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Old October 13, 2013, 02:27 PM   #1
lunger
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Most Safety Violations in 15 minutes

And the winner is. I stopped at a Pa. Game Commission public range. These are a great use of license funds by the way. As I walked from the parking lot to the handgun range as I rounded the path to the benches. Our winner has his muzzle pointed at my chest at about 10' adjusting his sights . As politely as I could I asked if he could point it down range. I got the usual Oh its not loaded. Best part is he has his wife and kid teaching them how to shoot. I asked if ok to put up targets.I yelled Hold your fire all clear guns down. After asking and visual making sure he was clear I put up targets on the 25 yard bench. He was on the 10. I returned to the bench. Made sure no one over the firing line. Asked if he was good. He said yes. I yelled ready on the firing line range is hot (this is the usual procedure at this range). I fired 3 rounds and out of the corner of my eye I see him walk half way to his target. Trying to stay calm I put my safety on, Cleared my gun and yelled hold your fire all clear even if we were the only two shooting. He looked at me like I was nuts I cleared my gun and walked over to him and tried explain but I could tell it wasn't sinking in. By this time I had enough. Told him I wanted to clean up my targets. Went through the same all clear procedure. Got my targets and as I'm walking back to the line I hear his slide slam home on a round with his gun pointed my way. I didn't want a confrontation. So I got out of there as fast as I could. But all the way home I felt I should have done something especially since his wife and child were there . What would you have done?
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Old October 13, 2013, 02:42 PM   #2
Bluestarlizzard
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Public ranges at parks like that are kinda along the lines of you get what you pay for.

I think you did about all you could do, to be honest. You,tried talking to the guy about safe procedure. When that didn't work, you got the hell out of dodge.

You can always hope that the fact that it was obvious that you left because of him maybe sunk in and started the gears in his brains to tick along what you were trying to explain.

I understand your distress over the wife and kid. Obviously, this guy is endangering them as well as teaching them bad habits, but again, I'm not sure what else you could have done that wouldn't have potentially led to a bad scene.
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Old October 13, 2013, 02:48 PM   #3
g.willikers
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When some pea brain points a gun at me, I grab my chest and fall to the ground.
That usually gets their attention.
Frothing at the mouth can add an additional dimension.
Or just take away their gun and beat them about the head and shoulders with it.
Naw, you did right.
Just get safely away to shoot another day.
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Old October 13, 2013, 03:24 PM   #4
Venom1956
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I would've just left as you should have from the start.


There is a HUGE gray area of what shooters consider 'safe practices' and when our views differ is when we have issues.

I won't defend this person he seems worse the most. But if the range had an RO tell him its his job to handle it. If its just u and him just leave. No need to approach him and make a bad situation worse.
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Last edited by Vanya; October 13, 2013 at 10:29 PM. Reason: deleted off-topic para.
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Old October 13, 2013, 07:05 PM   #5
lunger
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There is a HUGE gray area of what shooters consider 'safe practices' and when our views differ is when we have issues.__________________

I respectfully disagree

When it comes to safety practices there are no gray areas

Pointing a firearm at someone,

crossing the firing line to check targets will shots are being fired,

Cambering a round when pointed in someone's direction on a range that is clear

This is black and white

You only get one chance and lives are changed forever

Last edited by Vanya; October 13, 2013 at 10:30 PM. Reason: deleted off-topic para.
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Old October 13, 2013, 07:18 PM   #6
buck460XVR
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When folks are willing to accept constructive criticism and advice from strangers, that is the time to give it. If [not], one must do as you did and walk away. Far too many folks are willing to give more advice than they care to take.

Last edited by Vanya; October 13, 2013 at 10:33 PM. Reason: deleted off-topic comments.
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Old October 13, 2013, 07:26 PM   #7
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunger
What would you have done?
I would have returned to my bench, loaded and locked my pistol, then I would have walked over to him and proceeded to read him the riot act, in a VERY loud voice and using a great many small (as in four-letter) words. If the PA game lands ranges have safety rules posted, I would then have dragged his sorry butt over to the sign and pointed to the appropriate rules that he just violated.

