Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Shooting range liability concerns and armed range masters.

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by jutland, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. SLO1911Fan


    Nov 23, 2009
    I know that at the range I worked at no one was allowed to open carry. We weren't officially allowed to concealed carry, but the majority of the RA's did. We had our share of crazies, drunks, and stupid people. If you're responsible for a range, the safety on the range, and the range's guns, why wouldn't you carry? I had guns pointed at me both unintentionally and intentionally more times than I can count. I would never work at a range that insisted that I be unarmed.
  2. fx77

    fx77 CLM

    Nov 23, 2008
    At my public range some are armed and some not..But if concealed would I really know?

  3. Brucev


    Jul 19, 2009
    No. They are not there to play. They are there to do the job of running the range. As to the idea they might need to shoot someone... bull.
  4. jutland


    Aug 24, 2002
    Does your insurance know that your employees are armed, and does it have any requirements re training of employees to make sure they are qualified.
  5. edhead35


    Mar 31, 2012
    Even if the rules said I couldn't be armed as a range officer I would anyway or leave the club with such a silly rule. Just hide a small pistol.

    I know some clubs have an all out ban on guns unless you are on the range due to serving alcohol, and you can't be on a range if you have consumed alcohol.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2
  6. Arc Angel

    Arc Angel Deus Vult!

    Sep 20, 2003
    Penn's Woods
    :upeyes: When is a, 'Range Master' not a Range Master? More than half the, 'Instructors' where I occasionally shoot are NOT CERTIFIED. In fact the fellow who owns one of the largest public ranges in NEPA wouldn't be certified, himself, unless I had helped him to obtain his accreditation.

    Yes, when you're certified yourself, it can be a little annoying to have some kid with the words, 'INSTRUCTOR' emblazoned across his chest telling you what to do; but, (but!) during the 15 years that I've been using this range 3 shooters have ended up shooting themselves (All were seriously wounded - one fatally so.) All of the instructors at our local, 'pay 'n shoot' gun range sport an array of expensive sidearms; and the quality of their pistols seems to lend credence to the logo on their chests. Do these fellows need to go armed while they're telling the general public what to do?

    Yes, as annoying as I occasionally find some of these guys to be, unfortunately they do. We are less than 60 miles outside of New York City; and only 40 miles from Philadelphia. Both of these cities are crime-ridden metropolises that are home to (I guess) all of the most notorious street gangs in North America. Gang members are ALL involved in drug distribution, sales, and violence.

    These guys ain't NRA members; neither do they live, 'by the Bible'. Their realities are NOT the realities of normal law abiding citizens. Nevertheless, if they haven't got a police record (Yet!) they are as much entitled to purchase, use, and even carry a firearm as you or I. On public ranges - and, sometimes, right inside my own rural neighborhood - I'm forced into regular contact with these people.

    Druggers and gang members are a lawless and unfortunate reality of everyday living in modern 21 century America. As far as owning and using guns is concerned, many of the young men (and women) coming up through the gangs' ranks are on an equal legal footing with the rest of us; and, if you're going to shoot at public ranges you'd better get smart fast, and realize that YOU'RE NOT ALONE while you're on these ranges.

    In my experience the way most average law abiding citizens protect themselves is exactly the same way police officers protect themselves, too. ....... We go out of our way to get to know each other and tend to band together in small groups while we're shooting at public gun ranges. Pennsylvania Game Commission rules require the first person to arrive at a public range to be, 'the designated RSO'. Know what? I can't think of a better way to get yourself into trouble than to decide to obey the rules and attempt to actually be a public range safety officer.

    At private or supervised shooting ranges everybody knows a specific set of range commands, AND understands that he has to obey them. However, this is NOT TRUE of public (and often isolated) shooting ranges! More than once I've had a friend tap me on the shoulder to tell me to lower my gun because there was someone walking downrange! The concept of clearing the ENTIRE LINE appears to be alien to too many, 'casual' shooters! I'm waiting for the day when the Game Commission finally establishes a set of universal range safety commands and procedures; but, realistically, I don't expect anything to change on these public shooting ranges during my lifetime.

    People aren't naturally cooperative; there are, also, strong tendencies to, 'do your own thing' in our (otherwise) closely regulated society; but (but!) guns aren't automobiles! It's been my distinct experience that too many people show an almost natural personal resentment to being told how to do things right at a gun range. (I'm saying that some people can very easily become annoyed or even angry while they're on a public firing line!)

