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Gun Club Renewal on Hold

Thu, 06/08/2023 - 10:26
Christine Sampson

The lawsuit brought by several residents of Merchants Path in Wainscott against the Maidstone Gun Club continues to wind its way through Suffolk County Supreme Court, meaning that renewal negotiations on the club’s lease of town-owned land on Wainscott Northwest Road, which expires in October, are on hold.

“There are no negotiations, or any type of outreach to the gun club folks, regarding the lease that is up in October,” Councilwoman Cate Rogers told the nearly 50 people who attended a virtual meeting of the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee on Saturday. “There is an open, active case, which right now no one knows the disposition of, and there would be no negotiations at all” until it has been decided, she said.

The club has leased close to 100 acres of town land for $100 annually since the 1980s. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit say they have found stray bullets on their properties, or that bullets have struck their houses outright, creating a safety hazard. They also allege violations of town code and matters of environmental concern.

Last summer, well ahead of the lease’s expiration, the gun club filed notice with the town of its intention to renew it. That set off a fierce debate that led to a court order in November, shuttering the range, which remains closed. Its attorney, Joseph Maniscalco, could not be reached for comment by press time.

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