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Another gun range mistake

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by kb58, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. kb58

    kb58 Well-Known Member

    At the local pistol range today there was about six shooters.
    Called the range cold, four people walked out to their targets.
    Looked over and one guy went back to the bench, picked his pistol up, and prepared to fire in a two-hand hold with the pistol fully pointed down-range.
    We yelled at him and he woke up, put the pistol down, and mentioned that he was hard of hearing...

    Hard of hearing? How about hard of seeing. His target was located two lanes down from one of the guys out there looking at his target. In other words, he HAD to be in the guy's field of view. Man, that was a scary one and brings up a larger question, one that's harder to answer. That is, at what point do you not allow people to shoot due to them being a danger to others? I've seen this debated before about it being a right to bear arms, but what if you can't be trusted with them?

    That could have turned out much, much worse. I don't dare tell my wife about this one...
  2. 788Ham

    788Ham Well-Known Member

    Well, at our range, when cease fire is called, you lay your weapon down, step away from the bench, and "YOU DON'T GO NEAR THE BENCH UNTIL THE COMMAND TO FIRE IS CALLED" If its the pistol range, like you called, you still stay away from the benches! If on the rifle range { big bore }, and you want to make a couple of changes to your scope, you cannot touch that firearm until the command to"Commence Fire" is called, if you do touch that firearm, you are told to leave the range immediately, whether you are a member or not! When cease fire is called, there is a yellow line painted on the floor, about 8' behind the benches, you step back behind that line until further commands are given. If its "sight-in day", there will be those who go down and retrieve targets, you still stay away from the benches until all targets are retrieved and or replaced, no quarters given!
  3. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Well-Known Member

    Folks make mistakes every day. He didn't fire, and no one was injured.

    There is no way to be 100% safe from other peoples mistakes. It is unlikely that you will live your entire life without making a few of those mistakes yourself.

    If this is that large of a deal to you then for gods sake don't get into a car and drive in public.

    I understand your concern, but getting this upset may not be warranted.
  4. EchoM70

    EchoM70 Well-Known Member

    That's pretty crazy, never had any such incidents myself at a range but it good to always be cautious.

    Anyways, that's a hard question to answer which will and has sparked a debate. Of course safety of yourself and others is a huge concern but your talking about stripping someone of their rights over a mistake. I know mistake and firearms shouldn't be in the same sentence, but it does happen. Who can say that they've never been involved or heard about a ND or AC. Stuff like this does happen and thankfully most of the time no one is hurt.

    It's just a hard thing to rule on. Would you take a guy his rights or let him carry on and the next time he slips-up someone is injured or killed. Maybe after such an event you should be required to pass a mental test in order to ensure your mentally stable enough to posse and operate a firearm.

  5. medalguy

    medalguy Well-Known Member

    Come on, guys, this could have ended very differently. Safety is something you NEVER let up on, unless you're prepared to accept the consequences of an accident. Me, I'm not.

    How about telling the offender he's done for the day, but he can return at a later date. That's for the first time. IF there's ever a second time, he's done forever at that range. Fair? That should make a good impression on the offender, but allow him to learn from his mistake. If he doesn't learn, too bad.
  6. exavid

    exavid Well-Known Member

    I'd get a bit exercised if I was downrange and someone picked up a weapon and pointed it downrange. For more than one reason. Most likely the miscreant wasn't paying attention to what was going on around him, but he could have been a mental case looking to score some moving targets. There's no way to tell. I definitely would rip him off a strip if that happened to me. It would be memorable enough for the guy to think next time. At my gun club members have access 24/7. We don't have a designated range officer for non-shooting events, everyone is expected to act as their own RO. I have on occasion informed someone about the range rules and safety matters. I do it in an instructive manner, not combative. I've only had one person react badly and when that happened I left. There wasn't anyone else there except the member who wasn't following our rules. I notified our club president and our safety committee reviewed the security video covering the incident. The next meeting the guy was refunded his prorated dues and his membership canceled. We don't take range safety casually. The club hasn't had an accident on the range in it's 70 year history and we don't want to break that string.
  7. coalman

    coalman Well-Known Member

    Mistakes happen. Big and small. And, we're all capable of making them, and IMO it's when you forget that that you make them. I'm sure the incident had an equally strong or greater impact on that shooter. Regardless, range rules and range policy should be enforced.
  8. kb58

    kb58 Well-Known Member

    You've never seen me upset...

    I just posted this to let people to always be on-guard, even when checking your targets (never thought I'd say that.) An RO was around but didn't see the incident. The "big deal" was that the guy pointed his gun down-range at his target - and I mean his finger was on the trigger - with somone out there not 5 degrees to the left if his target... how he didn't notice was very disconcerting.

