Civilians shooting on a police range?


Nathaniel Firethorn
June 25, 2003, 10:20 AM
Hi, all,

There are two outdoor police ranges within a couple of miles of me, and the public range I've been shooting at has become the victim of corporate greed. :mad: Therefore, a little inspiration has struck.

Do you know of cases where it's been possible for civilians to wangle invitations to go shooting on police ranges? Or are there liability problems or other baloney that prevent this from ever happening?

- pdmoderator

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June 25, 2003, 10:25 AM
When I was on the PD here, I used to take civilians out to the range, and let them shoot, but were usually friends. They also used to let all city personel out there also.

After I quit, and management changed at the PD, I lost use of it. I believe they closed it to everyone but LEO, no city personel anymore. Bummer.

June 25, 2003, 10:59 AM
Too many local variables to give an overall statement. I know that the liability concern is an issue for some agencies, not to mention security and vandalism. Our department "range" (more like a sand pit) is commonly accessed before deer season for hunters sighting in. They're violating a "no trespassing" sign but there's never any enforcement. Anyway, when I returned after deer season I found my moving target system completely destroyed. At least that system was home-made, so I was out $50 and an afternoon's time. Worse were all the holes people put in five steel poppers with their rifles:cuss: . Our next range, which we're developing, will be limited to LEO only, with locked & fenced gates. We might have a deer hunter's sight-in clinic to fund-raise for some charity programs or something, have to check the liability on that. :rolleyes:

On the other hand, there's an indoor police range about 30 miles from here that is open to the public. It was built with some $$ from that--umm, I'm drawing a blank on the name here--program that takes $$ from firearms sales and gives it to sporting and conservation programs. Thus, their range is available at scheduled times.

So, I guess the best answer is, ask around!

Glenn R.

June 25, 2003, 11:02 AM
I think there`s a liability problem. Even when a LEO wanted to try out a new gun they had to have an instructor present.

If I were running a police range and could, I`d let civilians use it. As long as I wasn`t busy, why not? You sit around too much and the boss finds some make work project. Might as well keep busy doing what I like.

People lament about lack of training for CCW holders and it`s public property. It`d have to be supervised though. I wanna shoot the new toys too!:D

Byron Quick
June 25, 2003, 11:10 AM
Plenty of civilians at the police ranges...the police.

June 25, 2003, 11:18 AM
They used to let me shoot at the poice range in Columbus Ohio. But that was 15ish years ago. Probably do not anymore.

June 25, 2003, 11:28 AM
When I lived in San Diego, LEO and public shared a range for a nominal fee. Here in NC, it's pretty much by invitation only.

June 25, 2003, 11:29 AM
I would occasionally accompany Coronach to the Columbus PD range. However, they have since stopped letting officers bring non-spouse guests.

June 25, 2003, 11:32 AM
Is Carnahan still there? He used to give me boxfulls of bowling pins, good man.:D

You wasn't sposed to tell us Mike is in Columbus, it was his secret.

El Tejon
June 25, 2003, 11:36 AM
Hooray for corporate greed!!!

pd, why stop going to the public range. Did the eeevil corporation close it or just, gasp, make people pay their own way?:confused:

June 25, 2003, 11:40 AM
In my parent's small home town of Houlton, Maine, the local police range is used by Houlton PD, Aroostook County Sheriff's Office, and the Border Patrol for qualifications and practice. The general policy for the public is to check with the Chief of Police for permission ahead of time. He's a very decent guy and will usually allow you to use the range as long as nothing is scheduled that day.

After you get his permission, you just fill out a form with the dispatcher, leave a photo copy of your license, and you get the key to the range. Since the range just about sits on the Canadian border, the dispatcher also calls the Border Patrol to let them know that you'll be there. We've only been denied once, due to a scheduled qualification on the particular day.

Nathaniel Firethorn
June 25, 2003, 11:58 AM
pd, why stop going to the public range. Did the eeevil corporation close it or just, gasp, make people pay their own way? :confused:I should explain that it was a range in back of a sporting-goods store. You could shoot there if you were a non-member, but for a fee. (I was just differentiating between that and a private club.)

As to why the place folded:

1. Insurance company hiked their rates by $18,000 per year.
2. Owners try to economize by giving up the second floor of the store, which had held their fishing stuff and shooting school.
3. Landlord jacks up the rent to force 'em out.
4. This having happened in PRNJ, opening a range at another location will not be a possibility. :mad:

- pdmoderator

June 25, 2003, 01:15 PM
police ARE civilians

June 25, 2003, 01:16 PM
Local PD here will let residents shoot. However, you have to make an appointment in person, during business hours, for an offered "1 Saturday every other month."

Once you're signed up and get there, you must go through a 15 minute safety rules speech, then 45 minutes of shooting, finishing with 15 minutes of brass clean up. Also, very supervised.

June 25, 2003, 01:17 PM
so I should be able to use their range, right ? :D

June 25, 2003, 02:08 PM
Here in Los Angeles (of all places) at least one police department range is open to the public.

The PD qualifies on one part of the facility; another part is open for handguns and 22 rifles. No magnum ammo and the distance is 25 yards only. Costs $5.00 and the range staff are pretty friendly toward shooters.

Not the ultimate, but a clean and convenient place to test out guns and work on marksmanship.

Steve in PA
June 25, 2003, 05:29 PM
Too much liability for the civilians on a police range. :evil:

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