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Handling an unloaded firearm ahead of the RO command


9x45

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Stage description is start with unloaded gun and first magazine on top of a table. There is no one downrange, the scorekeeper calls the next shooter, who happens to be a newbie, and he goes up and puts his empty gun downrange on the table ahead of the RO giving him the command. I had said in an earlier thread that should be a warning, but others say it's an automatic DQ. Well I read the current IDPA rule book again and couldn't find the exact wording for this. Any DQ has to reference the exact rule***. And the point is not that the newbie couldn't be DQ'd because of a club rule (example: no handling of firearms except by the direction of an RO, we have that at Palm Springs Gun Club), but rather should a newbie be DQ'd for this action. Most likely the newbie would never return to the game.

*** Same situation but with a visitor downrange, DQ per 2.2.1 Endangering any person, including yourself. This includes sweeping one’s self or anyone else with a loaded or unloaded firearm.

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2.2.4 Handling a firearm except at the firing line. There are only three instances in which a firearm may be removed from the holster:

2.2.4.1 With verbal instruction from a SO.

2.2.4.2 While engaging targets in a CoF under the direct supervision and visual contact of a SO.

2.2.4.3 When in a designated “Safe Area”.

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There are only three instances in which a firearm may be removed from the holster:

2.2.4.1 With verbal instruction from a SO.
2.2.4.2 While engaging targets in a CoF under the direct supervision and visual contact of a SO.
2.2.4.3 When in a designated “Safe Area”.

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Is this a local match or a a bigger match? My take is that he's new and I'd cut hima. Break. We would have a chat about what he did and why he shouldn't do it but he could continue. The sport needs to grow and chasing someone off is not going to do it. This may not be a popular decision but it is what I would do. Especially knowing he was called to the line.

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I know at the club I shoot at it would possibly be a firm warning and no DQ...I say this because I was keeping score one match and a shooter who had completed his cof discharged a round during the SO's commands to unload show clear etc which sprayed myself and the SO with gravel and he was not DQ'd...I think at any state level they would have DQ'd him/her.

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But the newbie shooter was on the firing line, facing downrange, at the designated start position, no? In front of the table.

So what? There are only three times when someone can remove a gun from the holster:

2.2.4 Handling a firearm except at the firing line. There are only three instances in which a firearm may be removed from the holster:

2.2.4.1 With verbal instruction from a SO.

2.2.4.2 While engaging targets in a CoF under the direct supervision and visual contact of a SO.

2.2.4.3 When in a designated “Safe Area”.

a) He did not have verbal instruction to do so from an SO, so 2.2.4.1 does not apply.

B) He was not engaging targets in a CoF, so 2.2.4.2 does not apply.

c) He was not in a designated safe area, so 2.2.4.3 does not apply.

This is an immediate and mandatory DQ. No ifs and or buts about it. Keeping your gun in your holster is one of the primary safety rules of IDPA. Violating that rule must be handled with a DQ.

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Absolutely a DQ. And being polite while administering a DQ isn't hard. It's unfortunate that the shooter was new, but with a little coaching, he should take this as a valuable lesson and come back to the next match. Bending rules and "cutting breaks" for safety violations is never a good idea.

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Agree with the DQ but one of the clubs I shoot at gives the shooter that DQed a free pass to the next match. Usually helps smooth things out and encourages them to come back.

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Most likely the newbie would never return to the game.

That's his prerogative but the rule is ABSOLUTELY clear. He DQ'd himself and needs to face the consequences of his actions.

He doesn't have to leave the match. He can stay, help with the pasting and brassing, and learn while watching others shoot. If he chooses to never come back, oh well, buh-bye.

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DQ.. If your going to play the game you need to understand the safety rules are just that, rules not guidelines.. Equal for all... Refund the match fee, say we'd like you to come back, apologize, whatever.. Just remember your protecting the safety of all, not just the feeling of the competitor.

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Absolutely a DQ. And being polite while administering a DQ isn't hard. It's unfortunate that the shooter was new, but with a little coaching, he should take this as a valuable lesson and come back to the next match. Bending rules and "cutting breaks" for safety violations is never a good idea.

Absolutely. I've disqualified two shooters and was polite and respectful to both of them. Both of them took it gracefully.

As 45 Raven said, giving someone a break for a major safety violation is not a good idea, and it isn't doing anyone a favor, especially the shooter.

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At what point do you consider it "out of the holster"...clear, up an inch or so, or merely displaced from the lowest resting position.

What I mean is that if you stop them during the process of them pulling it out, do you DQ?

I don't think you can use the strict definition of "handling the firearm" because then you would have to DQ every time someone pushes down on it to make sure it's still seated in the holster, which I've noticed people doing a whole lot.

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At what point do you consider it "out of the holster"...clear, up an inch or so, or merely displaced from the lowest resting position.

What I mean is that if you stop them during the process of them pulling it out, do you DQ?

I don't think you can use the strict definition of "handling the firearm" because then you would have to DQ every time someone pushes down on it to make sure it's still seated in the holster, which I've noticed people doing a whole lot.

Whoops. Answered with rule from wrong game.

Never mind!

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There should be no leniency with safety. That's a DQ.

If there is no one downrange when he pulls out his unloaded gun, you have a rules issue, not a safety issue. If it's a new shooter, was he properly briefed? If not, why not?

This is an easy placle for a newbie to misunderstand or make a mistake. I think it's a good idea to assign a partner/mentor to a new competitor, and I also think it's a good idea for the RO to keep close track of him to prevent such mistakes.

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There should be no leniency with safety. That's a DQ.

If there is no one downrange when he pulls out his unloaded gun, you have a rules issue, not a safety issue. If it's a new shooter, was he properly briefed? If not, why not?

This is an easy placle for a newbie to misunderstand or make a mistake. I think it's a good idea to assign a partner/mentor to a new competitor, and I also think it's a good idea for the RO to keep close track of him to prevent such mistakes.

Those rules are there for our safety.

I agree with the points you make. It doesn't change the fact that a rule with the consequence of a DQ was broken.

I did it once while still being wet behind the ears. I misunderstood the stage description and thought I had to start at retention. So when the SO saw me draw my pistol, he told me I a very stern manner to holster it.

I didn't get a DQ. Should I have? No one was down range. That's makes it less of a safety issue right? Even if he had DQ'd me, I would have still remained to watch and return the following match.

If they get so bent out of shape for a DQ this early in the game, they aren't going to have a better attitude later either.

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At what point do you consider it "out of the holster"...clear, up an inch or so, or merely displaced from the lowest resting position.

What I mean is that if you stop them during the process of them pulling it out, do you DQ?

I don't think you can use the strict definition of "handling the firearm" because then you would have to DQ every time someone pushes down on it to make sure it's still seated in the holster, which I've noticed people doing a whole lot.

If I stop him before he has cleared the holster, I would give a stern warning and no DQ.

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M1911, so does your club run a half day/full day IDPA training class? Or do you just let newbies show up and shoot? I can tell you from running an IDPA club for 7 years, and having shot over 200 IDPA matches in that same time frame, that newbies only get about 3% of what you tell them the first time out. I am still in favor of liniency in this particular case. Each case is on it's own merit, but any certified RSO has a certain amout of discretion.

And I never, ever, never, put my hand on their gun. First of all, anything that happens, happens to fast to stop, and most times it will cause the newbies to turn with a loaded gun. Just my experience for over 45 years.....

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