Keep your eyes open when entering/leaving a shooting range...

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by benEzra, Jun 13, 2014.

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  1. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Another good reason to CCW to/from the range, IMO. When I used to shoot at a very rural range in northwest Florida, we had an incident where a van pulled up to the firing line while a shooter was downrange and tried to steal his guns; I always took one downrange with me. In the case described in the article, one of the robbers shot one of the victims after taking their guns.
     
  2. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    So true. Even the bad guys in the 1986 Miami FBI shootout had armed themselves with guns stolen (at gunpoint) from casual shooters.

    Many ranges prohibit lawful concealed-carry while on the premises. I won't say if I ever bucked that rule; I'll just mention that I frequently forget to shoot one of the guns I bring with me.
     
  3. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    Last year, when I took my wife to an outdoor range for the first time in years, I had my colt holstered IWB. She didn't notice until we had set her up to shoot her new .22 bolt action.

    HER: "Why are you carrying your pistol?"

    ME: "I never go to a gun range without it. Never do I ever go down range without a weapon on me. You simply never know what's going to happen back at this end while you're away from the bench."

    HER: "I never thought of it that way!"
     
  4. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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  5. Frosty Dave

    Frosty Dave Member

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    Similar incident at a state range I used to frequent. The range is ~200 ft from parking via a trail through scrub oak. You can't see the range from parking.

    http://www.newson6.com/story/16525785/wagoner-man-shot-on-thanksgiving-relives-incident

    ETA: Some time during the last year a member here who was doing research on behalf of his shooting club asked if other members knew of range crimes like this. It was pretty scary how common this is.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  6. Mainsail

    Mainsail Member

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    That was the first thing I thought of when I read the title.
     
  7. Tom609

    Tom609 Member

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    The news this morning is that they arrested the woman and are looking for the male. Nonetheless, be situationally aware.
     
  8. Dirty Bob

    Dirty Bob Member

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    I'm always very careful when at the private range I belong to. When alone, I sling my (empty, action open) long gun when going down to check/change targets, and I make sure I have at least one load with me and keep my eyes open toward the bench area.

    This is also a simple safety issue, in case someone arrived and started setting up to shoot before checking downrange to see if the range was clear. Paying attention gives me the chance to holler at them before a accident can occur. I have seen this happen, by the way, on public land in southern California in the 80s. Fortunately, the people downrange were not hit by the shooter who pulled up, tossed some cans downrange, and started plinking without checking. When I yelled "cease fire" at the moron, he actually started arguing and became very hostile and aggressive...until he saw that my brother was standing off to the side with an AR. We never went to that place again.

    All my best,
    Dirty Bob
     
  9. Plan2Live

    Plan2Live Member

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    The Manchester State Forest Shooting Range near Sumter, SC was staffed by volunteer range officers until last year. It seems the one badged officer that became in charge of the range through attrition didn't like the volunteer RSOs carrying while on duty and set about to end the practice. A mutiny of sorts resulted and all of the volunteers were "fired" and replaced with paid RSOs that do not carry. It's only a matter of time before a similar story originates from there.
     
  10. aka108

    aka108 Member

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    I shoot at a unsupervised range in Very North Central Florida. It is way back in the Natl. Forest. Usually has 3 or 4 shooters on the line. You get to know the regulars and we make sure someone stays with the guns when changing targets. If I am there alone I carry a 9mm in my pocket and leave guns not being used locked in the truck cab when changing targets. This is a nice range with covered shooting position, cement walkways out to the target stands, close in parking with cement parking spaces for handicapped, nice toilet facility and gets cleaned 2X per week.
     
  11. jbrown50

    jbrown50 Member

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    When going to or leaving the range I always keep my eyes opened and carry a concealed handgun that is separate from the gun(s) I shoot on the range. Criminals are always looking for easy ways to get firearms and no better opportunity exists than to rob someone of their unloaded gun(s).
     
  12. EmbarkChief

    EmbarkChief Member

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    I carry concealed at the range as well, I'm usually there to shoot my carry pistol and I always make a point to keep at least one mag loaded at all times.
     
  13. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    I carry at the ranges too. After I had my Spidy senses go off at a private outdoor range.
     
  14. SSGT PRIDE

    SSGT PRIDE Member

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    All of our RSO's here at our range conceal carry.....And I thank em for it! Parking lot is 25 feet from short range and in full view and 5 feet from long range and theres not a blade of grass between you and your car! Nobody shoots or goes on line till you show membership card and sign in. Cant just pay day by day its a yearly thing. Gate opens by electronic id card....come in the exit and it punches your tires full of holes. They have a 24/7 security gaurd. If the range is closed the range is closed...No RSO's mean you pull up and start to fire and the cops show up and haul you off for tresspassing!

    It's a shame you gotta have rules like this but everything works so smooooth!
     
  15. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    Never been to that one. I used to go to Twin Pines, in Frances Marion National Forest.

    Sounds to me like a case of some people being put into power who feel they have to flex their power muscles..."my way or the highway" kinda thing.

    The SC DNR ranges are all public access...and I've NEVER been to one that had an RSO, paid or volunteer.

    But if the RSO's don't want to carry...that's fine by me. So long as they don't try to tell ME that I can't carry on a public range. They can bugger off: I'll be happy to not only take my shooting elsewhere and I'll also start writing some letters.

