Today at the range..


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Marcus5aurelius
November 9, 2008, 05:41 PM
Today at the range I was shooting indoors with my family and it was fairly crowded. As we were almost ready to leave, four men came in that kinda bugged me.

Now before I start, I do live in MA and granted their are some regulations that are different between state to state that I'm not aware of, but from what I saw, no regulations were followed at all (in or out of MA).

First of all, they each were just holding pistols by their sides, no cases or anything to even attempt at concealing them. All of the firearms had no locks or anything on them and the guns they couldn't hold were casually stored in back pockets. But the most astonishing for me was all the guns were cocked, none of the four or five were open to see whether they contained ammunition. They also didn't make a point to keep the weapon pointed down range at all times. One of the guys was trying to "instruct" the other three, but it made everyone else in the range uneasy. We quickly packed our stuff and left.

I realize the locks may be optional between states, but I always believed the three "leave open to see if there is a bullet in the chamber, always point down range, and never put your finger on the trigger before you're ready to fire" rules were universal.

Please let me know what you think about this. From what I saw they all acted like it was a game, but with my own family and many others in the same room, I didn't find it funny. Tell me what you think

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General Geoff
November 9, 2008, 05:43 PM
Poor muzzle discipline is asking for trouble. I got no problem assuming all weapons are loaded, but that means not waving them around willy-nilly.

indoorsoccerfrea
November 9, 2008, 05:45 PM
it is my guess that they were not very experienced and joined the ranks in light of the election. maybe all they need is a few pointers? Is it an unmanned range or do you enter with at least some supervision

dogtown tom
November 9, 2008, 06:15 PM
Four guys enter a business with drawn, cocked handguns?:scrutiny:
Sounds like a scene in a Steven Segal movie.

Every range I've used has a HARD rule: When you enter, all firearms MUST be cased. Period.


I'm pretty sure you enter ANY business (much less a gun range/store) in Texas with a cocked gun in hand, two things might happen:
1. Owner/range nazi either draws/shoots/disarms you.
2. Other shooters do it before the owner does.

These may have been decent, but stupid guys. It would have been nice if someone had told them how stupid they were.

Sinixstar
November 9, 2008, 06:18 PM
The scary part is, what you described was "instruction"...

lonegunman
November 9, 2008, 06:32 PM
Was there a sign in plain view with clearly written instructions?


My range has one. There are two kinds of people I hate at the range. guys with guns in their back pockets with the hammers cocked and geeks with trigger locks on everything they own who think they are defusing a bomb instead of shooting. Neither are good for the sport. Pretending a gun is overly dangerous and making a big deal out of silly and mindless safety gadgets just proves the anti-gunners are right and this is a dangerous sport. Acting like a clown from a Steven Segal movie is not helpful either.

More people are injured or killed with yard impliments or power tools than guns every year. I know two guys with half a thumb and one with 70 stiches in his hand from not being careful with a circular saw.

If you have a gun case, why have a trigger lock too? Criminals just cut them off and your kid shouldn't play with guns anyway.

One range I shoot at has few rules and one mean old man for a range officer, he carries a 45 and will shoot you for bothering him. It is the best five bucks a day ever to go shoot there. Nobody messes with him, a guy with his own 1500 acre shooting range, a backhoe and a 45 can make the rules stick.

Marcus5aurelius
November 9, 2008, 06:52 PM
At our gun club there are often range officers, always on the outdoor ranges but more sporatic on this particular indoor range. Many of the other shooters are usually cops, but since there were probably six other people focusing on targets, only a few noticed how they were handling the firearms. The one older guy was showing the three younger (around 25years old) but I figure he must have just handed them each a gun to enter with, not knowing how to use it :cuss: They didn't look exactly like perfect law abiding citizens anyway. After all, it only takes one licensed member of the club to allow in others.

I obviously wasn't going to say anything to them, first because they were all holding guns and second because they already showed they lacked responsible behavior.

f4t9r
November 9, 2008, 08:21 PM
Sounds to me that they need a range officer.

benEzra
November 9, 2008, 08:35 PM
My local range does not require guns to be locked or cased, but they ask that actions be open if a gun is not holstered. Since I shoot an AK (no bolt hold open), I use a chamber flag to show empty, and walk in with the rifle slung.

IMHO, a lock on a gun in your personal possession that you are transporting to the range is a bit silly, unless you are stopping somewhere en route and leaving the car unattended, which I don't generally do. Unless your local laws require that guns in your trunk have trigger locks or whatever.

Having said that, cocked and locked in the back pocket is a bit much.

Mr.1973
November 9, 2008, 08:51 PM
A lot of things bug me.

Majic
November 9, 2008, 08:52 PM
I really don't see a problem other than you didn't like what they were doing. They walked in with guns in their hands and pockets. Is there a law or range policy that states the gun must be in a container? The guns were cocked and the actions not opened. Is there a law or range policy stating the actions must be open or the actions must be at rest? The guns weren't always pointed downrange. Did they sweep anyone with a gun or the guns just pointing down at their sides? There was no mention of fingers being on the triggers. While you can find the worst in any situation I don't see what's wrong here other than you not approving of what they did.

tnieto2004
November 9, 2008, 09:04 PM
I see it often in public ranges.

