Private range membership limitations due to safety concerns?
My private range currently has around 330 members, last year we had about 230. Club officers have expressed a desire to limit membership to 375, due to increased safety concerns, mostly relating to destruction of club property by "inconsiderate" members.
Range access is controlled only by a padlocked gate, no range masters are provided excepting club competitions, and shooting hours run 0900 to dark, excepting Sunday which is 1200 to dark, the public is allowed on the skeet ranges, provided a member is present and elects to take responsibility.
I have two concerns, one being that if we are suddenly having rampant safety violations and destruction of club property, then it seems to be a problem with the new members, not necessarily related to the sheer number of members in the club.
My second concern is that by limiting club membership, we are keeping members who sight in a deer rifle and shoot one other time a year at the expense of possibly gaining new members who may actually be active in the club.
I'd like to see a strict new member policy, as well as holding sponsoring members (new memberships "should" have two member sponsors, but this is a joke) responsible for those that they recommend, for a period of a year, for instance.
If we do limit membership, I'd like to see a requirement to be an "active" member. Sign up to mow grass, range maintenance, be a club officer, or at least enter in a club shooting competition or two. I would just hate to see spots being taken up by folks just "place-holding" and shooting once a year.
What do you folks with range management experience think?