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Why do people not like range officers

Discussion in 'Rallying Point and Range Discussions' started by Russell13, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    same at my club for the most part. we don't have ro's except during events. the ro's tend to be pretty calm about things.
     
  2. Russell13

    Russell13 Member

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    So after the last few months with all the new shooters that are out there, I have a new respect for RSO’s. They really have there hands full, every time I am at the range now I get at least one person coming up to me and asking me questions or asking for help. I love the sport of shooting and am always happy to help out a new shooter.

    The range near me had a fatal accident last month. It’s a small indoor range and I haven’t been there in a while. The report said the was one injury and one death. The article didn’t give many details but I’m guessing it was an accidental discharge.

    Stay safe out there everyone, and keep an eye on the people around you. I’m sure for a lot of us gun safety has been burned into our minds since we were kids, but there are a lot of new shooters out there who may not.
     
  3. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    I don't mind ROs. They have their purpose and I get that. I sometimes frequent a range close to home with a buddy when he is trying out new gear. The range has multiple ROs and they are strict, unbendingly strict, but for the most part, they are all nice. They will get on you for doing wrong, but unless you are actively endangering somebody, their words are more corrective or helpful than punitive. They seem to be there not to stop you so much as to keep you on the correct course. I can respect that. I don't like getting called out for violating some rule I didn't realize/remember existed, but it is their range and their rules.
     
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  4. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Contributing Member

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    I've been subjected to some pretty crappy RO behaviors, usually as a result of trying to police up my own brass. Eventually, I just learned which ranges were gonna give me grief about reloading (either using 'em or policing up my brass) and I just avoid them. But on the flip side - being an RO pretty much sucks, and it's no wonder that some folk just don't do well in that kind of environment.

    Most shooters are NOT regulars, and it shows. On any given weekend, a range will have people that literally put rounds into the bench, shoot the target holders, sweep their fellow shooters with loaded weapons (right handed pistol shooters always seem to start any examination of the gun by turning it on its right side, pointed towards anyone to the left of 'em, with their finger on the trigger), and handle firearms behind the shooting line - and heaven forbid that you should try to corral this behavior in any way. Small groups are bad, and larger (4+ shooters) groups are worse - it's a social event, and their behavior deteriorates accordingly.

    No matter how nicely you try to coach folk on better / safer gun handling, at least 10% are gonna cop an attitude because 'you don't have the right to tell me what to do' as they try to reholster a loaded pistol behind the shooting line while wearing a floppy Uncle Mike's nylon rig. No matter how many times you say 'please stay off the bench / behind the shooting line when the range is cold and call me if you need something off the bench' during the call for a cease fire, at least 10% of the shooters will immediately go to the bench as soon as you call the range cold. If you're clearing the line for a cease fire and you have to open up somebody's action (loaded firearm left on the bench) before calling the range cold - you're an a$$hat for touching their prized heirloom Ruger P89 / WASR. When you have to extend a cease-fire to attend to maintenance (e.g. replace the target backers / rig destroyed by folks' poor shooting), the shooters act like they're paying for range time by the hour and by gum, you better not keep them off their bench longer than needed. I had at least one elderly man, reeking of whisky at 1000 on a Sunday AM, growl and threaten to shoot me if I came near the pistol line.

    I still have the hat. Ain't gonna do the job again (and the first time was just as a favor to the folk at what-used-to-be my favorite range).
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
    kmw1954, Russell13 and Metal God like this.
  5. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    I'm a member at three outdoor ranges and one indoor range. What I've noticed is the differences in culture at each range. I think that RSO's either make the culture, or they accomodate to the culture. Not sure which is chicken and which is egg. But whatever, the individual member using the range is going to get along much better with the RSO if they just flex a little and accomodate themselves to that range's unique culture and just do things the ways they like them done there. I've learned a lot from RSO's and yes, I've been scolded once or twice - that's all part of learning and flexing, so I don't mind and I don't dislike the particular RSO that has to keep me in line. It's just part of his or her job.
     
