Range incident (Did I handle it correctly??)

Not open for further replies.


Dec 30, 2005
So I'm at my local public outdoor range about two weeks ago blasting off some rounds fom the 50yd line. Ive got 4 friends with me, and, most of my firearms. Stag AR, WASR AK, M1 carbine, mossy 12ga, 30-06 bolt action and 10/22. My friend had bought his 30-30 marlin levergun with him as well as his sks. So were occupying to benches on the 50 yd range and a group of young kids with an adult male who I assumed was one of their fathers pulls up. Now my friends and I are not old by any strecth of the imagination.Im 19 years old and the rest of my buddy's range in age from 18-23. These kids looked early teens.
Now Im always happy to see younger shooters on the range. They are the future and without them, our whole culture will die out. What I dont appreciate is when people who have no practice or instruction on safe firearm handling come to the range and put other people in danger. The guy who Im guessing is the father figure pulls a few cased rifles out of his trunk and places them on the tables they are useing. The kids pull out the guns which appear to be a 20 inch AR, a garand, a .22 and some shotgun I couldnt really indentify. They start loading and a few seconds later the first kid pops off two rounds with the shotgun in rapid sucession. None of them had ears or eyes on. The dad says nothing and the kids keep loading and soon enough all of them are putting rounds down range.
They're doing all kinds of stupid crap, dumping whole mags from the hip, trying to fire the shotgun one handed etc. I let it all go because they are really only at risk of hurting themselves at this point and not me or anyone else on the line. Then as Im changing mags for my AR I catch out of the corner of my eye what looks like one of these bozos drawing down on me with his rifle!!:uhoh: My immediate reaction was ***??!! and I turn to see that two of my friends have also noticed, and, that the kid is laughing and saying bang bang while pointing the .22 at my truck. His friends of course think its hillarious and are laughing like idiots. Trying to stay calm I walk over to the kid whos now put the rifle back on the side of the bench realizing Im not to happy.
In a polite but firm voice I said "Excuse me, Im not in the mood to get shot today so please do me a favor and keep the weapons pointed downrange". The kid looks at me and says "It was just a joke man, it was empty and I was just aiming at the car". I replied "It dosent matter, accidents do happen and Im not getting killed today because you wanna be funny". "Alright dude Im sorry, I wont do it again". I thanked him and returned to my bench.
Its maybe an hour or so later and things have been going fine since I spoke to the guy. My friend is shooting his sks, very involved in what he is doing not really in tune with whats going on around him. Im standing up against my truck taking a drink of water when I see two of the young guys screwing with their shotgun. Looks like they had some kind of jam or malfunction and are trying to clear it.
So one of them takes it off the line and stands to the side trying to clear it. Except again he now has the weapon upside down and pointed at me and my friends. Now Im just pissed because in all likleyhood the weapon is not empty and there is a good chance I could be shot. I alert my buddys and we all get clear of the muzzle and walk over towards these guys. My friend reaches them before I do and says "whats the problem guy's?". The one kid says "Idk its jammed I think". My friend asks to see it and says "Ok guys even when a weapon jams you need to make sure its pointed in a safe direction. Sure enough when my buddy clears it he is able to eject three shells before the thing is totally empty.
So one kid decides he dosent like us giving him advice and starts mouthing off. "look this is a public range, you guys have no right to tell us how to shoot". I was really upset at this point and replied " This beign a public range does not mean saftey rules dont apply, if you really want I can take this up with the range master and you guys can leave. An argument ensues and their dad who has not been present this whole time walks up and gets involved. Except instead of taking our side when the situation was explained he gets belligerent as well and starts telling us how we have no right to discipline his kids.I told him that when my life is concerened I have every right. Guy got very agressive and was trying to provoke a physical altercation. I walked away and got the range master,explained what had happened. They were asked to leave and drove off flipping us off as they went. Some people :barf:
Last edited by a moderator:
Sounds like you handled it fine. That's why I hate ranges sometimes. I might have wrote down a license plate number just bc I'm paranoid.
You're nicer than i would have been. The first time would have been enough for me to call the Range Master. Pointing a weapon at someone else is a serious violation of not only safety rules, but just plain common sense.

One problem with open public ranges is that idiots like that get them closed down.
Where was the rangemaster for all of this? Even if it's a volunteer position, you gotta take it seriously. If you're not going to do it, don't sign up.

