Forgotten Gun at the range?


January 3, 2004, 05:24 PM
Went to the range this morning with a friend to shoot the 22s and centerfire rifles. This is a public range, with no range officers or other supervisory staff there. There are three seperate ranges, each separated by dirt berms. We had one lane preety much all to ourselves for 3 hours and a couple other groups came and went.
We were about to leave, when we notice that apparently someone left their pistol behind at one of the other lanes. It looked like a large single action revolver of some kind in a leather holster. I did not touch it because I dont make a habit of picking up strange guns left all by their lonesome o nthe firing line. Me and my friend are discussing what to do, call the Fish and Wildlife Commision (Owners of the range), call the local police, whathaveyou when another car pulls up and some more folks show up to do shooting.
I told teh newcomers that it looked like someone left their pistol behind, and asked if they would keep an eye on it. If noone claimed it by the time they packed up to leave, I asked them to report the handgun to the local authorities to which they said they would. I left after that.
Who forgets to pick up their firearm from the gun range? What is the proper thing to do when confronted with this kind of situation?

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January 3, 2004, 06:05 PM
I'd have taken it with me, and turned it into the nearest police station.

Dave Markowitz
January 3, 2004, 06:06 PM
I would report it to the range owners if the gun's owner didn't come back to retrieve it before I left. Otherwise, it's likely to grow legs and walk off, if you take my meaning.

But to leave one's gun at the range? :rolleyes:

January 3, 2004, 06:08 PM
Eh, forgetting stuff, including things as critical as firearms, happens to the best of us. The worst I've done, is leaving my wallet on the counter after purchasing a FireStorm Mini9. Was on my way home when it occurred to me that there wasn't a bulge in my back pocket that is normally felt. Luckily, someone prompted the dealer of my wallet and he kept it (intact) until my return.

This is the main reason why I try to limit the number of firearms when I go shooting. When I do shoot with multiple firearms, I usually shoot one gun at a time and the ones not being used are kept in the backpack or in their case until they are up to bat.

January 3, 2004, 06:53 PM
At an unsupervised range I would have at least unloaded it - probably by pulling the trigger if it appeared to be a quality firearm. Then I would have secured it - probably in my car - and left a note with a phone number. I don't know of any state law here that would require me to turn it in to the police or the game warden.

But that's just me. I'd feel real bad if I left it there and some kids, or idiots, got hold of it or something.


January 3, 2004, 07:30 PM
I leave a business card saying 'This is the property of...' in each case or ammo can I take to the range, just in case. Hopefully an honest person would find the card and call.


January 3, 2004, 07:40 PM
I'd probably have posted a notice saying "Handgun left at range by owner: to claim, call and verify make, model, serial number", and taken it with me. Other ideas?

January 3, 2004, 07:56 PM
If there's someone there (range officer, LEO, etc.), I'd turn it in to them. Let them do the screening.

If no one else is there (as is often the case at my range), I would take it to the owner of the range (which I do know) or the police station (know them, too). And I'd make sure to get a receipt.

If no one claims it----!!!FREE GUN!!!

But I wouldn't post my name & number willy-nilly at the range. No telling who might "claim" it...:uhoh:

January 3, 2004, 07:56 PM
I left a rifle at the range once, too busy loading the car. Got about 10 minutes away before I turned around and got it back. Talk about dumb!

January 3, 2004, 08:02 PM
Yup, I would have taken it into custody and reported it to the owners of the range.

It's gone now.

January 3, 2004, 08:09 PM
I thought about bringing it to the local police, but I did not want to risk getting pulled over and having a handgun that did not belong to me in the car. Last place I want to spend my Saturday afternoon is the police station explaining why I had Mr. John Doe's revolver which he just reported stolen in my car.

January 3, 2004, 08:56 PM
Come on, do you regularly worry about getting pulled over?

I don't drive in that mode, myself.

Interesting situation you came across.

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