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.