I would then have left -- not turning my back on him at any time during my exit stage left.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Venom1956
I won't defend this person he seems worse the most. But if the range had an RO tell him its his job to handle it. If its just u and him just leave. No need to approach him and make a bad situation worse.
PA game lands ranges are open to the public but unsupervised. Each user is his/her own range safety officer.
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Old October 13, 2013, 07:42 PM   #8
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"... Trying to stay calm I put my safety on, Cleared my gun and yelled hold your fire all clear even if we were the only two shooting. He looked at me like I was nuts ..."

If I were at the range and the only other shooter present did that rather than just talk to me, I would look at them like they were nuts, too.
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Last edited by Vanya; October 13, 2013 at 10:27 PM. Reason: deleted off-topic para.
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Old October 13, 2013, 07:46 PM   #9
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Lunger- You run into all kinds thats for sure.I had one guy that wanted to shoot while 3 others were putting up targets at 300 yards. His excuse-Im shooting at 100 yards. The biggest mistake I see is racking the slide while gun pointed at the person to the left or right of him.
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Old October 13, 2013, 07:58 PM   #10
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I usually feel thankful when I only have one of those on the range at a time to worry about. There can be more than that.
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Old October 13, 2013, 08:22 PM   #11
Ricklin
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Why would you not announce in a loud and clear voice on a range??

Muffs and plugs are in place, being loud and clear is important. That's one of the reasons that range etiquette calls for a loud and clear voice.

I dislike public unsupervised ranges.
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Old October 13, 2013, 08:42 PM   #12
bedbugbilly
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As the saying goes . . . "Sometimes you just can't fix stupid".

Public range or not . . . there's no excuse for unsafe practices. Like you, I would have cleared out . . I think you did about all you could and he obviously was oblivious to what you were trying to get across. I can't say much for his wife either . . . she's an adult and even though she may not be an experienced shooter . . what the heck happened to "common sense"?

It's too bad that in those situations, a license number can't be recorded and turned in to whatever the authority is that has the range under their jurisdiction. I know that DNR LE are busy folks, but guys like that are an accident waiting to happen. If he's that way at a public range . . just think of his hunting practices on public land. Over the years, I've seen too much of guys like that . . . they are also the ones who "shoot first" and "make sure of their target" second.

The only range that I shoot at (other than on my own private land) is an indoor range . . . and that's strictly supervised. However, that doesn't eliminate folks with unsafe practices. When it occurs . . . peer pressure seems to work most of the time . . and if they don't heed a warning, they are thrown out and told not to come back.
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Old October 13, 2013, 08:48 PM   #13
Venom1956
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Sigh.

Quote:
When it comes to safety practices there are no gray areas

Pointing a firearm at someone,

crossing the firing line to check targets will shots are being fired,

Cambering a round when pointed in someone's direction on a range that is clear

This is black and white

You only get one chance and lives are changed forever
When did I ever say those were acceptable. My statement was just pointing out how to each of us 'safe' handling of a firearm is different. I didn't think i'd need to give an example but I guess I do. Such as I was deemed unsafe at a USPSA match repeatedly simply by the habit of holstering my weapon after use. Not dropping the mag chamber check action open, etc. Was I unsafe? Hardly. But in that situation I was.

The person in question probably had a similar habit. Perhaps thats how guns were treated as he grew up or his father taught him. Maybe he's self taught and he doesnt even realize his errors?


While I don't doubt that Aguila Blanca would do the things he posted. and I'd honestly love to see it.

I'd still stand by that the average person should just leave. My range is indeed unsupervised. We have PILES of idiots that come and do the stupidest things. Since it is unsupervised and its clearly your word vs theirs if it comes to that plus you would be the one initiating the 'conflict' (use that term loosely) Lastly you have no idea what this stranger is capable of.

