A little more than six months after a San Antonio golfer was shot in the chest while playing the 12th hole at Mission del Lago, a court battle between the San Antonio golf course and a nearby gun range has finally ended. The two sides, err, the gun range got bullied into making modifications and changes to its rifle section in order to reopen for business. The rifle range section of A Place to Shoot has been closed since a court injunction forced the business to close it in May.
In my opinion, this was clearly San Antonio politics at it’s best. The reason? Well, the San Antonio Police Department could never determine exactly where the rifle bullet came from. The gun range is approximately one mile from the golf course and is separated by a heavily wooded area known for hog hunting. So how can a court rule in favor of closing the rifle section when nobody can prove the bullet ACTUALLY came from the range?
Mission Del Lago is one of the golf courses apart of the Municipal Golf Association of San Antonio, a group of seven golf courses across San Antonio that make up the Alamo City Golf Trail. So in other words — it’s owned by the City of San Antonio. I have played Mission del Lago a few times in the past, and frankly it’s a dog track. I don’t think the City of San Antonio and the Municipal Golf Association of Texas could risk having the “fear of being shot” hanging over it’s head and afford to possibly lose play over it. So they had to sue — even though the MGASA AND the San Antonio Police Department, could never prove the bullet actually came from A Place to Shoot.
In the end, the gun range is allowed to reopen it’s rifle section after agreeing to make modifications to its setup. I am actually on the email list for the Alamo City Golf Trail and the President/CEO sent out an email earlier this week to explain the agreement:
As you may know, the Alamo City Golf Trail, in March of this year, initiated legal action against the shooting range “A Place to Shoot,” which is located approximately one mile west of our property, across Mitchell Lake. We obtained a Temporary Restraining Order and then a Temporary Injunction against the range which required them to make the necessary changes to their facility so that we could insure to our customers and employees that the Mission del Lago golf course was a safe environment to play golf.
The Alamo City Golf Trail has recently settled its court action with “A Place to Shoot.” It was agreed by both parties:
With the assistance of other qualified design professionals, “A Place to Shoot” will design and construct safety systems to prevent bullets from leaving “A Place to Shoot’s” property.
a. Transforming the rifle range into a “No Blue Sky” range through the construction of a single overhead baffle;
b. Design and construct “side baffles” which begin at the top of the shooting bench and extends forward to the overhead baffle
c. Implementation of safety features consistent with those recommended by the National Rifle Association (NRA) Source Book, which includes the posting of safety rules and regulations at every 10 shooting stations.
d. Transforming the range into a “Cold Range” such that patrons and employees will be instructed that firearms are only to contain ammunition while the shooter is in firing position.
e. Enforce the specific rule that requires that these ranges are “Bench Rest Shooting Ranges” only.
f. “A Place to Shoot” will have a safety officer on the “line” during the hours that rifle shooting is permitted.
The owner of “A Place to Shoot” should be complimented for taking the proper steps in developing a safe rifle range. An independent National Rifle Range Safety Officer has inspected the alterations and has pronounced “A Place to Shoot” as a safe rifle range. Our own range experts have contributed to this process and advise us that all the steps that needed to be taken, have been.
I think its sad the whole thing came down to lawsuits from a big city versus a small business, especially since there was not much proof presented in favor of the golf course. Luckily, the guy who got shot survived, but he is now tangled up in lawsuits against all parties.
I personally will probably never play Mission del Lago again because of this. It just puts a bad taste in my mouth and feels like a “witch hunt” to me. I hope A Place to Shoot is able to survive and flourish and hopefully they will get out scott free from the lawsuit unless someone can come up with some actual proof.