Record arms sales in Texas creates problems.


January 5, 2012, 12:33 AM
This new election coming up has many people scared and giving President Obama once again salesman of the year award in the firearms industry. I'm happy for everyone here but I have noticed a few changes at my favorite shooting range. The crowds are getting larger which I feel sometimes make for an unsafe environment with a lot of the novices firing the new found firearms.

I am trying to be nice an as a matter of fact, offer help like give targets if they have none or tell them they are trying to load 40 cal rounds into a 9mm magazine. It seems that I have no choice now but to share my favorite range with all the masses.

Just wondering if anyone else in other states have noticed an increase in shooters at your favorite ranges.

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January 5, 2012, 01:35 AM
Yep, there have been plenty of new shooters and even members at my local range. Used to be you'd have "the usual" crowd, but now there are many many more new people. I think it is a good thing, and I don't mind helping people out with their shiny new Glocks, Springfield XDs, and AR15s.

January 5, 2012, 01:57 AM
New shooters is always a good thing. I dunno how organised your range is, but new shooters at my club get supervision and shoot for free.

January 5, 2012, 02:19 AM
I guess I am getting selfish. It used to closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and only members and their families were allowed to shoot those days. Lately we had gone from 10 to 20 shooters to over 200 shooter daily. Guess I gotta give my self time to adjust to the crowds and wait my turn now.

January 5, 2012, 02:51 AM
We all have to start somewhere

January 5, 2012, 03:30 AM
Crowded ranges and new shooters can be somewhat of a small annoyance in a narrow sense. Taking the broad view though, more new shooters means more people supporting the cause, which makes it harder for the government to abrogate our rights.

January 5, 2012, 04:52 AM
I put a different spin on it and am happy to see all these gun owners pumping up our 2A numbers.

I have noticed my favorite bargain ammo brands in short supply though.

Rob G
January 5, 2012, 04:53 AM
As much as lines at the gun range can be kind of annoying it's also really nice to see all the new shooters out there. I do agree that sometimes there's a safety issue since only a certain percentage of these new shooters actually take a safety course of any type but mostly a kind word and a little patient explanation on my part corrects the problems. My experience has been that most of these people are genuinely interested in having a fun and safe experience and don't mind an experienced shooter taking a few moments to teach them something.

Just as a side note the other day I saw an older couple ( 70ish ) at a gun store in serious negotiation over a very tacticool AR15. Based on the conversation this was their first firearms purchase. It was probably my favorite "new gun owner sighting" in recent weeks. Rock on grandpa and grandma. :D

January 5, 2012, 07:58 AM
The range was jammed last weekend here in Dallas

I think people are getting their Christmas toys...... And shooting them

It may slow down a bit in a month

January 5, 2012, 08:03 AM
I do gladly welcome the new shooters I see at the range. However, it is a mixed emotion.

My Bullseye club meets at a local range on Tuesday nights for our weekly indoor match. This was set up a few years back so that we could shoot on their slow night, which was beneficial for the range. The influx of new shooters has put some tension between the club and the range owners. Last week the owner was upset due to having to put one of his regulars on a waiting list, which upset the regular, due to our match starting. I fear that next winter we will not be allowed to schedule a block of time at the range for our matches and may not be welcomed back at all. I do understand though, the range is there to make a profit not cater to our club. Of course if the range was still slow, they would welcome us with open arms.

So, while I'll still work on getting people involved in shooting sports and offer assistance if I see a struggling new shooter; I know it is going to come at a cost to what I enjoy.

January 5, 2012, 08:41 AM
The 2nd Amendment refers to "the people."

January 5, 2012, 08:43 AM
I was an avid pistol shooter (Beretta 96) from 1993-1996 (when I met my wife). I effectively became a "born again" shooter starting almost a year ago. And now I have 2 pistols (Sig P229 in .40S&W and CZ RAMI in 9mm), a Ruger 10-22, Ruger PC-4, and an AO M1 carbine (which I wish was USGI).

Next up is a 12G shotgun, either pump or semi-auto. Then either a .45 or some form of AR.

It is great to be back, and the friendly and informative persons on this and other forums really has helped and made things FUN.

