When you can’t dig out a shooting pit in your backyard, going to a shooting range is great for training and for fun. At some ranges, you can rent specific firearms you’ve always wanted to shoot. Provided it’s allowed, you can also test out your new sidearm or that special ammo you just bought.
Although shooting ranges are fun, there are rules you must follow. Disobeying the rules will get you kicked out, especially if you’re breaking any safety rules. Even so, many people try to get away with breaking certain rules at the range.
Here are just some of the ways people attempt to bend the rules at their local range. If you don’t want to get permanently banned, don’t beany of these six people.
- Drawing fast from a holster or under your clothing
It’s a familiar scene from old-time cowboy movies: two dueling arch enemies draw their pistols quickly from holsters at their sides or from underneath their clothes. A shootout follows and only the good guy survives.
It’s a brilliant scene for a movie, but fast drawing has no place in a shooting range. Additionally, it’s usually against range rules to draw and shoot even if you have a concealed carry permit. If you’re used to carrying your firearm underneath your clothing, be prepared to use a standard, visible side holster at the range.
- Taking dangerous selfies
There’s nothing wrong with taking selfies at the range or taking photos of your friends and family as they shoot. However, some people take selfies that endanger other people’s lives (or their own). For example, in 2018, two men were permanently banned from a Texas range after one man pointed a pistol at his friend’s head for a photo op.
Even when a firearm is unloaded, it’s still not safe to point it at someone’s head for a photo. No matter how certain you are that the chamber is clear, it’s never a safe move. If your gun accidentally fires, getting kicked out of the range will be the least of your worries.
- Trying to sneak in armor-piercing ammo
You’ll have a hard time finding a shooting range that allows armor-piercing ammo. Naturally, you’ll want to test any special ammo you get, but your local shooting range isn’t the place for that.
Since most ranges only allow paper targets, there would be no real point in testing out armor-piercing ammunition in the first place. Also, it’s expensive, so there’s no reason to waste your money. If you must test special ammunition, you’re better off finding a shooting range in the woods or pits that allow non-paper targets.
- Using a Nerf gun at the range
Using a Nerf gun at a real shooting range isn’t necessarily dangerous, and you might get others to play along, like this guy did. Although it’s funny, it’s a gray area.
While you might be able to get away with this kind of prank, it’s probably not a good idea unless you have another range in your area.
- Rapid fire
Most ranges prohibit rapid fire, but define it differently. Some ranges require 3 seconds between shots, while others require 4 seconds. Either way, this guy wasn’t following the rules when he got kicked out for rapid fire.
- Freaking out over hot brass
There have been an unfortunate number of incidents at gun ranges where people have accidentally shot themselves or others after a hot spent shell casing fell down their shirt.
Several years ago, a father accidentally discharged his weapon at the range after some hot brass fell down his shirt. The bullet hit and killed his young son. Another man shot himself in the face when a hot shell casing fell down the back of his shirt.
While it’s a natural instinct to flail around when something hot drops down your shirt, you have to keep your attention on your firearm and resist the impulse to move until you ground your weapon. You have to be willing to be burned by a hot shell casing until your weapon is secured. It’s not easy, but it’s also not optional.
Your local gun range isn’t a free-for-all
Going to the range is like visiting any other activity-based business – you have to follow their rules or you’ll get ejected. If shooting at the range doesn’t allow you to use your preferred firearms or ammunition, all you can do is find a shooting pit in the country where you’ll have more freedom.
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