RANGE SAFETY RULES
Issue Date: December 11, 2020
Safety Guide & Procedures
The following Panama City Beach shooting range rules and regulations are established to ensure safety for individuals using the range as well as safety for our neighbors and surrounding community. All shooters are required to follow and enforce these shooting range rules at our Panama City Beach facility, including the following safety guide and procedures.
The first concern of everyone at The Powder Room is safety.
The Powder Room is a COLD range with limited and preapproved exceptions. This means NO LOADED FIREARMS are allowed anywhere other than on the firing line under the direct supervision of an RSO. The exceptions are certified law enforcement officers, approved RSO’s performing their assigned duties, and others specifically designated by the Range Manager.
Otherwise all firearms must be unloaded and cased or in range bags until loaded on the firing line at the direction of the RSO.
Firearms must never be unattended.
An unloaded firearm is one with (as appropriate) its action open, slide back, cylinder open, bolt open, loading gate open and an EMPTY CHAMBER INDICATOR inserted.
Firing Line Procedures
Remember that you are legally, morally, and ethically responsible for the terminal resting place of every round you fire. All people entering the firing line must abide by our Panama City Beach’s shooting range rules and regulations.
- All persons entering the firing lanes (even as a spectator) must wear approved eye and ear protection.
- All persons entering the firing lanes (even as a spectator) must have executed the appropriate Release.
- All shooters must be capable of loading, aiming and properly supporting any firearm fired. [The Range welcomes differently-abled shooters who employ such techniques and accommodations as may permit them to satisfy this safety requirement.]
- All shooters must be able to keep all rounds fired on an NRA B8 target (or equivalent) (22 ½ x 24”) at 15 yards.
- All shooters must know what to do in the event of a firearm malfunction.
- Junior shooters under 18 years of age must be directly supervised by a parent or legal guardian at all times, who also must have signed the appropriate Release on their behalf.
- Consumption of alcohol or any intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance by persons in the shooting lanes is strictly prohibited and grounds for a lifetime ban from the Range.
- Shooters should wear clothing that protects their skin against flying particles to prevent injury that can lead to a safety issue. Opened-toe shoes, sandals & crocs are not allowed on the firing line.
- All shooters must check in with the RSO on any shooting lane in use to receive a shooting position.
- Shooters must comply immediately with the directions of the RSO.
- Pistols may only be worn holstered on the firing line, and drawn loaded from the holster, with prior approval of the Range Manager.
- Rapid fire is only permitted with prior approval of the Range Manager. Otherwise no more than one shot every two seconds.
- All firearms brought onto the range must be unloaded (action open, slide back, cylinder open, bolt open, loading gate open) and be encased at all times until the shooter is directed to the firing line by the RSO. All firearms not in use by the shooter on the firing line can be kept on tables behind firing line provided the RSO visually inspected the firearm and verified the firearm is unloaded and has an empty chamber indicator in place and the firearms are returned to their case or range bag after the inspection.
- Unauthorized targets are prohibited.
- Never shoot at or near stanchions, support pipes, or other equipment downrange. Place targets in such a way that you do not shoot the target frames.
- Never pass a loaded firearm back and forth between shooters on the firing line.
- Always keep the muzzle pointed down range at the backstop.
- All folding stocks must be extended when firing. No shooting from the hip, no “point shooting.” Only aimed fire is permitted.
- Pick up all your debris and discard it in an appropriate container before leaving. This includes, but is not limited to, all brass, shells, shotgun wads, ammo containers, etc. DO NOT attempt to retrieve any object past the firing line.
- Dispose of all damaged ammunition properly. Do not throw it away or leave it on the firing line.
- There is to be no eating or drinking on the firing lines. The consumption of food and nonalcoholic beverages are permitted in designated areas only.
- All “Hot” ranges will be identified by a red range flag or red light prominently at the range entrance.
- The shooter is responsible for their firearms, ammunition, and personal property at all times. The Range assumes no responsibility for lost or stolen property.
For the safety of all persons at the Range, and to ensure the integrity of the Range fixtures and equipment, only certain calibers, ammunition, and weapons are permitted. Shooters who violate these restrictions, as well as any other of our Panama City Beach’s shooting range rules and regulations, will be removed from the Range, charged the cost of any repairs or replacement needed, and may be banned from the Range.
