To the new shooter, range rules and procedures can sometimes appear to be capricious and solely intended to take all the fun out of an outing. I can assure you that most any rule you encounter exists for good reason. Here are some of the most common FAQs about gun ranges.

What Does a Range Safety Officer Do?

Many ranges have a Range Safety Officer (RSO). His or her role is to keep an eye on things so you can focus on shooting rather than monitoring the overall status of the shooting line. An RSO may provide safety briefings to people entering the range, watch for unsafe behavior and call for hot and cold range conditions. The RSO is there for everyone’s safety!

Why Do I Need Eye and Hearing Protection If I’m Not Even Shooting?

Vertical white metal sign with a thin black border attached to a wooden post at an outdoor shooting range. The sign has WARNING in big red letters followed by EVERYONE MUST HAVE HEARING AND EYE PROTECTION BEYOND THIS POINT in capital black letters.

The noise and pressure generated by a gunshot can exceed 160 decibels. Every time your ears are exposed to a gunshot without protection, you sustain permanent and irreparable damage. You may not realize it at the time, but it happens. Distance helps, but the viewing area at many ranges can be close enough to subject people to hearing damage if they’re not wearing ear protection.

If you see a sign like this, it means that you are close enough to the firing line to experience permanent hearing damage without ear protection.

As for safety glasses, bullet fragments can travel a long way. It’s possible for an errant shot to send fragments straight back toward the shooting line, even at distances of 100 yards or more. Even if you’re just watching, always protect your eyes — you’re only issued one pair at birth!

Read the rest: Answering FAQs About Gun Ranges – USCCA Blog