Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office Range Safety Rules and Procedures
1. Prior to the commencement of live firing, a member of the Training Academy staff shall hoist the American flag and the red triangle range flag on the flag pole to notify that the range is “hot.”
2. Academy Staff and persons designated as “Range Personnel” are allowed to carry loaded weapons anywhere on the Sheriff’s Firing Range
3. All Academy Staff acting as range personnel for the day, or persons designated as range personnel for the day shall, at the least, wear a red baseball style cap to identify them as range personnel. Full-time Academy Staff shall additionally wear a red shirt that clearly identifies them as range personnel.
4. All individuals on the Sheriff’s Firing Range must obey all instructions given by “range personnel."
5. All persons entering onto the Sheriff’s Firing Range shall empty ammunition from firearms prior to passing through the pipe fence from the parking lot onto the firing range area.
6. Upon passing though the pipe gate, all persons other than Range Personnel shall clear their firearm, make sure no magazines are in a firearm, and then “dry fire” their firearm in the red safety discharge barrel to ensure firearms are empty. The individual shall then lock the slide back to the rear and place the firearm back in their holster.
7. Personnel reporting for weapons qualification or weapons practice shall immediately report to range personnel for a firearms and equipment inspection.
8. Range personnel will inspect an individual’s firearm and equipment to verify that it is:
b. Meets manufacture, caliber and model requirements according to S.O.P.,
c. The safety, trigger, or other components have not been modified from manufacturer specifications, and
d. The holster meets S.O.P. requirements.
9. Any person having a firearm or equipment that does not meet Sheriff’s Office S.O.P. requirements shall be asked to immediately leave the range. The senior-ranking Academy Staff member shall document the individual’s discrepancy and notify the employee’s supervisor by the end of the next business day.
10. Upon completion of the inspection, the individual shall again lock the slide to the rear on a semi-automatic pistol and place the firearm back into their holster. Officers carrying a revolver shall place their firearm back into the holster unloaded. The individual reporting for weapons practice or qualification shall then be issued ammunition in the caliber of the firearm to be fired on the range.
11. At this time, if Range Personnel give the instruction to do so, an individual may load magazines with the designated number of rounds for the first firing string. If Range Personnel allow the loading of magazines prior to crossing the red safety line on the firing lines, the individual is not allowed to load a magazine into the firearm. Officers qualifying with a revolver shall never load their firearm until they are on the firing line and instructed to do so by the range officer.
12. Upon being given instructions from Range Personnel, all shooters for the next firing string shall cross over the red safety line onto the firing lines. Shooters shall be required to carry their qualification/practice ammo, safety glasses and hearing protection with them to the firing line. No individual shall be allowed past the red safety line without eye and hearing protection.
13. The person controlling the firing line shall make sure that each shooter is aware of the lane number the individual is firing on.
14. Once it has been determined that each shooter is in their proper lane and on the appropriate yard line, the shooting briefing shall occur.
15. If more than five individuals are shooting at one time, the audio speaker system shall be used to ensure that all shooters hear the verbal commands. If the audio speaker system is in-operable, the range person in charge of commands shall walk down the line behind the shooters yelling the commands at least twice to ensure everyone hears the commands.
16. Once the command is given to load and make ready a hot firearm, no individual is allowed to leave their designated firing line unless a medical emergency occurs, an unsafe situation exists or they are instructed to do so by Range Personnel. If an individual is determined to be unsafe or an accidental discharge occurs, the entire line must be made safe and clear before an individual is allowed to leave the firing area.
17. Individuals shooting on the Sheriff’s Firing Range shall follow all instructions given by “Range Personnel."
18. Any person, not just range personnel, can call for a cease fire if they view an action by an individual they feel is unsafe to themselves or another third party. The command is yelled “CEASE FIRE” in a manner so that all personnel in the area are aware a cease fire is needed. A cease fire is a serious command and shall not be called for a non-emergency malfunction such as a jammed firearm.