    I guess if I'm upset, it's at all of us who didn't report him to the RO and just assumed, "oh well, it was just a mistake."
  9. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    Everyone at the site has the burden of watching out for the others safety at all times. The unstated "I got your back at the same time you have mine" that always should be exercised when firearms are involved. This will help us all remain safe from poor judgment or carelessness of others in these situations. Usually there are rules and have to be adhered to at formal ranges and appropriate redress. At informal gatherings then extra vigilance is certainly warranted and I will arrive and watch the proceedings for a while to assess unknown participants before I venture to the firing line myself.
  10. Flopsweat

    Flopsweat Well-Known Member

    He went back to the bench? So he started toward the targets and then went back? If that's the case, this is not about his ears - it's about what's between them. I'd check with other members. If he's done anything like this in the past, some action is necessary, possibly including a ban.

    This is not about a right to bear arms. This is a safety issue. Doesn't matter if it's a private or public range either. You're not infringing on his rights by kicking him out. If that were true, no one could be kicked out of anywhere. He still has the right to bear arms, speak, travel and so forth - he just needs to do these things somewhere else. Until he does something even worse, at which point he can discuss his rights in front of a jury.
  11. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    Most rules exist because someone got hurt doing that which is now against the rules.

    Any time other people have firearms within a few feet of us, we are at some risk. There's just no way around it.

    Like we say about "no guns" signs: making a rule will usually prevent the lucid, conscientious person from breaking it but will do nothing to deter the person who doesn't care or isn't paying attention.

    As for banning him, I'd say no. How many of us would be able to shoot anywhere (or for that matter, as someone said, drive a car) if any sort of infraction of the safety rules, no matter how slight and no matter the outcome, got us banned? I dare say most of us have at some time committed such an act, either without realizing it or figuring nobody saw it.

    I'm not saying his infraction was minor or excusable, but it's unlikely to be repeated unless he really doesn't care.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  12. Manson

    Manson Well-Known Member

    I'm a little surprised by some of the reactions. Mistakes do happen, but his was no small mistake. It was a small trigger pull away from a possible tragedy. At my range he would have been sent home.

    A gentleman at my home range, here in Florida, was firing a .22. he was not wearing socks and hot brass fell into his shoe. He proceeded to dance around his lane on one foot oooh-ing and ooow-inng. The entire time waving his pistol wildly with his finger on the trigger. He was asked to leave and not return.
  13. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Well-Known Member

    Well, telling a guy he is too careless to shoot at your range is not stripping him of his rights. You do need to be diligent when you have a loaded firearm on your body or in your hand. If he didn't hear, that's one thing but still a big thing. To not see someone walking down a lane 2 lanes over is not paying attention. Not paying attention leads to accidents. Banning him from your range (or the minimum telling him to go home and think about it) is not stripping him of anything except his pride. If you can't be extra careful with a loaded firearm in your hands then I don't want to be next to him at the range.
  14. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

    Minimum 30 day suspension, then meet the BOD and explain your actions. Maybe you get to come back.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  15. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    .......and I would assume the OP's range has rules to cover the incident. If not, there's not much they can do except chew the guy out(which is what he deserves anyway, on top of any rule violation reprimand).

    Exactly, and even more if there is not an official RO on site. Most small and not for profit ranges don't have full time supervision and many on public land have no one to even relay safety infractions to. These are no different than a group hunt in the field. Those involved must be the ones to make sure everyone is practicing safe gun handling and confronting someone when they do not. In the field you can tell someone they are no longer welcome in the group, but unless they are on private land, you can't force them to leave the field. Thus you still need to be aware of them and the possible danger they present. In the field one needs to be safety conscious themselves, but also to be aware of others around them and the direction of their muzzles. Same can be said for unsupervised public ranges.
  16. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Well-Known Member

    Where was the RO (Range official)? At the range...Trust nobody. I`m talking about the shooters.
  17. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Well-Known Member

    About 20 years ago an older gentleman fired two rounds with folks downrange. No harm done, but after that red lights were mounted at the firing line to be activated during cease fires so there was a visual signal that is hard to miss. I wish the range i use now had such a system. But it does require electricity to the ranges.
  18. tri70

    tri70 Well-Known Member

    Safety means checking that all have laid their weapons down and heard the cease fire command. Call them out and make sure they understand their error.
  19. jcwit

    jcwit Well-Known Member

    My feelings exactly. I believe there are way to many out there wishing point out the errors and minstkes of others and to judge them in whatever they.

    Case in point was the thread about Ted Nugent, and please I'm only using this as an example, lets not go off on that tangent again.
  20. buggley

    buggley Well-Known Member

    i had that same kind of thing happen with my father in law. ours is a public red neck rang, we have benches but its a shoot at your own risk kind of thing. i took him up there for the first time and he has never been out with me since. there was a dad and his sun at the 25 mark at the left end and we were at the oposite end. the boy was getting a patern down for his shotgun before season opened. they would shoot twice and wait for us to empty then we all went down range. we did this 3 or 4 times. during one of these my father in law noticed that we hadnt fired on of the pistols as the boy was down at the 25 mark my father in law picked it up and and started shooting. every one yelled and got his attention, the boy hit the dirt at the first shot. that was the first time i have ever done anything with my father inlaw and he hasnt been back since. we were at the last booth on one side and they were at the last boot at the other side, about 35 yards away. i can understand not being able to see the boy at first but it all falls into being aware of your suroundings and looking around every now and then and little bit common sence.

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