San Francisco Is Discharging the City's Only Public Shooting Range

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Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr
No more wabbit hunting for San Francisco?
We know how much San Francisco leaders love to hate guns. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is evicting San Francisco's only public shooting range, after 78 years on the shores of Lake Merced.

The Pacific Rod and Gun Club may get booted from its firing range come Aug. 15, now that the city is increasing rent by 900 percent, Fred Tautenhahn, spokesman for the club tells SF Weekly

Tautenhahn explains that the club's monthly rent was $4,200 as of May. But in June, the city raised it to $5,000 -- almost a 20 percent increase. And now, the city is asking for $50,000 per month.

Tautenhahn said this came as a "total surprise to us. We have been negotiating in good faith now for over six months."

The gun club has no objections to the other conditions of the lease, which include increased liability insurance, compliance with anti-discrimination laws, and agreement to give 50 percent of its earnings from subleased land to the city. The club is also open to "working out the details" with SFPUC about the estimated $10 million tab to clean up the 14-acre plot that has been contaminated by bullet lead and clay pots.

City officials complained to CBS that the city hadn't been getting any of the $50,000 that the gun club collected in parking fees during the U.S. Open Golf Tournament in June. However, Tautenhahn said that "the agreement gives you 90 days.... The check just hasn't been sent yet, but they're going to get $25,000 as promised."

As you might expect, this gun club won't go out without a fight. Membes say they will resort to legal recourse -- not guns --  to keep their property.

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The city did the same thing to the Exploratorium, which -- unlike guns -- is universally loved.

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