This page outlines the safety guidelines for participation in our training courses. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, safety on ranges has started getting out of hand in the last several years – on all ranges and with all instructors with whom we’ve spoken. This has led to having to get more and more stringent to the point where we almost feel as though we’ve been reduced to treating grown adults like children – which is distasteful to us to say the least. Safety is simple if you keep your mind on what you’re doing while handling a firearm, stay with the range instructions, and don’t start thinking ahead to what comes next.
Though we hand out a safety sheet outlining 5 range safety rules, we ask basically three things from participants:
Keep the muzzle of the weapon pointed in a safe direction at ALL times
Keep your trigger finger straight alongside the frame of the weapon when not shooting (i.e., at low ready, etc). Alongside the trigger guard is not good enough (there may be alternate positions for some long guns, but not for pistols and revolvers)
Do NOT touch the weapon for ANY REASON WHATSOEVER without the knowledge of range staff. This pertains regardless of prior shooting experience and habits.
We welcome novice shooters in our classes. We do cover safety and weapon manipulation in our Stage I courses – all that we require is that the trainee abides by range safety regulations and respects the safety of others.
If you are unwilling to abide by these rules, our courses are not recommended for you.
Following are the 5 safety rules by which we ask participants to abide:
THE BASIC RULES OF SAFETY
ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED
Treat every gun as if it was loaded, at all times, no matter what. Think and BELIEVE every time the gun is handled, it could fire.
NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY
Be conscious of the direction your muzzle is pointed at all times. This includes at yourself, any other person, animal, or property unless you are either intending to or do not care about destroying or killing that person/object. NEVER handle a gun behind other people or bend over WITH OR WITHOUT a gun in your hand on a live firing line. Anyone handling a firearm FOR ANY REASON, AT ANY TIME, without range staff sanction will be required to leave the class IMMEDIATELY.
KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ALIGNED WITH THE TARGET
Pay attention to what you are doing while handling a firearm. DO NOT let your finger contact the trigger until the gun is on target.
BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
Pay attention to what is going on around your target. YOU are responsible for the terminal resting place of the bullet, intentionally fired or not, no matter what happened.
CELL PHONE USE IS PROHIBITED ON THE RANGE EXCEPT FOR EMERGENCY USE OR DURING BREAKS ONLY
Please keep phones on vibrate and do NOT use them behind the line when your relay is not shooting. If they ring, check them quickly and if you MUST leave the line at that time to take care of it notify the instructor. Otherwise please wait for the break to use the phone for any reason. If you are on the phone, texting, etc. while your relay is not shooting, you are not paying attention to what is going on – which could potentially lead to a safety problem.
First 4 base rules from Col. Jeff Cooper, American Pistol Institute, 1977
“Every bullet downrange has a lawyer attached” – Ed McConnell, McConnell & Tormey Law Office