Editor’s Note: The opponents of the gun range want it gone so they can enjoy nature in peace. Well, what about all the gun enthusiasts who just want to enjoy their shooting in peace?
In the East Bay Hills, there is an oasis. It is a place to get away from the hectic pace of daily life. But listen closely, and you’ll hear something you don’t expect to hear in nature, gunfire. It’s coming from a 65-acre marksmanship range in the Anthony Chabot Regional Park.
The range has been a fixture in the park for 50 years. But now its future is uncertain. Its lease is up for renewal for to operate for another 25 years. But some people believe it’s a good time to close the range.
Peter Volin opposes the range. “When you go out into the park, the last thing you want to hear is gun fire,” he said.
Volin retired after 35 years with the East Bay Regional Parks, he spent 15 of those years as a ranger at Chabot.
He launched a petition drive at moveon.org calling on the park to close the range. Hundreds of people have already signed in support.
“The problem that I have with it, is that it is in a really bad place,” Volin said.
There are also environmental concerns. The Sierra Club wants to know if lead from bullets is having an impact on wildlife and leaching into nearby Lake Chabot. The lake is a popular recreation area and an emergency source of water.
The Sierra Club is demanding the park study the environmental impacts of the range.
The range says the sound of gunfire is within acceptable limits and they are constantly taking steps to limit possible lead contamination.