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Doing our due diligence, we have found verbiage in our insurance policy, that basically requires a Certified Range Officer to be present during all shooting activities.
Unless an RO is present, there is great concern of the policy not being worth it's weight in paper!
This creates a huge problem, for un staffed clubs, where members may shoot 24/7.
How are other clubs dealing with this issue? The only solution that we can come up with, is to have all members take the RO course and become Certified Range Officers.
MG
 

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Doing our due diligence, we have found verbiage in our insurance policy, that basically requires a Certified Range Officer to be present during all shooting activities.
Unless an RO is present, there is great concern of the policy not being worth it's weight in paper!
This creates a huge problem, for un staffed clubs, where members may shoot 24/7.
How are other clubs dealing with this issue? The only solution that we can come up with, is to have all members take the RO course and become Certified Range Officers.
MG
I am not privy to my clubs insurance policy, however, we had a death due to a skeet shooter either having a medical emergency and shooting himself or just plain shooting himself. We are one of those 24/7 clubs like you mention.

What saved the club was that when the unfortunate "accident" was that the skeet shooter was breaking multiple and clearly posted club rules. He was shooting a .410 revolver (clearly not allowed due to rules saying shotgun only and a handgun did not meet the definition of shotgun) and also he was shooting from the high house landing or steps which violated the rule that shooting is only allowed from designated shooting positions.

So long story short, posted rules saved the club. The late member's widow sued the gun club twice and so far the club is still in operation. I am assuming either the insurance company covered it or the lawsuit was thrown out. The club could not weather a large payout, which is a related but seperate issue.

Sadly, we are having other issues with membership blatantly disregarding other rules, such as "no rifles on the pistol range" and we are finding steel targets being punched through. We installed video cameras and sure enough, rifles were being shot on the pistol range. The lease explicitly states no rifles. So we are going to have to crack down and expel some members. Hate to do it, but what else can you do?

You bring up a great point, all clubs need to do due diligence and ensure their survival.

I think in your case, Mr. Polo, if members want 24/7 access then have them produce a RO cert. If not, then they can shoot when RO are available. Or perhaps find a new insurance policy but I bet that is onerous.
 

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Is this a Nationwide policy via the NRA? What is the exclusion? All Liability?
I hold an agents and adjuster license in 28 states and reviewed my clubs policy a couple of years ago and found all kinds of holes that scared me.
I don't remember any RO stipulation. Looks like I will be going to the next board meeting asking for the latest policy. .
 

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This might not be entirely applicable to you but this is the procedure we have at our club in eastern Canada.

Our range rules state that anytime a range is active, an RSO must be present. When more one than one person is using a range, someone is required to act as the RSO. The RSO doesn't need to be approved by the club or have any other type of official certification. The RSO just needs to know and understand the range operation rules for our club. Each range has the operating procedures posted right next to the range flag so even if someone isn't familiar with, or has acted as a RSO before, they can follow the posted rules. This works well for new members calling a cease fire and provides a step by step process to follow.

Our membership application requires a signature and an acknowledgement that the member has read and understands the club's range operating instructions and range safety rules. New members are also required to attend an orientation day.

Seems to work for us and satisfied the requirements set out by those approving our range certification.
 

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This might not be entirely applicable to you but this is the procedure we have at our club in eastern Canada.

Our range rules state that anytime a range is active, an RSO must be present. When more one than one person is using a range, someone is required to act as the RSO. The RSO doesn't need to be approved by the club or have any other type of official certification. The RSO just needs to know and understand the range operation rules for our club. Each range has the operating procedures posted right next to the range flag so even if someone isn't familiar with, or has acted as a RSO before, they can follow the posted rules. This works well for new members calling a cease fire and provides a step by step process to follow.

Our membership application requires a signature and an acknowledgement that the member has read and understands the club's range operating instructions and range safety rules. New members are also required to attend an orientation day.

Seems to work for us and satisfied the requirements set out by those approving our range certification.
That's the accepted practice that we do as well. I'm curious if our policy recquires a third party cert, such as the NRA, or if you can just self identify as RO? Good points and some questions!
 

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If the club has an exam to be passed for the RSO designation then it could require the exam be passed by every member. In that case there would be an RSO present any time the range is in operation. That is what we do at my club. It is a bit of a pain because it requires re-certification every 5 years. The club is in New Jersey and has several lawyers as members and officers.
The certification and re-certification is not easy. It requires 90% to pass and the questions are very detailed regarding range rules. I had to study hard for the recertification.
 

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I'm curious as to what would happen to the ro in a situation like black and gold gave in his thread. If one was on duty I can't imagine the ro not being named in a lawsuit along with the club. Lawyers tend to go after anyone remotely connected to an incident. As an agent maybe henrydog could shed some light on it. Without the club covering insurance for the person I wouldn't think the ro would want to be responsible. Dang, something else to worry about! In this day and age its something that I guess should be thought about. Good questions mark.
 

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I find this very interesting. Our club in Bellingham, WA is a 4 trap and one skeet field club. What happens when you have a club that is shotgun and pistol only and guys are there shooting their rifles. Do they listen to a Range Officer and comply or become belligerent and cause the RO problems. Are RO's armed to protect themselves or do they have a cell phone to call for help from police. Does your club have adequate cell reception and what would response time be from police or sheriff departments.

Not to mention having visitors to your gun club who have anger issues and have guns. I can see where being a shotgun only club is an advantage when these issues come up.

