Do you trust public shooting ranges?

This is a discussion on Do you trust public shooting ranges? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Do you trust public shooting ranges? I pose this question to ask another. How can WE “as shooters” make our public ranges safer. I feel ...

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Thread: Do you trust public shooting ranges?

  1. #1
    Member Array 2gunken's Avatar
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    Do you trust public shooting ranges?

    Do you trust public shooting ranges? I pose this question to ask another. How can WE “as shooters” make our public ranges safer. I feel like every time I go to the range I see some novice shooter putting everyone in danger. First time shooters walking around with loaded guns not pointed down range. Confusion with what to do in the event of a weapon malfunctions. Poor muzzle discipline. Inappropriate rapid fire. You just never know what the knucklehead next to you is going to do. Not everyone that has a gun knows how to use it and use it safely. So what do ya’ll think? What should we do? Or am I just paranoid.
    CCW: Never get killed for lack of shooting back!

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    Member Array wings816's Avatar
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    I'm with you, I belong to a local club, as does my father. Neither one of us will shoot with anyone else on the range anymore. It seems like everytime I go there someone puts my safety in jeopardy.

    It seems that to truly correct the person, may invite an undesirable confrontation as well, so now I just avoid the other shooters.

    Yeah, I agree that's sad, but I'm not going to have any more firearms pointed down range while I'm changing a target.

  4. #3
    Member Array MidWestCarry's Avatar
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    The only public range I frequent has really strict rules. I can barely get a double tap off without someone scolding me. Let alone carry a loaded gun around or not have the muzzle downrange. I've seen plenty of people kicked out for being dumb. I've also seen some very safe new shooters. Specifically a kids gun had a FTE and he placed it on his table, and asked for help. Not saying this range doesn't see its fair share of dummys, but its been surprisingly refreshing at my public range.

    I will add that I have never shot at an unmanned range, and all of the public ranges I go to have quite a few of range employees.

  5. #4
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2gunken View Post
    Do you trust public shooting ranges?
    My range is pretty aggressive about safety, and most of the members (with few exceptions) are as well.

    1. You go through training before you get to shoot.

    2. You must adhere to a strict hot/cold approach to the line, on the multi-shooter ranges.

    3. You must use chamber flags when you're not actively using/preparing the gun.

    4. You may get a warning, if it's not too serious. But, fail again, and you can be ejected from the range and have your membership revoked.

    5. For "comfort" level, a couple of the ranges have a slow/controlled-fire requirement. No double-taps; no strings; no rapid-fire. These are fixed pistol ranges and the purpose is punching holes in paper, not defensive techniques.

    Now, all that being said, it's not heavily policed. While there are one or two range officers that go back and forth between the ranges, looking for serious issues, if you get it right then their presence is merely in the background. It's simply a strong safety culture that has infused most every member. We each look out for each other, each keeping folks safe. It's subtle, but there, and it works. I much prefer it to a free-for-all, which can, as you suggest, be bloody dangerous for all concerned.

    In short: my range is me, my shooting buddies and every other member. WE are the range. Any failure we tolerate is a failure in us, as members. My $0.02. YMMV.
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    Ex Member Array PNUT's Avatar
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    2gunken,
    What you're describing sounds like a mess. I would not go there. Are there no employees ? No rules ,either ? If that's your only option, see if you can make it a better place, if it's not, don't even drive past it(unless you're in a tank)

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    Member Array Uechi's Avatar
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    A lot of people don't like it, but I think every range should require the shooter to demonstrate their proficiency with firearms and their knowledge of firearms safety prior to being allowed to shoot. All of this should be under the watchful eye of a range officer. If they don't pass they don't shoot without a range officer over their shoulder until they are up to speed. It constanty amazes me that people would never think of buying a car to drive without first knowing how to safely do it, but will buy a firearm and not know or ask for instruction prior to such a purchase when they don't have a clue about its operation or safety.

    You don't have to go to a range to see ignorant, stupid, careless people. Most of the guns stores where I live will not allow CWP holders with loaded weapons in the store unless your a LEO because of all the morons that have NDs in those stores.

