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Hello All, this is my first post although I've been lurking for months. I went to the local indoor pistol range this morning and ended up having a gun pointed at me(with finger on the trigger) by someone shooting in the station next door. I always try to be alert to my surroundings and is this instance I could hear this person dry firing repeatedly although I was fairly certain I saw live ammo fed into a magazine. We made eye contact as I was reloading at which point she turns from station with gun at ready pointed at my stomach and finger on the trigger. I just about s?!*. After getting the gun pointed downrange I asked if she knew how to safe the weapon (she did not). I then told her she should only have her finger on the trigger when she is on target and prepared to shoot. She was starting to ask me if I could help her figure out what was wrong with the gun when this all happened. I determined that (fortunately for me) she had not chambered a round after loading the mag. I showed her how to chamber the round and left the shooting area immediately. I then notified the person at the desk of what had happened and her response was "Oh really, she's been here before".

My question is what should I have done under these circumstances ? After I left I was thinking that perhaps I should have taken it upon myself to get her out of the live fire area so safety procedures could be discussed with the RO. I'm pretty shook up by this whole affair and could really use some feedback.

Sorry for the long post. I've learned alot from everyone as a lurker and now that I am active I know it will get even better.
 

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Go to a different range where having breasts doesn't automatically get you a pass to shoot on the range. I blame the idiots that run the place as much as the woman. She is ignorant: they should know better.
 

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Just because one owns a gun does not mean they are necessarily qualified to handle one safely. I strongly believe that every range should have an internal exam process before you can become a member. Fail the practical/written exam, and you do not become a member. Pass the test but act unsafe at the range should be grounds for dismissal/suspension.

IMHO, of course.
 

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Originally posted by shane45-1911:
Just because one owns a gun does not mean they are necessarily qualified to handle one safely. I strongly believe that every range should have an internal exam process before you can become a member. Fail the practical/written exam, and you do not become a member. Pass the test but act unsafe at the range should be grounds for dismissal/suspension.

IMHO, of course.
So long as it was a range decision and not Govt mandated, I'll agree with that. Especially if that range offers a course on handgun safety. I remember having hunter safety in High School, I suppose that tradition is long gone in most areas.

Generally when I run across newbies, I will help them. I guess I'd rather take some of my time to go over the basics with them and recommend some training rather than ignore it or get myself out of there and hope that nobody gets hurt. A person who points a gun at you with their finger on the trigger deserves a very STERN warning about the danger involved but I'll work with them.

It's tough because our sport/hobby does have such a deadly aspect to it and it benefits us politically and economically to get more people involved but it doesn't benefit us if they hurt somebody.

Unfortunately, everybody starts out dumb at some point, and some of them have to do it out in public as adults rather than as kids with Dad in the back yard. I have to say that I have been fortunate in that I rarely run across such people and when I have, they usually travel in small numbers.

Be careful, keep an eye out, and help a new shooter when you can.
 

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I CAN FEEL THE FLAMES OF PERDITION NOW, but here goes.

The very type of incident that you are talking about is one of the reasons California requires that people pass a written test, or has a safety course completion card before they can buy a gun. It's also one of the reasons that California will soon require a practical demonstration of skill before someone buys a gun.

This doesn't mean that I believe that the California solution is good it just means that part of the reason for the existence of such laws is because of episodes like you experienced.

I think I would have stuck around and helped her out more. Who knows, you could be saving a life. I go to a local range three times a week after I get off duty. I am in uniform and I end up helping a bunch of newbies, who gravitate to me because I am a cop and I know what the hell I am doing. It’s fun and very satisfying to see how people react when their shooting improves and they learn how to do things quickly and safely.
 

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Patrick,

California's laws have nothing to do with gun safety and everything to do with a political agenda. Very few of us aren't clever enough to figure that out.
 

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I don't think it's govt's responsibility to ensure every person knows how to handle a firearm safely. It should be the responsibility of the shooting range to ensure the safety of other shooters.