19. If a shooter experiences a malfunction with a firearm that they cannot clear themselves, the shooter shall continue to keep the firearm in their strong hand while keeping the firearm pointed towards the target. At the same time the shooter should raise their weak hand above their head to get the attention of range personnel. If a shooter turns their firearm across other firing lanes or in the direction of other shooters during firing or when dealing with a malfunction, the individual’s firearm shall be cleared by Range Personnel and the individual shall be removed from the firing range.
20. Upon completion of the entire firing course, range personnel shall give the order to make your weapon safe and holster an empty weapon.
a. The shooter shall remove any leftover bullets from their firearm, magazines and/or speed loaders.
b. The shooter shall make a visual inspection that the chamber is empty.
c. The shooter shall:
1. Lock the slide back on a semi-auto pistol and place the weapon back in their holster
2. Open the cylinder of a revolver, spin the cylinder in a manner to visually inspect that no rounds are in the cylinder and then place the revolver back in their holster.
d. The shooter will verify that there are no more rounds in the firearm magazines or speed loaders and place them in their appropriate holders.
21. Upon seeing that all weapons have been cleared by the shooters, range personnel shall instruct all current shooters to line up on the 15-yard line.
22. Once all shooters are lined up, range personnel shall move in front of each individual and instruct them to remove the firearm for visual inspection.
23. Range personnel shall inspect each weapon to verify that the firearm is empty and that each magazine and speed loader is empty.
a. If an individual is found to still have ammunition in their weapon, magazines or speed loaders during the inspection, range personnel shall take appropriate disciplinary action necessary to prevent this dangerous situation from re-occurring.
24. Once every shooter’s weapon and equipment has been inspected, range personnel may move to the targets for scoring purposes. The shooters may now clear the brass from the firing range.
25. Any personnel not involved in clearing the firing lines may move back to the weapons cleaning area and begin cleaning their weapons.
26. Once the individual has completed cleaning their weapon(s), the individual shall immediately turn the weapon(s) over to range personnel for an inspection.
27. Once the weapon has been determined to be clean and operational by range personnel, the individual will be issued new duty ammunition if warranted.
28. Individuals are not to reload their firearms until they have returned to the safety barrel at the entrance of the firing range.
29. Any unsafe act or action made by an individual while on the Sheriff’s Firing Range shall result in the individual being removed from the range and a report being provided to the individual’s supervisor. A copy of this report shall also be forwarded to the Chief Deputy of Training.
VIII. Accidental Discharge Instructions
Accidental Discharge – An accidental discharge is the firing of a weapon at an unintended target, the discharge of a firearm off a designated firing line, or the discharge of a firearm at a time when not authorized to do so.
Upon determining an accidental discharge has occurred, the senior Academy Staff member or the designated “Range Master,” whichever rank is higher, shall be responsible for the following actions:
1. Provide immediate medical assistance if the incident caused an injury and call for emergency medical services.
2. Immediately shut down firing and make the entire range safe. Firing will not resume until the investigation of the incident is complete.
3. Secure the firearm that was accidentally discharged and secure the area as a crime scene.
4. Within five minutes, contact Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center and advise that an accidental discharge has occurred. Provide them the time the discharge occurred, the names of the person(s) involved, request Crime Scene be dispatched to the scene and that a service number for a report be generated. (In the event radio or cell phone communication is not possible, an officer at the range not involved in the incident shall be sent to a location so they can call TCSO dispatch and make notification that an accidental discharge has occurred.)
5. Within 10 minutes or sooner, contact the next individual in the chain-of-command and relay all pertinent information about the accidental discharge.
6. Within 30 minutes of the accidental discharge or sooner, the Chief Deputy of Training and Internal Affairs shall be notified that an accidental discharge has occurred.
7. Write a report detailing specific information regarding the accidental discharge.
8. Within 24, hours provide the Chief Deputy of Training and Internal Affairs a copy of the completed accidental discharge report.
9. The range shall not be opened again for live fire until Crime Scene has processed the scene, and if a CID or IAD investigator was dispatched to the scene, until the investigator advises the senior person at the range that the scene has been released from investigation.
County Telephone Operator 817-884-1111
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