School officials, insurance, gun club meet to discuss options

The Carson Rifle and Pistol Club has agreed to raise its insurance coverage from $2 million to $5 million in hopes that members will continue to be allowed to use the firing range on the Carson High School campus.

"Of course we do it very reluctantly, but we do it because we realize that it is unfair for the school district to have to bear the financial burden so we can use the facility," said Chris Hill, vice president of the gun club.

Hill met with school district officials and the insurance agent Tuesday to discuss a plan under which the gun club could use the range. Coregis Insurance, a Chicago-based company, refuses to cover more than $500,000 in claims if the gun club is allowed to use the range.

Superintendent Jim Parry said the company is reluctant to insure the range because of a recent shooting in Michigan.

"This whole state of violence in schools has got them running scared and they're very, very careful about who they cover and how they do it," Parry said.

Under the plan discussed Tuesday, the gun club would provide $5 million insurance coverage and the district's insurance carrier would be named as the secondary carrier but with full coverage.

"Right now, it's in the hands of our agent to check with our carrier and see if that plan fits," Parry said. "We just want to make sure that they still commit to full coverage in a secondary role and that they don't change our rates."

Hill said if the insurance company denies the proposal, the gun club will urge the district to look for another carrier.

"If they (the insurance company) are absolutely unbending in this, we would appreciate them (the school district) at least looking into another carrier," he said.

Parry said the district will have two options if the insurance carrier refuses the offer.

"Our first option is to just live with it," Parry said. "We could say, 'the times cause us to be out of the target range business except for ROTC.'"

He said the second option is to shop for insurance coverage elsewhere.

However, Parry said the district has invested a lot of time and work to get low rates and high coverage.

"We have a very good relationship with this carrier," he said. "I would be very reluctant to sever ties with this company with the sole purpose to insure the range."

Parry said he expects the insurance company will take at least two weeks to respond, and the matter will be discussed at the April 11 school board meeting.


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