Gun Range Safety 101

Gun Range Safety 101

When it comes to gun safety, being fully educated before picking up a firearm is not optional. Here’s how to stay safe and maintain proper etiquette at a gun range.

Follow General Gun Safety 

Any time a gun is used, it’s important to adhere to general gun safety and gun laws specific to the area. This means always keeping firearms pointed in a safe direction (not toward oneself or others) and keeping one’s finger off the trigger until shooting. Firing should stop immediately when anyone calls “cease firing.”

Know the Difference Between Hot and Cold

When a gun range is considered “cold,” guns should be unloaded at all times unless currently on the line firing. In a “hot” range, one should presume that all firearms are loaded at all times. Although “hot” and “cold” can define the permanent state of some ranges, other ranges may alternate between hot and cold as firing begins and ends. Be sure to become familiar with a range’s specific policies before beginning.

Use Eye and Ear Protection

Hearing damage does not discriminate, and it can affect anyone in the range, not just the person currently shooting. That’s why hearing protection should be worn all the time. Similarly, ricochets or small bullet fragments can affect the eyes of anyone in the range, not just the shooter, so eye protection should be worn at all times as well.

Follow Standard Gun Range Etiquette

For the safety and consideration of everyone on the range, observe basic etiquette. Shoot only range-approved targets, and do not fire at posts, supports, or target frames. Keep pets on leashes or under control—although it may not be a good idea to bring pets even if they are allowed, as their hearing may be affected by the shooting. Leave the range clean and pick up any gun accessories and trash before leaving.

Visiting a gun range is an effective way to maintain and teach shooting accuracy and other skills—as long as safety and etiquette are followed. If you’re looking for fully licensed firearms and accessories to begin or expand your collection, give River City Gun Exchange a call at 916-428-0377 today to learn about our inventory.