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Old September 11, 2012, 06:35 PM   #1
C Philip
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NFA items stolen while walking downrange.

A gentleman I know from my local range told me a story about how he had a suppressor stolen right off his bench during a ceasefire while he was fixing his target downrange. Needless to say, the ATF wasn't too happy with him, but he didn't get in any legal trouble for it. The perpetrator wasn't caught.

An individual is legally required to maintain control of their NFA item at all times, correct? If this is the case, what are you supposed to do about your NFA item when you're fixing your target 200 or 300 yards downrange? That leaves plenty of time when your back is turned for someone to grab it off your bench and drive away. Not all ranges will allow you to just sling your rifle or holster your gun and take it downrange with you during a ceasefire.

What do you do with your NFA item when going downrange? Is leaving it on the bench giving up control of the item in a legal sense?
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Old September 11, 2012, 08:19 PM   #2
NWPilgrim
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Sounds like a quick detach silencer would be handy in that situation. When range goes cold remove the can and take it with you. Probably don't want to leave a $5,000 machine gun unattended though.
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Old September 11, 2012, 08:20 PM   #3
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Set up extra targets and only go downrange once. Or else, leave your range bag etc and lock up your guns/ gear in your vehicle before heading downrange. It's a PITA but better than having to explain yourself to the ATF.

I have always kept my guns on me and taken my chances being kicked off the range. They have always been unloaded of course but with a mag or two in my pocket. If there was a range officer there who had the authority to kick you off for breaking a rule, then you probably wouldn't need to worry about your stuff being stolen. If not, or if alone, then better to ask forgiveness later then get permission in that situation.

NEVER leave your guns unattended unless there is someone you trust to keep an eye on them.
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Old September 11, 2012, 11:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Sounds like a quick detach silencer would be handy in that situation. When range goes cold remove the can and take it with you.
Bring some oven mitts!
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Old September 12, 2012, 08:05 AM   #5
Skans
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The ATF agent needs to chill out, because it is a bad idea to take any silencer down range. Don't forget, machineguns are registered also, are ranges going to let you take your AC556 down range so that an ATF agent won't get angry if it gets stolen while you are putting up targets? How about a Bren machinegun - are you going to lug that with you, drop it in the sand while you are taping up new targets?

What angers me more than anything is misplaced animosity toward honest people who have done nothing wrong. The guy who stole the silencer is the problem, not the guy who left his silencer where it belonged while putting up targets at a range.

Common sense says - watch your stuff while you are down range.
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Old September 12, 2012, 08:21 AM   #6
Rifleman1776
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Agree with Skans.
Theft is possible almost anywhere. "control" of items is subject to definition. Most ranges folks are, at least, acquainted with who is shooting and belongs there. Strangers should be queried by others. I don't hesitate to tell non-shooters to move off the range.
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Old September 12, 2012, 09:20 PM   #7
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A police department used to practice at a range where I shot. They were from another town. They used the "combat" range and the "rifle" range and the rifle range was being used by the SWAT snipers. They would not let you on the range while they were shooting (which made me unhappy as I could not shoot my rifle there), but you could stand 20 yards from the shooting tables and watch them shoot and you could see their targets if you had a spotting scope. They shot pretty well and they had some nice gear, lots of it.

They had 2 teams of 2 (spotters and shooters). Two guys would shoot, change positions and jobs with the spotters and the process repeated. Then all 4 would walk the 100 or 200 yards to inspect the targets, leaving all their gear out in the open, rifles, gear bags, ammo, etc. 20 yards to the gear and 30 yards to the vehicles and you could be gone. They did NOT control their gear well and I am rather surprised they never lost any of it.

How do you secure your gear while going down range? You leave somebody behind to watch it.
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Old September 13, 2012, 07:59 AM   #8
Edward429451
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At the public range I used to go to before it was closed by bubba, I never went downrange without a loaded gun. It worried me to walk away from my things so I took my loaded handgun downrange too. Holstered, but the idea was that if someone started cleaning off my table, I could dissuade them from distance, lol.

It didn't help. They watched until the moment I turned and then snatched a G21 Mag off my table. It could have been worse. They could have taken my RH. Nothing beats a 2nd man there to stay with the table.
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Old September 13, 2012, 09:09 AM   #9
tdrizzle
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If theft is that much of a concern, I'd find someplace else to shoot.
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Old September 13, 2012, 09:53 AM   #10
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At the range I shoot at, the rifle and pistol range are on the same tract with shotgun fields on the other side of the clubhouse.

There are benches set up at 100 yards, but if you want to check your targets or go to pistol range you have to walk down to the backstop.

I highly doubt anyone at the club would steal anything, but should some joker decide to come out of the woods and grab something off the benches or off my blanket, a hue and cry would bring just about every other member running - and they are all armed

Even so, any guns that I am not using at the time get cased and when checking targets I sling my rifle or holster my pistol - no point tempting fate
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Old September 13, 2012, 11:47 AM   #11
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I highly doubt anyone at the club would steal anything, but should some joker decide to come out of the woods and grab something off the benches or off my blanket, a hue and cry would bring just about every other member running - and they are all armed
I am sure the victim in the OP doubted his stuff would get stolen either.

