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February 27, 2015

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County defers decision on hillside sign advertising gun club


Leila Navidi

The Desert Hills Shooting Club sign is seen from the on-ramp to US-95 southbound in Boulder City on Thursday, June 21, 2012.

Desert Hills Shooting Club Sign

The Desert Hills Shooting Club sign is seen from the road in Boulder City on Thursday, June 21, 2012. Launch slideshow »
Clark County commissioner Mary Beth Scow

Clark County commissioner Mary Beth Scow

Pro Gun Club

A Las Vegas lawyer’s threat that if he didn’t get his way, his client would sue and potentially put up an even bigger sign on a hillside near Boulder City advertising a nearby gun club angered some county commissioners who implied the threat was unprofessional.

That said, Commissioner Mary Beth Scow, whose district includes the gun club and the chalk signage in question, admitted that the possibility of a lawsuit coupled with questions about whether Boulder City residents still objected to the sign led her to hold the issue until August.

At the outset Tuesday morning, however, Scow seemed ready to vote against the sign, which originally adorned two faces of a hillside pointed toward Boulder City. Located west of U.S. Highway 93-95, the sign was put up more than a year ago to advertise the Pro Gun Club, formerly known as Desert Hills Shooting Club. In its original incarnation, the sign read in large white letters: “PRO GUN CLUB” then included a phone number and that it was open 24 hours, 7 days a week.

A compromise with Boulder City residents led to it being pared down to ‘PRO GUN CLUB.” Further compromise will reduce it to just “GUN CLUB” and only in one place. The “pro” in front of “gun club,” one resident complained, led one tourist in Boulder City to comment that the city seemed to be “pro gun clubs” because of the sign.

Clark County is dealing with the issue because it is on county land. But it is affecting Boulder City residents, as Scow demonstrated with a handful of complaints received via email.

Scow noted, however, that her dislike of the sign was based upon its original incarnation. She also wondered if Boulder City residents still objected to it now that it has been reduced in size and scope.

Looming, too, was the possibility that if the county forced the Gun Club to get rid of the sign, the club’s officers – who include Peter Eliades, who is known for owning the Olympic Garden strip club, and Sig Rogich, a longtime political consultant – might sue. The county’s attorney, though, said he had a good argument against the sign, noting it did not conform to county code.

Scow admitted she was wary of taking that chance. A loss in court might give the club owners the ability to come back with an even-bigger sign.

So Scow held the matter until August, giving Boulder City government representatives time to take information about the potential results of a court loss to their City Council for debate.

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  1. Good grief! I'm a 2nd Amendment and firearms supporter. So when I read this headline I was concerned. Then when I opened the article and saw the so called sign, I was flabbergasted. That's not a "sign," it's an abomination. It's a tasteless and unnecessary defacement of the landscape. Why would someone want to do something so destructive and ugly? I thought those chalked up hillsides went out in the 50s.

  2. Tacky at best.

  3. Who owns the land? Only quote I can find in the article is "it is on county land".

    If this is county owned land then how can they put their "sign" on it?

  4. Every time I see it, it makes me wonder about its origins, and smile at the idea someone would be so brash to make a sign like that. It would make sense for the Sun to include a statement about who owns the land and the arrangement made to post the sign there. That said, it is deducible that the sign is on private property located in the county. There is either a code or ordinance regulating it, or there isn't. If there isn't ...

  5. Seriously. What is the big deal? It's just a sign. Let it stick around for another 20 years, and then everyone will be fighting to protect it as a piece of historical Americana. But really, what in the world is the big deal? How does this affect anyone? This isn't like a McDonald's ad on the Yosemite falls, or turning Death Valley into the next Del Webb master planned community. It's an insignificant hill side near a town in the middle of no where. Why is anyone wasting money fighting this? It's a sign in the middle of no where, not a toxic waste dump.