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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a small range setup on my farm.I enjoy nothing more that inviting family and friends over for a little plinking.
However, I have had to close my range down temporarily due to safety concerns.

Everything that happens or fails to happen on my range is my responsibility. Period.
I've had three incidents on my range and I am not at all pleased.

1) A young relative was learning to shoot. I observed him dry firing a revolver while saying Die Die Die. Not acceptable.
When I asked him to take it easy he lost his temper and walked off the range.
2) Another relative who is an experienced shoot made a mistake. We can all make mistakes. I do. While leaving the firing line he turned and pointed a semi auto handgun with the safety off at my mid section. When I pointed this out to him he became angry.

3) yesterday while teaching a relative to shoot a revolver I suspected a misfire ( we were shooting reloads ) I instructed her to keep the weapon pointed down range and count to ten. Instead she cocked the weapon again. I instructed her to lower the hammer as I had taught her. Instead she gave me a glaring look and put the weapon down on the table in the cocked position. Let me repeat. She intentionally put a loaded and cocked 357 magnum down on the table lost her temper and walked away.

None of the incidents should have happened. I take full responsibility. It's my fault plain and simple. My range is now closed until I can correct this problem.
Next month I am taking my NRA RSO certification class.
I want nothing more than for all us to have fun, but at this time it's obvious that things need to change before we can do any more shooting.

I need to learn to do a better job.
 

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Good idea I would take the same precautions.
 

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I certainly would not invite them back, your range, your rules. I would not ban someone from my range for making a mistake, but if they show no remorse when corrected they are a hazard I can live without.
 

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I commend you on taking responsibility and think that taking the RSO class is a good idea, especially if you are going to have people shooting a lot at your range. I actually think the mistake at this point is in character assessment as to who is ready to handle firearms. It seems as though your family and friends are taking advantage of you and your kindness. As far as your reactions, you acted properly. Once someone is being unsafe, the only thing you can do is shut it down.

In my instructor classes, they actually advised to have someone else do some of the initial firearm training for family members. Your family members will take liberties with your time and education that they wouldn't with a stranger (sad but true). Once they have taken a lesson from someone else they may respect the safety rules better. Rather than seeming like a safety nazi, you will simply be reinforcing the rules someone else drilled them with.
 

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Personally I would only close it for these people until they can correct their attitude. I know they're family and all, but if they can't follow the basic rules and simple instructions I wouldn't want them shooting around me. It is good you're going to get RSO training and hopefully it will give you ideas on how to correct them without ticking them off.
 

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You are correct. You are responsible. What happened does not make you a bad anything. However, as a responsible range officer/owner you should not invite those three back until they learn that you are the boss. As an instructor/adviser/range officer I've had similar things happen. As a responsibile instructor/adviser/range officer, I do my best to ensure that the same thing does not happen again. It's part of the "education," and education is evolutionary, not revolutionary. I would lose a whole lot of sleep over it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes Jim I agree. I don't have problems with my friends. They obey the rules. We look out for each other.
It's my family that is dangerous. I'm not the sole owner of this farm. If my wife wants to invite her family to come out and shoot fine. I just don't want to be here when they are here unless they get their act together.
In a lifetime of shooting I have never ever seen anyone intentionally do something as dangerous as what happened on Saturday.
Putting down a loaded and cocked revolver and walking away because they were angry
 
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Mistakes will happen and become teaching moments for both of you. However, flagrant intentional unsafe practices cannot be tolerated at all. You did well to shut it down to those who are not responsible enough to do so safely. If they had done unsafe practices and learned from it, there would be no issue going forward, however the fact that they became mad or offended proves they are not ready to handle firearms.
 
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Post a sign with the range rules, make sure everyone reads the rules.....
 

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In all three instances, they are relatives it seems......perhaps you're too close to them for them to take proper instruction from you? Sometimes strangers listen much better because they don't know you and have no comfort in relationship. You may just have to use your range for friends that you know are responsible enough.
 

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Perhaps anger management is in their future. Might be a better course for them to take before they try to enjoy shooting. And, you're correct. Your property, your rules, your liability. With a loaded weapon the safety responsibility is greatly increased.
 
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Your range your rules.. Always think safety first, feelings second..
 
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It is instances like you describe that has caused the local fish and game club to stop taking new members for now. They are re-evaluating membership requirements and hope to re-open enrollment, but for now...no new members!
 

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You're correct in that it is your responsibility.
And, not a personal attack meant here in any way, shape, or form, but perhaps your family members mentioned here should grow up a bit.

Also good idea on the posting of range rules.
Good luck going forward.
 
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Just to further clarify - "grow up" meaning the ability to take constructive criticism. You should make it clear to them that your reprimands to them are only because the activity they are enjoying is extremely unforgiving of a lack of judgement or unattention, and could result in death.
 

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OK, I do not know you, and I was not at your range? However, if this all happened in one day, during one fun time shooting, THERE IS A PROBLEM??? Either these people have little regard for safety and you, or maybe just maybe, the way you handled the incidents could use some work. People do react to the words said, they way they are said, and such.

The RSO training should help you in controlling the range, and the people who are shooting with you. But do look at the tone, and choice of words you use in correcting a situation. None of us are perfect, and I refuse to teach my wife but she is a excellent shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Robby I agree 100%. Whatever it is that I am doing is obviously not working. I need professional instruction.
BTW. the three incidents happened on three different days.
 

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At first, I thought maybe the OP might be overreacting when these mistakes were made - yelling at these people rather than talking sternly - but then he said it was family, and it starts to make sense. My kids seem to think that when I scold them about not looking before they cross the street it's like me scolding them for not cleaning their room. Safety is beyond everything else. Family doesn't take criticism like they should (that may include me...at times :) ).

The "Die, die, die!" thing is a major no no, in my book. I'd say the OP is a pretty good range master - everyone left there alive :)
 
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