Bozo
November 9, 2008, 09:06 PM
Every range that is pay for the public, that is not a state or federal range that I have ever seen has a rule that all firearms are to be holstered or in a case.

You don't say if it was a commercial pay range or club or what. That makes a difference. Was a range officer there? I share your concern but did they break any rules of the range?

Maybe you should voice your concern to whoever runs or controls the range.

Marcus5aurelius
November 9, 2008, 09:43 PM
Majic, there are laws and range policies. The state of Massachusetts requires all firearms to be locked during transportation and storage. There is a range policy to have all firearms facing downrange with the chamber open and facing upward while not being fired. (basic safety practices) I only mentioned the rule "do not put your finger on the trigger until ready to fire" because it was one of the 3 primary safety procedures.

It is a private club with membership fees. They do generally have range officers to assist in handling, safety, etc however this particular range doesn't generally have a member on duty unless it is an organized shoot (there are two full indoor ranges, and two outdoor ranges). Besides that, the members are given key cards which allow them entry any time of day or night.

tpaw
November 9, 2008, 09:53 PM
Today at the range I was shooting indoors with my family and it was fairly crowded. As we were almost ready to leave, four men came in that kinda bugged me.

Now before I start, I do live in MA and granted their are some regulations that are different between state to state that I'm not aware of, but from what I saw, no regulations were followed at all (in or out of MA).

First of all, they each were just holding pistols by their sides, no cases or anything to even attempt at concealing them. All of the firearms had no locks or anything on them and the guns they couldn't hold were casually stored in back pockets. But the most astonishing for me was all the guns were cocked, none of the four or five were open to see whether they contained ammunition. They also didn't make a point to keep the weapon pointed down range at all times. One of the guys was trying to "instruct" the other three, but it made everyone else in the range uneasy. We quickly packed our stuff and left.

I realize the locks may be optional between states, but I always believed the three "leave open to see if there is a bullet in the chamber, always point down range, and never put your finger on the trigger before you're ready to fire" rules were universal.

Please let me know what you think about this. From what I saw they all acted like it was a game, but with my own family and many others in the same room, I didn't find it funny. Tell me what you think

All the more reason why not everyone should be allowed to own a firearm. I've seen careless people like these over the years, and witnessed one who shot himself in the leg, one through a door, another into a ceiling and another who shot the guy next to him through the jaw, another who shot his pregnant wife and killed the unborn baby and another who shot through a wall, killing a young boy who was sleeping in his bed. All because of cockiness and carelessness. Shall I go on? There are just some people who should not have firearms, period.

WinchesterAA
November 9, 2008, 10:04 PM
What's the big deal? Aside from being stupid with the firearm instruction while walking around a bunch of unknown people with firearms and no idea what their level of professionalism with their firearms might be. In this particular instance, the 4 guys should have been wondering if the other people there were anything like them.

I digress, storage of firearms.. When I started shooting, I was broke and had no cases. That combined with a storage system I had previous and successful experience with through deer hunting and that sort of thing. Cases aren't cheap when 400$ is a record amount of money to you.

My firearms never fell out, and they never went off when carried in pockets and the like.

BullfrogKen
November 9, 2008, 11:50 PM
The state of Massachusetts requires all firearms to be locked during transportation and storage.

Doesn't MA have concealed carry permits? I always understood they did; perhaps I'm mistaken. I don't know how a guy's going to carry a concealed firearm if he's got to have it locked up while transporting it.


I don't go to public ranges. I don't go to pay per hour ranges ran by businesses either. I prefer to belong to membership run clubs. We as members can decide what range rules are appropriate, which ones are silly, and which one are just some way of exerting control over shooting styles people just don't like based off of biases and not actual safety precautions.

Our club has hot ranges by default. We pull pistols out from among our clothing to shoot all the time.

We do strictly enfore the Four Rules. At least I do anyway. And I'm adamant about not handling guns for show and tell in the parking lots or the clubhouse. I've told lots of people to take guns into a pistol pit and face the berm to do it; or the Indoor Range; or even face the cement block walls in the clubhouse. But I'm not a big stickler over much else.


Some folks just need some basic education on gun handling skills and proper etiquette. But that doesn't mean cold ranges, cased guns, and open actions. In fact, all those sort of regulations do is make the problem worse. How are we to acquire the skills to walk about society with a loaded firearm if we don't have some place to learn and practice how to do it?

Range Officers exist to pass on the rules to those who don't know them. And they act as an extra set of eyes to see things occurring that we aren't paying attention to because when we're busy shooting, we're focused on shooting.


But who is ultimately responsible for what happens with the gun? Not the Range Officer. We are. I am opposed to any rule or manner of thinking that obfuscates that responsibility to someone else. We are responsible. I hold those around me responsible. I don't go look for a range officer. I take care of the problems I see immediately and right away, and let whatever argument comes about from that happen . . . . after the problem is taken care of.

