First time this happened to me at the range


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doubleh
March 26, 2011, 11:57 AM
There were two groups of us shooting yesterday Four people were set up at two benches at the south end of the covered range and I was at the far north end where the 25 yard backstop is as I was messing with .22LR pistols. The firing line is about 50' long. Everyone had taken a break and the guys on the other end were chewing the fat and I was tinkering. A car drove up and parked beside me. I really wasn't paying attention to him at that time. He walked up to the bench beside me and without a word started firing a centerfire pistol into the berm underneath my target. None of us had hearing protection on. I grabbed mine and put them on and said a few unkind words to him which he couldn't hear because he was wearing hearing protection. He emptyed the magazine and without even looking at any of us returned to his car and drove off. At least he didn't hang around.

The range is unsupervised and common courtesy rules. If you need to go down range you ask and everyone clears and waits on you. When everything is clear you check and announce you are going to shoot and wait until everyone is ready. Once in a while someone will start shooting without announcing their intentions but very seldom. I always go during the week when the least amount of shooters are there.

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SharpsDressedMan
March 26, 2011, 12:08 PM
Well, you got it off your chest here, but if you didn't get his license number or know who he is, you can't report him to the range staff very well. I'd let it go, unless you can identify him later.

NavyLCDR
March 26, 2011, 12:26 PM
That is the exact reason my carry gun remains loaded and in it's holster on my belt when at the gun range. If someone was down range and he started shooting, things could have ended tragically - not necessarily for the people downrange.

btg3
March 26, 2011, 12:30 PM
Once in a while someone will start shooting without announcing their intentions but very seldom.
As you admit, it happens.

I always go during the week when the least amount of shooters are there.

Presumably, this is your choice because you know that at an unsupervised range, not everyone observes common courtesy.

When I see another shooter arrive, I keep an eye on him and am seldom surprised or unprepared when he starts to fire. Failure to practice common sense in the absence of common coutesy is equally culpable.

buck460XVR
March 26, 2011, 01:35 PM
I always go during the week when the least amount of shooters are there




Presumably, this is your choice because you know that at an unsupervised range, not everyone observes common courtesy.



When I see another shooter arrive, I keep an eye on him and am seldom surprised or unprepared when he starts to fire. Failure to practice common sense in the absence of common courtesy is equally culpable.

+1.





That is the exact reason my carry gun remains loaded and in it's holster on my belt when at the gun range. If someone was down range and he started shooting, things could have ended tragically - not necessarily for the people downrange.


:rolleyes:........while murder may be the ultimate cure for stupidity, I doubt that it is an acceptable practice in our society. Over the years at the local unsupervised range, I have seen many unsafe shooting incidents.....including someone shooting at targets at the berm while others were still downrange. Was it unsafe and discourteous? Yep, but was it a legitimate reason to shoot the offender?

Oldfalguy
March 26, 2011, 02:12 PM
I agree with everything you said Navy but what good would having your carry gun handy in this set of circumstances? Drawing down on someone at a range seem somewhat imprudent

FC
March 26, 2011, 02:18 PM
That is the exact reason my carry gun remains loaded and in it's holster on my belt when at the gun range. If someone was down range and he started shooting, things could have ended tragically - not necessarily for the people downrange.

Just for you oldfalguy, I carry a pistol at the range for the same reason.

mbopp
March 26, 2011, 02:51 PM
The ranges at our club are unsupervised. There's a red line that runs the length of the range about 5' behind the shooting stations. And there are switch activated red lights and buzzers on the ranges. If you're done shooting you step behind the line. When everybody agrees to go downrange all the guns are unloaded, actions locked open, and are on the bench. The first person going downrange turns the buzzer on. Nobody goes forward of the red line or touches any guns until the last person back shuts off the buzzer.

Eons ago there was a LGS that had an open outdoor range. I think I went twice, and each time it was like a free-fire zone. No RO, no safety line, nothing. I'm really surprised nobody ever got hurt or worse.

