Peterborough to move forward with civil injunction against gun club

  • The town of Peterborough will be moving forward with filing an injunction against Monadnock Rod and Gun Club this week for alleged code violations. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/25/2018 10:26:05 AM

The town of Peterborough plans to file an injunction with the Manchester Superior court this week over code violations at the Monadnock Rod and Gun Club.

The range has not been operating since July 25, according to a post on its website. On that date, Peterborough executed an administrative search warrant to determine the existence and extent of code and wetland violations committed when the club allegedly extended its range without receiving town permissions.

Earlier this month, Peterborough received a report from wetlands surveyors that confirms wetlands were filled in or otherwise impacted at various points in the club’s history. Peterborough plans to pursue injunctive action with the superior court over the alleged violations, likely to be filed this week, according to Town Administrator Nicole MacStay.

The town is seeking injunctive relief related to alleged code violations related to not following town processes or obtaining building permits when allegedly extending the gun range, MacStay said. The town has notified the state about alleged filling of wetlands, and any fines or action taken against the club would come from the state, she said.

“The wetlands fall under state purview first, unless the state decided not to pursue it for some reason,” MacStay said. “Then it would fall back to the town.”

Meanwhile, after two months under a cease and desist order which prevents the Monadnock Rod and Gun Club from using its gun range, the club reports the lost revenue has resulted in a budget pinch.

While the club has been under a cease and desist order, it has been unable to hold several of its planned or traditional events on the gun range, including weekly public Rimfire shoots (a target shooting competition), a Boy Scouts of America Merit Badge and training shoot, Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation shooting events, a Ruger invitational shoot, the RWVA Appleseed Riflery Training shoots, and the club’s annual turkey shoot.

In a post on the club’s website, the club stated not being able to hold these rifle range events “provides a severe financial burden on the Club coffers”.

The club has a cap of 300 family memberships, at a rate of $100 per household membership, according to the club’s website. 

When contacted, club president Mark Carbone declined to comment on how much revenue the canceled events would have generated for the club, referring questions to the club’s lawyer, Penny S. Dean.

Dean did not respond to requests for comment by press time Monday.

The club announced on its website it has started to accept dues for its 2019 year to bolster its budget, as well as starting a Go Fund Me page to collect donations for a legal defense, which has collected about $1,400 in donations for legal fees.

In addition to the pending injunction from the town of Peterborough, the club is also involved with another civil suit over the land the gun range is located on with their neighbor. Their neighbors, Scott and Bridgette Perry, hold title to the land, though the gun club alleges it has used the property without challenge for shooting for decades. The dispute over the land and the gun range is what first brought the alleged code and wetland violations to the town’s attention. The suit was set to be before the court in early September, but the court schedule required it to be pushed back, first to November, and now to a date to be scheduled.  

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT. 


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