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When I have been to USPSA matches held at ranges that are also open to the public, the USPSA area is marked or roped.

the liability issues here are great if you don't designate the area.

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Before they sign up for the match, are they competitors? Can they be DQ'd before they register?

At my club, the USPSA match owns the pits and their associated parking lot from 0700 to 1700 on match day. It's a private club --- nonmembers can be asked to leave; members can be barred from a match/referred to the club's BOD......

It doesn't have to involve a dq......

Now, we regularly make pits we're not using, and sometimes we'll be using later in the morning available to the general membership ---- but that's playing nicely with others who play nicely with us. It involves communication --- and if we're not building in a pit yet, and a member needs to fire five rounds to sight in his shotgun with slugs prior to deer season, we try to accommodate that....

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At a match a few months ago, I saw a guy getting ready to gear up at his car. He was attending the match at our local club, but was a new member, and had never shot a USPSA match. His gear was on and he was getting ready to pull his pistol out of its' case and finish what he was doing. I kindly and quietly told him that there were safety areas for that, and that if he didn't use them, he was likely to get DQed. Afterward I saw that he was looking for a squad to shoot with and was steered toward a good group of guys. (I must say that 99.9% of our club members are pretty good guys.) They said he did great for his first match. No problems. No DQ necessary. I think that you can be strict without being a jerk about safety. I have the "It's the rules" attitude rather than the "Because I know more/been doing it longer/said so" type of attitude. People can sense that if you tell them in a way that lets them know you are not a heavy, but looking out for their (and ultimately everyones') best interest and safety.

I hope he returns. I hope many more return. I wish everyone liked this sport, and was as enthusiastic as we are. Sure would make match day great, and workplace talk would be "stage six was this, stage four was that". Now THAT would be cool.

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If the match has not started it would be harsh to try and impose a match DQ. From this side of the ocean the match could not have started if the ranges was still being erected and RO`s arriving by car. We should rather try and get more people to shoot, within our rules than to see how many we can alienate.

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whose trying to alienate? This type of issue is best dealt with a gentle notice of STOP, don't do that! Point them to the safe area. If they refuse, then let the MD handle it. I for one, will not be forgiving nor will I let it slide, I do not want to get shot.

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If the match has not started it would be harsh to try and impose a match DQ. From this side of the ocean the match could not have started if the ranges was still being erected and RO`s arriving by car. We should rather try and get more people to shoot, within our rules than to see how many we can alienate.

You may be missing something here --- we're not trying to see how many people we can alienate. Consider though:

We (MD, AMD, Stage designers and buillders) show up ~ 7:30 to start building, which continues until the 10:00 walkthrough/shooter's meeting. Starting ~ 8:45 registration opens, competitors arrive, some of them help to build stages, some use the time to gear up and get ready. This is all occurring in a relatively small area.

If arriving competitors gear up at their car, it is very likely that they'll be sweeping the folks building the match or fellow competitors. Do you really think that's tolerable?

This game works because we have stringent safety rules and because we are considerate of one another. We work to not endanger others. New competitors are provided information as early as possible about the concept of cold ranges and safe areas --- and are reminded often while getting ready for a safety check. We don't want to dq anyone....

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But when does the match actually start? at Midnight? When you register? When you arrive?

What about setup when it occurs the day before a match? Can you be DQ'd during setup when the match isn't even the same day?

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I agree with Nik, while the rules seem kinda stringent sometimes, they have a proven track record... they work at protecting everyone on the range before AND after a match.

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I agree with Nik, while the rules seem kinda stringent sometimes, they have a proven track record... they work at protecting everyone on the range before AND after a match.

No disagreement there.

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I'm a noob who has never been to a match. I'm trying to learn all I can. Are these safe areas bullet proof? Does someone inspect all weapons entering the safe area to make sure they are clear? What are you allowed to do with you gun in the safe area? I guess what I'm asking is what makes handling a gun in the safe area any safer than handling it anywhere else?

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Loaded ammunition is not allowed in the safe area.

OK, I'm pretty sure you meant loaded guns. But if a range is a "cold range" loaded guns are not allowed anywhere except the firing line. I've really got no problem with "rules are rules" but to DQ 2 grown men standing at the trunk of a car seems a bit much. Would there be any area where someone could attempt to fix a gun that suddenly developed a FTF problem or is it a matter of "run what you brung"?