JackTheRipper
March 26, 2011, 03:26 PM
That's honestly sorta scary! Sounds like he was venting...

oldbear
March 26, 2011, 07:08 PM
It appears as if the number of rude and selfish people in this world is increasing at a rate that outpaces the population growth. Sad but true. :fire:: :cuss:

Well, all's well that ends well. :D

NMGonzo
March 26, 2011, 07:12 PM
BUG stays with me if firing primary.

Primary on holster ready to go when firing BUG.

Both at the ready when firing rifle.

I wear plugs and muffs ... leave the plugs on all the time.

Hearing is precious.

medalguy
March 26, 2011, 07:53 PM
I shoot on public land, BLM land, way away from everyone else. I usually have a buddy with me but sometimes I go alone. I ALWAYS carry a loaded handgun everywhere I go on the range--well not really a range, it's an open area about 300 yards to a clay bank. But I'm always armed. I also keep an extra mag for any rifles I take out.

I have seen some somewhat scary dudes drive up sometimes when I'm shooting. Frequently they stop and start shooting, sometimes stop, look, and decide to go elsewhere, sometimes just stop and watch for a while. I never feel comfortable without some kind of protection with me. I guess that's the price we pay for a (somewhat) free society. I'll add I've never had a problem with anybody but there's always a first time.

Ruger GP100 fan
March 26, 2011, 09:04 PM
At the range where I shoot you are not allowed to have any gun loaded when someone is downrange,holstered or not.

armoredman
March 26, 2011, 09:38 PM
Free unsupervised public range, well taken care of, and I always go early morning during the week. One reason is the safety aspect, the other is walking away from expensive stuff that might be difficult to replace. I may start carrying my rifle at sling arms when I go set up targets...
I have had stupid people do stupid things at the range - I leave when they demonstrate their stupidity the first time.

Jesse Heywood
March 26, 2011, 09:50 PM
You haven't lived until you have seen someone walking downrange to change targets while you are shooting. Happened to me twice before they fenced the shooting area and hired a RO.

XD Fan
March 26, 2011, 10:06 PM
The public range where I sometimes shoot has three staggered berms at 25, 50, & 100 yards. I had a guy ask me if he and his young son could walk up and shoot from short hand gun distances at the 100 yd. berm while I continued to shoot at the 25 yd. berm. He figured they would be safe enough since the 50 yd. berm would be mostly between us. I declined his offer and took a break while he and his son shot at the 25 yd. range.

orionengnr
March 26, 2011, 10:29 PM
It appears as if the number of rude and selfish people in this world is increasing at a rate that outpaces the population growth by about 10,000% per generation.
There, fixed it for you.

kalash
March 27, 2011, 01:11 AM
A few months back me and some buddys went to the range. While I was shooting there was a older man that would walk up range while hot and everybody was firing to check his targets at 100 yards. He would only fire about 5 rounds and he was back cecking the targets. Every 5-6 minutes he was wandering out on the range. He could usually jog up to 15-20 yards befoe anyone seen him and called cold. Pissed just about everyone off and everybody that was smart left.

We were at one end of the range and he was at the other, by this time it was just us and him. After being scalded SEVERAL tims he stopped running up there every couple of shots and waited for cold. I figured I was OK not watching him like a hawk. SOOOO I'm looking down my acog at my target not paying attention to much except for the paper, I look up, and he is at the 100 yard mark taking down his target!

GREAT!!! he is leaving!!!

Turns out he was a brass collector.

He packed his guns up and came back with some bags. Stayed about a half hour picking up loose shells. Figured I was safe to shoot. By this time my buddys had ran off somewhere doing god knows what and I was alown. I am looking down a scope, I start to squeeze the trigger and all of a suddon it turns BLACK. The DUMB SOB had his HEAD infront of my rifle picking up MY brass!!!!!:banghead:

This was the LAST time we went to that range.

paramedic70002
March 27, 2011, 03:00 AM
Wow. Murphy, Darwin and the Grim Reaper were working well together on that one.

