It is great to see people whose only exposure to firearms is from movies and video games being given the opportunity to actually experience shooting real firearms. The people who run these ranges are to be commended for providing the service, but I wonder what their insurance costs are?
I stopped into an indoor range in Honolulu a few years ago, and spoke to the manager about what it was like running a range for people completely clueless about firearms, as our club was thinking about doing something like that on our property for the multitudes of tourists who inundate our town each year.
I got the whole rundown on the operation, from the moment the customer walks in the door, through signing up, liability waivers, choosing firearms and ammunition, safety talks, range instruction, and the actual shooting.
The firearms provided to tourists are held in position, pointed downrange, and unable to fire at unsafe angles, by 4 steel cables attached to rings on the chosen firearm. In spite of these cables, I observed many marks from bullet strikes on the concrete dividing the shooting bays, the floor in front of the bays, the ceiling, and even the shooting benches, all supposedly angles impossible to achieve with the cables attached to the firearms. When questioned, the manager replied that he couldn't say how they happened, some people were just incredibly inept with guns!
After talking to him for about an hour, I came to the conclusion that this was something our club should NOT do. There were far too many liability issues with handing people who were totally unfamiliar with firearms a loaded one, even with one on one instruction within arm's reach. I was unable to recommend to our board that we proceed with the project, or even investigate the costs involved in setting up a system like the one in Honolulu, let alone the liability insurance cost. As I posted above, the people providing these opportunities are to be commended, but I wouldn't want to be involved.
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