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Request for gun club shut-down pushed back

A Pierce County judge pushed back a court hearing until later this month that would temporarily shut down the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club, as well as a request by the club to have the suit brought to Kitsap.

An Oct. 22 court date was scheduled to determine if the case will be moved to Kitsap County, with the motion for a preliminary injunction hearing set for Oct. 28.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Susan K. Serko said at an Oct. 8 hearing she had just received a 10- to 12-inch stack of paperwork on the case the day before.

Kitsap County Prosecutor Russell Hauge filed the lawsuit last month against the gun club in Seabeck for alleged nuisances after neighbors to the range issued complaints.

Many club members went to Tacoma and sat in the stands, with some even standing.

Neil Wachter, senior deputy prosecutor for Kitsap County, filed a motion for a preliminary injunction against the club, which could temporarily cease operations at the rifle range. Serko, not having time to review all the documents, delayed the motion.

Club attorneys Brian Chenoweth of Portland, Ore., and Regina Taylor of Bremerton asked for the suit to be brought to Kitsap.

“This involves Kitsap County property and ordinances,” Chenoweth said, adding that all witnesses live there.

Wachter said the club had enough time to prepare for the hearing, asking the judge to grant the injunction.

“For some time the defendants have been aware of the gravamen of the case,” Wachter said. “We don’t want the court to have to wait.”

Serko noted that if the suit was returned to Kitsap, and all eight Kitsap Superior Court judges recused themselves, she would likely be the visiting judge since she has currently been assigned the case and is more familiar with the facts.

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