January 5, 2012, 09:04 AM
I've seen an increase as well. This worries me. Not to say the guns these people have were obtained illegally or that I question the legality of them being allowed to own or use them, I go off what I observe; and from what I observe, I've recently seen a great increase in unsafe and straight out dangerous behavior. Respect for my fellow man must be earned based on performance. I'm sorry, but I don't find the good in my heart to walk over to Mr. Armchair Commando dual-wielding his Redhawks all side tilted thug nasty style and tell him 3 of this 12 rounds landed on the left edge of MY target. I'd rather gather up my belongings, notify the employees about the unsafe behavior I observed and leave.

January 5, 2012, 09:50 AM
I think it's great. That being said I shoot at a private range which helps keep the crowd down a bit.

January 5, 2012, 09:51 AM
The indoor range l frequent has had a lot of new shooters recently but since it's indoors and pretty well supervised the new people are mostly there with a friend who is trying to teach them. Most of the time that's a good thing.

Lol at the dual-wielding Redhawks, that's classic. I get tired of the rapid-fire guys practicing mag dumps and glowering like somebody is about to attack them.

January 5, 2012, 11:11 AM
When the thug nasty masses start glowering, well, goodness!

BTW, no crowds at the ranges around here. North Texas.

M2 Carbine
January 5, 2012, 11:26 AM
Once in a while I teach new shooters basic shooting on my home range. If I wanted to, I could stay busy teaching just females.

It was jam packed at the gun show last Saturday and at the gun show a few weeks before.
They were selling guns so fast a couple of my lady students bought guns and had to wait over an hour just to get to the paperwork.

January 5, 2012, 11:56 AM
I put a different spin on it and am happy to see all these gun owners pumping up our 2A numbers.

I have noticed my favorite bargain ammo brands in short supply though.

We all started somewhere and I'm happy to see new folks getting into "our hobby".
I tend to shy away from indoor ranges after being spoiled with accessability to outdoor and uncrowded ranges the past ten years. West Texas does have it's advantages :D .

January 5, 2012, 12:10 PM
Like I said, I have to get used to it. My range was very laid back, you could chew the fat without hurrying, load rounds while you chrono your loads as you shot, take out your sandwich and soda and eat it leisurely. Now it is so busy it would be rude to eat your lunch while people are waiting. My days off were spent all day at the range chewing the fat and shooting.

Normally the only time it was ever busy was during deer season, when everyone is trying to check their zero or zero their new rifle.

But anyway all new shooters....WELCOME, WELCOME, WELCOME, AND BE SAFE.

January 5, 2012, 01:02 PM
I live in Southern California and I am seeing the same issues. I was at a local outdoor range last week that typically sees a daily turnover of around 50 customers during the week and a bit more during the weekend. The rangemaster told me that they had already hit 300 customers that day alone, and 2 hours after they opened had a waiting list.

I arrived around 1:30pm and it was so bad they had to put handgun shooters next to rifle shooters (not optimal as they have a range for handguns, a range for rifles, and a range for shotguns). I was there maybe 10 minutes when an older woman firing a Sig P239 waved her loaded pistol around after being alarmed by the musket shooter next to her (and to be fair that musket was extremely loud).

The rangemaster jumped in front of her and forced her hand forward and yelled at her for waving her loaded Sig around. She apologized but acted as if it was no big deal because the "safety was on". She acted like an experienced shooter, but observing her shooting habits led me to believe she either doesn't care about gun safety or is new to shooting completely. Beyond ignoring the rule to point the gun down range, she kept firing 2-4 more times after the slide was clearly locked back, astonished that there weren't any rounds firing, and seemed to be more concerned with conversing with her husband than taking care that she had a loaded weapon in her hands.

January 5, 2012, 02:52 PM
I wonder if this is a start of a trend or a fad. In a few months I wonder how many of those new guns will be collecting dust in a closet vs. still being used on a regular basis.

Definitely safety is an issue. As a new shooter I'm glad I took a intro course. A lot of what is taught is common sense, but if you're new to it all, you may not the safety aspect unless somebody points it out and then you're like, "ohhh... That makes sense, I never thought about that before."

