Going to the gun range is something that every gun owner takes seriously. It is an important part of owning firearms. After all, the only time we can safely discharge our weapons is at the range. But, just like bowling, golfing or anything else you can think of, shooting has its own set of rules that must be followed in order for everyone to have a good time and stay safe.
- Never, under any circumstances point your firearm at another person. You need to practice muzzle awareness at all times, because the last thing you could ever want to happen is to accidentally shoot someone else at the range.
- Always point your weapon downrange, even if it is unloaded. It is a good practice to get into, and makes people feel a lot safer at the range. Even if, and I don't recommend doing this, you have to walk with your gun in your hand (which isn't a good idea) leave it pointed down range (in fact, scratch this one off. Just don't walk with your gun in hand unless it's in its own case).
- Don't shoot at targets other than your own. This has happened to me before, and it absolutely drove me nuts. The other people played it off like it wasn't a big deal. They saw my point after I told them I was writing a gun review for The Truth About Guns, and needed to show how accurate the rifle was.
- If there isn't an RSO, make sure you have someone calling the shots. In other words, if nobody else is calling range “hot” and “cold” you need to do it. The best way for everyone to stay safe, is to have someone telling all shooters on the line when it is okay to fire and when to stop.
- Always clean up after yourself. Nothing is worse than having to go remove someone's targets and having to pick up their brass. Well, some people leave brass for other shooters who like to reload. But, I never leave mine because I think it's just rude.
- When the firing line is cold, never, ever pick up your gun and start handling it. That is a good way to give someone a heart attack.
- When the line is called cold, remove any and all ammunition from your weapon. It's also a good idea to leave the action locked open.
- When you're on the firing line, you're shooting. If you're not shooting, you're not on the firing line. It's that simple. To expand on this, when you're actually firing, you belong on the line. Not in front of it. Not behind it. On it. Oh, and don't hover over another shooter. That's just rude.
- Transport your firearms in some sort of case. This kind of goes along with the not muzzling someone rule above, but is different enough that it gets its own bullet point.
- If you bring someone to your range, make sure they know the basic safety rules before you ever put a firearm in their hands. In fact, you better know the four basic safety rules, too.
- Never handle another shooter's gun without explicit permission first.
- If you don't know what you're doing, tell someone. Gun enthusiasts love to help people, and often like to offer up help without you ever needing it. Trust me when I say that it's better to ask, than it is to put someone's life in danger.
- Be courteous. Don't try to coach anyone else if they're doing something wrong (unless it is dangerous).
- Finally, it's always a good idea to refresh your range's rules each time you go. It can't hurt, and only takes a few minutes of your time. This could potentially save someone's life.
I apologize if I sound angry, but I've seen so much stupidity at the range, where people could have gotten hurt that it's amazing I haven't witnessed anyone getting shot, yet. This is serious stuff that needs to taken as such. Sound Off Gun Carriers! Do you agree with all I've said here? Did we forget anything? Let us know in the comments below. Then, make sure you've signed up for Gun Carrier's FREE newsletter so you don't miss anything.