Range Safety Talking Points
People that belong to a gun club or range probably don’t need this because the range will have their version of it & go over it every time people are on the range shooting. I don’t belong to a range, I go into the woods outside of town to a safe unused rock quarry.
Lately I’ve been shooting with just a few people that I have shot with a lot and know I can trust. So we haven’t been taking the time to have a range safety briefing before starting to shoot. But now that I think about it, I regret not doing some sort of safety talk before we began.
Soon I will be taking a couple of people from work out shooting for their first time. It’s been awhile since I’ve had new shooters, so I thought I’d take the time to create a talking point sheet, that I can use whenever I go out shooting. This is all stuff that you can’t go over often enough. I thought it might be good to provide it for others use or as template to create your own. I’d like to note thatI deliberately state several times in several different ways, “Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger”. From my experience as an instructor, if you want someone to hear an important point, repeat it several times in different ways. Because of this, I kind of bounce around in the talking points.
Hope this helps, I know I will be using it from now on.
Shooting Safety Talking Points
- Anyone can call a “CEASE FIRE” if they see or even think they see an unsafe act.
◦ If you hear “CEASE FIRE” called:
▪ Stop firing immediately.
▪ Loudly echo it until everyone has stopped firing.
▪ If needed make your gun safe (unload & safety on).
- Always keep your finger off the trigger until the range is okay to shoot, the gun is pointed at the target & you are ready for it to go bang.
- Define the range for that day and what the safe direction to point the gun is.
◦ Point out any limitations of the safe direction (IE – Not above the lip of the hill/quarry, etc).
- The best safety for every gun is the one between your ears. Always know:
◦ where your gun is pointed.
◦ that your finger isn’t on the trigger if you aren’t shooting.
◦ where other people are in relation to your muzzle.
- Define the firing line.
◦ This may or may not be an actual line.
◦ The main point is, never go in front of the person(s) shooting.
◦ If there may be more than one person shooting, make sure that everyone understands they need to be on the same line or plane.
- Whenever possible, use the safety on the gun.
- Never point the gun at something you aren’t willing to hurt or destroy.
- Always keep your finger off the trigger when you aren’t actually shooting.
- When needed, we will make the range safe, by ensuring that all guns are unloaded & on safe. Only then will anyone go down range.
◦ Have a second person verify all guns are unloaded & on safe.
◦ Do NOT handle or load any guns while people are in front of the firing line.
◦ It is okay to load magazines that aren’t attached to guns.
- Everyone needs to have eye & hearing protection in place before anyone starts shooting.
- Always index your finger off the trigger and on the side of the gun when the gun isn’t pointed at the target.
- For new shooters, if a malfunction occurs, keep the gun pointed downrange & call/raise hand to get help.
- Reminders of these rules will be given calmly but firmly.
- Who can call a “Cease Fire”?
- When should your finger be on the trigger?
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