Shooting Range Etiquette


Going to a shooting range can be a fun experience, but there are some guidelines everyone should follow in order to keep everyone safe and ensuring that everyone is having a fun experience.

As with everything involving handling a gun, you should always treat the gun as loaded, never point at something you’re not prepared to shoot at, know what your target is and what’s behind it, and keep your finger off the trigger until you have the target in sight and you’re ready to shoot. Beyond these basic rules though, there are others that are specific to shooting at a range with other people.

Listen to the Range Officer
There’s many instances where the range officer might be offering important information or working to keep people safe that you can’t necessarily see. They tell you when it is ok to shoot and when to cease fire as well as establishing basic rules of the range. It’s also important that during a cease fire that you aren’t touching your firearms. Take this time to change targets or do something else you may need to do that doesn’t involve touching your gun.

Follow the Rules of the Range
Beyond listening to the range officer, often there are rules of the range that may limit what is safe to shoot. If you’re shooting at a 50 ft indoor range, they often have rules that exclude high-powered rifles simply because the space can’t handle that type of firepower. Check with the range to make sure your specific firearm is appropriate for the space. Along with this, they often have rules that limit having one firearm on the range at a time. This keeps you safe as well as others. Finally, even if the range doesn’t have an explicit rule, you should make sure you leave the place ready for the next person by cleaning up before you leave.

Be respectful of your neighbors and their things
Unless there is something that puts them or others in danger, don’t bother them while they are shooting. This means not touching, talking, or hovering immediately behind them while they are actively shooting. While they are shooting, concentration and space are important pieces of feeling comfortable and being safe while shooting. Also, never touch someone’s firearm without asking. Their firearm may look awesome, but generally if you ask, others will have no hesitation in letting you see it. Just remember to safety check it as soon as you pick it up.

Have fun!
As a final note, remember to have fun. After all, the reason you go to a range is to have a good time with something you love while increasing your skills safely.

This article is brought to you by Nashville Armory, which features climate controlled pistol and rifle rated bays and a training center offering a wide variety of classes for any skill level lead by certified instructors. Visit for more.