If those CA laws get passed, maybe Diane Fienstien (D-CA) should be the first to take the safety course. Anybody remember the video of her sweeping the audience with an AK-47? I can't remember if her finger was on the trigger or not. I'm pretty sure it was Fienstien. I'd like to see that video again.

Personally, I would've been stern with her. However, I would have taken a couple of minutes to go over basic safety rules when handling firearms and recommend she attend a safety class.
 

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I think I would be speaking to the range managers about their safety procedures,or lack there of, It sounds like she should not be on the range alone.I think I would have tried to give her some basic gunhandling info,after all she might be there the next time you go back.Her behavior is exactly what the anti-gun nuts use to support belief that we should all get trained and licensed before owning a firearm
 

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Originally posted by James P:
Patrick,

California's laws have nothing to do with gun safety and everything to do with a political agenda. Very few of us aren't clever enough to figure that out.

Some is certainly political, however those that push for such measures point to negligent handling incidents as reasons for the need for such laws. It doesn't matter whether such incidents are statistically significant or not.

When it happens it happens and it is fodder for more restrictions.
 

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Originally posted by James P:
...Generally when I run across newbies, I will help them. I guess I'd rather take some of my time to go over the basics with them and recommend some training rather than ignore it or get myself out of there and hope that nobody gets hurt.....Be careful, keep an eye out, and help a new shooter when you can.

I second that. I think she has good intention to practice shooting rather than just owning a gun. All she needs is somebody to guide her into the right direction (provided that she has an open mind.)
 

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No, California's law reflects a fundamental problem to gun prohibition - number of people who own guns.

Licencing is useful in this capacity - it raises the entry red tape to "buying a gun" and learning to use it. New users may be interested; but the trouble keeps them away. A new gunowner perpetuates the cycle of there being "too many gunowners".

Mandatory storage requirements are a BIG part of this. Having to own a safe to buy a gun adds $1000 to the purchase of your first $300 gun. . . . THAT will chase the newbies away. Contrary to what you may think, many turned in guns in Australia were still legal; but people got rid of guns that were worth less than what it would cost to meet mandatory storage laws.

The number of gun owners must be reduced to a more manageable level before any real confiscations. . . The licencing clearly did this, look to the UK, they used to have a higher rate of gun ownership before the licencing. The Canuck gunowners fought to have the AR15 kept off the "restricted" list, because the extra red tape on buying one would destroy the semi shooting sports.

Don't buy the idiocy. How hard would it have been to have to prove you could drive a stick-shift before you were allowed to touch a car? (To make gun licenses TRULY a safety thing you must ban people from touching guns before they get their licence, remember?)

Yeah, it could probably be done to some degree; but it's a lot easier to learn to use a gun if you buy one and some ammo and apply common sense. Methods forced down your throat will cost a lot more, and discourage participation.
 

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Mr Battler: you don't ned to spend $1000 to safely lock up a gun, you can do it for about $50. Get thee to sears and get a big, solid steel toolbox that padlocks. Stop by Home Depot and get some 3" long 1/4" lag bolts. Take the tool box and drill about eight 1/4 holes equally spaced in the bottom and run those lag bolts through the floor into the studs in the floor of your closet (don't tell your wife you drilled holes in the floor). The shag carpet will cover them when you leave.
 

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Originally posted by Patrickl:
Some is certainly political, however those that push for such measures point to negligent handling incidents as reasons for the need for such laws. It doesn't matter whether such incidents are statistically significant or not.

When it happens it happens and it is fodder for more restrictions.
I'll agree with you on this. But even if there were NO accidents, they would continue to use gang shootings, acts of terrorism, crimes committed with stolen weapons, and the ever present fear of the stockpiled weapons getting into the hands of the children as reasons to test and license gun owners with the true intention of inconveniencing people out of their right to bear arms.

They will use every underhanded method possible but lets not give them any undeserved credit for their concern about our well-being.
 