- Modern Sporting rifles (AR, AKM, and similar Semi-Automatic systems) in calibers up to .308 caliber.
- Bolt or Break Action Rifles in calibers up to .308 caliber.
- Rifles are restricted to the following shooting lanes: 1 - 5
- Rifles in the following calibers are strictly prohibited: 30-06, 7mm, 300 Win Mag, 300 RUM, 338 Lapua Mag, .50 BMG.
- Revolvers and semi-automatic pistols in the following calibers are permitted: .22 (rim fire only, non-magnum, short, long and long rifle), .25, .32, .380, .38, 9mm, .40, .41, .44, .45 ACP.
- All air guns.
- Handguns are permitted on all shooting lanes.
- Handguns in rifle caliber need prior approval of the Range Manager.
- Handguns in the following calibers are strictly prohibited: 30-06, 7mm, 300 Win Mag, 300 RUM, 338 Lapua Mag, .50 BMG.
- Shotgun ammunition must be pre-approved by the Range Manager.
- Shotguns will have a minimum of 18” barrel and be either pump of semiautomatic tactical or sport shooting models and must have a shoulder stock. All other variants require pre-approval of the Range Manager.
Class 3 Firearms and suppressors:
- Short Barreled Rifles (SBRs), Short Barreled Shotguns (SBSs) and suppressors are allowed at the range.
- Shooters employing suppressors are still required to use hearing protection.
- No fully-automatic fire without express prior permission of the Range Manager.
- Prior to use of any allowed Class 3 firearm on the Range, individual shooters must provide proof of legal ownership to be verified by the Range Manager. Government agency groups are exempt from this requirement; however, they must notify the Range Manager when these weapons are brought into the Range.
- No steel jacketed, steel or tungsten-core, frangible, armor piercing, or tracer ammunition is allowed.
- No wildcat or experimental handloads are permitted.
- Shooting anything but an approved target, including any portion of the Range other than the backstop in a shooting lane, will result in immediate ejection from the Range, and the shooter will be charged the cost of any repairs or replacement needed, and may be banned from the Range.
- Minors under the age of 18 must be directly supervised in the shooting lanes by a parent or legal guardian who has executed the appropriate Release.
- Children age 12 and under are not permitted in the shooting lanes.
- All children anywhere on the Range, including in the retail spaces, must be accompanied by an adult.
Violations of Rules
- Enforcement: Any Range staff person may enforce the rules found in this SOP. However, ejections will only be made by the RSOs, the Chief Range Safety Officer (CRSO) or the Range Manager and only the Range Manager can bar future entry to the Range. (Sporting events or outside trainers may impose additional or stricter guidelines that govern their specific activities.)
- Reporting: Any violation of these rules shall be reported to the Range Manager. Injuries, incidents, unsafe conditions, equipment failure, and other unusual occurrences shall also be reported to the Range Manager.
- Sanctions: A person violating these rules may be ejected from the Range for such period as the Range Manager imposes. Members violating these rules may have their Membership revoked, with a refund of Membership fees to be made or denied at The Powder Room’s sole discretion. Outside Instructors violating these rules may be ejected from the Range and will not be considered for future training. Agencies are expected to ensure their members abide by the Range rules. Individuals violating the rules may be ejected and agencies unable to police their members’ conduct may be barred from using the Range.
Range Commands and Actions
Command: “CEASE FIRE!” or “STOP!”
Purpose: To stop all shooting routinely or, in the case of an emergency, immediately.
Action: Participants immediately stop shooting, continue to keep the muzzle pointed down range, remove finger from within trigger guard, unload and clear the firearm and wait for further instructions.
Command: “Range is hot. Eyes & Ears”
Purpose: To insure a safe shooting environment.
Action: Shooters should first put on their eye protection, then ear protection.
Command: “You may handle your firearms”
Purpose: To notify the shooters they may pick up their firearm and prepare to load.
Action: Shooters will pick up their firearm, sight in on the target, make any final adjustments and prepare to load.
Command: “LOAD!” or “Make Ready”
Purpose: To notify the shooters that they may load their first round.
