Going to the range is fun and easy, once you know a few simple rules. The main thing that all gun ranges have in common is that it’s all about safety. (Turn to page 6 for the NRA Basic Rules of Gun Safety.) Aside from that, every range is different. Some allow you to rent firearms; others don’t. Some have strict rules about what kind of targets you may use. Some are busy, while at others, you and your mentor may be the only shooters present.
Range Safety Officers (RSO)
Most ranges have Range Safety Officers (RSOs), whose job is to supervise shooters, enforce the rules, and handle any problems that
may occur. The Range Safety Officer has absolute authority on the range. Your mentor may want to introduce you to the RSO so they can explain what’s expected of you.
Two of the most common range commands are
“cease firing” and “commence firing.”
“Commence firing” is the command given to tell everyone it’s safe to shoot.
“Cease firing” is used whenever all shooting must stop. During a ceasefire, there is no handling of firearms.
The key things to remember are:
1. Chamber is empty and ammunition source (magazine) is removed.
2. Action is open.
3. Hands off!
4. Step away from the firing line.