What would you do: on the range?

This isn’t necessarily a self-defense incident, however, it is something you may encounter on one of your trips to the range.

You’re at your favorite indoor range getting checked in and finding out what lane you’re going to be using. Someone comes in alone and wants to rent a 9 mm gun and doesn’t have any certain gun in mind to rent. They’re very indifferent about the firearms suggested.

They’re assigned to the lane right next to you.

Witnessing the exchange about the rental gun, what do you do/think?

First question is do you rent guns to people who are by themselves?

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Why would you ask that question, @J_Richard? :thinking: :wink:

(I never would have thought to ask that question before I worked at a range)

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I have not had it happen to me, but have been told by others there are places where it has happened. Relates to the possibility of suicide.


That is the big concern when someone comes in to rent a gun by themselves without firearms of their own. If they’re bringing in their own firearms as well, the suicide risk is infinitely smaller.

It hasn’t happened at the range I work at occasionally, but it has happened at a range near me multiple times in one year.

Great points, @J_Richard.

What other observations might you all have?


I was a physical education teacher in a high school. I once had a student leave a pair of work boots in the gym the last day of school. I stopped him and he said that it was okay that he wasn’t going back to the career center the next year and would not need them. That night he hung himself with a jump rope. I will never forget the feeling when I was informed. Textbook telltale sign that something might be wrong.

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I frequent the range I believe you are referring to about the suicides. When I stop and look around and profile/observe the people, I question a lot of things. I would base my judgment on body language and tone and other nonverbal clues. I’d rather have intuition make me look like an ass than hindsight.


I’m so sorry, @J_Richard. I cannot begin to know what that feels like. Teachers see so many students that I can’t imaging you can know what’s going on with every single student every day.

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary (albeit very painful) situation.

I’ve had to call the police a few times over my social media career due to private messages stating someone’s intent to kill themselves. It terrifying to try to track someone down through their social media profile as quickly as possible to get a wellness check done. I’ve had people message back furious that I had a wellness check done, but I’m OK with that. They’re still around today and maybe that wellness check made the difference. I’m OK with them hating me for calling it in.

In case anyone needs this or to share this, here is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:


And their website: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/


The local range doesn’t rent to non members / single individuals. Gotta bring buddy. I’m ok with that, so if the range is doing their part, I won’t likely encounter a suicidal patron.

@dawn what would you do?

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I think I would request a different shooting room.


I have heard of several ranges that changed to rental policy to be that they will not rent a firearm to a person who is alone unless they also bring with one of their own firearms and are just wanting to checkout a new firearm without finding a friend to barrow that firearm from.


That makes the most sense to me as well. If they have their own firearms already and are renting one before they buy it, I totally understand.

However, someone who has no preference and doesn’t have a gun of their own with them would make me uncomfortable and I’d probably talk to the Range staff to see if they knew the person.


Just saw this posted today :frowning:

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It’s alway a tragedy when organizations that try to help people learn and practice for their self-defense have to deal with this type of situation. :frowning:

Their staff is probably dealing with some horrific aftermath.

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I know this is an old thread, but I don’t know how I missed it. This is the range I normally go to on Friday’s.