Action: Shooters will load their firearm, close the action, keep figure off the trigger, and stand ready for the next command.
Command: “IS THE LINE READY?”
Purpose: To determine if all shooters along the line are ready.
Action: All shooters NOT ready should indicate their status to the range officer. Sufficient time will be allowed for the shooter to complete his/her preparation.
Command: “COMMENCE FIRING!”
Purpose: To declare that live fire may begin.
Action: The shooters may commence firing until a cease fire is called.
Command: “Shooters, you have X minutes remaining”
Purpose: To alert all shooters that a general cease fire is about to be called and to allow the slower shooters to complete the course of fire.
Action: The shooters should complete the current course of fire.
Command: “Cease Fire! Range is Going Cold!”
Purpose: To stop all firing.
Action: All firearms must be made “safe” meaning that actions or cylinders should remain open with all ammunition removed, all magazines removed, and empty chamber indicators must be inserted. Shooters having made their firearm safe will place the firearm on the table with the cylinder or ejection port up. All shooters will then step behind the yellow line.”
Command: “Move Back Behind the Ready Line”
Purpose: To clear the firing line.
Action: Shooters must move behind the ready line and wait for further instructions from the RSO.
Command: “Range Is Clear”
Purpose: To relay to shooters that range is now “cold” and safe after RSO has inspected all firearms on the firing line.
Action: The RSO is telling all shooters that all firearms are unloaded. At this time shooters may remove hearing protection.
Hearing Protection: All shooters and non-shooters alike must select and properly use hearing protectors that will provide quality protection (Minimum 21db NRR) according to the specific shooting activity and/or nearby shooting activity engaged. Ear buds for audio and empty shell casings are unacceptable.
Eye Protection: Eye protection is required inside the shooting lanes. Polycarbonate lenses rated at ANSI Z87.1 are recommended. They are inexpensive, provide good protection, and are available commercially. Eye protection MUST wrap around the corners of eyes to protect against debris from oblique angles. Reading glasses are not acceptable.
Breathing and Swallowing airborne particulate lead: Inhalation (breathing) and Ingestion (swallowing) of airborne particulate lead is also a health issue to be aware of when on a shooting range. Protecting yourself through common sense and good personal hygiene is your own responsibility. You owe it to yourself and to your family to take care of your health, so, please follow these general guidelines before and after working or shooting on a shooting range:
- Do not smoke on the Range: Smoking is prohibited at the Range. Be aware that smoking immediately after exposure to the shooting lanes increases the risk of inhaled lead into the blood stream and ingestion of lead transferred from hands to the cigarette, cigar, etc.
- Don’t eat on the firing line: Lead dust on hands and face can be ingested through contact with food. Airborne lead expelled from a weapon can also contaminate food.
- Don’t collect fired brass in hats: Many shooters use their hats to collect spent brass; this contaminates the hat with lead particles. When the hat is placed back on the head, the lead is deposited into the hair and absorbed through the skin.
- Do be aware that face, arms, and hands are covered with lead particles: Shooters and instructors should wash thoroughly with cold water and plenty of soap. Cold water is preferred because warm water enhances the absorption of lead by opening the pores of the skin. If no water is available, shooters should consider carrying a box of wet handy wipes or the equivalent or a bottle of cold water and a washcloth for this purpose. Be aware that hair and clothes are still contaminated, as well.
If you are pregnant:
Lead exposure: Pregnant women may be especially vulnerable to rapid absorption of lead particulate matter, along with calcium, from blood into the bones. Rapid lead particulate migration may occur due to hormonal changes caused by pregnancy. Of greater concern, in pregnant women, lead particulate may pass unimpeded through the placenta to the fetus, potentially causing miscarriage of the fetus and/or possible birth defect.
Loud noises: While the precise effects of gunshots and other loud noises on unborn children are not known, sound can travel through the body of a pregnant woman and reach her baby. Although this sound will be muffled in the womb, very loud noises may still be able to damage the baby’s hearing. Hearing protection (ear plugs or earmuffs) can protect the expectant mother’s hearing but do not protect the baby.
Please consult with a physician prior to visiting the Range.