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Loaded ammunition is not allowed in the safe area.

OK, I'm pretty sure you meant loaded guns. But if a range is a "cold range" loaded guns are not allowed anywhere except the firing line. I've really got no problem with "rules are rules" but to DQ 2 grown men standing at the trunk of a car seems a bit much. Would there be any area where someone could attempt to fix a gun that suddenly developed a FTF problem or is it a matter of "run what you brung"?

He meant loaded ammunition. Actually, you cannot handle ammunition of any kind in a safe area. Live ammo, loaded mags, dummy rounds, etc.

Edited by spankaveli

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Loaded ammunition is not allowed to be handled in the safe area.

OK, I'm pretty sure you meant loaded guns. But if a range is a "cold range" loaded guns are not allowed anywhere except the firing line. I've really got no problem with "rules are rules" but to DQ 2 grown men standing at the trunk of a car seems a bit much. Would there be any area where someone could attempt to fix a gun that suddenly developed a FTF problem or is it a matter of "run what you brung"?

Here are the USPSA Safe Area rules.

2.4 Safety Areas

The host organization is responsible for the construction and placement of a sufficient

number of Safety Areas for the match. They should be conveniently placed

and easily identified with signs. Safety Areas should include a table with the safe

direction and boundaries clearly shown.

2.4.1 Competitors are permitted to use the Safety Areas for the activities stated

below provided they remain within the boundaries of the Safety

Area and the firearm is pointed in a safe direction. Violations are subject

to match disqualification (see Rules 10.5.1 & 10.5.12).

2.4.1.1 Casing, uncasing, and holstering unloaded firearms.

2.4.1.2 Practice the mounting, drawing, “dry-firing” and re-holstering

of unloaded firearms.

2.4.1.3 Practice the insertion and removal of empty magazines and/or to

cycle the action of a firearm.

2.4.1.4 Conduct inspections, stripping, cleaning, repairs and maintenance

of firearms, component parts and other accessories.

2.4.2 Dummy ammunition (including practice or training rounds, snap caps

and empty cases), loaded magazines, loaded speed loading devices and

live rounds must not be handled in a Safety Area under any circumstances

(see Rule 10.5.12).

Edited by ChuckS

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Loaded ammunition is not allowed in the safe area.

OK, I'm pretty sure you meant loaded guns. But if a range is a "cold range" loaded guns are not allowed anywhere except the firing line. I've really got no problem with "rules are rules" but to DQ 2 grown men standing at the trunk of a car seems a bit much. Would there be any area where someone could attempt to fix a gun that suddenly developed a FTF problem or is it a matter of "run what you brung"?

To be very specific about Safety Areas:

2.4 Safety Areas

The host organization is responsible for the construction and placement of a sufficient number of Safety Areas for the match. They should be conveniently placed and easily identified with signs. Safety Areas should include a table with the safe direction and boundaries clearly shown.

2.4.1 Competitors are permitted to use the Safety Areas for the activities stated below provided they remain within the boundaries of the Safety Area and the firearm is pointed in a safe direction. Violations are subject to match disqualification (see Rules 10.5.1 & 10.5.12).

2.4.1.1 Casing, uncasing, and holstering unloaded firearms.

2.4.1.2 Practice the mounting, drawing, “dry-firing” and re-holstering of unloaded firearms.

2.4.1.3 Practice the insertion and removal of empty magazines and/or to cycle the action of a firearm.

2.4.1.4 Conduct inspections, stripping, cleaning, repairs and maintenance of firearms, component parts and other accessories.

Basically, you may handle your gun but you cannot handle ammunition of any kind, spent cases and dummy rounds included, in a Safe Area. You may have magazines or boxes of loaded ammo on your person or in your range bag in a Safe Area, as long as you don't 'handle' it. Pulling a loaded mag off your belt in a Safe Area is a DQ whether it is inserted in a gun or not.

Conversely, you may handle loaded ammo anywhere else on the range, but not your gun.

The intent is to keep the handling of these two items (the gun and the ammo) distinctly separated.

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But when does the match actually start? at Midnight? When you register? When you arrive?

What about setup when it occurs the day before a match? Can you be DQ'd during setup when the match isn't even the same day?

