Legends of the Clubs

Shooting clubs all seem to have their legends. One thing I’ve consistently heard since joining mine is, “If we have just one mishap here (i.e. someone gets shot), this place is finished and over with.” This has always bothered me, because if this is true, why do we insure against this eventuality? Sadly, suicides on gun ranges are not as uncommon as one might think, and the commercial ranges that suffer them seem to continue on. I also know of clubs who have had people shoot themselves accidentally, and that are still around. So it strikes me that this is quite a survivable thing for a club. Not that I would advocate clubs get complacent about safety, but there’s a fine line between safety and being afraid of our own shadows. In my experience with talking to other people in the shooting community, the primary cause of death for shooting clubs is poor leadership, not accidents.

12 thoughts on “Legends of the Clubs”

  1. Draw the line far out from where you want it to test in practice, and the people who push the rules will still stay in bounds.

  2. The reason they say that is to put in place as many arbitrary and unfriendly polices as they can. This includes such silly policies as mag limits and “rapid fire” prohibitions.

  3. Teach and ruthlessly enforce the 4 rules of firearms safety and you should be fine. But it’s not as easy as it sounds, as it may require management to terminate membership from the most inept (but who may have been around for a looong time).

    I suspect that deaths on gun ranges are probably cardiac arrests (and nobody knowing how to properly perform CPR) rather than GSW…

    1. I think that’s an ideal thing for a private club, but practically you’ll have people who are less than stellar gun handlers unless you’re absolutely ruthless. There’s also the issue of people who were safe handlers when they joined at 35 who at 85 are no longer safe handlers. I wish I could say that I find that to be an uncommon problem, but I can’t. We’ve had that conversation with a few, it’s never easy, and a lot of guys don’t take it well.

  4. When we are talking about death of gun clubs, don’t forget obnoxious neighbors. One anti-gun guy managed to kill the gun club in my overwhelmingly pro-gun town.

  5. Neither my Club or local gun shop allow concealed carry. Seems odd – they support CCW everywhere else but not on their own premises?

    1. Our club supports CCW, if you are not shooting that Gun during the Session. Otherwise you have to follow the empty chamber unless you are actively shooting that particular gun. The rules are the rules, and must be followed. We allow draws from holsters, which most ranges do not, but between shooting sessions the gun must be on the range table with an empty chamber flag in the chamber.

        1. I might have not been clear on my description. All guns must be on the range table with an empty chamber flag unless in the act of shooting. So if you are shooting your carry gun, you must follow the table/chamber flag. I know it is a little inconsistent but that is the best that we could come up with.

          1. Why not just say “the gun must be either holstered or on the table”. There isn’t any reason somebody can’t pul the gun out while the range is hot, and shoot it.

  6. In my experience, another legendary feature is that some number of their members will hold unsubstantiated yet nonetheless determined beliefs.

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