COVID-19 and the Lowell Sportsmen’s Club

Update as of May 18th, 2020

 

Members of the Lowell Sportsmen’s Club:

The Lowell Sportsmen’s Club is once again open, effective immediately, with conditions.

The reopening plan for Massachusetts, announced this morning during Governor Baker’s press conference, permits outdoor shooting ranges to open on May 18th. Therefore, the gate code will be reset to the code that was contained in your 2020 membership letter. Members may once again use Club facilities.

The Club is open to members only, and members must have their badges visible. No guests or members of the public are permitted.

Although outdoor ranges are open, the Clubhouse and Indoor Range remain closed.

Wednesday/Sunday Skeet and Trap, along with Thursday night Archery, will resume as normal, provided range officers are available. Range-specific COVID-19 rules are posted at these ranges and must be observed.

All COVID-19 safety guidelines must be observed:

  • Stay more than 6′ away from others whenever possible
  • Masks must be worn when social distancing is not possible
  • Wash or sanitize your hands often
  • If you aren’t feeling well, stay home and contact your doctor

The Club is in the process of acquiring hand sanitizer to make available at the ranges. In the meantime, and whenever possible, please bring your own.

Health officials are highlighting that during the reopening process, it is important to still be smart and use common sense regarding person health.

Thanks to all members for enduring the temporary Club closure during this global emergency.

 


 

Update as of May 9th, 2020

 

Members of the Lowell Sportsmen’s Club:

The Lowell Sportsmen’s Club is once again closed until further notice.

Although the eboard voted on 5/5/2020 to reopen the Club effective 5/9/2020, this has been superseded by the Chelmsford Board of Health and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).

The Chelmsford Board of Health was notified of our reopening, and asked us to suspend reopening while they verified with the DPH that this was permissible under current COVID-19 closure orders. The state deemed that US District Judge Douglas Woodlock’s ruling last week does not include private gun clubs, and indicated that we are to remain closed.

The Chelmsford Board of Health and Chelmsford Police Department requested that we continue to monitor developments in the Judge’s ruling (although he ordered that gun shops could reopen, he choose to further research gun ranges – read more on the GOAL website), and will permit us to reopen if conditions change. However, as things stand now, our club does not qualify as an essential business nor as a gun shop, and so must remain closed.

Therefore, access to the Club is once again limited to hiking only until further notice.

Tuesday, May 12, at 8pm, is our normally scheduled monthly general meeting. Because of this re-closure, we will hold a virtual meeting using Zoom for members to ask questions. Check your email for computer and telephone access information. If you have any technical questions regarding dialing into the meeting, please contact Brian Herzog at communications@lowellsc.org.

It goes without saying that the eboard is disappointed in this action, and President Brian Campbell is in contact with GOAL. In the meantime, continue to be safe and smart.

 


 

Update as of May 5th, 2020

 

From President Brian Campbell:

At the May 5th Eboard meeting, the eboard voted to open the club on a limited basis, starting Saturday May 9th. These limits are:

  • Members ONLY, no guests. Wearing of your membership badge will be required as always, with more stringent enforcement. If you want to use a range, your membership badge must be worn and be visible.
  • Outdoor ranges ONLY (Trap, Skeet, Big Bore, .22, Archery, Black Powder, Pond, and boating.)
  • The Indoor Range and Clubhouse will remain CLOSED. This includes the restroom – plan accordingly.
  • All special events are still suspended. However, Sunday/Wednesday trap and skeet, Thursday archery, and First Saturday Black Powder will resume, provided range officers are available.
  • The eboard will continue with regular virtual meetings, but monthly general meetings remain suspended.

You, as members, are responsible to follow the rules to minimize the risk to yourself and others. You are ultimately responsible for your own health and safety. Those members using our outdoor ranges will need to follow the Massachusetts COVID-19 Prevention guidelines, and the guidelines suggested by GOAL posted at each range:

  • Stay 6 feet away from others, and masks are required when this is not possible
  • Don’t shake hands, avoid groups of more than 10 people
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Avoid sharing equipment
  • Clean things before and after you touch them (like shooting stations and chairs) with household cleaning spray or wipes (please bring from home)
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hand
  • And as always, observe all firearm and range safety practices

Specific rules for Trap (Thanks Phil Sullivan for putting this together)

  • Maximum number of shooters on the trap line at one time is five members. No non-members or non-shooters allowed. No observers. Five additional members my wait in the trap shelter to shoot on the next line. Observe all social distancing guidelines. Additional shooters may approach the shelter to sign up for the next line, but then must wait in their car or other distanced location.
  • Only one person opens/closes the trap house and loads the trap machines. The trap house is too tight for more than one person.
  • Only one person opens/closes the garage and gets out/puts away the call boxes and controller.
  • A third person or the garage person should bring clays down to the trap house to replenish what
    was used that day.
  • Do not use a scorer as the scoring materials are typically handled by more than one person.
  • When moving from station five to station one leave 6-10′ between you and the shooters on the
    line.
  • Pick up your own empty hulls.
  • Put your payment in an envelope or plastic bag that you provide noting the number of rounds you shot and how much money you put in the envelope/bag. You must bring exact change. Bring your own pen. Pens should not be shared. Drop your own envelope in the caretaker’s mailbox.

