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Course Outline

Using a handgun at a shooting range

Recreational shooters may go to the shooting range to take target practice or to participate in an organized competition.

Many of the rules that govern safe firearm handling in the field apply to the shooting range. To make sure all shooters are doing the same thing at the same time, everyone must follow established safety procedures and obey all commands immediately. Here are some additional requirements for the shooting range.

  • Read all range rules that apply to the type of shooting you will do that day.
  • If there is a range master, be sure to follow his or her instructions.
  • If your gun fails to fire or misfires or if any other unusual situation occurs:
    • Stop immediately and call the range master.
    • Do not risk an accident by continuing.
  • When not shooting, unload your firearm and leave it on the range line or bench until you’re given further instructions.
  • Don’t handle your firearm while other shooters are downrange. Step away from the firing line or bench until the range is clear and the range master instructs you to approach the line or bench.
  • If no range master is present, all shooters must decide on safety commands beforehand so that it’s clear when someone intends to go downrange.
  • Before any person goes beyond the firing line or downrange, unload your firearm and step away from the line until the other person returns.
  • Under no circumstances should you shoot a firearm when someone is downrange or past the firing line.
  • Always wear hearing and eye protection, even if you’re watching others shoot.
  • Respond immediately to anyone calling for a “cease fire.”
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