Rifle association 'may retain use of Lai Chi Kok shooting range after government reclaims site'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 May, 2011, 12:00am

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A shooting range run by the Hong Kong Rifle Association could stay open even if the government reclaimed it, the Water Supplies Department said yesterday.

The association has been operating at the Kau Wah Keng shooting range at a reservoir in Lai Chi Kok since 1964.

But the government plans to take it back on May 16 as the association is no longer a member of the Hong Kong Shooting Association, the sport's governing body.

But the department said last night the range could be run by other government departments or a qualified gun club.

'If and when the HKRA's tenancy is terminated, the land would be opened up for application by government departments or associations of relevant sports governing bodies for recreational or sport activities,' a government spokeswoman said.

The rifle association is expected to fold if it loses the range.

The crisis stems from a financial dispute between the two associations dating back to 2006, when the Rifle Association allegedly stopped paying membership fees.

A concern group formed by 10 members of the Rifle Association said last month their organisation had been kicked out by the governing body.

However, the Rifle Association posted a statement on its website saying the concern group did not represent it.

A spokesman said he did not want to comment on a dispute between former council members and the Shooting Association.

But he said it had been working hard to restore the relationship with the governing body, including last month asking for reinstatement of its membership.

The chairman of the Shooting Association, Li Wyman, said it had no interest in bidding for the site of the range in Kau Wah Keng.