Not to sound flippant, but wouldn't it be easier to just not do something dumb? Show up at set-up someday, wave a gun around at your car, make sure the local match staff observe this, and then see if you're welcome to continue shooting there.....

People make mistakes. Some of those mistakes fall cleanly under the rulebook --- and can be dealt with as such. Some don't. Those usually involve a conversation --- and the offender has a very tiny window to avoid potential repercussions. Taking responsibility for their error goes a long way; becoming argumentative is a good way to be disinvited from future participation.....

It's a volunteer sport. Everything you need to know to fit in, you should have learned in elementary school. It's not hard, don't try to make it so.....

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The intent is to keep the handling of these two items (the gun and the ammo) distinctly separated.

And since you'll hopefully need to reload your mags more often than work on your blaster, you can handle ammo anywhere.....

.....and by limiting gunhandling to safe areas (and on the line under RO supervision) we severely limit the likelihood of guns being pointed at things they shouldn't be....

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I head to my home range to work out a problem with my gun, 4 bays are being used for Uspsa and the 5th pistol bay is for club members. I park beside everyone else, grab my gear and head to range 5. I follow the club rules pertaining to gun handling. I check out my gun, shoot etc. I then go over and help setup for the match and go sign up to shoot the match.

What can happen??

What if someone goes the MD and ask about unsafe gun handling??

*edited to add I'm a club member

Flyin

Edited by Flyin40

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What if someone goes the MD and ask about unsafe gun handling??

*edited to add I'm a club member

Flyin

If this were happening at my club, I'd come find you, give you the gist of the allegation, and ask you what happened. I'd listen to your response, and make a decision depending on what you told me......

Could be anything from "Enjoy the match" to "You better sit this one out....."

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What if someone goes the MD and ask about unsafe gun handling??

*edited to add I'm a club member

Flyin

If this were happening at my club, I'd come find you, give you the gist of the allegation, and ask you what happened. I'd listen to your response, and make a decision depending on what you told me......

Could be anything from "Enjoy the match" to "You better sit this one out....."

What if my polite reponse was that , I followed all the club gun handling rules and it doesn't fall under Uspsa because it is on ranges 1-4. I was on range 5 for club members.

What if I was shooting a shotgun on bay 5 and it was a Uspsa pistol match??

If I was shooting that meant I had a gun out of a holster without RO supervision which is a autmatic DQ per Uspsa but could you DQ me?

This never really happened but just some food for thought. I know as a member of my club if I follow my club rules and I'm on a range not used by Uspsa that if a complaint was made to the club I expect the MD to get talked to by the BOD about overstepping their authority. Uspsa doesn't run the range, the range runs Uspsa match and has final say on whether Uspsa will have a match or not. This happens all the time a Livingston gun club in Michigan and shooting under the baffles. Uspsa has to follow the club rules about shooting under the baffles or they don't get to have a match.

I only bring this up because I would be careful telling people that they have authority over club members prior to or after a match that is not involved with Uspsa or on a range not involved with Uspsa.

I'm with everyone about safety, at a Level II or a Level III this won't an issue because the range will be shut down or at least should be. This is more of a level 1 issue.

My take on it would be that the MD would be a member of the club because that is their local club and would know the range rules and if they were violated then that would make it a club matter not a Uspsa matter. Even if they were not a member a complaint could be made because the clubs do not want unsafe gun handing. Safety is Safety.

We want everyone to be safe but we don't want to create conflict with the club allowing Uspsa to have matches if they have ranges set aside for members. There also may be clubs that may want Uspsa rules enforced for anyone showing up for the Uspsa match including members. That would be fine with me also because that would be a club rule that any member showing up to shoot a XXXXX match must follow all match rules prior to or after the match.

I'm with whatever the club decides, to me they are allowing the match to happen.

Someone mentioned that during Uspsa matches that Uspsa is marked off which is a pretty good idea. At C-ville we have 5 pistols bay and all are used for Uspsa so we really don't have an issue. Anyone on ranges 1-5 fall under Uspsa but we do have ranges up the hill. If a member did go up there they would be separated from the match just because of where the bays are located.

Flyin

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What if...all the USPSA guys said....OK...WE are leaving then? :)

That knife can cut both ways. What I will accept...personally...for safety isn't necessarily bound by USPSA or Club rules. If I think either/both are making me uncomfortable, then I may choose to be somewhere else.