The Lone Haranguer
March 27, 2011, 03:34 AM
At any kind of informal range, I don't shoot all of my guns or all of the ammunition.

InkEd
March 28, 2011, 10:26 AM
It sounds very peculiar to me. I don't really know what to tell you about it. Hopefully, it was an isolated incident and he'll learn some better safety skills before returning to your range.

youngda9
March 28, 2011, 11:02 AM
I don't see much wrong with this. Sounds like the only thing the guy should have done was to make sure the range was "hot". You should always wear your hearing protection while at the range...I can see slipping the muffs around your neck while walking to/from the targets but otherwise they should always be on, that was your mistake.

Perhaps he just did a spring modification, was trying his gun for functioning of new re-loads, or wanted to see if some new SD ammo her purchased would cycle. I don't see anything scary about this.

I did a simlar thing at the 100 yard range with a small 5 shot revolver...just wanted to make sure the first 10 rounds of practice ammo I loaded up was tame enough to be able to practice with it a lot....it was and I went home and cranked out a lot more of it. I was a member at the range, and it is unsupervised as well. I'm sure I got some weird looks also.

SSN Vet
March 28, 2011, 11:11 AM
The Rod and Gun club I belong to uses "self supervision" as well. Yet repeated incidents of damage to the target stands, holes appearing in the walls, etc... have lead to the club officers setting up a new "toll booth" style gate.

Everyone now has to pay a one time $10 fee and get a photo I.D. / swipe card. This card must be swiped to get the entry gate to open, and the system logs you in.

Previously, access was via. a padlocked cable across the drive (with hill and ditch on either side). But even though the combo. was changed every year (have to be current on dues to get new combo.) I think there was still a lot of unauthorized access.

The gate may also take a photo of the car/driver/plate.... I'm not sure.

At least this way, the club officers can know who was on site and pull the string when incidents happen.

I've heard way to many similar stories to this one by the OP, and am inclined to keep my shooting to private land.

Sav .250
March 28, 2011, 11:28 AM
"Unsupervised range!" :(

doubleh
March 28, 2011, 11:30 AM
Well, youngda9, I explained that no one was shooting. All the firearms present were safed. Four guys on the other end of the firing line leaning on the front of their vehicles and on the benches while discussing something. I was just standing there looking at ammo and considering what I wanted to do next. If anyone had been in position to resume shooting I would have had my muffs on. They weren't and I didn't. You may consider it a mistake but I don't. Also I didn't mention anything scary about the whole deal. It was just very annoying and rude. He was about 6 feet away from me. All he had to do was say "I'm going to shoot" and I would have put my muffs on. It would have taken about 5 seconds out of his day.

SSN Vet, I like the idea of the swipe/ID card. We pay a one time $5 for a key. You either have to stand on your head or get on your knees to see what you are doing or spend a lot of time fumbling around feeling for the lock in the box. I'm way too old to stand on my head and my knees don't work so hot either. :D

ColdDeadHand
March 28, 2011, 12:00 PM
I've never had any troubles at my favorite unsupervised range here in MO. Just a bunch of good ole' boys for the most part. And most of us do keep a sidearm on our hip, myself included. No one has to say why and no one has had to pull one yet that I know about. It's just a silent reminder...that our range will be a polite society.

jcwit
March 28, 2011, 02:52 PM
I've never had any troubles at my favorite unsupervised range here in MO. Just a bunch of good ole' boys for the most part. And most of us do keep a sidearm on our hip, myself included. No one has to say why and no one has had to pull one yet that I know about. It's just a silent reminder...that our range will be a polite society.
__________________
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Right, it also seems like alot of the "young guys, I think" are trying to come across as hot heads and quick on the trigger when it comes to bossing others around. Like they need an ego trip or something.