Specific rules for Skeet (Thanks Clive Nelson and the Skeet Comittee for putting this together)

  1. A squad should be no larger than 3. We may expand that number to 4 if experience indicates that it is safe.
  2. Only one person should open, close and and load the high house.
  3. A similar rule to 2 should hold for the low house and the control house.
  4. We should use two target release controllers for each squad. Each controller will not change hands during the shooting of a game. A single controller can be use if a person who is not a member of the squad is available to act as the puller.
  5. Controllers should be wiped before being transferred to a second squad.
  6. Members of the squad should use face covering when not standing on the pad to shoot.
  7. Members of the squad should wear gloves.
  8. Each shooter should be responsible for removing their discarded gloves, wipes and cleaning materials from the field.
  9. No non-members, observers, or others not engaged in or preparing to engage in shooting skeet.
  10. Put your payment in an envelope or plastic bag that you provide noting the number of rounds you shot and how much money you put in the envelope/bag. You must bring exact change. Bring your own pen. Pens should not be shared. Drop your own envelope in the caretaker’s mailbox.
  11. The club’s COVID-19 rules regarding physical distancing and everything else should be followed faithfully.

 


 

Update as of April 9th, 2020

To My Fellow Lowell Sportsmen’s Club Members,

Massachusetts is currently in the middle of an unprecedented health crisis. The Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is sweeping through our state and nation, leaving behind severe hardships and multiple deaths. Many of my own family members and friends are presently on the frontlines in the battle against the ravages of COVID-19.

The Governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, has put forth executive orders mandating all non-essential businesses and services to be closed until at least the 4th of May. In his initial order ranges and stores selling firearms were on the list of essential services. However, within a week the Baker administration reversed course and removed both services from the list. Board members of the Lowell Sportsmen’s Club have reached out to various sources seeking clarification of the governor’s order. We have also contacted our many sister clubs in the area to inquire how they are addressing this situation.

The Lowell Sportsmen’s Club Board of Directors met by conference call on Tuesday evening the 7th of April. After two hours of discussion, and at times a passionate debate, we came to the conclusion to close our club and all its facilities. Therefore, effective Saturday April 11, 2020, the front gate lock combination will be changed and all ranges, indoors and out, will be closed. This rule also includes the clubhouse, fishpond, and the boating facilities. The club’s closure will only remain in effect until the governor lifts the order on gun stores and ranges, and it is once again safe for people to gather in large groups. The board made this decision for the consideration of the health and safety of our members, many of whom are in the most vulnerable population for acquiring this disease.

Although individuals will be permitted to hike the surrounding grounds for physical activity, during this time, we encourage all members to respect the board’s decision and refrain from traveling to the club for any reason. If any members are observed violating this decision by utilizing ranges or other facilities, they will be reported to the EBoard and actions of suspension to termination of membership will be considered.

We sincerely hope our members understand the reasoning behind the EBoard’s decision to take this profound step. We are all waiting the time when we can again enjoy a sport we love.

Please feel free to contact any board member or myself with questions or comments regarding this rule.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy!

Brian D. Campbell COL, USA (ret)
President Lowell Sportsmen’s Club

COVID-19 Update – April 11th, 2020

What This Means

  • Effective Saturday, April 11th, the code of the main gate at the street will be changed to prevent access to the property.
  • All ranges, including archery and the fishing pond, as well as the clubhouse, are closed.
  • Members who wish to walk the Club property for exercise are permitted to park outside the main gate and walk in. Badges must be visible at all times. Also, you are responsible for observing all COVID-19 safety guidelines, which includes not touching tables, benches, or other surfaces within the Club. We are not able to keep everything disinfected, so it is your responsibility to practice social distancing and good hygiene at all times.
  • In support of law enforcement, the Middlesex Sheriffs and Chelmsford Police will still use the Club to train and qualify their officers. When using the Club, these departments are required to follow strict disinfecting and cleanup procedures before and after their sessions. Considering the emergency conditions we face, preventing law enforcement from being at their best would be a disservice to our community.
  • General monthly meetings are suspended until further notice. Although using a conference call for E-Board meetings works, it doesn’t seem like a feasible option for a general meeting. We are continuing to explore Zoom and other video conferencing tools, and members will be notified if we are able to conduct a virtual meeting. In the meantime, First and Second membership readings are also suspended, and Membership Secretary Darlene Parker will be contacting the pending applicants. As always, any member is welcome to attend an E-Board meeting; that has not changed. Contact President Brian Campbell for information on how to join the conference call.
  • We will also be making special arrangements utility companies who routinely service the Club. Jim Martin will be coordinating with them during this time, as well as anyone else who needs emergency access to the property.

This is an unprecedented time for all of us. The E-Board made this decision only after exhaustive discussion, because it was not the outcome anyone wanted, but was clearly the only choice under the circumstances. The LSC is a member-run club, and everyone’s input is welcome and valued. Please direct comments to Brian Campbell, or any member of the E-Board.

The E-Board will endeavor to keep the membership as up to date as possible as conditions change. Please watch your email, the website, and Facebook for additional updates. We’re all in this together. Keeping safe and healthy is the best way we can get through this.

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines:

  • Stay home as much as possible and avoid close contact with others
  • Stay 6 feet away from others
  • Don’t shake hands
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Clean things before and after you touch them (like doorknobs and tabletops) with household cleaning spray or wipes (please bring from home)
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hand