  6. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    Seems like the only people who have a problem With Range "safety" officers are the ones not paying attention.
    They have a job to do and they do it. I, for one, appreciate what they do.
     
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  7. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer Member

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    My club doesn't have Range Officers, per se, we have volunteer safety advisers. Our shifts only run in May through the middle of October, and are only present on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. Our safety advisers do not control the range, the members do, through cooperation and communication. Safety advisers do observe the shooters on the line and remind shooters of the safety rules when necessary as well as report the type and number of infractions during the shift. We also are present to answer any questions members might have. I also assist any one with any issues they might have with their firearms or ammo, going so far as to loan my spotting scope or bench rest equipment to others who are struggling to get their rifle on target. Also periodically paint our steel gongs with spray paint I bought with my own money.
    I rarely have issues with other members, unless they want to argue about the rules ( which they have all received a copy of and agreed to abide by in writing when they join the club.) I wish we could have more shifts and more volunteers. In a club of over 800 members, we only have a dozen or so signed up, and only about 5 of us actually sign up and show up for shifts. I hope we stay safe and can keep our lease for our range.
     
  8. Ernie Bass

    Ernie Bass member

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    Barney Fife- RANGE OFFICER/INSTRUCTOR
    LESSON ONE-NIP IT IN THE BUD.

     
  9. Terry G

    Terry G Member

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    When I was a Federal Firearms Instructor it was my range. You followed the rules or you were in trouble. Job trouble. I never had to throw anyone off the range. I never yelled. I was there to maintain safety and instruct. This was with Rifle, Handgun, Shotgun, and Sub-Machine gun. Civilian ranges are different and I avoid them. I have a back yard range and the State ranges are not manned. You police yourself. I like that fine. Too many little tin God's on private ranges giving advice that you don't want or need.
     
  10. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    Just finished reading these 84 comments and the most striking thing I found is that the one thing left out or overlooked is that RO/RSO/CRSO are all just employees. They are not owners or management, they do not make up or set the rules for the range. They are paid to enforce the rules set by the owners. Rules are put in place for a reason and it's not just to take away your perceived ability to have fun. The simple solution is if you do not agree with the rules then go somewhere else! Somewhere you feel more Free to do as you please.

    I have been to a few private club ranges that were completely devoid of any form of safety enforcement. Being reactive after somebody is hurt is not the same as Proactive and preventing someone from getting hurt.

    I have been working as a RO since May at a very large public outdoor range that is owned by the DNR and leased to a private company. The DNR also has input as to what some of the rules are and because of the rules set in place this range has a very high safety record.

    As of late I have been working the 300yd range that has 12 shooting lanes and many times on the weekends all benches are full.

    When a customer arrives to the range they are instructed at the check-in register what the main rules are and then again those rules are reviewed when they arrive at the range they intend to shoot. So that is rules twice within about 15/20 minutes yet those rules are forgotten so quickly.

    The very first rule is that all firearms must be cased before entering the range. Second rule is all firearms must be uncased on the bench with the muzzle pointed down range.

    In these past 3 weeks I have had 4 people approach the range with their rifle just slung over their shoulder. Then I also cannot recount the number of times people have put their case on the ground and started to open it and some actually succeeding before I could intervene. Each time those people had swept the entire range while doing that one act. Another just a few days ago had his case behind the line on the floor, range was full, they had the case sideways and when they opened the case they just swept half the range of 7/8 people. So now ask yourself, would you like to be the person on the bench next to that person?

    The best one though was two weeks ago a person came in and I walked them to a bench, again the range was 3/4 full, I stood there while they uncased their rifle. They opened the case and the barrel was pointed directly at me and I loudly announce STOP. Before I could continue the directions they had the rifle in their had with finger in the trigger guard and pointed directly into the center of my chest and again while turning the gun to place it on the bench they swept 4 other benches. At that time I quickly and quietly got this person settled on the bench and called a cease fire. At the same time I called my supervisor on the radio and told them I needed a break!

