No, not Williamson. In fact, my son used to shoot with his AR's previous owner at Williamson. I've not heard Williamson was "unfriendly".
That being said, I am not upset at all that the first club seemed less than enthused - better I learn that before paying my dues. To be honest, were other considerations. I would be expected to pay full membership dues now and then again at the beginning of the year. The target backers are made of plywood and that is a pain in the butt to staple into. And they made a point of telling me that the "real money" came from Trap & Skeet shooting, not general membership dues, so that shooting took precedence over casual use of the rifle or pistol ranges. A lot of little things causing me to lean against it and the negative attitude toward the AR just tipped the scales.
Evild brings up a very good point. Rapid fire shooting, whether with rifle or pistol, is often frowned upon. (BTW, Evild, was that El Presidente or Vice Presidente? lol)
I've been a member of several clubs over the years and I understand the politics of gun clubs very well. Most clubs began as Trap & Skeet clubs with maybe a rifle/pistol range as an afterthought, mainly because they had the land to do it and a few members wanted it and were willing to make it happen. But back in those days a semi-auto rifle held 5 rounds, maybe 8 if it was a Garand. And a semi-auto pistol held 8 unless it was one of those Browning High Powers or something like that. The majority of the members never heard anything other than "pull - boom - boom" --- nice sedate, slow, gentlemanly shooting. A double tap was something you saw dancers do on the Ed Sullivan show.
Today you have guys mag dumping ARs and practicing Bill Drills with high cap .38 Supers that sound like ARs. And, to the guy over on the Trap field this sounds like uncontrolled firing. It sounds reckless. It sounds scary.
What are they scared of? They're scared of losing their club. Many of these guys have decades invested in their clubs, brought their kids there to shoot and "meet the fellas", and then their grandkids. Pot luck suppers with the wives now and then (not too often though). The guys who have 20-30 years invested in their club are scared to death that one stray projectile will result in a lawsuit that will be the end of it.
I get it. And no one should be surprised that this fear exists. With a range of generally 300 yards, shot from the shotgun sports can be contained on the property. A rifle or pistol round? Perhaps not. And all it takes is one.
Add in steel casings left behind, shot up targets left up for the wind to carry over onto the neighbor's property, ventilated pop cans on the range floor (you just know those rounds skipped somewhere), unbroken birds perched near the tops of backstops --- any number of petty things that just make everyone look bad and - yeah - sometimes some of the old timers cop an attitude. Sometimes shooters - ALL shooters, not just AR or pistol shooters - can be our own worst enemy.
I don't hate those folks for frowning. I understand where they are coming from and just moved on. Fortunately for me, I didn't have to search too long before finding a club that seems to not suffer from this. Incidentally, I've found that clubs that exhibit the greatest amount of fear, and consequently the greatest amount of "unfriendliness", are the ones that have not spent much money on physical barriers to "sky shots" or restrict unauthorized access or had NRA audits toward range safety. Perhaps they find it cheaper and easier to just discourage strangers with those "other" guns.
I really don't have any hard feelings. That was not the reason for my posting. Even if I had been welcomed with open arms I would have still come out behind on the deal, in hindsight. Ontario is 10 minutes from my son's place and the other would have been a long drive for him. I don't mind driving and I like the idea that this could become more his club than mine. And while both clubs offer nice pavilions, benches, and range depth Ontario has some super guys who are moving forward, making range improvements, making plans for more with an eye toward attracting members and match participants. That, alone, is worthy of support and the reason for my "shout out".