perplexing & then unsafe experience at range

perplexing & then unsafe experience at range

This is a discussion on perplexing & then unsafe experience at range within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; This is a long story. Happened over a month ago, but I've been perplexed/troubled by it since. This range offers a variety of classes I'd ...

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Thread: perplexing & then unsafe experience at range

  1. #1
    Member Array freestate's Avatar
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    perplexing & then unsafe experience at range

    This is a long story. Happened over a month ago, but I've been perplexed/troubled by it since. This range offers a variety of classes I'd like to take, but based upon this weird day, I'm really put off by the entire business. I felt there was a real breakdown in professionalism, safety, common sense, business sense and customer care.

    One day as I was checking in to the Range, a group of four young ladies was also checking in. They were loosely chaperoned by the eldest, who could have been early to late 20s, the other 3 girls were young teens.

    There was one employee working the front: I could hear 2 in the back. The 2 in back never came to the front, despite the fact that the counter was busy and there was a line. I waited to check in with others, while the counter employee dealt with the young group.

    I couldn't help overhear parts of their conversation. The girls checking in had little experience shooting, some may have never fired a weapon. The eldest chaperon admitted she didn't remember what a 'magazine' was (!). Nearly all of them were renting pistols that day, and there was another conversation where it became clear that some didn't know about various calibers.

    This slowed the counter employee down. They realized that these girls needed extra instruction and said--"I'm going to go over some basic safety protocol for you guys and do a review of the pistols--but first let me check in these other customers while you're filling out your paperwork."

    At that point I got checked in and left to shoot--but as I passed the girls, 2 of the three were chatting on cellphones, not paying attention to forms. Throughout the conversation they had with the employee--phones had been going off with the latest popular songs--there was just a lot of chatter and lack of attention, just acting excited and silly.

    Shortly afterward, all four girls trooped into the range and began rapid firing at targets. They were either all sharing one lane or two--but for the 30 min I was there--it was constant rapid fire, chatting, phones ringing. Girls were in and out of the range the entire time to talk on the phone, get sodas, etc. I've never been at any range where the door was opened and closed so much.

    I left to cash out. There was a LONG wait. The same solo employee was selling a pistol to an older fellow--and once again, though there were 4 of us waiting to check in or out, neither of the 2 guys in the back came to the front. Meanwhile the girls shooting began to wind down and get ready to check out too.

    As I waited I saw that the range had a Px4 for rent, as well as for sale. When it was my time to cash out, I asked if I could rent the pistol? I also said I'd have to buy a block of 9mm ammo from the shop and another target--since I was out. I mentioned I'd been wanting to try out the Beretta storm, and since they had one for sale, if I liked the rental, I might like to get one.

    The counter employee paused and said "Oh, sorry! I can't rent the pistol to you because you're alone."

    I had never heard this rule before & it isn't posted anywhere either. I siad "Really? I've never heard of that. This will be tricky for me because I always shoot by myself here. So can I never rent a pistol from you then? That doesn't make sense to me." The employee seemed a little hang-dog and reiterated the rule, but didn't explain what the logic was behind the rule. I mentioned I was disappointed and surprised--especially as I was interested in buying the one they had for sale, depending on feel of the rental.

    At this point the employee said that if I wanted to wait for the shop business to clear out a little, they would not mind going back to the range with me--but only for about 5 minutes, and I might have to wait for a long time.

    Now I'm thinking: I shoot here frequently and am a responsible patron. You won't rent me a pistol because I'm alone? But you will rent one to 4 silly girls who are treating this trip to the range like it's an amusement park. You won't rent a pistol to someone who knows about guns, but you will rent them to kids who don't. You offer to let me try it out if you go with me (??) yet the 4 girls who are being silly aren't being supervised, unless the eldest passes for a supervisor. If you do go back with me, I maybe get 5 minutes trying out the pistol. There are guys who have been talking in the back the entire time, and have never come out to the front to assist you or the customers--what is going on?

    I cashed out. I did not confront the counter employee. I think they were doing the best they could do without support from the back. I don't know the store dynamic, but it must be a little off to not support a co-worker and not help with customers.

    I have considered going back to speak with the owner and ask for clarification about range policies, gun rental policy and safety procedures. As I said at the top of this post, they do offer a selection of compelling classes--but I felt unsafe in the range that day, felt worried for the safety of other shooters (girls included)--and was offended by their unposted gun rental policy.

    That has left a lasting, very negative impression upon me. I've since found a different range that's much more safety conscious and yet at the same time, more laid back too. Mostly older shooters there, ex and current LEOs/military. Have seen families shooting with young kids--never felt unsafe.

