July 29, 2022
BRUEN GAVE US ARMED CARRY WHILE DRIVING TO THE RANGE!
IS YOUR NJ RANGE STAYING “COLD” FOR RANGE SAFETY & HOW?
Op-Ed by Rosey Rosenthal, Black Wire Media Editor-in-Chief
Range SAFETY and correct gun handling in every possible situation is the primary concern of every gun owner, range owner, private R&P club, and especially those folks that have chosen to accept the awesome responsibility of carrying a loaded sidearm in New Jersey. As thousands upon thousands of gun owners, some brand new to gun ownership itself, storm Police headquarters across the state with their completed applications, shooting clubs and range owners are adjusting to members and customers walking into their ranges STRAPPED! It’s no longer just a handful of Cops and retired Cops carrying their self-defense tool of choice in the manner they choose, it’s EVERYBODY! Granny has her Glock in her purse, that real estate agent prefers appendix carry, that mom over there has a “Flash-Bang” holster attached to her bra…
Let’s explore some range terminology:
A “Cold Range” is one where no one, not even Police, are allowed to walk around while carrying a LOADED pistol or revolver. To shoot, you first uncase at the firing line or SAFE Table (used for holstering an EMPTY gun, repairs, lubrication, etc.–NO AMMO AT A SAFE TABLE!), then load at the firing line ONLY, then fire, clear the firearm and put it securely away. Then drive home.
A “HOT Range” is one where gun owners may choose to wear a loaded sidearm the entire time of their range visit, including practicing their holster draw technique as a “walk-on” to a shooting port (indoors) or a range pit (outdoors). Most ranges in New Jersey are COLD Ranges and require some level of proof that the gun owner knows proper gun handling so as to avoid negligent discharges. Most if not all Police Ranges are “HOT Ranges” since Cops practice what they do every day–which is carry a loaded sidearm…
So, what set of Safety Rules can be used for all members / customers in a fair and equitable manner? That’s what commercial range business owners, Boards of Trustees at private clubs, and this writer have been mulling over since last month’s historic Bruen decision at the U.S. Supreme Court! 43 other states already had a form of “Shall Issue” prior to Bruen, and 26 states have “Constitutional Carry”–the kind Eli used in the mall in Greenwood, Indiana when he made the perp take a dirt nap!
Most NJ private Rifle & Pistol clubs are STAYING COLD!
Most private shooting clubs in New Jersey rely upon each member to be their own Range Safety Officer. Very few have paid employees or volunteers tasked with being RSO’s. Some private clubs allow holster draw, and some don’t. Those clubs with USPSA and IDPA action leagues have holster draw and rely upon some sort of “test” to enable members to use a holster at the range. These tests can be as simple as proving to an action league chairperson that you’re both capable and SAFE! If you’re going to “freak” because you don’t like the idea of 20 pairs of eyes WATCHING YOU draw your sidearm to demonstrate proficiency, then perhaps carrying a gun isn’t for you. And that’s okay, as it’s not for everybody!
When reached for comment, Gun For Hire Woodland Park Range owner and ANJRPC VP Anthony Colandro had this to offer:
“All holster draw must meet our criteria. Only Active Law Enforcement or students that have attended the prerequisites (Gun For Hire Holster Draw or Urban Pistol 2) are allowed to draw and fire from the holster. Retired law enforcement and armed security personnel are allowed to have a firearm holstered but will not be able to conduct “firing from the holster, drawing in and out to fire.”
Colandro also noted, “meeting the above prerequisite does not exempt anyone from following all range rules.. i.e. All firearms must be aimed, No firing from hip (weapon retention) minimum distances etc. If a Range Safety Officer notices anyone not following rules you may forfeit the right to draw and fire from a holster at Woodland Park Range.”
—Anthony Colandro, Gun For Hire owner
Colandro has also been quoted regarding the status of his new gun store and retail areas. He isn’t disarming his customers. Paraphrasing, it boils down to “you’re welcome into the facility while carrying, just DON’T TOUCH THE GUN!”, so that means the new gun store and retail areas are “HOT”! Don’t be “THAT GUY” that wants to “play Show & Tell” by the soda machine or leave your sidearm in the restroom! And yes, it happens. With 44 shooting ports, Gun For Hire will be one of the SAFEST places in New Jersey, because EVERYBODY will be “strapped” (carrying a sidearm)!
So, when you pull up to the range, and you’re already strapped (carrying), do YOU know what the range rules are for those with carry permits? You put your carry permit application in, you passed your qualification (shooting test) most likely at the “Low-Ready” position (loaded firearm pointed at a 45* angle to range floor). NOT starting from a holster, and now you’re exercising your Second Amendment right to carry (in NJ it’s concealed OR open carry). Okay, great! NOW it’s time to check what your club or commercial range expects of YOU as a responsible citizen and gun owner!
Give gun clubs and commercial ranges the time necessary to create new rules and signage that’s easily understood by all. Shoot an action league at your private club or pay for a holster draw class at your commercial range of choice. Don’t be “THAT GUY” that thinks safety rules don’t apply. Our enemies are constantly on the prowl for any slip-ups gun owners can commit, even leaving handguns in port-o-johns! Shannon Watts from Moms Demand was upset that the perp in Indiana took a dirt nap before he could kill more innocents! Don’t give them any ammo to hurt us!
We’re all excited that after a half-century of disarmament, New Jersey commoners like us fought for (and thanks to NY State Rifle Pistol Association–backed by the NRA) and are now (in some cases having to sue for) our permits to carry to be issued in a timely manner, so let’s not screw it up with ego and stupidity when they finally arrive. Be SAFE and READ YOUR RANGE RULES!
A founding Trustee of the Coalition of New Jersey Firearm Owners, CNJFO vice president Dave “Rosey” Rosenthal has been behind the trigger for over a half-century. He continues to be the Match Director at Old Bridge R&P Club’s Police Practical Competition (PPC) league, having served in that volunteer capacity for over two decades. Together with his league co-chair Peter L., they oversee hundreds of PPC league members annually that draw a loaded sidearm from its holster to engage Police silhouettes. A handgun hunter of 300-pound hogs, and the country’s first NRA Double Distinguished Expert in muzzleloading, Rosenthal has used a holster a LONG time. We hope you’ll find his insight educational.