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New shooters can be really intimidated at a range. Sometimes I think the stress makes them worse than they would do out on their own in the woods. They are scared and yet want to look normal to the shooters around them. They would like to ask questions , but don't want to be singled out as uneducated. These folks like us are dangerous without skill or instruction. Talk to them and start with the absolute basics. How to load, how to fire , how to be sure the gun is empty. That all should happen before they come strolling in with a hot weapon at the range. If they atre not acting like some know it all wise guy I would give them some friendly advise and welcome them to the range, if they act like jerks I would try to get them out of the place fast. I remember being at the range with my first gun. I was a bit scared and knew basic gun safety, but not about my first gunin particular. I could have used some help and safety advise... Fortunately I survived a rough start and got good gun safety imbedded in me. I am now a very proficiant teacher and advocate for combat shooting . It did not happen overnight.
 

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Right on Quantico, Its a natural tendancy not to ask for help in any endevor for fear of some one making fun of you. There is never! any shortage of people who are willing to jump right in and make a person feel like and Idiot. Granted, when handling firearms there is no room for poor safety practices,but most people will still try and stumble through anything before asking for help even when they need it. The case here would appear to be a lack of proper range control.? One of the reasons we very seldom ever go to a range, all of our practice, gun handling and marksmanship it done in the wilds. Fortunatly we live where we can get out and shoot with out much problem.
PS: Not knockin gun ranges, I've just always felt more comfortable with the family in our natural environment and not in a bldg.
 

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I've observed the same kind of unsafe acts, including a father allowing his 9 year old son to sweep a revolver around the range. When corrected, he said that the gun was unloaded & he would handle his son with no help from anyone else. I advised him that the gun had been unloaded, was now loaded, covering anyone with a gun was unsafe. He got lippy, then he got thrown out with instructions to adjust his attitude or not come back. The kid swept me & a friend with the "unloaded" Python. Totally ruined my day.
Women are generally easier to teach. They don't have as much macho crap to unload. More willing to learn. Better natural shots too.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everyone for your responses. As many may have figured out I have not been shooting at indoor ranges long, I learned to shoot outside as a kid with people I knew and trusted. Now, living in a city I am forced to shoot indoors if I want to keep my skills up.

Didn't really expect the thread to weave towards the political side but after reading those posts it certainly merits discussion. Talked to the range owner this am, he told me he had this person flagged in his shooters database and will talk to her when she returns. I know I will be more willing (thanks to everyone here) to help out a newbie next time and maybe short circuit an incident like this.
 

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thunderheart, I totally understand your confusion over your reaction to this incident. I think you handled yourself superbly in the situation. Because when the fear of death is ever so slightly presented. The logical brain does'nt return very fast. You reacted to protect yourself from harm. As a gun you did'nt know from loaded or not was aimed at you. And you took control of the situation. Bravo you are a real hero from the reaction you've shown. You are better than most my friend.
 

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california does require testing for purchasing a firearm, but not for renting one. if she didn't even know how to chamber a round she probably didn't even own it. at my range they barely even check id. kinda scary. i had a couple of people next to me one day that would start laughing and howling every time a shot went off. kinda made me think of a couple of four year olds. they even chambered one before even approaching the firing line. some people just aren't cut out for the responsibility involved. God help us all when we go to the range.

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Nothing like the smell of Breakfree to make my day complete.
 

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Originally posted by BOLANTEJ:
california does require testing for purchasing a firearm, but not for renting one. if she didn't even know how to chamber a round she probably didn't even own it. at my range they barely even check id. kinda scary. i had a couple of people next to me one day that would start laughing and howling every time a shot went off. kinda made me think of a couple of four year olds. they even chambered one before even approaching the firing line. some people just aren't cut out for the responsibility involved. God help us all when we go to the range.

Yep, you just never know what you are going to run into on a private range that rents. We had someone blow his brains out at the local range here.

I have to admit that the range here is very tough on checking guns. I was in after duty last night and they sent a guy packing for having a loaded mag in his shooting bag next to the gun. It's against the law here in Calilifornia to have a loaded mag next to the gun.

The owner knows I am a cop but when I come in for a session in civilian clothing there's no exception for me either. He checks my guns, mags, and ID.
 
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