    Maybe I just needed to post and get it out of my brain. Does this seem as bizarre to you guys too? And should state--this is all based upon my personal perspective and what I feel I witnessed.
    In youth we learn; in age we understand. ~ Marie Von Ebner-Eschenbach


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array pcon's Avatar
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    The rental policy does seem off...of all the ranges I've visited, I've never been denied a rental because I was alone. I'd be interested to hear what the reasoning for the policy is? Where they worried you were going to steal it? I'm sure you weren't giving those vibes off...weird.
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    VIP Member Array ctsketch's Avatar
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    The can't rent alone rule at some ranges comes from the fact thats sometimes people will go to a range, rent a pistol and commit suicide... Because of some incidents it ruins it for the rest of us.
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    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    this is why I shoot with the cows on BLM land... they don't talk on their cell phones.
    "a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.

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    Distinguished Member Array bladenbullet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctsketch View Post
    The can't rent alone rule at some ranges comes from the fact thats sometimes people will go to a range, rent a pistol and commit suicide... Because of some incidents it ruins it for the rest of us.
    i took it as the same....i dont necessarily agree with it...especially with someone who has obviously carreid his own firearms in...but it may just be their policy...

    the girls concerns me also...you have rules to protect your shop from a suicide...apparently...but some silly kids show up and its business as usual without them taking anything you are relating to them seriously...interesting...

    i am most bothered though by the lack of customer service and awareness on the other employees part with the crowd in the shop as related...it seesm more tlike they were ignoring customers than anything else and its not called for...

    glad you found someplace else that seems to agree with you...and nice touch adding that it was your perception....not enough people can appreciate that one bad experience may not be representative of what can be expected in a business...who knows...maybe it was just a real bad day for them...

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nutz4utwo View Post
    this is why I shoot with the cows on BLM land... they don't talk on their cell phones.
    +100 On that, Much Quieter ; )
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  7. #7
    Member Array blastissimo's Avatar
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    Rule seems silly to me also.

    I recommend the PX4 Storm. I have one in 9mm, my first pistol as of a few months ago. I love it. Too bad you don't live closer you could try mine.

  8. #8
    New Member Array twelveeight's Avatar
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    The range I go to has a similar rule. Basically, you can only rent a gun if you're in a group of 2 or more, or if you have a permit to carry (I would guess if you also brought in your own guns, that would work too--I've never needed to test it).

    It makes sense because a person wanting to commit suicide is less likely to do it with another present (especially someone they know).

    Remember--LESS LIKELY, it won't necessarily prevent it, and of course I've seen the video of the woman who shoots her son, and then herself at the range.

    Now, with the girls--that's just an unfortunate situation, but did you get a chance to see their gun handling? Talking on your cell phone and buying soda doesn't necessarily mean negligent handling (maybe they're just annoying). It does go against the grain of unspoken range etiquette though.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array LongRider's Avatar
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    Weird good call on moving to another range. Thank you for reminding me how lucky I am to have a backyard range even if I don't have any guns to rent
    Abort the Obamanation not the Constitution

    Those who would, deny, require permit, license, certification, or authorization for me to bear arms are as vile, dangerous & evil as those who would molest, abuse, assault, rape or murder my family

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    Member Array EPIC SCUMBAG's Avatar
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    I would've looked some where else to shoot such as you did. My safety and the safety of others is very important to me at the range. Customer service is also as important.....It's the deciding factor as to whether or not I return and give them any more business in the future. It's an oxy moron to not let an experienced shooter test fire a pistol that they're maybe interested in purchasing but they allow 4 non-experienced females fire gun(s) like no big deal. Ask yourself this.....Who is more dangerous?? +1 for you to find a safer range!

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I could understand the policy if you didn't own any firearms and never shot there before,and show up to rent a pistol,but there was a murder suicide committed by a lady and her son.she rented a pistol and they were shooting when suddenly she shot him in the head and then shot herself.
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Array jhh3rd's Avatar
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    Never miss an opportunity to leave when you are near unsafe shooters.

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    Distinguished Member Array Black Knight's Avatar
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    I would try to find out who owned the range and shop, then politely discuss the issue with him/her. The owner would more than likely explain the policy as well as be interested in the actions of the employees and the unsafe actions of some of the patrons. The owner may or may not be held liable for accidents but either way a responsible owner will want to know about these incidents and work to reduce them. Even if they are not held liable the bad publicity could ruin the business. If I were the owner I certainly would want to know what goes on when I'm not there.

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    If I had made up my mind to off myself, another person along wouldn't stop me, and, in fact, may add to the bloodshed. That rule is senseless. no doubt some lawyer or insurance Co. came up with that one.

    I'd have been tempted to shoot a couple of cell phones, but the wiser half of me says maybe a nice sit-down with the owner/manager to discuss these issues is more in order. Maybe the Prez would supply the beer.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhh3rd View Post
    Never miss an opportunity to leave when you are near unsafe shooters.
    Or...(situation dependent)...help/teach them to be safer shooters...

    If I overheard someone saying they don't remember which part was the magazine, I think I would have offered some assistance.
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

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    You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know

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