The following video uploaded by should serve as a warning to any competition shooter who finds themselves getting lax in the safety department. Before you watch, we’d like to remind readers and viewers that sport shooting is one of the safest pursuits out there. The severity of this incident underscores how seriously we as sportsmen and women must take range safety whenever we’re out. This is especially the case when shooting on a stage with multiple visual obstacles.

Image is a screenshot of video by on YouTube

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21 thoughts on “Video: This is Why You Should Always Make Sure the Range is Clear Before You Shoot

  1. I see absolutely zero fault of the shooter in this in any way. Being an official, sanctioned event, this incident was the pure fault and failure of the Range Safety Officers.
    It is their sole job to ensure the range is both safe and clear for the shooter, as the shooter probably had zero ability to check the course before starting his course of fire.

    1. While I do agree it is the final responsibility of the RO to know the range is clear before allowing the stage to fired on, he/she is not their sole responsibility.
      The responsibility is always shared between everyone attending the event. All eyes, all minds need to be focused on what and where others are at all times. Will everyone be aware of where everyone else is at all times, no. That is why it is always a shared responsibility of each person attending. With the RO as the final authority.
      I do agree that the shooter has a hard time being able to make certain the course is clear, as in a complex course like this one. Often the shooter is restricted to a small area to start the stage, lacking the ability of being able to sight the stage for safety.

      1. Per USPSA rules (and this looks like a USPSA match) the competitor is only allowed to take one step after “Make Ready” command is issues. Shooter did exactly as he should have; stop shooting when he sees the guy on the range. This is an RO faux pas. Both ROs blew it. Major brain fart by ROs

      2. Agreed, looks like a USPSA match to me also. Few matches allow the shooter to move, much if any after the “Make Ready”, stage D.Q. if you do, or at least penalty points.
        Valid point as in fact the person, myself included, people are calling the RO, is actually the Timer, should be a Range Officer off to one side. While often the Timer can be an RO, not always. However, both have the very dire responsibility to check the range and with each other, before starting the stage.

      3. Agreed at most matches he is an RO, however, it the timer does not need to be an RO at all shooting matches, is all I saying.

    2. RO/SO should always be the last one downrange. Shooter bears no responsibility unless he saw the person downrange (not possible, in this instance).

    1. Wildman. I will agree with the post above. The shooter has no way to clear beyond the barriers and rightfully trusted the RSO had done so. The fault is purely on the RSO for that stage. He should be the very last person downrange. As the RSO you do not return to the firing line until all personnel have done so before you.

    2. Often a course of fire is not possible to verify as clear when you are the shooter. In a simple course you can see all the targets and what is around them. However, in a complex or lengthy course of fire, the shooter is often confined to a small starting area, with limited to no visibility of everything down range.

  2. OMG SO GLAD that guy didn’t get shot. This shows the true professionalism that shooter had to come to a complete stop on a dime.

    1. So true!! Most times guns just won’t stop shooting themselves until they run out of bullets. I’ve seen it often in cartoons and on anti-gun sites!

  3. Being an RO, this RO needs to be removed, period!
    On complex courses of fire, it is always important for the RO to know where everyone he allowed down range is before the stage is started.
    As for the person down range, what the hell was he doing/thinking?
    He was not paying attention, he started to duck behind a target, he had to have been aware of the stage was being fired on. He should have been yelling, he should have paid attention to commands by the RO. He needs to be removed from the range, suspended or possibly expelled from using same!
    The only one in this scenario that shows any sense was the shooter. He actually was identifying his targets and immediately noticed and stopped fire when he noticed movement.
    This was a complete breakdown at that range and I would question how it is run, from a safety point of view.
    The RO needs to be removed and retrained as an RO, period!
    The match should have been suspended, pending review of all procedures at that range, period!
    This is the one of the most serious kinds of mistakes that can be made. It did not happen by accident, it happened by extremely careless and lax procedures being allowed!

  4. Too busy filming to worry about safety. Morons. Too bad they cut the film off when they did. I would have like to have seen the inevitable @zzkicking that happened, too.

  5. As a CRSO I would have fired the RSO responsible for the second shooter going hot without the range being clear. It is set in the rules before hand that no shooter goes down range without everyone being accounted for. If this is not in the rules it is added just because of this type of accident. I never did hear anyone call cease fire. All I got was “what’s going on here!” Who in the heck trained these guys?

  6. People operating with “Assumption” as the basis of actions. There’s always one million reasons for negligence and incompetence according to those that make excuses for NOT taking all precautions, time, and energy to make sure of a situation.
    I have been combating this failed-thinking my entire life, and every year it seems to become worse than the previous year–more and more people seem to opt for ‘assumption’ rather than expending the additional energy required to achieve total accountability.
    The number one culprit that produces this type of stupidity is, speaking in general terms, partial sentences, and believing it’s not your job, or believing you have a right to do things your own way—both are examples of ‘subjective thinking’.
    This situation did not occur due to lack of experience on the part of the RO per se, but due to a lazy mind–which always leans on assumptions.
    There is only one assumption to make, and that is,,,, That I don’t assume and everyone else does—then use this assumption to do the extra work to be a pain in everyone’s butt, by essentially demanding exact answers to exact questions, from all staff.
    As has already been perfectly stated on this thread, “RO protocol was not followed or implemented 100%. Someone skipped, ignored, or defied procedure and policy and it was due to ‘assumption’.

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