Back on the Target:Purdue Rifle and Pistol Club returns to the Armory

Alexandra Armand | Director of Photography

After being removed in September from their typical practice space in the Armory, Purdue’s second oldest club, the Purdue Rifle and Pistol Club, has regained their practice space thanks to the University’s president and administrative staff.

After precautionary testing by Radiological and Environmental Management, the club was suddenly informed on September 22 that lead levels were too high, and they would no longer be able to use the space for practices, blaming these practices for the lead.  The club typically uses air pistols and rifles, which do not produce lead dust residues, and follows precautionary measures to ensure that lead residue is not left behind on the rare occasion that lead enters the space.  This caused members of the club to call into question the legitimacy of claims that they had caused the increased lead levels.

When removed from the armory, the club was faced with the issue of finding a new practice space.  The club was given little help and few options from the university, but hoped to avoid moving practices off campus in order to allow the most students possible to participate, and to keep club costs from rising.  The inability to find a practice space was a threat to the club, and would inhibit their ability to serve the purpose that John Purdue intended for the club: teaching safety and marksmanship.  The competitive team would also have to cancel scheduled matches that were to be held in the armory.

With so few viable options and great doubt that the club was responsible for the lead, Rifle and Pistol Club president, Katalyn Wurzelbacher, reached out to the university’s president, Mitch Daniels, to explain the situation and request his support of the historic club.  On October 10, Daniels responded to the request.  Fortunately for the club, Daniels and other members of the university’s administrative staff were understanding of their problems, and addressed the issue by granting the club use of the armory again starting on October 11.

After receiving the good news, the club was very excited and grateful.  Wurzelbacher said, “Purdue Rifle and Pistol Club has a long standing history at the University of teaching safety and marksmanship; we are very grateful to the leaders at Purdue and to the members of the club and community that support us.  With their help, we will be able to continue this great tradition that has been around for over 100 years.”

The Rifle and Pistol Club will resume regular practices in the armory starting October 16.



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