A South Otago rifle club left in shock after learning the alleged mosque terror gunman was a member has closed its range for the "foreseeable future" and may never open it again.

This comes as the Otago Daily Times was told by a source that the club was being investigated by police.

It was revealed after Friday's attack that Brenton Tarrant was a member of the Bruce Rifle Club, and practised shooting an AR-15 and a hunting rifle at its range near Milburn.

Bruce Rifle Club vice-president Scott Williams said in the wake of Friday's terror attack: "We have closed the rifle range for the foreseeable future."


Asked if the range would ever reopen, he said: "We don't know at this stage".

He was also unsure if the club would remain going.

He said club members were dealing with grief over what had happened.

The Bruce Rifle Club closes its range for the
The Bruce Rifle Club closes its range for the "foreseeable future" and may never open it again. Photo / File

Members had been encouraged to approach police and give an individual statement if they felt they were able to offer "any insight into Brenton".

"From the people we have spoken to in the club membership in the club committee there was no indication of anything like this.

"Even looking back now and I guess I am speaking kind of personally here, I've been wracking my brains trying to think back to things that could have been construed as a warning sign.

"But they just weren't there."

"There was no idea this was going to happen, no indication."


The club, which had just over 100 members, was in shock, Williams said.

"I think we're feeling bit stunned and shocked and a bit betrayed, perhaps, that we've had this person in our club who has ended up doing these horrible things.''

Police visited the range yesterday with some of its members.

Williams would not comment on whether police were investigating claims by Pete Breidahl that he saw club members with the confederate flag - a symbol of white nationalism - and talking with "strong feelings" about the right to carry arms, as well as complaining that New Zealand's relaxed stance on refugees would lead to terror attacks.

"At the suggestion of police they have asked us not to comment on those allegations."

He said given that he could not say whether police were investigating those allegations.


Milton Bruce RSA member Ian Carruthers said Milton people were stunned that their community was in the spotlight following Friday's tragedy in Christchurch.

"We all know someone who is a member of the Bruce gun club which is now in the spotlight and we are amazed at the media coming here to find out more.

"The members we know are all good people, serious about their guns but good people," he said.