Leave be safe and come back another day, or find a supervised range.
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Last edited by Vanya; October 13, 2013 at 10:35 PM. Reason: deleted off-topic para.
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Old October 13, 2013, 09:18 PM   #14
spanishjames
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I was at a busy indoor range recently, and had one of those types in the stall next to me. He and his buddy were shooting from the same stall. The guy started off not wearing his eye protection while his friend shot. I let him know by pointing at my "eyes", and he just smiled and said "No one's shooting in this direction." Later he broke another rule by loading his revolver behind the line, not on the bench. I eventually saw him arguing with the RO, who had warned him at least a couple times about loading away from the bench. He had to be threatened with expulsion before he took anyone seriously.

The point is there's always a know-it-all. The worst are those who fail to receive advice without taking it personally.
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Old October 13, 2013, 10:09 PM   #15
amd6547
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Stories like this make me glad I am a member of a private range. We have no RO's...we are each explicitly empowered to be RO's.
In the years I have been a member, I have never seen any unsafe behavior, nor seen any member called out by another.
Everyone gets along...I feel blessed every time I spin the combination on the gate.
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Old October 13, 2013, 11:16 PM   #16
ClydeFrog
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PA Game Commission....

In general, if you feel unsafe or think the other range shooters or gun owners are not following the range SOPs, then I would leave.
If you seen a minor safety violation or infraction, I'd be polite but remind the target shooter/group of the range SOP or safety rule. If they continue to violate the range safety SOPs or are unstable/aggressive, then get the range master or safety officer.
Many ranges & parks now have CCTVs or security systems to monitor the lanes.
Id be honest & say some gun owners or shooters may not know all the safety rules or SOPs if they are new. Some ranges do not allow rapid fire or certain types of ammunition or they limit the amount of rounds that can be fired.

In 1999, my good friend & I were on a free PGC range near Pittsburgh PA.
We had my Beretta 96D .40 & his old Colt .38spl 4" revolver. None of the other gun owners or target shooters said ANYTHING to either of us. We shot for about a hour. A "deputy"(who we later learned was a non-sworn volunteer) claimed we were shooting excessive amounts of rounds & told us we'd be cited.
A uniformed PGC game officer showed up & started to yell at us. We pled NOT GUILTY & went to a district justice hearing about 6 weeks later. The trial was a circus & we were CLEARED. The WCO & his deputy were ticked!

In closing, I would advise being considerate & open when using public(free) ranges. I'd read or go over any posted signs/safety rules too. If the range has any cadre or rangers ask them if they have any safety concerns or rules you should know about before you shoot.
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Old October 13, 2013, 11:22 PM   #17
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Shooters like that should be very thankful they live in the US as any country that requires a licence to own a fire arm, it would disappear before there eyes.

I think once back safely being the firing line you should have torn strips off him. He will not learn other wise, and next time he's at the range he may not be so lucky to not harm anyone.
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Old October 14, 2013, 03:18 AM   #18
ClydeFrog
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small kids, distractions....

Range topics & proper methods have come up before.
My main point on any gun range; private or public(free) is to be considerate, safe, clean up your trash or brass/stuff when you are done, and avoid any possible distractions or annoyances to other shooters.
That includes small children who are unattended or using cell phone cameras/DV to record other target shooters.

A few months ago, my friend & I were a Gander Mountain location shooting a semi-auto pistol(a M&P .45acp compact). About 20min into our session, a group comes in about 3 lanes down that starts shooting a huge .480Ruger target revolver.
It was loud!
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Old October 14, 2013, 05:09 AM   #19
Navy joe
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At uncontrolled and often remote ranges I have to break out Rule #5.

All guns are never unloaded at the same time. If I'm there by myself a long gun goes with me to post targets. If others are there I have a carry gun.
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Old October 14, 2013, 10:47 AM   #20
chiefr
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As a NRA certified rangmaster, your post scares me.
It is places like that, that give the anti's plenty to attack us with.
At any public range dicipline and safety should be the number one priority.
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Old October 14, 2013, 11:21 AM   #21
lcpiper
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Look, if the guy was being really unsafe, then he is a menace and you should have called Law Enforcement.

