Fire investigators discover live ammo inside abandoned Waikiki gun range

Fire investigators discover live ammo inside abandoned Waikiki gun range
(image: Hawaii News Now)
(image: Hawaii News Now)

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu Fire Department said harmful materials were found inside a recently-vacated gun firing range in the middle of Waikiki.

The Swat Gun Club which operated on Kuhio Avenue has since moved to Kakaako.

It was forced to vacate by the landowner without time to fully clean up ammunition and other remnants of its longtime use as an enclosed gun range for tourists.

Other businesses around the gun club have also been evicted.

The parcel is owned by the Weinberg Foundation, but it's unclear why the tenants were suddenly asked to leave because the foundation has not returned any phone calls.

After the inspection, HFD wrote a letter stating it "discovered hazardous conditions, such as live ammunition, rubber backstops and empty shell casings."

Waikiki resident Dave Moskowitz worked at the gun club years ago says it is a massive hazardous waste site with stray ammo and gun powder residue imbedded in walls and ventilation systems.

"It's like having a bomb. It's like having an IED, improvised explosive device. A large, 900-square-foot improvised explosive device sitting next to you as your neighbor," Moskowitz said.

The fire chief said no other fire hazards were found but the department issued a Notice of Violation and said they will reinspect in two weeks to confirm the dangerous materials have been removed.

The area was also known for problems after hours.

In September of last year, 18-year-old Jordan Smith was arrested after allegedly shooting and killing 22-year-old Maleko Remlinger near Club Alley Cat. And in December, a woman said she was picked up by a man near Club Alley Cat who then allegedly rape and tortured her.

"It's like thunder dome after 4:00 a.m.…fights, assaults, drug dealing in the bathrooms, drug use," Moskowitz said. "Is a breath of fresh air when you when you walk down the street at night."

The Health Department says it's informed the Weinberg Foundation that it must hire an environmental consultant to look over the site.

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