Huge, fascinating discussion at Tam's on the rules at a local range and what is and is not safe.
For the record, put me in the "less touchee, less ka-blooie" camp: that gun in your holster is safest if you simply keep it in your holster. My own habit is to not be shooting the gun I am presently carrying when at the range, which necessitates at least two firearms I'm okay carrying and really three, on the malfunction principle that "two is one and one is none." YMMV and most people look askance at what I am likely to be carrying these days (a Colt Pocketlite .380 or an old, aluminum Star BKM 9mm).
However, the Indy Parks Department does not agree; when you leave the parking lot at Eagle Creek Range and head back to the shooting area, they don't want you carrying a loaded weapon, period. Hey, their range, their rules. And consider the neigborhood:
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Okay, ya gotta clear. Question is, where and how -- and my local gun-store pals have many bullet-through-the-floor-pan stories to share. Not to worry, there is a sand barrel at the range, at the entrance to the Police Only Classroom building. (The building with indoor plumbing. Not that I'm jealous. The Parks Department maintains portalets even closer to the range proper, after all). Our friends at IMPD appear willing to share their sand barrel, being no more fond of NDs than anyone else and wantin' 'em to happen, as they occasionally and rarely do, into a nice receptacle of the proper sort.
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Clear there. Not in the parking lot. Not in your car. There are highways to the West, North and East. There's a "bark park" to the Southeast.
As for the meta-levels of the discussion at Tam's, I'm seeing a lot of good points. Ideally, the least amount of fiddling is the greatest amount of safety, no matter if you are Col. Cooper or J. Random Newb. ...We don't always get the ideal, which is one of the many reasons for the Three Rules and why it is important to not allow the routine task of clearing your firearms become too routine.
DAYTON HAMVENTION 2013
23 hours ago