    Next issue at this range is that we provide golf carts for people to take down range to hang targets. In the past 2 weeks I have had to have a halt to activities as after the call of cease fire and before the range being declared safe with all firearms having chamber flags I see the carts taking off and heading down range. Twice there were rifles on the bench that were NOT clear and did not have chamber flags in place.

    I do my best to stay out of everyone's business and when it allows I try to accommodate shooter as best I can as long as what they are doing is in a safe manner. Also as a rule we do not allow double taps or rapid fire and I have been really enforcing the eye wear rule as we have had 2 AR's blow up on the range in the past ten days.
     
  11. BLACKHAWKNJ

    BLACKHAWKNJ Member

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    I have no problem with an RO telling me my time is up, especially when there is someone waiting for a lane.
    The problem with some ranges and ROs is they are too often an adhocracy with "rules" made up on the spot.
    As noted, there are large numbers of new and "inexperienced" -i.e. untrained shooters on the ranges these days. The DI screaming at the recruit approach doesn't work and alienates and antagonizes people. I am an Arny veteran and found the Army does a poor job of weapons training.
    One practice I have adopted, my long guns go in a hinged case which I carry in my left hand, when I open the case it opens to the left, I put the firearm in on its left side, when I get to the firing position and open the case the muzzle is pointing down range.
     
  12. mlankton

    mlankton Member

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    I think it's less that people hate ROs than people hate being micromanaged. Well most of us anyway.
     
  13. PWC

    PWC Member

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    Everyone hates micro-management. I think the problem,now, is more people don't like being told they can't do what they want. Starts at home...parents show kids, I'll say unwittingly, that certain rules don't apply to them, little eyes notice and learn the lesson. Disrespect for others and the law. It's reinforced when kids (and adults) get in groups they reinforce each other.
     
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  14. JT-AR-MG42

    JT-AR-MG42 Member

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    Your system works well for you.
    As a volunteer RO at both ranges I am a member of I recommend to folks (after they have opened the case in the wrong direction) that they put a piece of
    blue tape on their hard (or soft 'operator') cases at the muzzle end, both outside and inside.

    Very true at our ranges.
    Most common infraction with groups is not rowdy behavior, but instead passing loaded guns to each other for them to try.
    I'll stay close by to 'nip it in the bud' as it is an inevitable consequence when we have a group of folks show up.
    Keeping a friendly approach seems to work best as I explain that professional football players have ALL fumbled a simple hand off
    and that because dropping a loaded gun in the middle of their group can have disastrous results
    they should always have the shooter go to the gun, NOT bring the gun to the shooter.

    JT
     
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  15. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    That's a pretty good idea, and I like that kind of attitude. Helping people to following the rules always works better that just scolding them for not. :thumbup:

    As another take on that concept: encased rifles generally don't balance at the carry handles, so once the shooter realizes that, they will know which end is forward from the balance.
     
  16. AR. Hillbilly

    AR. Hillbilly Member

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    Not sure of his official title but the guy we call the range master is great. He makes rounds about 3 times a day. He saves and sells brass. He saw me picking up brass one day. He came up and asked if I save 9mm? I said I only take what I bring and don’t take profit from the range. He helped me pick up the rest and hAnded it to me. He sells me nice brass for cheap. A coworker and I make target stands on occasion and bring to him. we have an awesome range. $2.00 a day/trip per car or $20.00 per year.
    He even shoots with us once in a while.
    Now if people want to get stupid he will handle the situation.
     
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  17. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    After finishing shooting, I once had a RSO get way too agitated that I was putting my fired 38/40 WCF and .455 brass from the bench top back into the my ammo boxes instead the communal brass dump. My response was militarily appropriate, but not-THR approved.
     
  18. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

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    My take is, we all jump thru a lot of hoops, as gun owners, just to acquire what we need, in order to make it to the range. Then, when we get there, all we want to do, is sit down, load up, and punch some paper, without being harangued. Like as not, some coffee saturated prick, with a tin hat, and a chip on his shoulder, adds another layer of BS, to deal with...

