Every day, I see countless social media posts from women who are utilizing their Second Amendment rights, particularly at the gun range, which is awesome! Women are the fastest growing demographic of gun owners across the nation. As a woman in the gun industry, I feel compelled to help educate other women, particularly on safety issues. Here’s a guide to five of the biggest no-nos at the gun range.
1. Know how to handle your firearm.
Before you even get to the gun range, you should have significant practice handling your firearm when it’s completely unloaded. You should know the weight of your gun and how to properly hold and grip it. This will keep you from being surprised when you initially load and fire the gun. Being surprised with a loaded weapon in your hand can cause you to jump and flinch, which could result in you missing your intended target.
2. Dress for the occasion.
When you go to the gun range, the most important thing is your safety. Looking cute isn’t the object, practicing with your firearm is. Because you’re dealing with hot shell casings, you should protect as much of your skin and body as possible. Trust me, spent brass CAN fall down your shirt. And it HURTS!
Instead, wear a shirt that has a high neckline and jeans or pants that completely cover your legs. This will keep your skin protected from spent casings and you’re less likely to have slivers of brass make their way into your skin. Imagine an intensified splinter. That’s what it feels like.
3. Tie your hair back.
I’ve seen women who leave their hair down because it looks cute. Reality check: the guys and gals standing next to you at the range don’t care what your hair looks like. They’re there to train, just like you are. Putting your hair up keeps it out of your face. What happens if your hair falls in your face when you go to pull the trigger? Your first instinct is to brush your hair out of your face, which causes your whole body to move, including the hand and arm your firearm is in. The last thing we’d want is for that distraction to seriously hurt someone.
4. Have hearing and eye protection.
Most ranges won’t allow you to go near live fire without ear and eye protection on. Invest in a quality pair of ear mufflers and range glasses. Personally, I’m a fan of the over-the-ear mufflers but some like to use the foam ear plugs. Some use a combination of the two, depending on how noisy their range is. Range glasses protect your eyes from any spent casings and debris that are associated with a number of shooters coming in and out of the range.
5. Make sure you’re prepared.
Do you have everything you need for a safe, successful trip to the range? Making sure you have all of the proper tools is important to make sure you have fun while staying safe!
Here’s my personal range check list, most of which stays in my range bag:
- Guns with extra magazines
- Appropriate ammo for each gun (I usually shoot several hundred rounds every visit)
- Ear and eye protection
- Masking tape and targets
- First aid kit
- Extra hair ties