Conflicts arise between shooting clubs

The clubs in and around Mesquite have been influential in where this city is today. Not all of them have had a smooth ride, however, such as the issues related to the Mesquite Shooters Club and Women’s Defense Weaponry

Mesquite Shooters Pistol Club, led by Ovid Pinckert, began in October 2010 servicing all those interested in the Virgin Valley and outlying areas. As interest grew, so did the membership.

Women’s Defense Weaponry began seeking members in November 2013 after some interest had peaked about having an all-women’s group to learn how to protect themselves. Led by Peggy Pope and her sister-in-law Becky Hoff, they have grown as well in their short time of existence.

So how could two seemingly vital clubs be in conflict with each other? Would you believe it all began with a misprint in an online newspaper article?

When one of the writers for the MLN did a story on the Senior Games for the 2014 Pistol Shooting Competition in the April 17, 2014 edition, her initial story indicated the new WDW group met at the same shooting range as MSPC. That story had been posted on the website, in its entirety without further edits. The printed edition, however, had been trimmed down due to space issues that week and the small error was omitted from the printed article. The online article has since been removed as the MLN had switched to a different website platform and archives were unavailable to be replaced.

Most people would think the buck would stop there, that everyone could keep a calm head and shake hands at the end of the day and move on. Not so in this case, and the sphere on which this situation sits is about to get a whole lot more interesting.

In the year since that article came out, actions from the MSPC have caused some feathers to get ruffled. So much so, that two of the highly skilled shooters up for contention in the Mesquite Senior Games were not only banned this year, but were forced to leave the premises. Both Pope and Hoff were asked to leave the site last Saturday as the rest of their team competing in the pistol shoot prepared to begin.

In materials obtained by the MLN, Pinckert and his group have banned anyone who is affiliated with the WDW, including their staff and safety officers. However, the MSPC allowed some WDW members to participate this past weekend.

In a letter Pinckert sent to Pope’s attorney in July 2014, he stated that anyone affiliated with the WDW needed to resign from the MSPC immediately, and that those people will not be involved with or engage in any activity that is sponsored by the MSPC nor would they be allowed to be on that property.

The shooting competition as part of the Mesquite Senior Games is not an official function of the MSPC, but the event is held at the MSPC shooting range.

Both Pope and Hoff had submitted their registration and fees to the Mesquite Senior Games for this year’s Pistol Shoot Competition back in March. Initially, their fees and papers were returned to them. Later, after Pope’s attorney received an email from Terri Rylander, the president of the Mesquite Senior Games, they were told by the attorney that they should resubmit their registration, so they sent in their papers and fee payments once more.

To their surprise, the materials were once again returned, while four other WDW members, who were supposedly banned from even stepping on MSPC property, were allowed to register, pay and compete. Their shooting coach, Lance Barr, who is a paid instructor with the WDW, was also allowed to stay on the property and watch the four women compete.

Ron Kirchen, organizer for the Mesquite Senior Games pistol shoot competition, said on Wednesday morning that his understanding of the WDW ban was that it was only intended for officers. This was the reason the other club members were allowed to participate.

“When I first read that (the documents), I thought, at first, it included all members of the club. That was my first-blush impression,” he said. “But it was really intended only to affect the officers of the club. “When asked why Barr was allowed to remain, Kirchen stated he didn’t realize he was there.

Attempted calls to Pinckert Wednesday morning were unsuccessful.

Comments

  1. I was going to make some comments about this story but since they all have guns I think I’ll keep my opinion to myself.

  2. As the president of Mesquite Senior Games, I just wanted to clear up the inaccuracies in this article. First, I am unable to understand why this is news. It must be a slow news day or someone has an agenda.

    Regardless, this is completely between Ms. Pope and the MSPC and does not involve Mesquite Senior Games. Ms. Pope requested that the two parties were not to interact ever again via a letter from an attorney. The Mesquite Senior Games Target Pistol event is sponsored by the MSPC and held on private property. If she were to show up, she would be turned away at the gate. Because we have a no refund policy, it would be ill-advised of us to take her registration and money knowing she would not be allowed to participate. Mesquite Senior Games repeatedly reminded Ms. Pope that it is an issue between her and MSPC and NOT Mesquite Senior Games. We offered that she could compete in any other events if she wished.

    We were surprised to see her try her registration again. We were even more surprised that she still showed up at the gate after several conversations with her. This is in direct conflict with the request conveyed by her.

    We wish her well and hope that she can resolve her issues with MSPC. We also welcome her to any of our other games.

    Terri Rylander
    President
    Mesquite Senior Games

  3. Peggy Pope says:

    Dear Terri,
    The conflict indeed started with an honest mistake in the MLN as the article states but was followed by a Mesquite Shooters Pistol Club “New Business” minutes email blast to the membership so stating: “Peggy Pope’s defensive club not being affiliated in any way with the MSPC – that club has not and will not use our range for any activity…” There’s a question why it wasn’t “club in general,” or “any club” outside the MSPC but me and our club only? The Attorney letter from me ensued thereby clarifying that we never said we were affiliated with MSPC, and, that the President (only) of MSPC and I not interact. * This is a clarification to your statement that the two parties not interact: parties could indicate me and MSPC, which is false.

    The MSPC President’s response (cc’d to VP & Sec/Treas.) to said Attorney letter stated that any staff/member/personnel involved in WDW business not to engage in any MSPC sponsored activity and not allowed on the property, when actually that was quite the opposite at the Senior Games target pistol competition of April 11, 2015.

    There is some confusion as to MSPC being a Sponsor for the Senior Games. In the “About” page of the website it states Hidden Valley Ranch as the Host for target pistol competition, it does not mention the MSPC of which, so far, I cannot locate the club as a “Sponsor” online, in the registration or in the brochure. And, have asked for but not received evidence of said sponsorship documentation between the MSPC and the MSG’s.

    Through attempts to be allowed to compete, we were not given any say or arbitration. My calls to you went unanswered. Multiple attempts to give insight to Ron Kirchen were denied. I tried telling him that there is an entire history behind this but was not given the opportunity to elaborate.

    Furthermore, we cannot find in the brochure, in the registration or online anything regarding a refund or return policy of which you reference. I would appreciate it if you would please point this out.

    The Senior Games should be open to those who want to compete and should not be subject to personal ingredients. You do not have all the facts and you do not have the history of events leading up to this point but sympathized with one side only. It is all very incredible and so sad to see.

    I wish you the best as well and await reference to your refund policy,
    Peggy Pope

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