January 5, 2012, 02:58 PM
In California, you have to pass a Handgun Safety Test before purchasing a handgun. This doesn't prevent a legal handgun owner from taking friends shooting and being negligent with gun safety, nor does it count older shooters who had guns before the safety test was required. I've seen it first hand.

January 5, 2012, 03:13 PM
Everyone's gotta learn, we were all noobs once.

Of course many of us were yung'ns when we learned to shoot :)

January 5, 2012, 04:41 PM
Lol I am one of the new members. As a kid I shot on family land, after that all I was into was shotgun sports. My opportunity to hunt big whitetail prompted me to buy a nice, accurate rifle. I don't have access to any land anymore, so I joined the range.

From the pov of a new to the range shooter, I am more worried about forgetting a rule or upsetting one of the old vets who seem to go there all day every day.

January 5, 2012, 05:16 PM
New gun owners-> new shooters-> new range users-> new range facilities.

Being a good RKBA champion sometimes means having to help the new folks ease into our space.

January 5, 2012, 06:05 PM
I agree with hso, think of it this way. A lot of new interest will generate demand, which should (depending on the political enviornment) generate new ranges and opportunities.

Also, a side effect of this should be the political enviornment should become more gun friendly. The politico's understand which side of their bread the butter is on...

January 5, 2012, 06:28 PM
I had someone help me fifty years ago. Not everyone is an expert out of the gate. Gotta be a mentor. Not always easy, but you reach a point in life where it's time to pass it on.

And remember, these are all voters. They can help you keep your guns.

If the ranges and gun shops are full, it keeps them in business.

No matter where you are in the shooting game, there's always someone that knows more than you do, and someone that knows less. Be willing to learn and willing to teach.

Elbert P . Suggins
January 6, 2012, 01:22 PM
Send the new shooters to my place in Idaho. I will serve ice tea, coffee, donuts and they can shoot off my deck at 100, 200, 500, 1000yards and a four-wheeler is available to check the longer targets. I'll lock the dogs up cause they chase dust clouds out there so you have to kind of shoot around them when they run loose. Only lost one in six years and that was a richochet. He got a flesh wound in the butt and he left the next day after getting bandaged up because he was in rut. I don't get into politics with customers that shoot off my deck but I keep a watchful eye on the suspicious types. Brown kahki pants and gotees are a give away. I carry liablilty insurance to cover myself in case of any gun related incidences but anyone that slips and falls is on their own. I don't sell any ammo but provide cotton fer your ears, and you have ta pick up your own brass, no booze what so ever except your own and only when you are done shooting. This is a county road so you are on your own after that. There are five 90 degree corners leavin my place and there's been collisions on every one so keep on your own side cause two went to the hospital back in 58 but they didn't have seat belts back then. My number is 208-924-6950. I can get your groups down to a tolerable level with any thing that gots a trigger. Elbert P . Suggins

January 6, 2012, 02:11 PM
I am seeing more people at the local spots also....

In the past 6 months I have taken 9 first time shooters to the local indoor range, and spent time with them, teaching the basics and letting them experience shooting in a safe and structured manner.

I have another 10 or so that want to now go and learn but, between the first group that still want to go, and the new people, my dance card is getting full.

Thank goodness my local indoor range (Top Gun Shooting Sports) has free Ladies on Monday and my boys are good enough sports to both help me wrangle the herd and, help out when needed.

In my mind, the more people that learn that their safety depends on their skill at arms, the better.

January 6, 2012, 02:35 PM
One of the things that worry's me are that some new firearm owners get their gun handling skills by watching cop shows on TV. These people are easy to spot. Otherwise the more the merrier.

January 6, 2012, 03:28 PM
Since Christmas two family members have bought three new firearms. I was heavily dismayed when my middle brother in law told me he bought a "Rueger 22 Carbine". There will be some lessons in that boy's immediate future on gun safety and ownership in general.

Ky Larry
January 6, 2012, 03:57 PM
The seem to be a lot of new shooters at the ranges I use. The good thing is there seem to be more families, couples, and women. This is where we more experienced shooters can put our best foot forward with some friendly advice and help.
Range crowding is getting to be a problem in Kentucky. We're a fraction of the size and population of Texas yet, according to the FBI, we led the nation in background checks for new gun sales.

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