Poll: Help Save the Rod and Gun Club

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.


July 18, 2014 10:32 AM

Community Comments

  • Avatar Ille Kaglik says:

    I think the whole situation is ridiculous. Don't want to live near a garbage dump, a school, or a shopping centre? Simple...buy your home somewhere else.

  • Avatar Ray says:

    Our CRD Director Wayne McIntyre must go. He has not been a good director. If it was the Rod and Bike club he would have paved a new bike lane to the club no matter what it cost. He might forget to actually have a budget to clean the new bike path but there would be one. Totally pro bike and nothing else. What was the final number on the bike path GVM? Wayne you have to go!

  • Avatar bornonsaltspring says:

    Farms with roosters, outdoor restaurants with music, well traveled highways, sawmills, cement plants, elementary schools, ferries, float planes....you name the source of noise....if you want and expect, peace and quiet, don't move into a neighbourhood that has one, and for heaven's sake don't complain about the noise if you do....sorry, I forgot to include gun clubs that have been around for over 50 years...Wealthy real estate investors, who, without any due diligence, buy a couple of development properties near any of those sources of noise, and then sue in Supreme Court to have the noise removed, with the hope/expectation of increasing the value of their real estate holdings/investments should not be supported by changing government regulations to reflect their will. IMO it's just plain wrong to do so. Please let the CRD know your views loud and clear before July 31st.

  • Avatar Inquiringmindsneedtoknow says:

    The club was there long before the current neighbours were. If they don't want it there they need to seek a solution with a positive outcome for all.
    Offer the potential increase in your property values to the club to allow the to seek property elsewhere. Petition the CRD to allow the club to subdivide and gain further equity to allow them to establish elsewhere. Be creative rather than divisive.
    Just be positive. Quit whining about noise when you bought next to a gun club at under market values because if it. NIMBY'ism at its worst.

  • Avatar TheFoot says:

    Due diligence indeed, how does one not think there will be noise if they live adjacent to a gun club!?? Instead of lobbying to have an island institution effectively shut down, perhaps they should have done a little more research before purchasing their property. This is the beginning to a very slippery slope that Salt Springers are about to go down. What's next, the farmer's tractor is too loud, the smell of manure on the farm that I bought my cabin next to stinks, someone is running their chainsaw during my nap hour! If you want peace and quiet please go move deep, deep into the woods where you can be all by your lonesome. Some of us here are trying to have a viable and growing community.

  • Avatar Drew McClure says:

    The ignorance of some people continues to amaze me ! The Club is there, buy somewhere else ! "Leaving a window open" ? "Combat Shotguns" ? "Lead contamination " ? "Sunday shooting" ? 'Stat. shooting' ? Guess SOME people don't believe in 'Live and let live.' or 'Do unto others...' ! Open windows in your HOUSE may let the noise IN, but closing one at a range won't make the slightest difference.
    How you USE a tool decides whether it's useful for "Combat" or not, ever heard of a SHOVEL for digging 'foxholes', a long knife for a bayonet, a short knife when "Combat" gets REALLY scary, a rock or anything else you can grab when somebodies trying to kill you are all pretty quiet ! A 'Combat' rock ! Where do you think 'Lead' COMES from, the ground ! Pretty much EVERY Gun Club in B.C.'s biggest day is Sunday, THAT'S the day they have their competitions and make their money. If people are not given a place to safely enjoy their chosen hobby, they'll do it somewhere that may NOT be so safe, 'Street Racing' for example, it is what it is, human nature.
    Just out of curiosity, WHY would you stand across the road from a Gun club long enough to damage your hearing ? Are you THAT stupid ? If so, you may want to stand directly in front of B.C. Ferries air horn, it would cause "Hearing damage" FAR faster and more efficiently than hanging around "across the road" from Salt Spring Rod & Gun all day

  • Avatar basic saltspringer says:

    It's not just neighbours that are concerned. I live several kms away and the noise is quite disturbing when they are operating. There is nothing wrong with limiting their operations for the good of the community. Maybe 70 decibels is unreasonable since the noise is momentary.