You handled things fine... you already know that. The RO needs a little coffee or something.
I think you did fine. And I'll second the others...where the hell was the RO? It's his or her JOB to notice and take care of things like this - you shouldn't have had to go get them and notify them of the issue. You might want to let whoever their supervisor is that RO isn't really managing the range properly.
You did fine - -You were far more polite & restrained than I would have been. The fact that there was a 'range master' poresent makes it worse. Given the attitude, I would have been inclined to prone them all out and called the cops.

Flipped you off as they were leaving? That warrants a complaint to the cops and whomever runs the range, along with thier license plate # and general description.

yeah, I'm a hard case . . .
The vast majority of what you did was fine. The one item that I would have done differently (it'd probably be easier for me because I'm over 60) was when the "parent" got annoyed and said you had no right to discipline his kids, I'd of said "IF YOU HAD BEEN HERE I WOULD NOT HAVE TO!" :fire:

Like I said, I could probably get away with it easier than you. :D

Other than that, you did fine.;)
That's how I'd do it. Most people are accommodating. Was recently at the shotgun area of the range (read field). I saw someone pull a pump gun out of it's case and start playing with it on his lap while it was pointed at me. I just asked him to keep it pointed downrange because I couldn't tell if it was loaded or not, he looked a bit sheepish and complied. Wish it could always go this way.
Should have called the cops and reported them for brandishing. That would have settled that. I've seen something similar happen at a range. College kids were acting stupid, pointing guns at people. Someone called the cops, two of them left in cuffs.
Good job My compliments!
similar Story that resulted in my breaking off a relationship with a lady In MT.
Her kid went hunting with Gramps -Upon his return I see him walk into the house with 2 guns 1 cased .I said they are unloaded =RIGHT Yeaaa he replies -I follow him in and go to the bedroom I returned to find him [13 yo] racking shells out of his 243-in the living room.. ,I went off on him about bringing loaded guns in the house -His beligerent response --Ill do what i wannaa do!!!!!!!!
His mom backed him up with -Hes a teen ager They are all that way leave him alone --At that moment I decided ==IM OUTA HERE!!!!!!
In hindsight I probably should have been quicker to notify the range staff. Honestly, I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt and I realize that we all make mistakes. They are young, and young people tend to do foolish things from time to time. Im no exception so I wanted to be polite and understanding about it as much as I could.
I might have wrote down a license plate number just bc I'm paranoid.

Just found out that in the state of Texas, writing down a LP# and then approaching another person/person's vehicle can be considered an act of aggression and the individual doing this can be arrested for "terroristic behavior." So, be careful. Our society is becoming quite paranoid and that "terroristic behavoir" charge cuts quite a wide swath in the hands of an aggressive policeman or prosecutor.

I learned this because we have an individual who lives near our gun club who is none too pleased that the club is there. Routinely he will approach members who are arriving or leaving and writes their LP#'s down. A sherriff's deputy who is also a member has advised us of this information and if he does this, we are to call the sherriff's office IMMEDIATELY to file a complaint and he will be arrested.

your life was in immediate danger, you should have shot to stop the situation... :neener:

seriously... this is one of the reasons i keep a loaded gun handy at all times at a range... you did fine, though probably a lot more polite than i would have been
I dont bielive these guys will be back, I do bielive that the RO takes down plate numbers regularly so should they show back up, they wont be welcome.
The kid purposely pointed a rifle behind the line in someone's general direction? OMG, that would be range master time right there. And, if there was a second infraction, I'd be out of there and let the range master know he needed to do his job.

The public range I go to is well supervised. It is also self-policed. Shooters will let someone know if they are being unsafe--if the range officer doesn't get there first. You don't touch a gun if someone is attending targets. Pointing a gun as someone on purpose would be immediate ejection. We do pay 24 bucks for an annual permit. The fees are used for the costs of maintaining and staffing the ranges. Well worth it.

I think I would have told the kid that pointing a gun at someone could easily have gotten him shot in self-defense. Idiot kid and bigger idiot adult.

Side story: Before Ohio had nice, attended public ranges, they were just primitive affairs in a clearing in the woods. The one I went to was reached after a short hike in rubber boots across two shallow streams. I got to the range and found that the only other shooters there were a motorcycle club. A rough looking crowd, but they were fine. I just kept to myself and hoped they weren't looking to acquire any additional weaponry. I had a Mini 14 at that time.

I do miss the ability to shoot melons, bottles, and old appliances, though. LOL.

handled it fine.