    ... and that might be why some of us literally go out, and buy a piece of land, in the country, so we can have our own shooting berm.
     
  19. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    At my range today I spent about 15 minutes shooting and about 30 minutes talking firearms politics with an RSO and another shooter. Great fun!! Shooting my rifle and shooting off my mouth!! Made my day!! :D
     
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  20. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    Probably best for everyone involved. That way you don't have fools sweeping you with their muzzles or handling their firearms while you are down range changing a target. Then you also don't have to listen to how crowded the range is, how expensive a pass is getting or why you shouldn't show up and expect to shoot 10min before closing.
     
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  21. zeek96

    zeek96 Member

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    Went to an outdoor skeet range with my buddy brought my 870 pump turkey gun that had a pistol grip and an over under break open cz. I let my buddy use the cz. The front office asked to see the Guns and I opened the cases. We were told to go to site 3 and that rules stated only 1 round could be loaded only. So we went out to shoot our 50 birds. Half way through the range officer comes out tells us to stop and pack our gear. I ask why and the range officer states “we don’t allows assault shotguns on the range. You sir need to get a gun like your friend here, an over under break action” I asked what are you talking about it is a pump action shotgun 1 round only when shooting but others out here have semi auto REM 1100, REM 1187, and black eagles. Why do I have to leave and he states that it has a pistol grip and that makes it an assault shotgun. We were asked to leave and only shot 20 birds. I asked the office for a refund for half since we only shot 20 birds. The office asked why and I explained. The office manager shaked his head and said the rang officer is a control freak and only wants certain guns on his range that were more high dollar just for looks and status as an elite range. Preferring high dollar guns and was a traditionalist. I said it’s only fair to get money back for half since we were approved earlier to use the guns and now being kicked off. At first he said no it was policy for no refunds then store credit and I stated that due to the range officer we would not be back. I would like my money the manager went back to check the video and after 30 mins came out and refunded half the money. We haven’t been back since for anything at that location. But this is how range officers can act like overlords worrying about how they are seen and not just about safety.
     
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  22. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    Zeek96, as a RO at a very large facility we have many RO's, RSO's and CRSO's. None that I know of have that mentality. There are Range rules in place and the top ones are covered at the Check-in while paying fees and then again at the entrance of each range before you are allowed to enter. With that it is amazing how often and how quickly people seem to forget the rules that were just explained to them. I is my belief that when explained the rules at Check-in you agree to accept those rules, otherwise you are free to leave before paying. Those rules are put in place for the safety of our patrons, you !, each and every RO and the safety and well being of the entire range. Again if you disagree with the rules then don't pay and please leave. A patron there in a foul mood isn't going to make the experience pleasant for anyone.This range hasn't had a shooter injury in over 30 years. There was one patron suicide in the parking lot about 20 years ago.

    Our facility has a Trap range, 5 Stand range and a 13 position Sporting Clays. There are also rules for all. one being no Tactical shotguns, meaning no pistol grip only, only two rounds loaded at a time, shot is limited to size and you must buy and shoot our clays, they are all biodegradable, per the Wis. DNR.. All those rules again are explained at Check-in and we do a brisk business in Clay's.

    The one rule that I find hard to accept and explain is that at this facility shotguns are allowed to be carried in the parking lot, on the grounds and in the lodge uncased. All other Long guns and pistols must be cased until you are at your bench.

    We as RO's try our best to one, keep everyone safe and two help people have an enjoyable time and assist them. Make them want to come back. I will even go as far as to say I will bet I have seen More Difficult patrons in this past year than you have seen difficult RO's.
     
  23. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    People carry firearms uncased at a couple of the ranges I use. It doesn't bother me, but I do pay attention. Out of courtesy to the other shooters, if I carry a firearm behind the firing line I carried it opened, unloaded and flagged.
     
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