PD
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm curious as to what would happen to the ro in a situation like black and gold gave in his thread. If one was on duty I can't imagine the ro not being named in a lawsuit along with the club. Lawyers tend to go after anyone remotely connected to an incident. As an agent maybe henrydog could shed some light on it. Without the club covering insurance for the person I wouldn't think the ro would want to be responsible. Dang, something else to worry about! In this day and age its something that I guess should be thought about. Good questions mark.
As long as there was an RO present, the insurance policy would cover all legal fees for the club, it's officers and employees IE the RO.
We carry a 10 million dollar liability policy, but if you don't adhere to the rules of it, it is basically toilet paper.
 

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I find this very interesting. Our club in Bellingham, WA is a 4 trap and one skeet field club. What happens when you have a club that is shotgun and pistol only and guys are there shooting their rifles. Do they listen to a Range Officer and comply or become belligerent and cause the RO problems. Are RO's armed to protect themselves or do they have a cell phone to call for help from police. Does your club have adequate cell reception and what would response time be from police or sheriff departments.

Not to mention having visitors to your gun club who have anger issues and have guns. I can see where being a shotgun only club is an advantage when these issues come up.

PD
My club is about to find out. Our club president was the town police chief before retiring so I'm sure he will know what to do.

Being shotgun only is an advantage only until someone decides to bring a .410 revolver to the skeet field and shoot themselves.
 

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Free advice to everyone. Insurance is regulated by each State. Most contracts are similar...but not the same due to that.
1) someone needs to read the policy and the Dec page.
2) Do not buy coverage from some mom and pop agent or a guy at the club. It might be fine for you home/auto but commercial insurance is a different beast.
3) Find a commercial agent that has placed this kind of coverage before, also find a Independent agent that sells for several companies. They will be able to compare price and coverages.

And finally before I get off my soapbox, if you can afford to shoot trap you need a personal umbrella policy.
 

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MG: Very interesting post. At a very large club South of Lansing Michigan, the insurance policy from Michigan Millers does not require an RSO. Their D&O policy does not cover employees. Employees are sort of covered under the liability policy, but if they are volunteers it’s tough to make a case that they are employees. Some of these policies have holes big enough that a mute swan could get through.
JB
 

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Broadway's description sounds exactly like procedures at our club.
We are a very small club where members come and go as they please, outside of scheduled shoots.
First person on the range is the designated Range Officer. When that person leaves, they are to hand over RO to another person.
Canadian clubs get their range insurance primarily from the National Firearms Association or the Canadian Shooting Sports
Association. Our club has substantial additional liability and insurance on club assets.
We are licensed as a range by Federal law. Our procedure has sufficed to this point, but some larger ranges have been required to have RSO staff for all operating hours.
 

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MG: Very interesting post. At a very large club South of Lansing Michigan, the insurance policy from Michigan Millers does not require an RSO. Their D&O policy does not cover employees. Employees are sort of covered under the liability policy, but if they are volunteers it’s tough to make a case that they are employees. Some of these policies have holes big enough that a mute swan could get through.
JB

Michigan is an insurance nightmare and truly requires an expert. There should be a floater for available for volunteers. This is were my comment about a personal umbrella come into play if you are a regular volunteer. If there is a gap, at least you personally have some protection.
 
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Doing our due diligence, we have found verbiage in our insurance policy, that basically requires a Certified Range Officer to be present during all shooting activities.
Unless an RO is present, there is great concern of the policy not being worth it's weight in paper!
This creates a huge problem, for un staffed clubs, where members may shoot 24/7.
How are other clubs dealing with this issue? The only solution that we can come up with, is to have all members take the RO course and become Certified Range Officers.
MG
In accordance with my clubs insurance policy, a board member (aka RO) must be present during any target shooting (shotgun only club).
 

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A couple comments...

Club members are typically excluded from general liability. Users of most ranges sign a waiver acknowledging the inherent danger of shooting sports releasing the club from liability.

If the member intentionally breaks the rules by using a prohibited firearm and/or ammunition, or using the facility other than agreed to, does that not break the member's covenant with club?!

Lastly, do clubs really need to be accessible 24/7?! If a club can't be manned 24/7, the possible inconvenience to a small segment of membership may be a worthwhile tradeoff, if it offers improved club security.

Rules are only applicable to the rule abiding members who intend to follow them. Members who unilaterally choose to break rules deserve to be terminated.
 

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This does not surprise me in the least. I told the shooters here about the changes to our clubs insurance policy last year. How the insurance companies are tightening there grip on the shooting clubs to keep things safe. Nobody wanted to listen to my story last year. Good Luck to us all, to keep things safe. break em all jeff
 

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Doing our due diligence, we have found verbiage in our insurance policy, that basically requires a Certified Range Officer to be present during all shooting activities.
Unless an RO is present, there is great concern of the policy not being worth it's weight in paper!
This creates a huge problem, for un staffed clubs, where members may shoot 24/7.
How are other clubs dealing with this issue? The only solution that we can come up with, is to have all members take the RO course and become Certified Range Officers.
MG
We're in VA and the club has about the same policy, outdoor range can only be opened by a certified RSO and if an RSO opens the range outside the normally prescribed hours, they accept responsibility for supervising anyone else on the range. We're about a 500 member club and there are around 40 trap RSOs at any given time. Club is open for member/guest trap shooting on Tuesday afternoon and Sunday afternoon with an assigned RSO. Members can open the trap range during prescribed hours (I think it's 10am to 9pm) but they must be certified to do so. We also have a sign in book for all members/guest and the RSO, with time in/time out and number of rounds shot per person.
 

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Our club has all members act as range officers. Who ever shows up first is the RO. Once that person leaves they hand off to the next in line and so on.
I rarely have more than 3-4 other shooters on a range at any times so it’s not a big deal.
 
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