Majic
November 10, 2008, 02:11 AM
The state of Massachusetts requires all firearms to be locked during transportation and storage.
Then how would you be able to carry a handgun in a holster you are wearing?
There is a range policy to have all firearms facing downrange with the chamber open and facing upward while not being fired.
Could be a little tough to do if you are just entering the range. If you use the factory case that your handgun came in to transport it then most don't have enough room in them to hold the pistol with the slide locked back or the revolver with the cylinder swung open. That rule usually applies once you are on the firing line.

mauiglide
November 10, 2008, 03:20 AM
I shoot at a county firing range but it is run by several shooting clubs. I belong to one of these clubs. I pay my annual dues and shoot free during the open days. The range officers are vigilant about range rules and firearms safety. After one warning, you are told to leave. When you come to the firing line, you have to have all your firearms in an enclosed gun case. Not in a cardboard box, wrapped in a towel, or in your pockets. If there is anything amiss with anyone or anything, it should be reported to the range officers and they will take care of the situation.

jakemccoy
November 10, 2008, 04:26 AM
At the range, I'm a big fan of keeping guns pointed downrange. You can bring your Desert Eagle and your high powered rifles. Go crazy wasting ammo and talking loud while you're showing off for your girlfriend. Everything's cool as long as your guns are pointed that away. As soon as someone starts swinging their muzzle around carelessly, then there's a serious problem. The Safety Rule about muzzle control is the most important at the range. It's the easiest to spot. There's really no excuse to have poor muzzle control at the range. Someone who has poor muzzle control should be corrected immediately.

Ragnar Danneskjold
November 10, 2008, 04:43 AM
I try not to go to organized ranges so I don't have to deal with people or rules. That being said, I follow the safety rules on my own. I go to public land most often to shoot, and I try to go really early in the morning to avoid anyone else being there. When I do go to a real range, the one I go to requires all firearms to be in cases, except concealed carry weapons. Those must be in holsters. No pockets or wrapped in towels allowed.

Marcus5aurelius
November 10, 2008, 09:41 AM
There are permits to carry concealed weapons but I can almost guarantee that they all were not licensed. I have no problem with concealed because most of the time you can easily tell if they're off duty police officers, but these guys were very clearly not. The one older guy was talking almost like it was a very sloppy, dangerous class he was teaching by directing the others what to do next.
I may understand using pockets as holsters, although you would never catch me doing that, ever. But considering they were shooting four, maybe five guns, I'm sure they could afford at least a cheaper side case. Whenever you use or carry a firearm you should always follow safety procedures and be in control of the gun, especially when you're in a crowded range with people to either side of you. I have little tolerence for others who handle their firearm as if it were a toy. :fire:

bonza
November 10, 2008, 10:04 AM
Our local range (membership plus open to public) does not allow either cased or holstered guns, & only one firearm per person on the line at a time. You must first check in with the R.O. who, if you are new, will read thru the range rules with you & then allow you to bring your uncased firearm onto the firing line, action open, muzzle up. The no case rule is a toughy for me, but I can understand the reasoning behind it & I can live with it.

Lonegunman, were in the PNW is that range you go to?

Lookn4Brass
November 10, 2008, 10:45 AM
Gentlemen, I think I would have left too, if there wasn't someone to enforce range rules. If there WAS someone there, I would go find them, ASAP, right after I loaded a fresh magazine and stuck it in my pocket. I would then tell the range officer what I observed, and mention that we need to approach the issue cautiously and in a friendly manner if possible. When folks look suspicious, being "Mr. Drill Sergeant" might be a bad idea. Sometimes people have funny reactions to "help" when they're holding a gun. Just ask someone who has taught alot of CCW classes. If they're keeping their trigger fingers busy too, I'd rather be wrong and intact, than be "right" and get shot. :o Some friends and I have had more than one range experience that was even worse than the one mentioned here. Not kidding. I won't go into it on a public forum such as this, because the actions I had to take and my strong opinion on this matter might not be helpful to this forum. Fortunately, this only accounts for less than 0.05% of my shooting experiences, but they will never be forgotten. Every indoor range I go to, other than on private land, had better have an openly armed range officer, or I will probably not be using that facility. Our local range here has a range officer wearing a cocked and locked 1911 .45 in plain sight, and he is VERY polite. ;) as he should be. Walk softly and carry a big stick is a good idea, especially when others are involved!

Seenterman
November 10, 2008, 10:45 AM
geeks with trigger locks on everything they own who think they are defusing a bomb instead of shooting. Neither are good for the sport. Pretending a gun is overly dangerous and making a big deal out of silly and mindless safety gadgets just proves the anti-gunners are right and this is a dangerous sport. Acting like a clown from a Steven Segal movie is not helpful either.

At least the geek is less likely to shoot you on the line or when you go down range accidently. I like the "geeks" 100x better, people who make ranges unsafe do 1000x more harm to the sport and being overly cautious never bothered me, someone muzzle flashing me or handing their gun while im downrange infurates me to no end. Unsafe people should be made to leave after the 2nd violation, 1 warning thats it. I dont like to gamble with my life or anyone elses when I want to go target shooting.

Why didn't you report these clowns to the Range Officer.

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