Whether you have a new gun or ammo that you can’t wait to try, or maybe it’s your weekly hobby. Going to the shooting range should always be a safe and fun experience. Every range comes with their own set of rules but there are three standard rules that are always applicable when it comes to gun safety and the shooting range.
- Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction and away from others
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot
- Keep the gun unloaded until you’re ready to use the firearm
If this is your first time at the shooting range, it’s important to introduce yourself to the Range Safety Officer (RSO). Be sure to tell your RSO that it is your first time at the range, this will allow them to tell you what you need to know before you set up your gear and inform you of any rules that the range has. It’s imperative that you learn the commands used at your range. Compliance with the RSO is mandatory and will keep you and others safe.
Two of the most common range commands are Ceasefire and Commence Firing.
- Ceasefires are used whenever all shooting must stop, regardless of reason. There should be no handling of firearms when this is called. Anyone in the shooting range can call a ceasefire. If you aren’t sure if you should call a ceasefire or not, call it! It is better to be safe than sorry. Some possible reasons for you or the RSO to call this would be if someone has accidentally walked too close to the firing area, if someone in the range has become ill, or if it’s time to change or retrieve targets.
- Commence Firingis the command given that tells the range attendees that it’s safe to shoot.
Always keep in mind that you are responsible for your own safety and the safety of those around you. If you see that someone isn’t following the rules, you should leave the range and tell the RSO what is going on. Other courteous shooting range manners include not shooting at posts, supports or target frames as they’re expensive to replace as well as leaving the gun range better than you found it. This means cleaning up your firing station or any trash you may see lying around. A fun day at the shooting range happens when you and others put safety and courtesy first!