Shooting Ranges Resource Guide

Shooting ranges are located throughout the United States and they vary in type. Whether indoor or outdoor, they allow for training practice as well as for experienced gun owners to exercise their skills. Most cities and overpopulated areas have indoor shooting ranges while rural areas may utilize outdoor facilities. Each shooting range has its own rules, regulations and requirements including the types of firearms used and how firearms enter and exit the premises. Though shooting ranges are designed to provide the safest atmosphere, there are concerns regarding exposure to toxic levels of lead at various shooting ranges. Another concern regarding shooting ranges is the noise level and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducts regular reviews regarding these levels.

Types of Shooting Ranges

There are several types of shooting ranges. These include indoor shooting ranges, outdoor shooting ranges and target ranges. Of the three, indoor shooting ranges pose the greatest danger due to high amounts of lead, high noise volume and other contaminants that may be present in the air.

Frequented by recreational city shooters and law enforcement officers, indoor shooting ranges are very popular. It is imperative that those who frequent indoor ranges take steps to lessen the effect of hazards. Those who spend time at shooting ranges are advised to use the Centers for Disease Control recommended Lead Tech Wipes that helps remove 99% of lead and other toxins from the skin.

Those interested in shooting in different weather conditions or who want to practice firing at long distance ranges may find that outdoor shooting ranges are best. There are many security measures that must be enacted in order for outdoor shooting ranges to operate safely. As with indoor ranges, exposure to high amounts of lead and toxic chemicals pose safety hazards for outdoor ranges. The National Shooting Sports Foundation has a searchable listing of both indoor and outdoor shooting ranges by state. You may find ranges based upon the type of firearm used, such as handgun, shotgun and rifle as well as instructional and teaching ranges and women and youth programs.

Safety Practices and Equipment

Safety is of the utmost importance, regardless of the type of shooting range one frequents. Firearm safety is crucial and it is imperative that those who frequent firing ranges understand the dangers and risks involved. There are several steps that people may take to ensure they are prepared for handling guns and to minimize the risk of accidents. 

Always handle your firearm as if it was loaded while at the same time, ensuring it is only loaded when you are ready to fire. Don’t depend solely upon your firearm’s safety to prevent it from firing, but treat it as loaded at all times. Never place your finger on a firearm’s trigger unless you are ready to fire. When firing, consider what is beyond the target and not just the target itself. Remain alert and aware of your environment, situation and surroundings.

Each shooting range has its own safety rules that are enforced. Familiarize yourself with the range’s rules beforehand and make certain that you listen and obey all instructions from the Range Master. Shooting ranges require the use of eye and hearing protection as these are essential. Always comply with the range’s rules and wear the proper gear. If the range requires the use of safety, vests then wear those as well. Range Masters work at shooting ranges in order to ensure the environment remains one that is safe. Listen to their advice and if you are unsure of anything ask for help. Keep in mind that firearms are not toys but weapons and must be handled carefully. Never leave a loaded weapon unattended. 


Shooting ranges are educational as well as recreational. Those that are inexperienced with firearms should never feel intimidated to take instructional classes. Firing ranges offer a number of different classes including using a handgun and those specifically designed for new shooters. Check to determine what firearm is taught in each class as the range may provide training in handguns, shotguns, rifles and even archery. Some instructors offer private classes while others arrange a group setting. Other options include obtaining concealed handgun licenses and other training as well. Classes vary by range so call ahead to determine which range best meets your needs.

Here are several links to various organizations as well as information regarding shooting ranges throughout the United States.

Which of the following is NOT one of the "Three Ws" that should be included in every hunting plan?

What firearm you are hunting with.
Who you are with.
When you are returning.
Where you are going.


What technique can be described as "slow, patient movement of the hunter into shooting position after game has been located"?

Stand Hunting
Still Hunting


Which species is there federal hunting laws for?

Wood Duck
Ring-knecked pheasant
Snowshoe hare
White-tailed Deer


Which field carry provides the most firearm control?



Which choice is NOT recommended when approaching downed wildlife?

Approach quietly from behind.
Poke animal gently with a stick.
Touch the eye gently, if there's no reaction, animal is usually dead.
Shoot it again before approaching to make sure it is dead.


What is the technique known as "driving"?

One hunter sitting in a blind waiting for game to come along.
One hunter moving slowly and patiently into shooting position after game has been located.
One or more pushers walk through an area trying to move game ahead of them into areas wehre blockers are waiting.
One hunter driving a vehicle and a second hunter in the back set shooting through the open window.


Scouting an area you want to hunt should include:

Walk around the area on opening day with your firearm or bow.
Walk around the area looking for animal movements and signs.
Look at maps and aerial photos of the area.
Answers B and C.


Which of the following is NOT a reason why you should develop a hunting plan for every hunt?

So friends and family know how to contact you in case of emergency.
So you can use your hunting plan to start a fire if you get lost.
So fellow hunters know where you are located.
So friends and family know where you can be found in case of a hunting accident.


Which of these items should be on every checklist included in your hunting plan?

Hunting license


Which of these does NOT violate a hunting safety rule?

Carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle.
Keeping your finger on the trigger while stalking game.
Two hunters shooting at the same game.
Identifying what lies beyond an identified target.