Happy New Year to all Members.
I hope that one of your resolutions is to get more involved with the Club, come to a general meeting, volunteer to organize things, help with the Banquet.
Many, many thanks to those members and the executive for their hard work to modernize our Club last year. The legal landscape for fishing, hunting and especially the shooting sports has changed tremendously in the last 10-20 years. We are now portrayed as somehow bad, or evil, because we like to participate in these sports. Unfortunately, this perspective is all too common, and the laws and regulations continue to make it more difficult for us to practice the sports we love, the firearms we own.
In this climate, the “anti” factions frown on our sports much more than celebrate them. We need to protect what we have built given the countless years of volunteer time (well over 3,000 hours, or 375 person days, of work just in 2018 was put in by a small group of members and directors), and a million plus dollars spent in building a Club facility we continue to improve. If we demonstrate that we are organized and take our responsibilities seriously, that we meet regulatory requirements to operate a safe shooting range, then we position ourselves to take on the “anti” factions that exist in government and in society. Those factions will use any excuse to influence government, to make it difficult to operate or close the Club down.
The Club’s operating licence is contingent on law and regulation administered by the Chief Firearms Office (CFO) and intertwined with the sea of regulations that all three levels of government use to administer us. This complex environment makes it more difficult for the Club to operate and easy to appease the “anti” factions. Unfortunately, the Club, and your Board of Directors, are governed by these laws and regulations, and it makes them personally liable if they do not ensure the Club follows the conditions outlined in our operating licence, and what the laws and the regulations require.
In 2018 our Club shifted from building our shooting facility to playing catch-up to meet the requirements set out in law and regulation, something that we had not kept up with for years. Much of modernizing who we are and how we operate to meet these requirements are administrative and I consider them more a pain in the bottom than anything else! However, our new Constitution, Bylaws, Codes of Conduct, Vision, Mission, Goals and Policies reflect these new realities and, I believe, help to protect the Club and what we have built. I do not want to give any level of government, “anti” faction or the CFO an excuse to close the Club. Like it or not, the Club’s next operating licence depends on how we address these technicalities now.
The Club still has a lot of work to do. The Board of Directors set range safety orientations, a new FOB-activated security gate, lead management planning and testing, and more shooting competitions as the 2019 priorities. Stay tuned for more bulletins on these priorities.