Chabot Gun Club Shuts Down After 53 Years

SAN LEANDRO (CBS SF) — One of the largest gun clubs in the Bay Area has closed its doors for good Monday.

For 53 years, generations of families have been shooting holes in targets at the Anthony Chabot Regional Park. It was the Chabot Gun Club’s home on the range.

But at 5 p.m. Monday, the East Bay Parks System closed the range for good.

“It’s a travesty, basically. I mean, this place is beautiful.  It’s a shame to see them shut it down,” Steve Mocker of Castro Valley said.

The East Bay Parks system says the era ended because millions of bullets fired here through the years are now posing an environmental threat, and all that lead could contaminate the groundwater.

“We’ve also been told that times change and they don’t want to have a range in the park system anymore,” Range Master John Maunder said.

But, park officials say that isn’t the problem.

“The issue was not guns. The issue was not – ‘should people be allowed to shoot guns?’  The issue was strictly an environmental and a cost issue,” Carolyn Jones with East Bay Regional Parks District said.

Beginning immediately, a parks spokesperson says the gun ranges as well as all the buildings on the property will be demolished.

“Then we’ll bring in experts to see—exactly how deep is the contamination?  How severe it is,” Jones said.

In the wake of the Flint, Michigan water crisis, environmental and health officials are hyper aware of contamination.

But many at the gun club don’t believe the park district’s reasoning. They think they have been targeted because their pastime is no longer popular with the public.


More from Joe Vazquez

One Comment

  1. fn hippies.

    dont vote for trump.

  2. Doug Stephens says:

    Why aren’t the EBRPD board concerned with the tons of lead fishing weights deposited over the decades in the lakes where they operate the fishing concessions?

    The amount of lead found in the park soil was literally TRACE amounts, and only in the immediate vicinity of the gun range.

    The EBRPD board should be held responsible and liable for knowingly allowing lead contamination in the lakes where it operates the fishing concessions.

  3. Bea M says:

    #1 – if they’re going to excavate the soil for remediation they can re-establish the club after that (if it really IS about environmental concerns, which most of us doubt).
    #2 – if they plan to pave it over, someone needs to tell them that PAVING IS THE WORST THING TO DO IN A NATURAL SPACE. It absorbs solar heat at a time we’re trying to cool the planet.
    #3 – if they plan to pave it over, they could re-establish the club since they’d have a barrier to prevent that leaching of lead (and make bullet retrieval that much easier).
    #4 – if they plan to pave it over, they could create a covered, indoor range to accommodate the people who were there first and have no other nearby place for safe, sanctioned target practice. Considering the traffic disaster that is the Bay Area, the last thing we need is to add people having to travel 25 miles just to target shoot to already-over-crowded freeways.
    #5 – what we all suspect is that it’s a tiny contingent of uber-vocal people who just don’t like to hear gun shots when they walk in the park. It’s been going on for 53 years. I’d say it’s the Johnny-come-latelies who need to adapt to what was there before they were, rather than trying to force the neighborhood to conform to their rigid standards.

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