Beware the Glass Factory

Your article on recreational shooting at the Glass Factory fails to mention the most serious and obvious flaw in the use of this site for unregulated target shooting — the danger it poses to hikers, cyclists, and motorists openly exposed to errant gunfire when using Arroyo Burro Trail or Camino Cielo, two popular public thoroughfares that border the site on two sides.

Many local gun enthusiasts will not use the Glass Factory at any hour because of the inherently unsafe conditions. Instead, they choose to pay a modest membership fee at the much safer and well-regulated Winchester Gun Club nearby. The Glass Factory acts as a magnet for shooters from all over Southern California attracted by the “anything goes” reputation of the area (confirmed by a quick review of Glass Factory videos on YouTube) where the lack of any meaningful regulation allows the discharge of any kind of weaponry (legal or otherwise) by any kind of shooter (experienced and law-abiding or otherwise) at any kind of target. Coupled with the use of alcohol confirmed by the existence of beer cans commonly found among the tons of trash periodically removed from the area, the potential for disaster is obvious.

If the Winchester Gun Club ever decided that it wanted to move to a slightly more accessible site like the Glass Factory, the chances of the club being granted a permit to do so would be zero given the safety (public exposure) and environmental concerns (toxic runoff from lead and chemicals from TVs, computers, refrigerators, etc.) it would have to mitigate. Why then does the Forest Service refuse to hold itself to the same standard and accept its responsibility to ensure that conditions at the Glass Factory do not threaten the safety and well-being of not only of the shooters but of innocent and unsuspecting passersby as well?

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