The Revolver Club has been locked out of the range and told they will be trespassed if they come back.
After 87 years of occupying San Diego’s only gun range, the San Diego Police Revolver Club has been evicted from its home by the San Diego Police Department.
Now, the gun club, composed of retired police officers, veterans, and other former law enforcement officials, has taken legal action, filing a claim against the city of San Diego.
The gun club used prison labor and volunteers to dig trenches and relocate large boulders from nearby Chollas Creek.
"The San Diego Police Revolver Club intends to prosecute the City and SDPD's improper and forceful eviction to the full extent of the law," said the club’s attorney, Craig Sherman.
The club formed in 1934 and was deeded the property by businessman HG Fenton to be used as a firearm training facility for local law enforcement. Over the course of the following two years, members of the gun club used prison labor and volunteers to dig trenches and relocate large boulders from nearby Chollas Creek to use for the range. But, as the Great Depression brought local commerce to a standstill, the San Diego Police Revolver Club could not afford the upkeep and deeded it to the city of San Diego, with the guarantee that the police department maintain it as a gun and rifle range and if they fail to do so the land will return to the Revolver Club.
But after nearly 90 years the relationship between the police department brass and Revolver Club has soured.
One reason for the tension has been an uptick of complaints over noise from the range from neighbors.
“I appreciate that this is a historic range that some San Diegans likely cherish the use of, but the city is much different than when the range opened 90 years ago,” wrote one South Park resident in an email to police sergeants and District 3 councilmember Chris Ward in October 2019. “...I can't be the only person in South Park bothered by the sound of gunshots at night.”
According to additional emails obtained through public records requests, in January 2020 members of the Revolver Club discovered they were locked out of the offices at the range.
Rick Carlson, a former SDPD homicide detective and president of the San Diego Police Historic Association wrote a message about the lockout on Facebook on January 9, 2020.
“After 87 years of involvement between the San Diego Police Revolver Club and the cooperative efforts to teach law enforcement, security, and the public, the Revolver Club has been locked out of the range and told they will be trespassed if they come back. This is what we were greeted by. This is your thanks, Revolver Club.”
Now, the Revolver Club looks to recover its losses and regain access to the property it built nearly a decade ago.
Attorney for the club, Craig Sherman, says members plan to fight to regain what is rightfully theirs.
“The Club, its members, public education institutions, private groups, retired police officers and the public in general remain hopeful that the City and SDPD will stand by their legal obligations to continue the historic and secondary public uses that were secured and managed by the Club in the past, and that will continue many years into the future.”
A spokesperson for the police department could not comment due to pending litigation.