Shooting Range Safety Rules and Regulations
A shooting range is a facility where firearms are used for qualifications, training, practice or competition. These facilities are either operated by military or law enforcement agencies or by civilians and sporting clubs.
Ranges may be indoor or outdoor. Indoor ranges are usually covered and have firing points of various configurations.
A shooting range can be a fun place to spend time practicing your skills or honing your shooting abilities, but it can also become a hazardous environment if safety rules are not followed. Fortunately, most ranges have their own set of safety rules and regulations in place so that accidents don’t happen.
The most important rule to remember when using a shooting range is that you should treat every gun as if it were loaded. This means that you should keep your muzzle pointed down range and you should never point your gun at anything that you are not willing to destroy.
Another important safety rule is that you should only shoot one firearm at a time. This will prevent you from accidentally firing the same gun in front of other people, which can be dangerous. You should also follow other rules, such as putting your firearm in its case or safely slinging it on your shoulder before you bring it to the firing line.
The range rules and regulations at a shooting range are intended to ensure that the facility is used in a safe manner. This includes ensuring that the range is in compliance with federal, state, and local laws regarding the use of firearms.
For example, some ranges require all weapons to be discharged, securely encased, and/or trigger locked before entering the facility. Others do not have such restrictions.
In the United States, the law allows a shooter to shoot up to three live rounds from a rifle and six live rounds from a handgun during each thirty-minute period. Children under the age of eight are not allowed to shoot a long gun without supervision.
The shooting range may also require that the shooter provide a valid photo identification card, such as a driver’s license or nondriver’s identification card, to verify their identity. In addition, some ranges require that all individuals under the age of 18 present a parent or guardian to supervise them at all times.
The range operations and maintenance at a shooting range should be designed to protect human health and the environment. This includes providing an adequate volume of air for discharging firearms; control of spent bullets and metal fragments to prevent ricochets; and acoustical controls to reduce noise from firing weapons.
Shooting range owners and operators are responsible for determining whether their waste is hazardous. DTSC considers the collection and separation of ammunition and ammunition components to be shooting range maintenance activities and not hazardous waste management activities so long as human health and the environment are protected from releases and exposure to those hazardous constituents as described in the federal BMP.
The Best Management Practices for Lead at Outdoor Rifle, Pistol, Trap, and Skeet Ranges (PDF, 103 pp) manual provides range owners and operators with information on best practices that can be used to reduce lead contamination. While this manual presents a number of effective practices, each range is unique in both its type of shooting activity and environmental setting, so site-specific solutions are not provided.
Range maintenance and repair are necessary to ensure the safety of shooters as well as to provide optimal performance for the equipment. These activities are typically performed at regular intervals and include a variety of preventive actions.
Typical range maintenance tasks are sweeping, vacuuming, and removing trash from the firing line, shooting areas, hallways, and other locations. They also include cleaning the range’s venting system and ensuring that it is clean, dry, and properly functioning.
Shooting ranges generate used and fired ammunition, contaminated rags, metal fines, and other wastes that are subject to California hazardous waste control laws and implementing regulations. The materials may be designated for disposal or reuse. Identifying the shooting range management options for this waste is important to help reduce potential liability and hazardous waste impacts.