Kevin Howard is the president of the Enfield Outing Club. (No, they’re not dedicated to shooting British military rifles; they’re located in picturesque Enfield, New Hampshire.) He recently sent out a notice to members of the gun club, explaining why they’re still open to members and how they’re going to handle it safety. I think it’s a good role model policy for other such organizations. Here are some excerpts from the bulletin recently sent to members:
I’m sure most of you are aware the club’s range remains open. The Executive Committee met virtually to discuss our options and decided the club should remain open not only as a service to our current members, but as a service to the community and new firearm owners. From a legal standpoint, The Department of Homeland Security and Governor Sununu, both declared shooting ranges essential thereby authorizing us to remain open. So, I encourage you to get outside & use the range. As you do, please keep a few things in mind.
1) Be safe. Follow all the firearm safety rules you’ve always followed.
2) Keep a 10-person maximum in mind. Via Executive Order, Governor Sununu has mandated all gatherings have a maximum of 10 people. So, if you arrive at the range and there are already 10 people, please leave & return later.
3) Remember to stay at least 6 feet apart.
4) Face masks can’t hurt. But they do not negate the need to follow all other recommended safety measures.
5) Clean up after yourself. Please leave the range in better shape than you found it.
6) There may be some shooting newbies out there so please be patient, welcoming and extra vigilant where safety is concerned.
Our next topic of discussion was how to admit new members. With regular club meetings canceled for the foreseeable future our normal admission policy will not work. The BOD decided we will temporarily change the policy to accommodate the current situation. Currently a prospective new member will go to our website, www.eocnh.com. Click on membership and fill out the membership application. Then add it to the cart. They can either view it to make sure it’s correct or proceed to checkout. They’ll need to pay & print out the application. A member of the Executive Committee will then call them to set up an orientation. The orientation will be limited to 6 people, plus 2 members of the committee. At the orientation each prospective new member will hand in the membership application & be given a questionnaire so we can assess their level of competence. A basic, really basic, firearm safety course will be provided to those people we feel need it or ask for it. Unfortunately, those people without a computer or who want a Family Membership will need to do everything by mail at this time.
The Executive Committee made these adjustments as a community service. Firearm sales are setting records at this time. We feel it is important people have a safe place to shoot. We also feel strongly people should have a way to learn basic firearm safety. By providing this service we hope everyone will have a safe, enjoyable shooting experience.
At this time, the Free Sight-In day scheduled for April 26th is still on. Of course, we’ll be adhering to the 10-person max, 6 ft spread, facemasks, etc. However, in light of the ongoing health issues and mandated quarantine, the monthly member meeting for April is being canceled. Any events scheduled through NH Fish and Game (i.e.: our Hunter Education Course scheduled in May) have also been postponed. We will reschedule this once NHFG has authorized us to do so.
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Folks, Mr. Howard and his team strike me as having taken a very well measured approach to balancing current health concerns with the need to provide a place where the many, many people who bought their first firearms because of the current crisis, can learn their safe and competent use. I tip my hat to ‘em.