Dear friends, shooting sports enthusiasts, fellow members of AMLG Club:
On the advice of legal counsel, and in consultation with members of the Board of Directors, and in light of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, which can cause the COVID-19 pneumonia, the Alamo Muzzle Loading Gun Club Range in LaCoste, Medina County, Texas will be closed from Saturday 28 March 2020 until further notice.
As people know, the novel coronavirus pandemic, which can cause COVID-19 disease, has fully assumed the proportions of the worst public health crisis since at least the Spanish influenza pandemic over a century ago, 1918-1919. There is no need to panic, which never helped no one no how not ever. Nonetheless, the possible spread involves so-called “clusters” where one person, including those not showing symptoms, can spread the virus through exhalation, coughing, sneezing, or handling surfaces. This ability of the virus to evade scrutiny before people are symptomatic, the behavior of the COVID-19 disease such that if can be fully ten or eleven days before symptoms appear, the virus’s ability to survive on some surfaces for two or three days (including cardboard for approx. 24 hours), and the fact that some emerging evidence suggests the virus in the United States can make people between 20 and 54 very sick, even if it remains much more of a concern for older people and those with compromised immune systems, are precisely why the Federal, State, and County Governments including those of Medina and Bexar Counties have declared a disaster. Prevention is up to us. We have to stay at home.
Our club has members in Medina, Atascosa, Bexar, Wilson, Travis, Wilson, and even Cameron and Nueces Counties. And a lot of them are older folks. As a club that relies on volunteers, there is no way we can have staff to ensure that the physical distancing of 6 feet—typically described of late as “social distancing”—can be maintained, let alone disinfect and wash or scrub any surface that may have been compromised by someone “shedding the virus.” An ill member, from San Antonio, already under quarantine and “lock-down” per the mayor and county judge, could “shed the virus” at our club, and people in outlying counties could unknowingly contract the virus and carry it to their community or job site or work place. So the Alamo Muzzle Loading Gun Club has to do its part to mitigate the risk. Obviously, with a “novel coronavirus” there is substantial unknown “gray area” as far as things like legal liability go.
It is a very weighty decision, and certainly an unhappy one to have to make. It simply is the prudent thing to do. On Saturday 28 March the gate will be locked and disabled until we gain the upper hand on this outbreak. All of the other area ranges, with a few exceptions, have taken similar steps: A Place to Shoot in south San Antonio has closed the ranges, and operates a store but only allows in a few customers at a time; Bullet Hole remains open as of this writing, but maintains physical distancing on the firing lines with its staff; Dietz range, I frankly don’t know about, but note that the South Texas Marksmanship Training Center has cancelled events; so too Lone Star Handgun, including the ranges as well as the store, and several others. Perhaps needless to add, the first Sunday shoot—which was scheduled to be a silhouette cross-sticks match, has been cancelled.
The officers of the Alamo Muzzle Loading Gun Club—the BoD—will monitor the ongoing and enfolding situation closely. It is profoundly to be wished that we can re-open as soon as possible. Questions, commentary, and criticism can be addressed to the club’s BoD, and we can try to answer or respond. We regret the situation, but we’ve all got to do our part. Thank you for your patience and attention. God bless you all, and God bless Texas.
David C. Carlson, Ph.D.—AMLGC Secretary, for the Alamo Muzzle Loading Gun Club Board of Directors