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Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club shooting again

The Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club is open for shooting.

Marcus Carter, the executive officer of the club, said shooters once again took to the range May 1, months after the popular shooting club was closed when Pierce County Superior Court Judge Susan Serko agreed with Kitsap County prosecutor Russell Hauge that the club was a public nuisance and ordered it not to use the property as a shooting range until a Kitsap County conditional use permit was issued.

In late April, a Washington State Court of Appeals Court Commissioner issued a stay on the decision, Carter said, allowing the club to reopen until an appeals trial was completed.

The suit was brought by Kitsap County Prosecutor Russell Hauge in September 2010. To date, Hauge’s pursuit of the public nuisance case has cost the county at least $50,000.

Carter said a few conditions came with the appellate court stay, such as a ban on automatic weapons from the range and cannons could only be fired on July 4. Range hours were restricted from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., he said.

Club members used the time off to revitalize the property and work on range upkeep, according to Carter. But members were happy to again step out on the range, rifles in hand.

“We’re certainly grateful to be open again,” Carter said, noting that gun safety courses were again offered at the club. “We’re ramping back up.”

The court appeals process could take years to complete, Carter said. He’s confident an appellate court judge will rule in favor of keeping the gun club open permanently, he said, silencing area critics.

The rifle club has a membership of less than 500 people. In the past, there have been as many as 1,200 members, a majority of which used the club during the weekend.

A Poulsbo rifle club has 750 members and is at capacity.

 

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