Going to the gun range is not only a good way to keep your shooting skills sharp, but it is also where some people go to get away and let off some steam. When you go to the gun range you need to keep in mind that you are there with other people, and so need to keep some basic gun range etiquette in mind to ensure not only that everyone stays safe, but also that everyone can enjoy there session at the gun range.
1. Safety First – ALWAYS
When you are in a venue filled with people firing weapons, safety is something that can never be skipped. If you are a beginner/new gun owner, we recommend you learn the 4 basic rules of gun safety. If you follow these basic rules, you should be ok. There are no short cuts when it comes to handling a weapon securely and responsibly.
2. Know how to handle your weapon
When you are at the gun range, you should know how to use your weapon appropriately. This includes how to reload your weapon safely and how to handle a malfunction. If you are new to shooting and want to go to the gun range, make sure you have someone with you that are experienced and can educate you in proper weapon handling. We also recommend getting proper training from a professional if you are new to shooting.
3. The Range Safety Officer is in charge
If you go to a gun range, chances are there will be a range safety officer at the range. Much like a life guard at a swimming pool, the range safety officer, or RSO for short, is there to make sure everyone stays safe. Typically the RSO will tell you when it is safe to fire and when not. When you are at the range, make sure you pay attention to the RSO and follow their instructions.
Besides making sure everyone stays safe, the RSO is there to help. If you have questions, do not be afraid to ask. Unanswered questions can compromise safety and enjoyment and the RSO wants to answer your questions; that’s one of the main reasons he or she is there.
4. Mind Your Own Business
A gun range is not a social club. People who go there are there to shoot their weapon, so let them do it in peace. If someone has their safety earmuffs and glasses on, and they are in their shooting bay lane, take it as a sign that they do not want to be disturbed. When shooters are in this mode, consider it personal space that should not be violated. Do not take this to mean that gun ranges are unfriendly places where you should never talk to any one. Quite the opposite. When folks are just standing around in the bay, conversations among strangers are commonplace. It just means that when someone is in a lane shooting, interruptions are not so welcome as they might otherwise be.
5. Know and follow the gun range’s rules
Each gun range is likely to have their own specific set of rules. These rules can range from what type of weapons are permitted to whether you should leave your spent cartridges behind. The rules are there for a reason, so respect the rules and follow them. Remember, if you are not sure about a rule ask the RSO!
6. Clean up after yourself
Once you have finished, make sure your shooting bay lane is clean and neat. Leave it as you would want to find it. As mentioned, some gun ranges have their own specific rules about what you should do with your spent cartridges and used targets. If you are not sure…ask.
What Do You Think?
Above are some basic gun range etiquette tips that we think people should keep in mind when going to the gun range to ensure everyone stays safe and have a good time while at the range. If you have any other gun range etiquette tips that you think are good to know, please share them with us in the comments section below.