An area gun club filed suit Wednesday against the state of Pennsylvania. The Philipsburg Rod and Gun Club says members’ second amendment and other constitutional rights are being violated by the Departments of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
The dispute involves Black Moshannon State Park in Centre County, where the club’s headquarters are located. The club says it’s operated a trap shooting range in the park for more than a century, leasing the land from DCNR for about 60 years, but the two sides began sparring in 2006. The agency expressed concern about lead ammunition contaminating the site.
The club says it hired the same environmental experts used by the state to test for lead and they found that it was not affecting the grounds or the environment. The two sides reached another lease in 2011, barring the use of lead ammo, but they continued to argue over cleanup efforts.
This January, DCNR ordered the club to remove its building and be off the land by April 23. The lawsuit filed Wednesday seeks injunctions to stop the club’s removal from the park, a jury trial, and monetary damages.
Meantime, a DCNR spokesman says it’s not an anti-gun issue or an anti-hunting issue–it is a pro-environment issue. He says lead is a proven danger to animals, wildfowl, and other animals, and that the club has not met deadlines and regulations to clean it up.