Knowing basic gun range etiquette is important even when people have gone through firearm training because some still forget the basics of gun safety. If you are already certified for a concealed carry weapon (CCW), then you must pay attention to the rules at shooting ranges in order to remain a member of the concealed coalition community.
Basic Shooting Range Rules
Many gun ranges require that you attend a safety class before you can use the range. This class teaches you the basic rules of gun safety provided by the National Rifle Association (NRA). The three main rules at any range include:
Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction at all times.
Never touch the trigger until you are ready to shoot the gun.
The gun must be unloaded until you are ready to begin shooting.
While these three basic rules are consistent no matter where you go to shoot, ranges may also have additional rules for you to follow. Know these rules prior to going to a new range.
Meet the Range Safety Officer
Range safety officers are there to keep everyone safe. When you get to a new range, introduce yourself and get to know the Range Safety Officer. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you aren’t sure about the specific rules or the command language used. Know what the command is to stop shooting if there is an issue and the command used when it is safe to start back up again.
During a Ceasefire
Anyone can call a ceasefire if danger is present. The CSO will investigate the issue and is the only person allowed to give the command to begin shooting again. Keep your weapon safe during a ceasefire, empty the magazine inside. Step away from the shooting line and take your hands off your weapon.
If you shoot at posts or signs, you will be fined for the damage, as they are expensive to replace. Pick up any trash you bring with you. Leave the shooting range cleaner than you found it. If you are allowed to bring a pet, keep your pet leashed at all times.
When you pay attention to your surroundings at a shooting range and use proper etiquette, you will stay safe throughout your visit. Everyone is safer when people take the time to learn the rules and follow each rule explicitly. Don’t lose access to a shooting range because you weren’t following rules or practicing proper etiquette.