Photo Credit: USCCA
Let me be clear, each owner can determine how to manage their own range as they see fit. Personally, if there are going to be any regulations, they should come from associations (i.e. NRA, USCCA, NSSF) rather than the government. The goal of this post is to hopefully shed some insight on this issue so that ranges can implement the necessary policies to keep everyone safe and mitigate unnecessary liability.
To begin with, the Range Safety Officer (RSO) is responsible for rendering aid when it’s needed and ensuring that everyone stays safe by following the rules of the range, as well as prevent firearm rentals from leaving the range. With that said, how can an RSO keep people safe and respond to an incident in time (ex: health complications, injuries, ventilation shutting down) if they’re only monitoring the range from security cameras (assuming the cameras are being monitored the entire time while shooters are on the range)? Or even “monitor” the range through a window in between the sales floor and range when the entire range can’t be viewed? Nearly two-thirds of all firearm deaths are by suicide and, while it’s a rare occurrence on ranges, it unfortunately does happen [NSSF]. This is why – even though it’s time consuming and annoying at times – I’m glad that stricter policies and questionnaires have been implemented at the FFL where I also work; I’ve also implemented some of these same policies into my company. We’re trained to look for odd behavior, an individual’s skill level, identify self-inflicted cuts and the smell of marijuana and/or alcohol to name a few.
When there’s no RSO physically present on the range and stricter policies aren’t in place, it introduces an extra level of liability that could’ve been mitigated properly if the policies and an RSO was present. This is why I won’t visit a range, especially by myself, where the RSO isn’t physically present on the range.
Click here to learn more on how everyone that visits a range can be an RSO.