How Shooting Ranges Could Cut Down On Firearm Rental Liabilities

Law Blog

The United States has experienced renewed enthusiasm in recreational shooting. Firing ranges frequently offer inexpensive gun rentals to those who are interested in spending an hour "putting holes in paper." Since firearms do present a danger to the shooter and anyone else in the range, the proprietor should take extra precautions, or else he/she could end up in civil court.

Avoid Flimsy Defenses

A common policy at firing ranges is to only rent to someone who also brings a gun he/she owns to the range. The notion here is the possession of the gun establishes that there is some level of experience with firearms. Honestly, such an assessment is a flimsy one. Owning a firearm only reveals a background check was performed during the purchase. It does not establish the owner actually fired the weapon one time much less has any real serious experience or knowledge. 

If you rent a firearm to someone who has no real experiences actually shooting one, it would be difficult to avoid appearing negligent after an accident occurs.

Ascertaining the Experience of the Renter

As the saying goes, if you want to know something, just ask. Ask specific questions about the renter's experience.

Hand a first-time renter a form with a series of questions on it. Ask the questions out loud and get a verbal confirmation along with a written one. Examples of questions include:

  • "Do you have any experience with firearms?"
  • "Do you have experience with the particular firearm you are renting?"
  • "Are you legally allowed to possess a firearm?"

Consulting with a personal injury attorney, such as Fabiano Law Offices, or other lawyer who handles civil liabilities is advised when drafting up the questions and related forms. Omissions of pertinent questions would not be helpful if a civil suit arises. Also, you may wish to mail copies of completed documents to the attorney so he/she has them on file.

Institute a Safety and Training Policy

Put a rule in place that those new to the firing range must clearly demonstrate how to safely operate the weapon they choose to rent. Have "dummy rounds" available so the customer can safely load and unload the weapon. The client must demonstrate the safe operation of the rental gun regardless of any claims to experience.

For those who are new to shooting, require the customer undergo a short, mandatory 20 minute "safety lesson" as a requirement to renting. 

When In Doubt, Don't Rent

Since your entire business could collapse in the aftermath of an avoidable accident, invoke your right to refuse service if you don't feel comfortable renting someone a firearm. Doing so might not only save a business, it could save a life.


5 February 2015

Choosing To Fight

Although I am far from perfect, I have focused on abiding by the local laws for the vast majority of my life. Unfortunately, about five years ago, I realized that I was being accused of a crime that I didn't commit. I thought about letting the trial run its course, but then I realized that fighting would be important to ensure my future. I teamed up with a great lawyer, and things became much easier overnight. My legal counsel told me what to do and what to avoid, and he was able to prove the facts in a court of law. This blog is all about choosing to fight charges.