The Rod and Gun Club with a membership of over 200 members plays an important role in our community. It provides a safe and controlled environment for people using firearms and for archery. Our facilities are used for training both adults and youth to meet firearm licensing requirements and to teach safe and responsible handling of firearms and archery equipment. We are also involved with other community organizations such as the Salt Spring Island Conservancy. We organize community events including the Open House on Fathers Day and our facilities are available to other organizations as diverse as the Roller Derby group, the Small Vessel Operator Proficiency Certification and the RCMP who use the Club for training and firearm certification
A half a dozen complainants living adjacent to the Gun Club want to have it shut down because of noise. The Rod and Gun Club has been in existence for over 100 years and at the present location for 60 years. They are the ones that moved next door to an organization that they knew would create noise. This is not much different than buying land adjacent to an airport and then complaining about the noise and demanding that it be moved.
In support of these complainants the Board of the Capital Regional District (CRD) intends to give third reading and adopt Bylaw No. 3855, Noise Suppression Bylaw (Salt Spring Island) No. 1, 2006 Amendment Bylaw No. 1, 2014, at its meeting of Wednesday, September 10, 2014, in the Board Room at 625 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC.
The purpose of the bylaw is to amend Bylaw No. 3384, which provides regulations and penalties to assist with and encourage the abatement and control of disturbing noise in the Salt Spring Island Electoral Area, by:
- defining allowable hours for the discharge of a firearm at a shooting range as 9 am to sunset or 7 pm whichever is earliest
- setting a maximum noise level of 70 dBA for the discharge of a firearm at a shooting range.
What is proposed (70 decibel levels) is against the CRD staff's own recommendations, will be against the ruling of the BC Supreme Court (Any bylaw that prohibits lawful zoned use is not allowed and we are now and have always been properly zoned - you cannot negate zoning by bylaw and CRD has no land use powers - 70 decibel level is below what the smallest firearms generate and about the same as a lawnmower) The proposal is not reasonable and will be difficult to prove in court, cost a lot of tax dollars in unnecessary monitoring equipment and litigation costs.
In the interest of reconciliation we have voluntarily reduced the shooting hours including no outdoor shooting on Sundays. We have investigated and installed various noise mitigation measures on both the Outdoor and Indoor Range. We have looked into all environmental concerns to ensure that we are in conformity. None of this seems to have had any influence on the complainants or the CRD.
The CRD seems to indicate that their responsibility in these disputes is to make everyone equally dissatisfied. Their role is to respect and support the interest of the community as a whole. Over 1,400 people have signed a petition supporting the Club but the CRD chooses to disregard that fact in the interest of a half dozen complainers.
If you share our concern that Salt Spring Island should serve the interest of the broader community rather than the dictates of a few please contact the CRD and express your opinions and support for the Rod and Gun Club.
You can contact the CRD using the link below or at their web site. Thank you for your interest and hopefully your support.