Learn about our history
Founded in 1936, The Kreischerville Gun Club, with a range on Arthur Kill Road in Kreishcherville, now called Charleston was the predecessor of the Richmond Boro Gun Club. The Club as reorganized in 1940 and after the adoption of its Constitution and By-Laws, was chartered as the Richmond Boro Gun Club by the National Rifle Association on June 18, 1940. This organization helped the Club, which consisted of thirty members, develop a more active interest in shooting and brought about participation in the Winchester League, which had a membership of eight clubs.
For the protection of the membership, the Club was incorporated under the laws of New York State on March 25, 1943.
In October, 1944, a pre-induction training course was instituted by Richmond Boro under the auspices of the NRA to train your men entering the military in basic firearms familiarization and marksmanship. This course continued until the end of World War II.
In 1944, the Colonial Rifle and Revolver Club purchased the property used by the club leaving Richmond Boro without range facilities. In the spirit of sportsmanship, the Robin Hood Club made its range available to Richmond Boro until 1947, when the Club’s 21 members, now meeting at the Holiday Inn, leased property on Clay Pit Road for a two-year period. A rang house was purchase and installed, construction started on a 5 points rifle range and a separate 10-point pistol range. In order to secure funds for purpose and improvements of the property, the Club borrowed from its members by issuing 10-year notes in 1948.
By 1959, the Club, with a membership of 120 members, had a 40 point rifle range with a covered firing line for 50 and 100 yard shooting, six 100 yard benchrest positions, and twelve 25 yard pistol positions. The notes issued in 1948 had been redeemed and the Club was debt free, subsequent small property purchases brought the total range parcel to 9.25 acres.
In the summer of 1965, a brush fire spread towards the Club property on Clay Pit Road. The fire engulfed the pistol and rifle range, burning both wooden overheads and the 20×20 foot range house. Fortunately, insurance allowed the club to rebuild, and in the spring of 1966 construction started on the rifle range with a steel overhead and a 20×20 cinderblock range house. Eight new cinderblock benchrests with roof tops and 50-yard target holders were replaced. In the spring of 1967 the pistol range overhead was completed and that range was extended to 50-yards. In 1947, a parking lot and archery range were added and in 1979 the range house was doubled in size and sanitary facilities installed.
In March 1984, a second fire destroyed the roof of the cement block range house after which the Parks Department knocked down the remaining walls. The club then purchased a 50-foot trailer, which was converted to a room for making coffee and marking targets.
In 1977, the land occupied by the range was designated for inclusion in the newly established Clay Pit Pond State Park and the Club was forced to make plans to move from the Clay Pit Road site, a location were it had been for over 40 years.
In June of 1978, the Club was officially notified off the impending takeover of its property by the New York State Department of Parks and Recreation. That November, the Club asked to be represented on the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee for the development of a management plan, and by December it had decided to oppose the takeover or removed the contacted local political representatives.
In January 1979, Assemblyman, Guy Molinari, a City Planning Commission hearing represented the Club. The Commission pledged its support to find a viable solution for the continuing operation of the Club. Other political representatives, after meetings with the club, also pledged their support. These included State Senator John Marchi, Councilman Anthony Giacobbe and Boro President Anthony Gaeta.
Through a cooperative effort that included support of the local community, State and Local elected officials and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the State Park and Recreation Department places a moratorium on any action to acquire the Club’s property until a suitable alternative site could be found.
The Club’s land committee, after several properties were investigated, was able to locate a new range site on Arthur Kill Road and just north of the Outerbridge Crossing. This property was purchased for $455,00 in December 1983, after condemnation agreement provided for a leaseback arrangement with the State, which allowed the Club to remain at the Clay Pit Road site pending development of the new range.
After several years of bantering with the Department of Environmental Conservation over issues such as wetlands boundaries and finally with the help of Terry Aggress of DEC, land clearing was finally begun in March 1988. In June 1989, the Department Parks and Recreation evicted the Club from the Clay Pit Pound property, and the organization was forced into a non-shooting limbo.
The Club now has approximately 500 members, conducts matches in various rifle, pistol and archery categories during the year with championship matches held at the end of each shooting season. Public participation is provided through sighting-in days, turkey shoots and Boy Scout firearms training.