As for everyone coming running being armed, yeah, so too is the bad guy who just stole all your stuff, LOL, and he is armed with your guns!
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Old September 13, 2012, 03:38 PM   #12
Stressfire
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As for everyone coming running being armed, yeah, so too is the bad guy who just stole all your stuff, LOL, and he is armed with your guns!
Joke's on him, if they're on the bench and not in use, they aren't loaded And they're in a locked case in a locked box.

I get what you mean though
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Old September 13, 2012, 03:53 PM   #13
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Where were all the other admirable NFA guys when this man was downrange?

I just find myself wondering why no one had eyes on the gear of the guy who went downrange for the benfit of the whole.
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Old September 13, 2012, 07:06 PM   #14
Double Naught Spy
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Where were all the other admirable NFA guys when this man was downrange?
What makes you think it was an NFA gun range or that NFA guys are necessarily admirable? Obviously, somebody there had no intengrity and stole the suppressor.
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Old September 13, 2012, 07:17 PM   #15
TheSILENTtype
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"what are you supposed to do about your NFA item when you're fixing your target 200 or 300 yards downrange? "

I took this, in combination with the title & such quick ATF attention to mean this took place at a NFA Range.

I am summing that up to a quick read through.

On the other hand, I did state 'where were all the other admirable NFA guys'
Which still applies directly.

I did not state ALL NFA guys were admirable, and it is more than obvious it was someone lesser than admirable that stole the piece.
My question was and remains - Where were the admirable guys when this happened?

* NFA removed in the last line for fact sake.

I am not stating it was any ones 'duty' to watch his gear or even suggesting they should have. I am literally asking, where the other people were in relation.

- This message is meant to clarify myself, not engage in cyber confrontation.
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Old September 19, 2012, 05:07 AM   #16
Willie Lowman
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Having a friend watch the guns, cans, etc. Is the only way to do it. Even when I saw the MG-08 get set up at a members only shoot, someone babysat that thing all day.

You need to watch title 1 stuff just as closely.
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Old September 19, 2012, 05:37 AM   #17
kimbershot
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i occasionally shoot at a public range located about 2 miles inside of a wildlife management area. my awareness is on full alert at all times, as i am there by myself and folks may be in and out during my range sessions. everyone is cordial--but who knows--i choose not to be a target of opportunity. fortunately, i can back my car up close to the station and can lock my stuff up while down range. i also carry my 1911 cocked and locked--i ain't stupid.
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Old September 19, 2012, 08:59 AM   #18
Rifleman1776
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kinbershot: We have a public range just like what you describe in my area. I stopped using it years ago. There is no range officer and no control over the types of people who go there. Consequently it is attractive to idiots, jerks, drunks and law breakers in general. Despite being asked no to, they continue shooting while others go downrange to change targets. Not for me. There is no percentage in arguing with that type of person, especially when they are armed. Sad. Good facilities going to waste.
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Old September 21, 2012, 03:44 PM   #19
Rj1972
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I wonder if a bike lock or something (tied to the range bench) might be helpful.

Not necessarily the best plan EITHER, but might at least help avoid some problems. (although in this case I'm assuming the supressor was just sitting out, which wouldn't help if not attached to a gun). Even then it could probably be unscrewed fairly easily (no idea how hard this is to do...).
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Old September 21, 2012, 07:51 PM   #20
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Very seldom will I go to a range by myself.

When I do, there's an RSO there who watches my stuff while I post, patch or change targets.

Most of the time, I go with at least two other people. While everyone is downrange, one of us is standing next to our gear. Whoever is there is fully cocked and locked.
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Old September 28, 2012, 04:18 PM   #21
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I don't own any NFA items/guns but if I'm alone I leave my stuff on the table except one gun and it's with me. If others are there, and I'm alone, all of the guns stay in the truck except one and it's always with me. If others are there and I'm not alone, someone stays with everything.
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Old September 28, 2012, 09:18 PM   #22
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At the local gun club I belong to, remote cameras have been installed on the ranges. This minimal investment has stopped problems of several types. The recordings are a sure fire way to stop all kinds of crap from happening.
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Old October 2, 2012, 05:52 PM   #23
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I ALWAYS go with a buddy. He changes the targets and I maintain control of the items at the bench. I keep my 340PD on me while shooting just for that reason. Go ahead....try and take my hard earned guns...as soon as you pick it up you now have a deadly weapon and I'm in fear of my life....
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Old November 5, 2012, 06:50 PM   #24
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Again...I am so thankful to have a great range!
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Old November 6, 2012, 07:45 AM   #25
Pistolgripshotty
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Some people are just real @^#&'s. That's just downright disturbing. Nowadays you can't have anything nice without some dumb@$$ taking your stuff!!!
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