Just food for thought.

BTW...we are all well off the original question.

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What if my polite reponse was that , I followed all the club gun handling rules and it doesn't fall under Uspsa because it is on ranges 1-4. I was on range 5 for club members.

What if I was shooting a shotgun on bay 5 and it was a Uspsa pistol match??

We can play "What if" for a while here ---- but I don't think we'll ever cover all the scenarios. As a CRO/RM/MD fellow club member, I'm not interested in disqualifying anyone arbitrarily. I do get to hear about "issues" at virtually every match I produce ---- from the simple (this doesn't seem to work right, how do we score this) to the complex (this shooter just dq'd). The above approach is the one I follow in all instances --- listen to all parties, interview witnesses if necessary, THEN make a decision, inform the party or parties involved of the decision and the appeals process....

If I was shooting that meant I had a gun out of a holster without RO supervision which is a autmatic DQ per Uspsa but could you DQ me?

If it occurs in the pits --- and we control all of them --- sure, I could. It's not likely though --- because you'd come see me just like club members do, to see if you could sight in a gun or whatever, right? WE're also pretty aware as a match staff --- it's rare for members to sneak into a bay without us noticing and heading them off. (In part, because we've found that a friendly conversation before they empty their truck and set targets, is the best way to make sure everyone stays happy....)

This never really happened but just some food for thought. I know as a member of my club if I follow my club rules and I'm on a range not used by Uspsa that if a complaint was made to the club I expect the MD to get talked to by the BOD about overstepping their authority. Uspsa doesn't run the range, the range runs Uspsa match and has final say on whether Uspsa will have a match or not.

At CJ you might be surprised about the outcome --- the board has very low tolerance for safety infractions, and tends to back their match directors pretty well. (They'll go through the same process --- listen to everyone and make a decision....) The board also gets that these are volunteer sports, that they do involve firearms, and that if "those crazy people who run with guns" think someone acted unsafely, well, do I need to draw you that picture?

I only bring this up because I would be careful telling people that they have authority over club members prior to or after a match that is not involved with Uspsa or on a range not involved with Uspsa.

As a USPSA match director I have no authority in the situation described. AS a club member I have a fiduciary responsibility toward the club and its members and certain limited authority to go with that. You can do what you wish (within club rules) at one of the other ranges. WE don't live in a vacuum however, and there's nothing forcing us to let you sign up for the match --- and you could certainly that decision to the Board of Directors. (Sidenote: I've never had to make that call in ~ 6.5 years of doing this....)

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This never really happened but just some food for thought. I know as a member of my club if I follow my club rules and I'm on a range not used by Uspsa that if a complaint was made to the club I expect the MD to get talked to by the BOD about overstepping their authority. Uspsa doesn't run the range, the range runs Uspsa match and has final say on whether Uspsa will have a match or not.
At CJ you might be surprised about the outcome --- the board has very low tolerance for safety infractions, and tends to back their match directors pretty well. (They'll go through the same process --- listen to everyone and make a decision....) The board also gets that these are volunteer sports, that they do involve firearms, and that if "those crazy people who run with guns" think someone acted unsafely, well, do I need to draw you that picture?

This was meant that I did follow all the club rules and all the club safety rules as well, that there was no safety infraction made but rather another shooter seen me shooting and went to the MD. My club as well wouldn't take safety infractions lightly for either members or guest at matches. I'm with you on this

I only bring this up because I would be careful telling people that they have authority over club members prior to or after a match that is not involved with Uspsa or on a range not involved with Uspsa.
As a USPSA match director I have no authority in the situation described. AS a club member I have a fiduciary responsibility toward the club and its members and certain limited authority to go with that. You can do what you wish (within club rules) at one of the other ranges. WE don't live in a vacuum however, and there's nothing forcing us to let you sign up for the match --- and you could certainly that decision to the Board of Directors. (Sidenote: I've never had to make that call in ~ 6.5 years of doing this....)

I'm with ya on all this stuff Nik and thats why I quoted ya. You know your stuff pretty well and explain it well also. I have seen some overzealous MD quotes lately just just wanted alittle clarification for everyone. Nothing more.

Flyin

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