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.