    A few years ago I was shooting at a crowded, but isolated, Game Commission range when two of the line shooters began doing some very dangerous things with their loaded guns. I was the only one there with an instructor's patch on his jacket; and I took it just as long as I could before I walked over to them to, 'have a word'. Their reaction was predictable: surprise, resentment, anger, and finally a refusal to listen. After the third (stern but polite) warning I introduced those fellows to the modern miracle of the cell phone and called the Game Commission's, 'Hot Line'. I didn't like having to do that - I really didn't; but it had to be done. I felt a certain amount of relief when a very grateful WCO came to see me that evening in order to thank me for what I'd done. He told me, 'There should be more people like you!' I smiled at him before replying, 'You mean stupid!' He knew what I meant.

    Should, 'range masters' be armed? Yes! Beyond any shadow of doubt modern American range officers should be armed - NOT just for their own personal safety, but for the safety of others as well. The only possible objection I might have is that an armed Range Safety Officer should, also, be visibly certified as such by a certification agency like the National Rifle Association.

    Using guns in public entails a certain amount of risk: Risk from the consequences of your own behavior as well as the behavior of others. It's almost a, 'given' today that not everybody on a busy public firing line is going to be an entirely law abiding citizen. Rather than being perturbed I, personally, find it reassuring that somebody else (besides myself) is on the line and watching out for everybody else's personal safety. Trust me! Being a range safety officer is NOT an easy job. You just never know who you're shooting with or standing next to.

    True story: The terrorists who were planning to attack New Jersey's Fort Dix actually trained with their fully automatic AK-47's at the isolated public shooting range that I frequent! So, help me! I used to go there and see these enormous piles of spent cartridge cases lying on the ground and think to myself, 'Who, the heck, is doing this?' It must have sounded like World War III when those guys were there! You can imagine my surprise when this crew was captured; and I found out what had been going on at, 'my little backwoods range'!

    We're NOT in Kansas, anymore! ;)
  7. Snaps

    Snaps Hail 2 The King

    Apr 8, 2004
    SWPA sticks
    guess that means no guns at all at my range... I didn't know anybody but the military had range masters till i go on this board.
  8. Wyoming


    Feb 3, 2007
    Southwest Wyoming
    When I go to one of our ranges I am usually carrying a handgun. If hot weather than no over shirt or other cover. One of our ranges is the county range and there is a deputy there in street clothes with a pistol.

    I am not sure what is the problem?

    Good people with guns have never been a problem in this country. Get it?
  9. Just playing devl's advocate, but my guess is most ranges are in business to make a profit, so their bottom line may be of greater concern to the owners than whether their employees feel safe or are unhapy that they can't carry a gun. If they let their employees carry a gun and there is a negligent discharge or even a good shoot that a jury later thinks is a bad shoot, then the range is going to get sued. Owners don't like to be sued.

    Police departments have tons of policies on who can carry a gun, under what circumstances, medical screening, psych screening, and the minimum training and testing the employee needs to keep up on before they can carry a gun on duty, etc.. They do that for liability reasons. We live in a sue crazy society. I'm not aware of any single case anywhere in our country where an employer was successfully sued because they did not allow their employees to be armed, although I've seen posters on the gun boards who like to threaten that could happen.

    Finally, intentional criminal shootings at gun ranges are exceedingly rare, so I wouldn't lose much sleep over it. Range masters are probably safer there than at WalMart.
  10. J_P


    Jun 25, 2010
    Nice write-up!!
  11. Miloe


    Jan 27, 2011
    I'd add in addition to the above reasons, I work as a RSO at a local outdoor range, that doesnt accept credit/debit cards. Meaning I'm dealing with a fair amount of cash, you want me to deal with the above plus cash drops and be unarmed too? Personally I say you can step up and do my job.
  12. AKR

    AKR GAP'r

    Sep 24, 2007
    Loveland, CO
    At the GSSF match this summer, the rules required open chamber on all firearms not in use on the firing line. I understand the reason for these rules. Given some recent events, I was uneasy about being "unarmed" in a large gathering of people where the rule was close to "no firearms" (at least ready). I respected the rules, but my Glock was in my holster and I always had 2 full mags always at the ready beyond those I used on the firing line. This was my compromise at complying fully with the event's rules and being prepared. While I moved around at the match, I noted how many of the range officers and other participants had arrived at exactly the same solution.
  13. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

    May 4, 2003
    Sounds like you're thinking backwards.

    If the insurance company wants to forbid something, they need to do so in advance. It's not the insured's responsibility to get permission for every contingency of life.

    That which is not forbidden is allowed.