We went to Iggle Crick yesterday AM. The range was open and practically full when we got there a little after nine.
There's always been a sign there at the entrance to the range areas that says "No Loaded Concealed Weapons Beyond This Point", which I've long thought odd but, hey, IMPD uses the range all the time, so who knows what baroque gun-handling protocols they have. We'd just make it a point to uncover when entering the range area and everything would be okey-dokey, right?
Right. At least up to a point.
Yesterday we showed up to shoot, like we have better than every other weekend for the past year, and I noticed that there were two RSO's there that I'd only seen maybe once before. As Shootin' Buddy and I turned away from the registration table to go up to the line, they saw the guns on our hips and drama ensued:
"No loaded guns in holsters on the firing line!"
"Your sign says no loaded concealed guns beyond this point."
"Well the rules say..." et cetera and yadda.
While teh n00b RSO's and Shootin' Buddy played "Perry Mason and the Case of the Hazy Guidelines", I pulled aside the one RSO I knew and asked him what was up. Apparently the chief RO had usually been pretty casual about the no holstered guns rule with shooters who had demonstrated competency (...and while neither myself nor Shootin' Buddy is being actively recruited by ninjas or SEAL Team 37½, we're a breath of fresh air on a range where the average shooter gets chided for muzzle discipline by an RSO at least once per session) but, yes, technically this was supposed to be a cold range. So I unloaded and showed clear for my guy and apparently Shootin' Buddy had done likewise.
Now the pistol of mine that was so safe that morning eating breakfast at Le Peep and that afternoon at the grocery store was unloaded so it would be safe at the pistol range, too. Raise your hand if that makes sense to you.
See, this is one Lowest Common Denominator "safety" policy that is only going to lead to unnecessary bullet holes. If rigidly adhered to, it means Cletus and Jasper have to fiddle-fart around with loaded guns twice; once on arrival and again on leaving, instead of leaving them safely in their holsters and not touching them. Now, the po-po firearms training building at Iggle Crick is right off the parking lot and has a handy sand-filled clearing barrel, but how many people are going to look for that, much less use it religiously?
Remember: One handy rule for preventing negligent discharges is stop touching your damn gun so much! Think about every story of an ND you've heard: It was somebody holstering or unholstering or clearing or loading or otherwise somehow futzing with the gun, right? It's almost never "The gun was sitting in the holster and went off." Why then, in the name of safety, would you encourage the former rather than the latter?