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    Senior Member Array LeCalsey's Avatar
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    Our local club has strict rules and pre-shooting orientation classes for all new shooters. They will not hesitate to toss out the riff raff either. Weekends are crazy busy and the do the hot/cold range excersize when multiple shooter are on the range.

    That being said, early morning weekday trips are my cup of tea so that I don't have to put up with the idiots in general. I have found that I am usually the only shooter on the line when I go at that time of day OR I am sharing with the local Sheriff doing qualifications. Not bad company to keep IMO. Our range does criminal background checks on all members before they can join to help eliminate the wannabees and punks.

    I used to belong to a range that was open to the public and the local gang-bangers were always getting tossed fo inappropriate activities. It is something to be seen when an idiot with an auto is getting tossed and tries to claims racism. Right to the edge and the Sheriff has to do the removing.

    Good times
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    Senior Member Array Divebum47's Avatar
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    Substitute "cars" for "guns" and "idiots shooting guns" for "idiots driving cars" and the whole thing is just about transparent. The biggest difference is that you have to pass an exam to drive a car. And we all know how well the government operates the BMV.
    "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups"

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array Frogbones's Avatar
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    No...I don't trust mine, don't give mine time of day anymore. I go to some land that I'm free to shoot on.

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    Member Array mantis's Avatar
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    It may not go over well, but I'd suggest a membership of some kind that is recieved only after the person proves their safe gun handling. The "membership card" could be presented on entry to the range. So, I guess I am saying a "private range" then, with membership. It certainly would make me feel better. Good question!

  12. #11
    Member Array ouch's Avatar
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    i dont trust public ranges, I have a hard time trusting people in general let alone next to me shooting.... I always shoot at buddies houses. and If someone new comes along you can one on one teach them the proper/safe way to shoot without anyone else blasting rounds off.

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    Senior Member Array SCfromNY's Avatar
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    The 2 indoor ranges around here have a rangemaster and rules. One more strict than the other. If they know you and you have been coming for years 1 range will allow you some extra freedom if you are the only one in the range.

    You can not have everyone demonstate handgun skill since that would eliminate newbees trying to decide if they like it or not.

    Reasonable rules and supervision will eliminate 95% of the safety issues. You can never be 100%. Even USPSA which has a 100% "no fatality" record has had minor issues.
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  14. #13
    Member Array Cloudpeak's Avatar
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    We have two ranges and both have yearly or "day key" memberships. There is no range officer or supervision of any kind. I've had some scary things happen to me at both ranges. I used to pack up and leave but have started "visiting" with the offenders on occasion.

    Awhile back, a father was there with two young kids around 10 years old. While the father was shooting at the 7 yard line, his kid was behind him at a table messing with a revolver. I was back at the 25 yard line in my truck and the kid swept me twice. I honked my horn and drove up to the dad and had a little visit in a calm manner. He apologized, rounded up his stuff and left.

    At the other range, we have a couple of plate racks that are down range from the rifle benches. I was practicing one day with my "ears" on and all of the sudden there was a shot. I looked around and a guy had set up his rifle behind me and fired at a target. We had a different kind of discussion that time because it scared the dickens out of me. He said he spoke to me and told me he was there. I had plugs and muffs on for cryin out loud! I didn't see or hear him. I told him to keep his rifle on the bench and stay away from it while I picked up my brass and left.

    I only go to the range during the week now. No weekends. If there is someone there I don't know (small town), I leave.

    Cloudpeak

  15. #14
    Member Array 2gunken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    It may not go over well, but I'd suggest a membership of some kind that is recieved only after the person proves their safe gun handling. The "membership card" could be presented on entry to the range. So, I guess I am saying a "private range" then, with membership. It certainly would make me feel better. Good question!
    This seems like the only logical fix to this problem in my mind. I would have no problem taking a class to help keep myself and other shooters safe. I’ve been shooting all my life but a yearly refresher is a great idea. A firearm isn’t very forgiving and I don’t want to become someone’s mistake. “I’m sorry” is fine if you back into my car in a parking lot but that just doesn’t cut it on the firing line.
    CCW: Never get killed for lack of shooting back!

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ouch View Post
    I always shoot at buddies houses.
    I'm glad I'm not one of your buddies, my house has enough holes in it!

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