My general rule of thumb is you get one chance unless you do something so incredibly stupid I almost die. A round hitting the dirt at my feet for example...though pointing a gun and going bang bang is probably up there also. Being an idiot while trying to clear a jam would earn you a firmly put "suggestion".

Unfortunately the range I use has no RO, but the owners don't live far away and I have their numbers on my cell.
You did the right thing. Actually you showed a lot of constraint.

The same thing happened to my little brother. A kid pointed an unloaded gun at him, pulled the trigger three times and the third time a bullet dislodged and hit him in the back of the head.

It severed my little brothers brain stem and he was dead before he hit the floor.

The kid was charged with manslaughter and found guilty and the Mom went to jail for 90 days.

I will not screw around at the range and will not tolerate anyone who does. This is the kind of crap that gets people killed. It took me years to get back to shooting after my brothers death and I shoot with only a couple of my very trusted friends and no one else.

You were fully in your rights and you handled the situation admirably. I probably would have went ballistic.

To the OP:

You did well in a very bad situation.

Now time for me to vent. This may get ugly. :what:

I catch out of the corner of my eye what looks like one of these bozos drawing down on me with his rifle!! My immediate reaction was ***??!! and I turn to see that two of my friends have also noticed, and, that the kid is laughing and saying bang bang while pointing the .22 at my truck.

*** is wrong with people???? My SEVEN YEAR OLD nephew knows the dangers of firearms and knows to ALWAYS keep his firearm pointed in a safe direction. And he knows that they aren't toys.

Those boneheads have spent FAR too much time playing CounterStrike and actually believe that life is just like a freaking video game.

Furthermore, they are so G-D self-centered that they can't imagine that anyone else SHOULD have an opinion on any of their actions even if they are directly affecting that person.

Why the hell should it be OK to be pretending to shoot my truck if it isn't OK to pretend to shoot at me?

I swear... some people are only alive because there aren't enough things to eat them.

So one of them takes it off the line and stands to the side trying to clear it. Except again he now has the weapon upside down and pointed at me and my friends.

Again... how DARE you for having the audacity of being in THEIR world.

These are the kinds of people that make me wish it was legal to bludgeon someone repeatedly about the head and upper torso with a half-filled 16 oz. Mountain Dew bottle. It probably wouldn't kill them but it would go a long way to alleviate my high blood pressure.

An argument ensues and their dad who has not been present this whole time walks up and gets involved.

And where exactly was good ole Pop all this time while his monkies were flinging their poop?

Its no coincidence that my 7 year old nephew knows firearms safety where they don't. HE has supervision and instruction that they obviously haven't. Pop seems a tad irresponsible and too self-absorbed as well.

Except instead of taking our side when the situation was explained he gets belligerent as well and starts telling us how we have no right to discipline his kids.

I have EVERY right to discipline a teenager that points a gun at me, or my property. If you are old enough to handle a firearm-- and UNSUPERVISED at that-- you are old enough to not need to be disciplined.

Except if you are a moron.

Once you have a firearm in your hands, you should be held to an equal standard as anyone else. If a graybeard did the same thing to me, I'd treat them the EXACT same way.

And a RESPONSIBLE parent would be outraged at what the kids were doing. I know that It would be a LONG time before Harrison even SAW a toy gun if he pulled a stunt like that and I found out.

Some people's kids NEED to be disciplined because they WON'T. And we wonder why kids coming up have no sense of consequences.

And what kind of lesson did they just learn from dear ol' Dad?

They'll be in prison one day. And it will probably be from some absolutely STUPID thing that EVERYONE knows not to do, but somehow escaped them.

Its not that I hate people. I just hate the stupid ones. And we seem to have had a few years with bumper crops.

No.. I really don't hate stupid people. Stupid people who know they are stupid can usually learn. Its the ones that are stupid and don't know it or will not accept it that bother me.

Sometimes I wish that stupidity hurt-- kinda like a headache. That way, those that didn't know they were stupid would have a way of knowing. And those that were REALLY stupid wouldn't come out into society.

There... I feel better now.

-- Johh
And you're 19?? You did an excellent job and wish all youngsters were raised with courteousness and safety conscious mind like you.

In hindsight you could've talked to the RO the first time, but it seemed that you diffused the first situation very well too, and normal people would think that they would've learned their lessons the first time, but unfortunately that wasn't case with these punks. So I say you did everything right. I personally think that the RO should always keep a close eye on young ones that are not familiar to them, and should've been observing them prior to your reporting to him.
Not open for further replies.