I belong to a Sportsman club that has a target/trap range there are 25/50/100 and 200 yard target racks and each has an earthen berm to trap the bullets. The 25 yard target is for 22 rimfire and pistol use (had to designate this because of the constant abuse from AR/AK type guns degrading the safety berm with the constant 20 round barrage from the bullet hoses) Again this is a target range but we constantly have problems with Pistol and the above mentioned rifles destroying the place with the how fast can I empty the mag mentality and the refusal to pick up brass/steel cases. The range is open to all members 7 days a week with very few closed days. The fee is nominal ($20) annually and members give the lock code to others which does not cover them under our insurance and risks having to close the range or restrict the time the range will be open as we will have to man the gate to prevent unauthorized use. The vast majority of members are well behaved but a small group continually shoot the place up, other than installing cameras which for a small club is out of the question what would you suggest.
Shooting range abuse
That's a tough situation to manage. It sounds to me like there are obviously a select few who don't value what they have and don't care if their actions cause a shut down and they certainly don't have any regard for the safety of others.
I think the first step on a low budget would be mandatory sign in/out for range use. Does this club have a board of directors or any governing body? If so, does the club require an annual safety walk or any statue of limitations that would require an orientation that if not completed voids access to the club grounds? Violation of safety rules should be an automatic termination of membership.
I belong to a large club that has all the bells and whistles.. long distance, steel targets, dynamic ranges, lighted ranges, full auto use, etc.. Until recently it was old fashioned lock and key access and still even then there was rarely any violations such as you describe. However, the club also has a zero tolerance policy. Break the rules and you're out, no questions asked. For most good behavior is well worth it. I don't know of too many places that allow members to engage steel targets in a fully dynamic setting till 10 pm.
Hate to say it but you may be stuck till you find the culprit(s). Easy access usually ensures easy departure and trouble will follow if it's easy.
Our club had a range that was sufficient for practicing and site-ins of your hunting weapons for MANY years, it's all the shooting that used to occur. It was simply walking around a cabled driveway to get there and had covered slab with bench rests, a wood structure for 50 and 100 yard targets and a large dirt berm and wooded section behind.
One day somebody, we are guessing not a club members showed up with some serious firepower and mowed down the wood structure, and branches above and around the berm. They managed to lob a couple out over the berm in a dangerous direction towards homes a long ways away.
People who heard the rapid fire called it into the police but the offenders were gone by the time anybody responded. They then investigated and reported it up the chains of command. They shut us down and a new range had to be designed per federal criteria and approved by state and local officials. A huge cost for a club in a small town but it got done. We installed high fencing around the access area to the range and then additional fencing around the range itself. Before you shoot your supposed to stop at the clubhouse and sign in but all the gates are now controlled by key fobs with each being specific to a club member and the system logs who, when, and how long every time somebody enters. If there is issue we have a report of who was there when and can start there with asking questions.
One day the caretaker at our club carded some guys shooting . They had no ID , said they were guests . Of who he asked ? No one they said , we just signed in as guests !!
The club I used to shoot at was similar. 7 yd, 25 yard pistol. 50, 100 and 200 rifle. Plus a trap range. We shot off a covered concrete pad that had benches ,and areas to shoot prone, kneeling, etc. They kept brooms and dust pans and most people cleaned up as much of their brass as they could. Cant expect people to get it all when your putting 100s of rounds downrange, which is what regular range clean up days were for. That range finally raised the fee like 10 bucks for everyone and installed cameras. It helped eliminate most of the BS. Short of a full time R.O. that is the easiest solution. I now shoot another range with a higher fee but nicer facilities, and shoot pistol on my parents property when I need to practice things ranges dont allow, holster presentations, multiple targets, steel targets, etc.
Your range is unsupervised? That seems like step 1. Get set hours and volunteers to staff it during those times and don't allow access during closed hours.
First, increase the annual fee. I gladly pay $35 per year at the club I belong to. I’d gladly pay $50 if they decided to increase it. I live in town so having a place to shoot my firearms is worth the money. The extra revenue will easily cover security items like cameras. Issue members an ID card and require them to where it on a lanyard around their neck at all times while on club grounds. Empower members to hold others accountable for wearing the ID cards and record license plates of those who don’t abide by the rules of the club. Post rules in multiple places so they are visible to all.
The club I belong to was sort of the Wild West when I first joined. They have really cracked down the past few years and there is way less damage and violators making it a much better place to shoot. Good luck.