gamestalker
March 28, 2011, 06:18 PM
I had an experience that nearly ended with an exchange of gun fire, all because of someone who had absolutely no concept of gun safety. In Yuma Arizona our shooting range is unsupervised, but it is a really well kept range and offers something for every taste, archery, shotgun, black powder, handgun, rifle 100 yds. to 300 yds., and we also have a 1000 yd. range.
While at the 100 yd. to 300 yd. range my self and the other's collectively decided to go down range and change targets or what ever. There was still one man at the firing line to which we informed of our intentions. We specifically let him know we were going down range and assumed he knew what that indicated, don't shoot until we have returned to the firing line. While the group of us were at about the 200 yd burm walking back, the individual at the firing line opens up with his AR 15. We all hit the dirt instantly, myself and a couple other's unholstered our side arms and took sight on him while yelling at him to cease fire and lay the weapon down now! Fortunately he was not wearing any ear protection and heard us and complied, or things could have become deadly to the point of traggic real quick. When we all had all returned to the firing line things got really hinky, and resulted in the irresponsible shooter being ordered to leave. I didn't engage him and instead packed and left, with no intention of returning to this range or any other, ever!
I've had countless close calls around other's who carelessly handled firearms, with some circumstances nearly costing me my life. Friends that have almost shot me while hunting, and far too many other incidents to post, that would have certainly resulted in my death, if not for the grace of God. But this one was the straw that broke the camels back, so to speak. I now have a couple of real nice spots to shoot where I don't have to contend with near death experiences. I've been to a lot of well supervised ranges and had good experiences at them.
But, all it takes is one idiot a fraction of a second to cost an innocent person their life. Some of the ranges I've shot at will have 20 or so shooting stations, and one really good out spoken supervisor. I've seen a good range master tell someone point blank, to pack and leave. I find this to be the only way to deal with individuals who regard gun safety is rediculous. I've heard remarks from people such as " Come on, I'm not a child " or " Don't worry, I'm not going to acidentally shoot anyone" this is when a well focussed range master sends them packing.
So if you ask me about a bad experience while visiting a shooting range, my answer from now on is, I don't go to them any more. I also don't go shooting with anyone except my own family. My Wife and I have a bunch of Grand Children and Nephews and Nieces to which all are trained in proper gun safety as soon as they can walk. My 3 yr. old Grand Daughter demonstrates excellent gun safety and is fully aware that a gun is not a toy. She has more respect for a firearm than most adults I've encountered in gun shops.
I know I went over board on this response, but it really hit home with me and thus deserved an elaborate reflection of my experiences at shooting facilities.

jcwit
March 28, 2011, 07:19 PM
OK, returning fire to someone who is shooting at targets "I presume" even tho you are down range and it is of course very unsafe and not to be condoned, I also doubt would stand up in your favor in a court of law.

If perchance you or one of your friends would have shot and killed the idiot, I easily could see a prison sentence in ones future. Course you would be alive.

NavyLCDR
March 28, 2011, 08:01 PM
I'm sorry, but if someone is sending bullets towards someone I love, or towards me, I am going to send bullets back at them. I will probably send bullets back at them if they are sending bullets towards a complete stranger. That's just the way I am. You shoot at me or my family, I am going to shoot back at you. That's why I carry a gun. That's also why in 27 years of military service, every range I have been on in the military has an armed RSO.

It's called the law of necessity. An action is justified if it is necessary to do so to prevent grave bodily injury or death to someone.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Necessity+defense

necessity

A defense asserted by a criminal or civil defendant that he or she had no choice but to break the law.

The necessity defense has long been recognized as Common Law and has also been made part of most states' statutory law. Although no federal statute acknowledges the defense, the Supreme Court has recognized it as part of the common law. The rationale behind the necessity defense is that sometimes, in a particular situation, a technical breach of the law is more advantageous to society than the consequence of strict adherence to the law. The defense is often used successfully in cases that involve a Trespass on property to save a person's life or property. It also has been used, with varying degrees of success, in cases involving more complex questions.

