Spencer: Why Would You Be Interested In Joining A Gun Club, Anyway?

By KHAL SPENCER
Public Relations Chair
Los Alamos Sportsman’s Club

Los Alamos, New Mexico, is home to one of the best gun clubs in the state, the Los Alamos Sportsman’s Club, a 501.c4 nonprofit. If you are ambitious, you can drive up to the Whittington Center but that is hours away.

Here at home you can find two full archery ranges, a rifle range with sheltered benchrests and targets ranging out to 300 yards, trap, skeet, and both indoor and outdoor pistol ranges.

The club also has a clubhouse used for meetings and training sessions. Not to mention, you can also find over a thousand outgoing club members and numerous certified range officers and firearms instructors.

These resources provide club members with a wide array of opportunities to shoot competitively as well as non-competitive activities. The club also provides support for youth shooting activities sponsored by organizations including Scouts, 4H, and our high school club.

There are also women’s specific shooting activities. Hunting enthusiasts can prep firearms while those primarily interested in shooting sports for the sport’s sake can partake of competitive shooting as well as just a relaxing day at the range.

For those interested in self-defense, the club hosts regular International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) competitive shooting matches and concealed carry classes.

For those who are less familiar with firearms, the club provides basic pistol classes for those who wish to introduce themselves to the safe handling of handguns.

Several Federal Firearms licensees, i.e., individuals who are federally licensed to sell guns, are club members; they can be contacted by club members in good standing and who are known to these individuals in order to assist with the newly required universal background checks required for private gun transfers in New Mexico, thus saving members a trip to a Santa Fe gun shop to complete the forms.

A hallmark of safe, responsible firearms ownership is participation in a gun culture where gun safety, legal requirements, and proficiency are all routinely discussed in a friendly, non-confrontational atmosphere. Another hallmark of gun culture is the camaraderie shared by shooting enthusiasts.

The Los Alamos Sportsman’s Club promotes these safe three principles and has great camaraderie among its members. For example, during a recent trip to the club to sight in a rifle, a gentleman set up next to me and produced a WW II vintage M-1 Garand military rifle. I expressed some admiration for his weapon. He asked me “have you ever shot an M1 Garand?” to which I replied in the negative. He replied “Well, every American should have the opportunity to shoot an M1 Garand”. He soon had me set up on his benchrest and putting rounds downrange with his rifle. Such camaraderie is typical.

Finally, for those who have questions about private firearms ownership, a visit to the range may give you the opportunity to shoot a gun and see for yourself what safe, responsible gun ownership is all about as well as discuss the nuances of gun laws and gun culture. We welcome non-members to visit the range after contacting a board member or club member to act as a host.

For more details, including contact information and a calendar of events, check out the club web page. http://www.la-sc.org/.

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