Letter I just fired off to NYSRPA. If you agree feel free to copy and send to them for a response. I think that most of us on this board have experienced at least one example of this type of dicrimination:
NYSRPA Board of Directors
PO Box 1023
Troy, NY 12181-1023
I am finding it increasingly difficult to continue my support for the NYSRPA internal agenda as it relates to shooting programs and range relations. Certainly an effort is made to protect and promote the traditional shooting sports – Bullseye, Highpower, Smallbore, and the shotgun sports. Action shooting sports, which have eclipsed the aforementioned categories, get no mention in official NYSRPA publications nor do they enjoy representation by a Director. Here I refer to IDPA, IPSC, and 3-Gun competitions.
An unfortunate consequence of this lack of support is a reluctance of ranges and clubs to host these activities. Additionally, clubs and ranges frequently implement policies that prohibit participants from practicing the skills needed to effectively compete in these sports. These skills are also those needed by those who would use their firearms in self defense.
Many ranges have enacted policies that prohibit ‘rapid fire’ or drawing from a holster, prohibiting silhouette targets, limiting magazine capacity to 3-5 rounds or mandating single loading for repeaters. These are skills vital to the successful competitor as well as the citizen defending themselves. If there are no ranges to practice these skills, NY competitors are prevented from successfully competing and the citizen is exposed to liability issues regarding their ability to safely use their firearm. Where do we go to practice these skills if our ranges don’t allow them?
I have heard many of the arguments used to justify these regulations – from those concerned with their public image, concerns about improperly cleared firearms, or the potential for noise complaints. These are all the language of the appeasement crowd who feel that by sacrificing certain activities the Antis will leave them alone. We all know this to be faulty logic which only hurts the shooting community. We should be proud of our shooting activities, and if necessary properly educate our fellow shooters in the safe and proper manipulation of their firearms.
This lack of support directly contributes to unsafe gun handling and increases the potential for accidents. Unreasonable restrictions unreasonably limit the skill sets of NY shooters. As far as I can tell, the only support action shooting receives from NYSRPA is the listing of some matches in the calendar. The website and ‘The Bullet’ are dedicated to the legacy shooting sports of Highpower, Bullseye, Smallbore, and Trap/Skeet. These sports are on life support in comparison to the growing numbers entering the action shooting arena. I would suggest creating the position of ‘Director of Action Shooting’ to cover IDPA, IPSC, 3 Gun, and Cowboy Action shooting events. This Director would be responsible for promoting these sports both externally as well as within the shooting community, and for creating an atmosphere where civilians can practice the skills needed to compete.
I firmly believe that NYSRPA has a responsibility to champion progressive range regulations and to promote an atmosphere of cooperation for all shooting disciplines within New York. I look forward to hearing how you feel this might be addressed in the future.