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Please take the time to learn how to operate your gun before you step up to the Trap line.

The other day a shooter was having trouble. It's a common issue, but shouldn't be something difficult to figure out; the safety was on. Needless to say, they called for a bird, tried to shoot and nothing happened. It was a pump gun so, thinking the round didn't fire, they tried to open the action, but because the trigger hadn't been pulled, the action was locked. If they knew how to operate the gun this wouldn't have been an issue either. Alas, this shooter didn't have a clue.

So, with finger on the trigger, the shooter kept pulling on the slide harder and harder. Finally the shooter next to them pointed out the safety, they switched it off and fired the gun into the ground about 10' in front of the line. Remember, their finger was on the trigger the whole time. Rattled, this shooter proceeded to break only one target the entire round.

This is our fault. Those of us with experience should never let something like this happen. Help these people learn their guns. If this one had known how to open the slide with the slide release, nothing would have happened. If they had known about the safety, nothing would have happened. If they had been taught rule #3, "Always keep your finger off the trigger until pointed at the intended target" nothing would have happened.
 

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Many clubs would benefit from a short film on gun handling and safety and a signed acknowledgment for any new people before they fire their first round at that facility. It should be applied to all including the grizzled old fogey that has been ”handing guns for 70 years.”
 

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This is our fault.
The hell it is! There is only one person at fault and it's the owner of that firearm. Stop making excuses for negligence.
Most of us spent the time necessary to safely, efficiently and effectively handle our firearm(s) BEFORE heading to the range so the fact that this person failed to do so does not, in any way, make this my fault.
 

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People who don't know should ask.
Unfortunately there are too many YouTube rangers out there shelling out BS information. I see more than my share of new pump gun owners that load the magazine with a closed bolt then pump the gun to load it. They shoot, eject the shell and close the gun again. You tell them to keep the action open and unbelievably they pull the trigger to open the gun. This makes me cringe.
 

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I was shooting yesterday with a young man about 13 years old and his dad. The young man was on the local school team as indicated but his shooting vest with his name and sponsors noted on the vest. He was shooting an inexpensive over and under with a short barrel so I assume it was a field gun. He was on station 1, his dad was on 2 and I was on 3. I noticed he was able to shoot very quickly after I shot. I looked over while I was on station 4 and noticed he was loading 2 shells in his over and under at a time. After the first shot he stood there with the gun with a live round in it waiting for his next shot. I was not sure what he did with the 5th shot on the station and if he loaded 2 and then walked to the next station with a loaded gun.I kindly told him that that was not good safety or shooting etiquette and that he should only load 1 shell at a time and only close the gun when it was his turn to shoot. Fortunately both he and his dad took it well.

I was wondering what the coach of the school team was doing to allow this practice. I really do not think the young man or his father knew enough but I would hope that someone doing the coaching would have noticed this or at least taught them safe gun handling skills.
 

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I have seen this happen as well. Sadly, many who you attempt to help reject your help. I have walked off the line before and will do so again if I think their is an unsafe situation. A couple months back, a person lost a piece of their foot on the trap line due to some stupidity. I was not present when it happened. Good shooting, Rey
 

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You cannot put other people in danger, because of your stupidity. Who doesn't know guns can be dangerous if not handled properly. These type of accidents reflect on all of us. We need to be diligent when we see bad situations and stop them before a tragedy occurs. Usually it is a bystander who suffers from stupidity.

Buster
 

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Seeing many more people show up at the range in this condition. Probably because so many new gun owners out there.
Luckily, we make everyone sign a release every year so those of us who work as RSOs have to interact with them before they shoot. From there it’s pretty easy to Id the newbies (closed action when they show up is usually the first clue) and give them full training. So far they’ve all been thankful to have things explained to them - just showing up at the range is intimidating. It is amazing how many have no experience at all though.
Now if we could get them to stop buying tactical shotguns for trap - but that is the second tell that they need help! :)
 

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A few weeks ago, Nora was teaching a 10 person clinic at our club. She was focused ,watching and filming shooters as a gentleman,not a class member, was shooting alone at the next trap. The solo shooter fired a squib load. Nora heard it and immediately watched what the shooter did next. She watched him remove the hull and she saw that he did not check the barrel. When he put a new shell in, she took off running, and she stopped him from firing. Then she respectfully explained to the shooter what may have happened. They checked the barrel and it was obstructed. I learned a lot from that lesson. We all need to be super aware and respectful of shooters who may be unfamiliar with possible mishaps. Someone taught us and we need to pass those instructions along.
 

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Years ago at my 2nd requalification for my handgun permit the guy in the stall next to me loaded the rounds in the magazine backwards and tried and was trying to get it his pistol. The RO handled it well, I would have had a rough time keeping my composure.
Made me think, who should I be most concerned about, the bad guy or the good guy.
 

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The most dreaded question that a hunting guide hears from his hunters in the bottom of a commercial goose pit first thing in the morning is “How the H*** do you load this thing?” You’re watching that guy the rest of the day.
Right , I had a good friend hunting pheasants with 2 other guys, one guy was a local and hunted some but his brother was home from out of state and wanted to hunt, all 3 went out and walked some ground and were going to cross a fence, my buddy handed his gun to his close friend crossed over and and offered to hold the out of states guys gun so he could cross and the guy replied "Thanks but let me put it on safe first" my buddy was like WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He never hunted with them again..............
 

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I’d been invited to a charity sporting clays shoot. Before the shotgun start, I was approached by a very well dressed gent who identified himself as State Representative xx from District yy. I was carrying a heavily engraved Merkel. He said “ You look like you know what you are doing, I just bought this Benelli, can you tell me where the bullets go?”
Guessing that some group was sponsoring his shooting that day, I asked who he was shooting with. He told me the name of a group that I had shot with before. I took him to that group leader and asked him to be sure someone stood a few inches from his right shoulder for at least the first few stations. When I told the group leader what the State Rep asked, he nodded and said he’d take care of it personally.
 
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