Almost all common-law and statutory definitions of the necessity defense include the following elements: (1) the defendant acted to avoid a significant risk of harm; (2) no adequate lawful means could have been used to escape the harm; and (3) the harm avoided was greater than that caused by breaking the law. Some jurisdictions require in addition that the harm must have been imminent and that the action taken must have been reasonably expected to avoid the imminent danger. All these elements mirror the principles on which the defense of necessity was founded: first, that the highest social value is not always achieved by blind adherence to the law; second, that it is unjust to punish those who technically violate the letter of the law when they are acting to promote or achieve a higher social value than would be served by strict adherence to the law; and third, that it is in society's best interest to promote the greatest good and to encourage people to seek to achieve the greatest good, even if doing so necessitates a technical breach of the law.


The justification is simple - I cannot ascertain the reason the person is shooting in the direction of the people who are downrange. How do I know they aren't a suicidal maniac who wants to kill as many people as they can before killing themselves? Do I take the time to ask them what their intentions are?

Again, we are talking about someone shooting in the direction of other people who are downrange when the range is cold and are in immediate danger of being killed.

So, in the OP's scenario, IF there were people downrange, and IF they are in danger of being shot and killed... I AM going to shoot back. End of story. I couldn't live with myself if a complete stranger got killed, and I could stop it... let alone if it was a member of my family downrange and in danger.

jcwit
March 28, 2011, 08:23 PM
I believe it would take only a second to determine if one was shooting at me versus shooting at a target, granted it is inexcusable. No to hard to figure out.

NavyLCDR
March 28, 2011, 08:26 PM
I believe it would take only a second to determine if one was shooting at me versus shooting at a target, granted it is inexcusable. No to hard to figure out.

Yep. In the OP's scenario guy shows up, walks up to the line, and starts shooting. Clearly he is not shooting at a target, because he didn't put any targets downrange, only bullets. Given that set of circumstances, IF there were people downrange, how could you possibly use the excuse, well, I thought he was shooting at targets? Especially IF those people downrange were your wife, or 14 yr old daughter with an amputated foot that walks with a prosthetic leg?

Life is too precious to leave in the hands of an idiot shooting in the direction of people downrange.

The-Reaver
March 28, 2011, 08:30 PM
I mean I have rolled up to my range to fire off only a few rounds, and leave. But that's just rude man. Sorry that happened to you.

jcwit
March 28, 2011, 08:42 PM
My final comment on this is being neither myself or any others here other than the OP were there we can only surmise as to what was actually going on. We are hearing one side of the story, if in fact that was the exact way it happened, who knows.

wishin
March 28, 2011, 08:52 PM
It was probably just some guy checking his gun out before a contract hit.:rolleyes:

btg3
March 28, 2011, 09:49 PM
We are hearing one side of the story, if in fact that was the exact way it happened, who knows.
There is huge potential to save a whole LOT of bandwidth if filters could be applied to eliminate one-sided, speculative posts/threads. But hey, doesn't the whole vicarious thing suck most of us in -- whether it's ball games, mall ninjas, soap operas, or reality TV -- why else does that stuff sell?

SSN Vet
March 29, 2011, 03:33 PM
the biggest benefit to the swipe card is knowledge...

We have a great relationship with our local PD, and they often trains on our facility. So we can usually get a sympathetic ear and a little help if we can call in a trespassing or vandalism complaint. All the more, now that we can provide a license plate number.

We shelled out a fair penny to have an NRA tech. consultant come out last summer to review of our range safety and to my knowledge, we've implemented all of their recommendations.

I'm not on the range committee and don't frequent meetings, but I would not at all be surprised if the card swipe gate came out of the last NRA audit.

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