Monday, September 25, 2023


Campground owners urged to provide employees ‘active shooter’ training

Note from Chuck Woodbury
The article below is word for word from a press release from the New York Campground Owners Association. I just want to say how sad I am that a campground owner has to even think about an “active shooter” on his or her property, much less train employees what to do if such an event should occur.

The Towne Law Firm of Albany, N.Y., with offices throughout the Capital Region, Adirondacks, and Northeast recommends that park operators hold regular active shooter training sessions and develop policies and procedures to protect staff during active shooter events.

Private park operators could face legal liability if an employee is injured in an active shooter event due to the lack of well-rounded active shooter event policies and related training,
according to legal guidance provided last week to New York campground operators.

“All aspects of everyday life are facing the risk of being terrorized by an active shooter event, and because of this, businesses ought to have in place policies and instructions
regarding the proper manner in which to respond to an active shooter event,” The Towne Law Firm of Albany, N.Y. stated in a memo, which was recently emailed to New York campgrounds by Campground Owners of New York (CONY).

The Towne Law Firm, which serves as CONY’s outside counsel and a trusted alliance partner of the association, recommends that parks not only develop policies on how staff should prepare and respond to active shooter events, but hold regular active shooter training sessions and develop an active shooter emergency plan.

Failing to prepare for such events could put park employees, customers and its reputation at risk, the Towne Law Firm stated, “behaving responsibly in this day and age includes formulating an active shooter event policy so that employees are educated as to what protocol needs to be followed to maximize their safety.”

Prevention strategies

Active shooter prevention strategies may include a variety of tactics, such as:
• Instituting a “no firearm” policy in the campground and not allowing employees to carry firearms.
• Performing Google searches on the names of prospective employees and guests to see if they are connected to any violent crimes or incidents.
• Implementing a guest tag system, which allows owners or park security to easily distinguish admitted guests from trespassers.
• Preparing and placing crisis response kits in strategic locations to aid employees and/or guests in the event of an active shooter incident. These kits should include first aid supplies, emergency contact numbers, a map of escape routes, flash lights and radios.
• Consulting with local law enforcement and emergency response services to develop an emergency action plan to help employees know and understand proper procedures for dealing with an active shooter situation and its aftermath.
• Identifying evacuation and escape routes and locations in the campground where employees can hide during an active shooter event.

Warning signs

The Towne Law Firm also highlighted warning signs that can indicate potentially violent behavior, including:
• Resistance to policy or procedural changes
• Decreased attention to personal appearance or hygiene
• Increased severe mood swings
• Unprovoked outbursts of anger or rage
• Paranoid behavior
• Increased unprompted talk of firearms or other weapons or violent crimes
• Talk of suicide or preparing for death
• Increased absences with vague or no explanation
• Increased talk of personal, financial, or domestic issues in the workplace
• Increased use of drugs or alcohol

Your comments are welcome, but keep them respectful or they will be deleted.


Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.


  1. This crack legal team in Albany are following the same path for legislation that our smart politicians follow now. The assumption that the bad guys will follow the rules and be scared off by signs and warnings. Watch out for the profiling list that was seen in the article, hygienically challenged persons are dangerous…first a member of a very smart legal group, next a member of NY State government to watch over all of we, the simple people.

  2. Active shooter in the campground!? Well I guess it is bound to happen in the USA. We are in Canada camping in their wonderful parks. Two Canadians have told me the newest comment about the USA is “living above the US is like living above a meth lab”. Hysterically funny, but not so funny. I check for exits in grocery stores in the US. Maybe it is time to find out how many months I can spend in another country and still collect my SS.

  3. Lots of comments about the first recommendation but no mention of the second. Wonder how many folks would like the campground they reserved to call back and announce that their reservation was being cancelled because of a social media post that didn’t meet the campgrounds approval…or someone with the same name who was arrested 20 years ago. Or how many campgrounds want to hire someone who’s job description is running background checks on every guest. Just in case they didn’t have enough difficulty finding enough staff.

  4. Only in America.
    This is a very sad state of affairs in the USA and unfortunately it appears to be the norm.
    A Canadian Snowbird 🇨🇦

  5. More fear mongering. In the aftermath of a campground shooting, find out the make and model of the gun — then any victims can sue the gun manufacturer, not the campground. I thought that was now the government’s answer to “gun violence”. LOL!

    Actually, having a general plan to manage crises or accidents in the campground is a wise precaution for the benefit of guests and staff, not for fear of lawsuits. Have plans for the most likely scenario. When you hear hoofbeats, don’t look for zebras!

  6. There are some good ideas in the proposed strategies, however, the first one, “• Instituting a “no firearm” policy in the campground and not allowing employees to carry firearms.” is completely illogical and not backed up by facts nor statistics. No person who is going to enact an active shooter scenario is going to abide by or care about any rule, regulation or law regarding “no firearms”. That is a proven fact. Armed citizens are a preventive measure for today’s active shooter incidents.

    • I totally agree with you Luke,we would NEVER stay in a campground that bans guns.
      My husband was an LEO for 36 yrs,now retired,also we have owned a firearms training business for over 26 yrs,we could be the ones that save many of people,you know the say goes.. when you need the police..