    It is comical that people bring up the dump, which regularly burned for days and had no environmental controls, as a comparable example!

  • Avatar basic saltspringer says:

    It's not just neighbours that are concerned. I live several kms away and the noise is quite disturbing when they are operating. There is nothing wrong with limiting their operations for the good of the community. Maybe 70 decibels is unreasonable since the noise is momentary.

    It is comical that people bring up the dump, which regularly burned for days and had no environmental controls, as a comparable example!

  • Avatar Norene says:

    What is a gun club doing on Salt Spring Island. get it gone!

  • Avatar ian says:

    You have to be kiding

  • Avatar Casey de Jong says:

    What a load of tripe this so called "poll" is. First the Gun Club offers a preamble filled with half truths, and then it fails to present the opposing viewpoint before getting people to "vote". The Gun Club is acting as if any restriction at all in the noise they are allowed to make is a threat to their existence. This is nonsense.

    Certainly, there are a few people who want the Club shut down entirely. They are misguided, in my view. The CRD is not seeking to shut down the Gun Club, but are trying hard to mediate between competing interests. And just because the Gun Club can scare up more supporters should not give them the unlimited freedom to make as much noise as they want.

    The often repeated argument that the Gun Club was there first, and therefor newcomers should not complain, is flawed. Would people living next to an airport be justified in objecting to a big increase in the noise generated by, for example, military aircraft with afterburners? I suspect so. This is at the heart of the Gun Club neighbour's complaints, that is, that the noise has significantly increased. Every week I read about objections to increased tanker traffic, which has been going on longer than many of the protesters have been alive. The "Gun Club was here first argument" does not hold up.

    Think twice before riding roughshod over a minority. You may be part of a minority one day.

  • Avatar Ciandra says:

    long term islanders already are the minority with the Mainlanders taking over this place dictating what can and can't be done, who can build and who can't, what businesses should go and who can stay! Shoo, take your money and go somewhere else before this island only exists as a gated community with us "poor folk" only here to serve the rich. Protect this, protect that and it leaves no place for growth, movement, nothing. I could care less if somebody built over my bones, I am not there. The R and G is an awesome place for many reasons, leave it be.

  • Avatar Ciandra says:

    Sorry but blah blah blah is all I can say. This club has been around for a very long time and we like it, tyvm. Oh, God forbid they rent it out to make some money,NOO, don't do that. Hearing loss, are you standing right beside it when they shoot it?! If so, that is your stupidity. Live and let live. Step down off your soapbox.

  • Avatar Casey de Jong says:

    Let me see if I understand what you are saying.

    You think that anyone who has not lived here as long as you should be denied a voice in Island affairs that affect that person. You don't seem to like people you say are rich, and prefer to deal with "poor folk", such as yourself. You don't like gated communities, and somehow see a connection between noise limits at the Gun Club and gated communities. You seem to be making an allusion to the Grace Islet controversy, yourself objecting to the efforts being made to protect the interests of people that have been here much longer than you. Your reason for objecting to restrictions on noise are that the Gun Club is an "awesome" place.

    I don't think that a rational response to your post is possible.

  • Avatar Ciandra says:

    I could care less if you don't find my rant rational. I feel there should be MUCH more respect paid to the long time islanders here than there has been. I have not been here as long so I don't include myself in that batch. Having a voice and INSISTING is another. You move here and force change without having any respect for the voices of the people who founded this island, who worked hard to maintain it. Who want to see their grandchildren raised here but with zero growth how can they?! I am sick and tired of people moving here and insisting on change because they have nothing better to do with their time or money. So let me see, we shall complain about the Rod and Gun Club noise, we shall stop hard working people trying to feed their families from working by blockading them. I can have a voice too sorry if it conflicts with your frame of mind. As far as you saying I am merely objecting because it's an "awesome" place is insulting. There is many reasons, I know parents and children that go there to spend quality time together because they enjoy that sport, I know many people who have used that hall for numerous occasions, there is a vast amount of reasons to not shut it down. TRY not to be condescending please, it just verifies my reasoning on the sense of entitlement you have.