If you’re in law enforcement and regularly carry a weapon as part of your job description, you’re sure to spend some time at the gun range. Practice makes perfect. And when you’re firing a weapon, you want to be as efficient, as effective and as safe as you can
possibly can be – both for yourself and those around you.
Fortunately, gun ranges are pretty safe environments. There are rules in places as well as professional staff who keep things running smoothly. Plus, anyone who’s handling or shooting weapons on the ranges is carrying a heightened sense of awareness which translates into safety.
We all know the obvious rules for gun range safety:
Always treat the gun as loaded
Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction – down range and away from others
Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot
Follow the rules of the range or the range master
And there are certainly other rules that most gun enthusiasts know by heart.
But there are some other, sometimes overlooked, tips for gun range safety:
Again, if you’re an instructor or you’re logging dozens of hours per year at the range, you’re probably well aware of these. But if you’re new to the range, keep these tips in mind the next time you’re going to shoot.
Understand the handling characteristics of the gun you are using. Your weapon is a mechanical device…a machine designed for one purpose. Learning how the gun was constructed and what actually makes it ‘work’ is essential to gun safety. Learn about the gun you’re shooting – how does it handle, how do the parts that make up the gun interact with each other, what makes it different than other guns you generally shoot? Handguns made by different manufacturers will be different from one another in certain ways. More powerful weapons will handle differently than less powerful ones. Having an appreciation for and an understanding of your weapon(s) will help make your experience at the range just a little bit safer.
This sounds simple, but proper ammunition is key. This also goes along with Tip # 1 and understanding your weapon. Your weapon was designed and built to be used with specific ammunition. Using improper ammunition risks damaging your weapon or injuring yourself.
Don’t rely on the gun’s safety to keep it from firing. This is seemingly obvious too, but it’s one more thing to consider even if you’re abiding by the golden rules of…Always treat the gun as loaded…and…Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. If you follow all three of these rules at the same time – and the rule of keeping your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot – you are taking some very simple, yet extremely effective steps to being more safe at the range.
Be in the moment. If you’re serious about your practice, you’re serious about your safety. As soon as you enter the front door of the gun range, you should be completely focused on the task at hand. You have a weapon that can very quickly cause injury or death to yourself and others. This understanding of the seriousness of your time at the range should be a driving force in taking precaution and following the rules of the range and general gun safety.
Aware shooters are safe shooters. Gun ranges can be – and generally are – very safe environments. It’s up to the range and its staff – as well as the individual shooter – to help convey safe shooting practices.
Be safe out there and enjoy the range! For duty gear and tactical gear to be used while at the range, on duty or off duty visit Galls.com.