Gun range etiquette
Gun to a shooting range for the first time can be intimidating, so we put together a proper gun range etiquette code of conduct that should be followed when at your local gun range. Always familiarise yourself with the specific safety requirements at each range you visit, and make sure you carefully read and understand the site rules and waiver.
Common gun range rules and etiquette:
- Always make sure your firearm is in a case, holster, or bag when you enter the lobby.
- Never walk into the lobby with a firearm in your hand.
- Don't take your firearm out of the bag in the lobby. If the range staff asks to see it, let them remove it from your bag.
- Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you are ready to fire. This also applies to looking at new or rental firearms.
- Always check the chamber to ensure a firearm is unloaded, even if the person who handed it to you did so already. You should always double check.
- No one likes having a firearm pointed at him or her. Even when the weapon is confirmed to be unloaded by multiple persons, an important part of gun range etiquette is to always keep it pointed in a generally safe direction. That means don't point a firearm you are thinking of purchasing or renting at the gun range staff, or other customers.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions of the staff or other customers.
- Each gun range has slightly different policies and rules. Be sure and read the safety waiver before you sign it. Carefully read the range rules.
- Once on the range, always keep your firearm pointed down range.
- Stay in your booth when you have your firearm in your hand.
- Never shoot a target other than your own.
- It is okay to watch other shooters, but don't crowd, or distract others while on the range.
- Keep in mind that some shooters wear electronic hearing protection that allows them to hear people speaking. Be careful what you say, as this type of hearing protection amplifies speaking voices.
- New shooters are welcome, but most ranges will require that you bring an experienced shooter with you, or take a safety class prior to using the range.
- Have a great time, but always make your safety and the safety of others your top priority.
- Every shooter is a safety officer. If you see safety violations, report them to the range staff immediately.
- When a cease fire is called while you are shooting, immediately stop firing, make your weapon safe, and lay it on the table in your booth facing down range, take two steps back/step out of the booth and away from your firearm, follow the directions of the range staff.
- Most indoor ranges have policies against picking up your spent brass. This rule is for your safety and the safety of others. Make sure you know the policy prior to entering the range.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before leaving the range.
Remember, these safety rules and gun range etiquette tips are made to keep our guests and our employees safe while at the gun range. If you find that another shooter is not following the rules, be sure to alert a staff member.
The information provided in this publication is intended to provide general information to individuals and is not legal advice. The information included in this publication may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication without the prior written consent of U.S. LawShield, to be given or withheld at our discretion. The information is not a substitute for, and does not replace the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. We strive to ensure the information included in this publication is accurate and current, however, no claim is made to the accuracy of the information and we are not responsible for any consequences that may result from the use of information in this publication. The use of this publication does not create an attorney-client relationship between U.S. LawShield, any independent program attorney, and any individual.