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  • Shooting ranges in White City shut down

    Season pass holders will have extensions once facilities open again
  • Shooting ranges at the Jackson County Sports Park in White City closed indefinitely Tuesday because an insurance carrier dropped coverage.
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  • Shooting ranges at the Jackson County Sports Park in White City closed indefinitely Tuesday because an insurance carrier dropped coverage.
    "We are working very diligently to get it reopened," said Phil Grammatica, president of the Rogue Valley Shooting Sports Association. "We'd hoped to have it resolved sooner, but we haven't."
    Grammatica's organization manages the Historic Camp White Shooting Range and the Jackson County Sports Park Shooting Complex.
    The ranges are for archery, rifles, pistols and shotguns. A daily pass to the range costs $5, an individual season pass is $25 and a family season pass is $45.
    The shooting range has 600 season pass holders. Grammatica said his organization will extend the passes for the amount of time the gun range is closed.
    Grammatica said he doesn't have a firm time yet for when the ranges could be reopened.
    No official announcement about the closure was made because the association was hoping to get a new policy lined up, Grammatica said.
    An email was sent out from the Medford Rifle and Pistol Club Sunday alerting its members about the imminent closure and describing the reasons why the insurance coverage wasn't renewed. It said RVSSA is being sued because of an injury that occurred at the sports park.
    "The suit is about a superficial wound caused by a ricochet while shooting too near metal targets on the public pistol range," the email said.
    "While RVSSA's insurance policy will cover whatever settlement is negotiated between the parties, the insurance company has told RVSSA that they will no longer provide insurance after July 1."
    The email said the group is looking for another carrier, but any new policy would not take effect until the suit is settled.
    More information on the lawsuit was not immediately available. Grammatica said he wouldn't make any comments on the suit or the nature of the incident.
    Bob Drysdale, president of the Medford Rifle and Pistol Club, said one option being explored is to get insurance through the National Rifle Association.
    "How long it's going to take — we're not 100 percent sure," he said.
    Local law enforcement agencies also use part of the shooting ranges but shouldn't be impacted because they carry their own insurance.
    "They're still allowing folks like us to use the range," said Medford police Lt. Scott Clauson.
    Medford police received an email from the shooting association indicating the range would be closed on July 1.
    Law enforcement agencies including the Oregon State Police use a portion of the range that is off-limits to the general public.
    "We have to carry our own liability insurance," Clauson said.
    Still, the closure of the range to the general public will impact officers who take their families shooting on their off time.
    "A lot of the guys have paid memberships," Clauson said.
    A department training exercise scheduled at the shooting ranges on July 22 and 25 will not be affected, he said.
    Dave McFadden, a member of the Rifle and Pistol Club, said this is probably the most popular shooting range in the valley.
    "For the vast majority of people, this is the only place close to town," he said. "It's kind of nice to have a safe place to go and have fun."
    He said he hasn't heard any date when the ranges might be reopened.
    "Whether the lapse is one day, one week or longer, nobody knows," he said.
    Reach Mail Tribune reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/reporterdm.
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