A Langley shooting range said to be the largest indoor facility of its kind in Canada is one of the biggest contributors to a second fundraising campaign for the Freedom Convoy protest against vaccine mandates.
As of Tuesday, Feb. 15, a GiveSendGo public list ranked The Range in Langley among the top 10 contributors to the fund, which reported raising more than $9 million U.S. toward a goal of $16 million.
The Range donated US $18,000 (close to $23,000 Canadian at current exchange rates), one of the largest single contributions to the campaign.
On Friday, Feb. 4, GoFundMe closed down the first convoy campaign, for alleged violations of its terms of service.
GoFundMe said it was acting on “evidence from law enforcement that the previously peaceful demonstration has become an occupation, with police reports of violence and other unlawful activity.”
Organizers responded by launching a second campaign on GiveSendGo, a self-described Christian crowdfunding site.
On Monday, the GiveSendGo site was offline, the result, reportedly, of a weekend attack by hackers who claimed to have stolen a list of donors to the convoy and have posted the information online. According to that information, 55 per cent of donations are from the United States and 38 per cent are from Canada.
By Tuesday, the site was back online with the donor page accepting contributions.
A 2017 Langley Advance Times article described how The Range in Walnut Grove serves hunters and law enforcement officers, offering a tactical range reserved for law enforcement professionals and qualified members, as well as a public shooting range.
The tactical range allows law enforcement officers the ability to holster, sling long guns, and move around in addition to bringing in vehicles and doing low-light shooting.
Since it opened in 2015, the range has held several fundraisers with the involvement of law enforcement, including Cops for Cancer.
A message on The Range Indoor Shooting Inc. website said it is a “proud supporter and employer of Canadian military and police.”
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The Langley Advance Times has reached out to the Range for comment.
An unsigned statement posted to The Range website said the donation to the convoy “is our way of peacefully participating in democracy.”
It goes on to say that while some may disagree “with our beliefs and support for this cause,” The Range will always defend the rights of those “that disagree with us and encourage them to build on their own beliefs rather than allowing them to destroy ours.”
It said all Canadians should be wary of anyone who claims the protesters are “dangerous.” Such labels simply mask an attempt to justify taking away individual rights to “peaceful protest.”
“We patriotically defend the rights of the individual. We peacefully promote freedom over fear. We proudly support our truckers,” the statement goes on to say.
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