      • Although I would prefer a total ban on firearms in a campground that is unrealistic given how many RVers have firearms onboard. However it is totally realistic to ban the carrying, open or concealed, of any firearm out of the RV. In the case of an active shooter scenario I would be as afraid of my neighbors with weapons as of the active shooter.

        • You’re entitled to your opinion,as am I.
          I would rather have my neighbors have weapons, than not.
          I firmly agree that people shouldn’t open carry,but I totally disagree on the part about carrying it concealed .
          I do a lot hiking in the Superstition Mountains in Arizona and always carry, I never know if I might encounter a coyote or javalina.
          Better to be safe, than sorry..

    • Luke you are absolutly correct. Criminals, by definition, are criminals because they disregard rules. It is the law abiding citizens that are RESPONSIBLY armed that provide protection for all. Hopefully one of these days people will figure that out.

    • I have no doubt that a majority of campers have guns. If they could get to their guns in time to “save” me, how good of a shot is this gun toting, patriot? Now I have a whack job with an AR-15 on one side of the campground and an old man with shaking hands taking pot shots from behind his Airstream.

  7. 1st recommendation is only making campgrounds vulnerable to deranged mentally ill persons wanting to do harm to others. Those soft targets are the ones being targeted. I agree with several comments below that you don’t see shooters going into places like police stations, gun shows, etc. I do think if an active shooter enters a campground, he’ll probably have return fire. I just hope everyone is aware of their background when returning fire. And has been active in shooter training.

  8. I am sorry, I guess the Trial Lawyer’s Association needs more business. We probably need training in what to do during an NBC (Nuclear, Biological or Chemical) attack also.

    Training on how to stay dry during a rain storm, you wouldn’t want to catch a cold.

    Here’s all you need to know…
    CALL 911

  9. Under Prevention strategies, the first suggestion is to implement a no firearms policy. That is brilliant, disarm all law abiding citizens. And best of all we all know the shooter will see the policy and abide by the rules and go home. Way to go NY…sheep will be sheep!

  10. Disarming the campers is not a deterent for a mentally ill person. I would venture that an active shooter in a campsite in my state of Texas would almost certainly be killed by a camper. These incidents are almost exclusively targeted at unarmed people. I support making it harder to legally obtain a gun, that’s up for discussion.

  11. One RV park we visited had a real live police officer living on the premises. With his marked, issued police car on site, I doubt that any one would attempt anything.
    According to FBI records for the Nation, hammers are the number 1 weapon used to kill people.

  12. I find it sad that a campground needs to be concerned with being sued over the actions of a deranged shooter. Welcome to our litigious pay our lawyers system I guess. As for prevention ideas many of those listed are common sense. One that really bothers me is the intentional creation of soft targets by creating a “no firearms allowed” policy. This type of thinking announces easy target locations for the would be shooter and provides no means of protection for those that are camped at often remote sites miles from the protection of police. I can not remember the last time there was an active shooter report at a gun show. I do remember the many “no guns allowed” area attacks. Common sense laws are not using common sense. Arm the campers and if they carry to protect a campground make sure they are trained. Bad guys don’t care about rules … and evidently lawyers in New York prefer to ignore 2nd Amendment rights.

  13. Lost me at the first recommendation. Recipe for getting the most people killed by an active shooter: ban firearms from both legally carrying customers and employees creating, in effect, safe zone shooting gallery for deranged attackers. How often do these maniacs walk into gun stores, Sheriffs Offices and Police Departments, and better yet, walk out alive?

  14. I agree with Chuck. It is sad that we have to even think about and prepare for events of horror, terror & trauma. But isn’t that life? Not nutjobs, of course, but still part of life.

    In nature there is life & violent death. Usually because every species is both predator or prey {often both}. Is being violently killed and eaten or watching offspring meeting that fate any less terrifying for a less sentient species? Maybe, maybe not.

    Even plants get killed and eaten or destroyed by fire & flood. Not the same thing! Right, but still life & death and destruction.

    • Didn’t mean to go down that road! Wierd.

      Did mean to say the first suggestion to all was to ban guns to protect workers, campers, and prevent rampage killers. This is clearly ineffective!

      Laws & rules do not apply to criminals and nutjob criminals. Feel good gun bans add to the problem and make victims out of all of us.

      Up to 40,000 die from gunshots each year, but up to 2 MILLION crimes are prevented or defended by possesion of a gun!

      With more guns than people in this country I believe you are still less likely to be shot by a stray self defense bullet than winning the lottery and certainly than by being run down crossing the street.

      Stay safe, be prepared and do what is best for you. Thanks for reading.

      • Those statistics apply only to the USA. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, European countries do not have this carnage we take for granted.

  15. That sounds normal for New York since their gun laws are anti 2nd Amendment. The law firm knows very few people can defend themselves, as well as the criminals, they’ll be glad to provide training, for a fee, telling people how to bend over and put the head between their legs a kiss their a** goodbye. If you notice mass shooting most always occur where the gunman knows there’s no one to shoot back. An exception was the TX church shooting where a parishioner was a legal concealed carry gun owner and stopped the shooter with one shot. Very seldom do you here of a mass shooting where the gunman knows they may be killed in the process. These mass shootings by mentally disturbed people fall right back in congress’ lap where they passed the law that prevents a “shrink” from informing the police about a nut case being dangerous to society.


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