    I have a concealed carry permit for a very important reason and I'm not about to place myself in an unarmed condition for no good reason, especially around a public access range where others that I do not know from Adam will be milling about armed as well.
     
  16. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    Guns, shows, follow home robbery.....

    Many of the shops & ranges near me have strict rules or SOPs about loaded guns. :uhoh:
    Follow home robbery incidents from FFL holder locations(gun shops) are common.
    A big gun show(with a few uniformed state troopers & off duty cops) had a series of break ins. :mad:
    I normally follow most safety rules or shop regulations but agree that you can't be too lax. Public or open ranges in remote areas can be sketchy :uhoh: .
    I don't really like unsupervised places because; 1) it's not my job to police or enforce range regulations 2) I can't be ready to monitor or assess every shooter on a range, knowing that a few might be irate or irrational 3) I wouldn't want a "safety nazi" stomping around me at a public range or nitpicking over my shooting. Like a gym or fitness center, some people can't "mind their own business" :rolleyes:.

    Rusty
     
  17. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Member

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    That's why our Game and Fish range is often my last choice, despite it being extraordinarily inexpensive (as little as $3). They ban concealed carry on the property. I realize it's a safety concern, as some people don't leave them concealed, but I always plan ahead if I need some range time with my carry gun. As such, the CCW-friendly ranges usually get my business.

    And if we're quoting examples, don't forget about Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield.
     
  18. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    09/1999....

    I often refer to a legal spat I had in 09/1999.
    My good friend/ex-co worker & I went to PA Game Commission "free" gun range near Pittsburgh PA.
    We had a minor dispute with a "reserve officer"(a non-sworn volunteer) which escalated into a huge incident with PA WCO(a sworn wildlife officer). We were both cited for the exact same offense(with the same firearm :confused: ) & pled not-guilty.
    We went before a district justice who heard our criminal case. The trial was like a TV sit-com :D . The "deputy" looked like a blathering moron & the WCO came off as a unstable & unethical.
    My friend & I were both were found not guilty. Our "fines" & court costs were refunded. :D
    My range buddy told me later, he heard the District Justice tell the sworn WCO; "I told you to stop doing this to people.". :mad:

    Rusty
    PS: The PA Game Commission later moved the same WCO to a more rural area of Pennsylvania where he was named; Wildlife Officer of the Year in the late 2000s. :mad:
     
  19. Drail

    Drail Member

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    I have been a member of and taught at and used several ranges where I always carried a loaded sidearm - on the line - downrange - in the parking lot. If you saw some of the people who wandered in looking for trouble in you would understand completely.
     
  20. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    My range is a cold range but they make an exception for your CC weapon.
    I wouldn't feel comfortable being unarmed for the reasons in the OP. I carry a full size Sig OWB and just untuck my shirt to cover it. Sometimes it's covered good and sometimes its not but they've never complained.

    I too won't go down range to check targets unarmed, even if I have the range to myself. It takes some time to walk back and forth to the 100 and 200 yd berms. Plenty of time for someone to pull up and try something stupid.
     
  21. riceboy72

    riceboy72 Member

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    When I was younger, I'd get an itch to go shoot and do exactly that, without much thought about telling someone where I was going or how long I'd be there. Part of it was the spontaneity of the moment. Now? I tell my wife where I'm going so in case something happens, she knows where I am. I also tend to sit back once I arrive and watch the actions of other shooters and who's around before jumping out and dragging my gear to the spot. Bad vibes = leave and come back another day, or head to the indoor range if I want to shoot that badly.
     
  22. moxie

    moxie Member

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    Sound advice.

    With guns all over the place, you don't want to be the one who's unarmed.

    Pretty simple, since I'm always armed anyway.
     
  23. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    US armed forces/ranges....

    Most US military ranges had cadre(NCOs) who toted pistols(M9s) to prevent thefts, horseplay-unstable incidents, etc.
    I can't say I've seen many DA employees(Dept of the US Army) packing guns when I was on active duty but I have seen active duty troops & allied troops(overseas) that do it.
    In RP(Republic of Panama), the Empire Range complex was huge. There were ranges everywhere.

    In CONUS, Id advise having a BUG(back up) if the range rules/SOPs apply. You don't need to have guns all over you but a pocket gun or ankle rig might help, ;) .

    I'd add that suicides or manic behavior seems to be as common as thefts or armed robbery events. :eek:

    Keep an eye on anyone crying, yelling/screaming, fighting, too.
     
  24. Plan2Live

    Plan2Live Member

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    RetiredUSNChief said:
    The Manchester State Forest Range is run by the State Forestry Commission, not DNR. Letters were written, phone calls were made all the way up the chain to Governor Haley but in the end we lost.

    You are correct on the flexing muscles part.
     
  25. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    I always carry a sidearm when shooting. I like to go out on public land where there's a lot of room and usually no other shooters around. On more than one instance I have been shooting and had a truck or car pull up near my vehicle, and watched the people in the vehicle just sit there watching me. At that time I tend to pull my holstered pistol out and shoot a few rounds at the target, change mags, and reholster the gun. Two times that was all it took for the intruding vehicle to decide to leave the area, which was fine with me. Always be situationally aware and be very careful with unknown people around.
     
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