good news right?

    Saps informs me at 10h00 yesterday that my accreditation has been approved. At 11h25 on the same day I get a call from the NRCS...... there have been complaints about my range and they need to re-inspect/evaluate the range!

    So after some detective work I find out this is whats happening.

    Background:
    I built my shooting range from scratch on my farm which is situated in a conservency 10km outside of White River (The Joe Winter Memorial Shooting Range). I am a retired individual, and decided to build the range after about a year of sitting on the "stoep" & drinking beer. Needed something to keep me occupied, and as I cannot get even khakiebos to grow as a farmer, my love for shooting & firearms led to the range being born. Before I even started, I stated my intention to the conservancey at their monthly meetings and asked that if there were any objections, they should be aired before I started building the range. This was all minuted & duly recorded. There were no objections & I continued with the construction, all the time making sure that I built the range to NRCS specs.

    The range opened in October 2013 as a non-accredited range for licenced fire arms owners to use. No training could take place due to the range not being accredited. However, increasing demand from free-lance firearms instructors & security companies led me to apply for accreditation in April Last year. NRCS accredited first, with SAPS accredidation having come through yesterday.... then the phone call came...

    So after some detective work I find out this is whats happening.

    My one neighbour (wealthy of course) lives & works in JHB. He has a couple of caravans and a large shed on his farm, about 400m away from the nearest range on my farm. For the past 3 years he has not had a complaint about my ranges. He spends a week-end every 4-6 weeks out here. Now I hear he has gone to the NRCS with allegations that my ranges are unsafe, and that he has to live with "the OK-Corral" exploding around him every time he spends a week-end on the farm.

    My other neighbour is a macadamia farmer and also has a self-catering lodge on his farm (the two of them are friends) has apparently alleged that he hears ricochets "all the time" - (a blatant untruth), and that the existence of a shooting range in a conservancy is questionable and detremental to the conservation of fauna & flora in the conservancy.

    So now the NRCS is re-evaluating my ranges (for the third time) tomorrow. However I am fully confident that my ranges are completely safe and in many respects exceed the minimum specifications set by the NRCS. (Check out the photos on my website - JWshootingrange.co.za)

    With the above as background, here is a thumbnail summary of my situation:
    • These two gentlemen are colluding in an effort to (in their words) "shut down my shooting range".
    • The worst that can happen is that my accreditation is withdrawn (although I do not see how this can happen), but the range can chug along merrily as before when it was not accredited.
    • Whatever the case may be, no one can stop me, my friends or family from shooting on my farm, shooting ranges or not!
    • There are no daylight noise restrictions in rural areas, so I can shoot, run machinery or make as much other noise as I like.
    • Both the neighbours concerned bought their farms whilst another (also accredited) shooting range already existed within the conservancy, just not located adjacent to their property like mine is.
    • The One neighbour concerned has just bulldozed & cleared at least 20 hectars of prime lowveld-bush habitat to plant macadamia trees. This in conjuction with who knows how much Pyrethroid-based insecticies being sprayed onto his existing orchards on an annual basis, have BY FAR a more serious impact on the environment, fauna and flora in the area than my shooting range can ever have.


    So from the above, I believe it is clear that I am in a strong position to "ward-off" this attack on my enterprise. However having said that, I keep thinking to myself that I retired to this little piece of paradise to live out my last healthy & active days in peace and whilst doing the things that I love. I do not know if I should compromise this vision by engaging two obvious misinformed, misguided but seemingly aggressive and spiteful neighbours. This, coupled to the fact that the income from the ranges really only cover costs, and do not provide me with any sort of significant income, makes me wonder whether it is all worth it, or should I just shut down the whole thing and drink beer on the "stoep" again..... ????

  2. #2
    User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Port Elizabeth
    Age
    52
    Posts
    5,654

    Default Re: SHOULD I STAY OPEN?

    Fukkem!

  3. #3
    User
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Posts
    5,890

    Default Re: SHOULD I STAY OPEN?


  4. #4
    User
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Boland, Western Cape
    Age
    44
    Posts
    1,224

    Default Re: SHOULD I STAY OPEN?

    Nothing like a bit of conflict to get the blood pumping.

    Screw'em and make the range bigger!

  5. #5

    Default Re: SHOULD I STAY OPEN?

    Do the things you love.
    "Trespassers will be welcomed, and served a light lunch"

  6. #6
    User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Stellenbosch/Tokai /\/¯¯¯¯¯\/\
    Age
    39
    Posts
    10,733

    Default Re: SHOULD I STAY OPEN?

    Quote Originally Posted by curious george View Post
    Fukkem!

  7. #7
    User
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Krugersdorp, GP
    Age
    34
    Posts
    3,234

    Default Re: SHOULD I STAY OPEN?

    I'd host the .50 cal association of South Africa club if I were you.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    User
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Virtutopia
    Age
    36
    Posts
    9,154

    Default Re: SHOULD I STAY OPEN?

    I'm with curious george!

  9. #9
    User
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Age
    32
    Posts
    3,275

    Default Re: SHOULD I STAY OPEN?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vega5 View Post
    I'd host the .50 cal association of South Africa club if I were you.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I'm pretty sure I can get hold of a few 20mm's from Truvelo for the weekend

  10. #10
    User
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Centurion
    Age
    38
    Posts
    4,764

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by curious george View Post
    Fukkem!
    I second this.
    "At least we do not have to fear an attack by a foreign enemy. The local one is doing splendidly." -A-R

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