Gun Club Insults Council

I cannot believe the arrogance of the Clandeboye and District Ulster Special Constabulary Pistol and Rifle Club. Despite the decision of the North Down Borough Council to spend almost half a million of ratepayers money on providing a new facility for the club they have refused to provide the council with basic information regarding the club membership.

In all my years on council I cannot recall a similar incident when an organisation funded by the council has refused to provide basic information about its operation.

The council officers asked the club for a membership form and details of the fees paid by members and the club responded as below. Why should North Down ratepayers pay for this new facility particularly when similar local clubs are fully funded by their members.

If you agree we should not pay for this club please sign the petition


Gun Club Snub North Down Borough Council | Councillor Brian Wilson

9 thoughts on “Gun Club Insults Council”

  1. I agree it is a disgrace that North Down Borough Council should fund this club when I have to pay £200 a year for my membership of another North Down Club.

  2. I can understand why the gun club wants to keep its members names etc. private. I can imagine republican dissidents rubbing their hands with glee if such information fell into their hands. I do not use the new leisure complex and my rates helped to pay for that, so I do not mind if this gun club receives a grant considering that many of its members have put their lives on the line protecting this community. Perhaps you would be more willing to support this gun club if it was solely for IRA training purposes!

    1. Opposing a gun club translates as ‘IRA supporter’. Good to see Northern Ireland as backward as ever 😀 Dear me

  3. HI I can see you are not a shooting or archery fan but you never complained when we built a marina. an athletics track and hockey pitches at Ballykillaire, a 50metre swimming pool, all weather 5 a side pitches in Castle Park and a kids fun park at Pickie all costing more than this. I wondered where you came up with a figure of 1/2 million to accommodate this project this seems a lot of money for a projectile range and I was wondering if this is an exact figure or are you just speculating can you give me a breakdown . You don’t seem to want to represent any of the shooting community in your area is this not discrimination to those who do not agree with your views after all this was a democratic majority vote by your fellow councillors

  4. I find it interesting that you only include the reply from the club. Would you be able to include the letters that you sent to request the information?

    From my understanding of what I have heard about the club. The council will be providing a replacement facility which will be rented by multiple private clubs as a shared resources each of which will be paying rent. Over the long run the council will more than likely profit out of this. So in the grand scheme of things this is actually going to save rate payers money.

    You have also failed to mention that these community rooms which are to be built at the same time are also made available for other private clubs and organizations that wish to rent them. Yet you have included no details about what else will be provided and what the total cost of the facilities will be.

    Quite frankly I am appalled that you are attempting to single out what could be considered a minority sporting group of athletes. Of which is one of the few sports that is capable of winning medals at the Olympics for our “wee” country.

    This has already been voted by the council in favor of rebuilding the facility. It is after all a fraction of the cost of what has been spent on other recent sporting activities then handed over to a private company to have the profits “managed”

  5. Guys you need to see a bit of common sense, and reasonableness. Pistol shooting is a sport, its members join to engage in that sport. For the pistol club to disseminate their membership list would breech the Data Protection Act.
    None of us have a right to know who is in the club, unless we are members of the said club.

  6. Councillor Brian Wilson is deliberately misleading the people of North Down on this subject and is deliberately scaremongering and creating irrational, totally unfounded fears in the community on this issue. I urge everyone to make a considered decision on this matter from a perspective of being fully informed. Cllr Wilson is aware of all the facts below yet chooses to not only ignore them but fail to make his constituents aware of them.

    I and others have presented him with clear, factual information with regard to legitimate shooting sports in North Down. It is also a matter of public record, as early as a letter by Cllr Dunne in the Spectator of Thursday 20th February, as to exactly what the Council propose to do with our money.

    The £400,000 of extra money proposed to be spent on the redeveloped Hamilton House complex is in order to include a facility for what are termed projectile sports.This would allow the continuation of target rifle shooting by a club that has been resident in council property for over 30 years and to provide a facility for archery clubs. The money is not being handed over to a private club. Any clubs who may use the facility will pay for it. This business model was recommended and accepted by Council as one that would fulfil their legal obligation to facilitate a sitting tenant, provide a more widely useful community facility and create an income stream for the Borough. This information is available from the NDBC website.

    Safety fears about a shooting club in the same building that would be used by children’s groups are utterly unfounded. This has been the situation for over 30 years already, without incident. Nor is there any reason to suppose there would or could be any kind of incident. Cllr Wilson is simply generating fear where there is no reason for any to exist and gives the impression that all sports shooters are dangerous.

    Shooting clubs in the UK are heavily legally regulated and subject to police inspections. The UK has some of the most stringent firearms laws in the world. Visit the PSNI website to see the amount of regulation involved, download an application form and see just what a person must submit to in order just to be considered for a licence:

    Cllr Wilson obtusely equates legitimate shooting sports with criminal firearms activity by way of his misinformation and scaremongering. This is reprehensible. Gun crime has nothing to do with legitimate shooting sports. NI actually has one the lowest gun crime rates in the UK and one of the lowest in the world. To further illustrate this, consider that in 2004-05 gun crime in GB fell by 8% but the number of privately-owned firearms rose 8% from the previous year. According to UN statistics, the UK figure for accidental firearms fatalities is one of the lowest at 0.02 per 100,000. By comparison, according to RoSPA, there are around 4000 fatal accidents in the home in the UK each year. 

    Target rifle shooting has particular characteristics as a beneficial sport. There is an absolute standard by which progress and success can be measured, which brings a sense of achievement and progress and it is recognised by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme as a progressive subject for that prestigious award.  The Scout Association and each of the Cadet Forces in the UK all encourage and provide training and opportunities in competitive shooting for young people, recognising its personal development potential.

    Shooting sports are also Olympic and Commonwealth sports, as are archery disciplines, and have gained us many medals over the years. Shooting sports are also all inclusive, anyone from any background can take part. Shooting sports cater for those with disabilities to participate, compete and achieve.

    NDBC provides facilities across the Borough for many other sporting activities. Why not provide for projectile sports? Shooting and archery are immensely challenging, exciting, competitive, social, skilful, rewarding and fulfilling.
    To find out more facts about shooting sports I encourage you to visit these websites of our national governing bodies to which all shooting clubs are affiliated dependant upon their particular disciplines:

    Look also at this link to get information on the international scope of shooting sports:

    For archery information please visit:

    Please inform yourselves, then make a rational decision.

    Thank you.

    1. Norman,

      I think you will find you have some of your facts incorrect. The council is funding a replacement facility for one that they are taking away during a significant redevelopment on Hamilton road.

      From my understanding the new facility it to be used by multiple clubs. There are at least three planning to be involved in using it so far. It is not a private facility but does have limited access due to the security concerns which are laid out by the police.

      This is no different that the recent funding that has gone into the aurora facility which cost a significant more amount of money. Or any other sporting facilities in Bangor which can be rented by one or more private clubs.

      So Norman. Could you please explain why it is a problem to invest in projectile based sports? When it seems perfectly fine to invest in squash and other sporting facility’s which have cost a magnitude more money than is being spent for a shooting facility.

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