This is where the guy became too dangerous to ignore.
Quote:
and as I'm walking back to the line I hear his slide slam home on a round with his gun pointed my way.
Do you ignore drunks on the road?
Do you ignore teenagers who are doing really dangerous things?
Why ignore a person who is handling a firearm in a dangerous manner?

And why did I read every post and not see this response from anyone?

If you are on a public range and someone is handling a firearm dangerously you call the cops and let them explain it to the guy. That's is what the cops are paid to do.

How are you going to live with yourself if he "accidentally" kills someone on that range and you didn't do anything to stop it?
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Old October 14, 2013, 11:34 AM   #22
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venom1956
...Such as I was deemed unsafe at a USPSA match repeatedly simply by the habit of holstering my weapon after use. Not dropping the mag chamber check action open, etc....
What you did was fail to follow explicit USPSA rules and range commands. Whether you think you were "safe" or not, at a USPSA match, you need to follow their rules.
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Old October 14, 2013, 12:01 PM   #23
Don P
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Quote:
What you did was fail to follow explicit USPSA rules and range commands. Whether you think you were "safe" or not, at a USPSA match, you need to follow their rules.
Absolutely correct and surprised no DQ followed (if) this was an ongoing practice stage after stage.
USPSA as far as competitors are concerned is a COLD RANGE. The only way to make sure of this during the match is for the SO running the squad at the end of each of the shooters runs is to make the visual id that the gun is unloaded ( magazine out/dropped, chamber empty, slide dropped trigger pulled/cylinder closed) while the muzzle is pointed at the berm while the SO observes all of what I stated, then the gun is holstered.
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Old October 14, 2013, 12:03 PM   #24
ClydeFrog
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post #20.....

I can see the point of post #20.
If the gun range is in a remote area or the other target shooters are unsafe/reckless then you may want to keep your firearms with you, just in case things go sideways.
As noted before, the best step is to de-escalate the situation & leave.
I've learned that many times in conflicts & disputes that when LE is called they tend to believe the largest group who's there. Fair or not, that's what they go by.

If I were target shooting a bunch of IL Nazis rolled up & started shooting machine guns or sawed off shotguns, then I'd split.
I'm sure a ranger or sheriffs deputy would agree.
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Old October 14, 2013, 02:22 PM   #25
Paul B.
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At the range U ise which is club owned, the senior club member on site is basically the RO. Unfortunately that's usually me on the days I'm there.
I haven't seen too many safety infractions though although I've had to handle a few. On one occasion where I was alone with one other shooter, the range was declared cold and I'm changing a target. The other fellow decided that because I was at the extreme right side of the range and he was at the exterme left that it would be OK to continue shooting. I do believe the invective that spewed from my mouth would have made R. Lee Ermy proud. He did not do it agan, thank God. He thought that because there was over 70 feet of space (width) between our targets that it was safe. He seemed genuinely remorseful so I didn't tell him to pack up and go. Scared about 20 years off my life though when that shot went off.
Probably the worst on though was this fellow shooting an M14 or more likely an M1A kept going forward of the firing line to pick up his brass. I politely requested he wait for a cease fire to do it and he blew up. He gives me, "I'm a U.S. Marine and I'm trained blah blah etc." Guess he was trying to impress his dad who was with him. Well he did it again and asked him to please pack up and leave. I explained to him my authority do do so but he gets very threatening. I say no more, go to the office and notify the official rangemaster who also tells him to pack up and leve. He gets even more aggressive so the rangemaster picks up his cell phone and dies the 911 call. In less than 10 minutes he's escorted off the range by a Sheriff's deputy. There is an S.O. substation only a few miles down the road.
The range is public and is run by the Tucson Rifle Club. If you're in the area, come on out and burn up a few rounds. It's a pretty neat range.

http://www.tucsonrifleclub.org/

I've been shooting there for the last 33 years.
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