I have heard of a policy of no single shooters at gun ranges. At Phoenix Gun Range being the only one on the line is coveted and people are waiting when we open in the morning to do this. It is like your own private range when you’re the only one shooting. We do encourage couples but we won’t turn you away if you didn’t bring a date. If you don’t have a license we have to be within arms reach by law so in a sense there is always someone there.
I have heard of people attempting suicide at Canadian ranges and I think this is the reason for the no single shooter rule. Over 80% of gun deaths are due to suicide here in Canada. This number may be a lot higher because many suicides are just reported as “Accidentally shot while cleaning gun” incidents. It is clear that to prevent gun deaths efforts should be focused on preventing suicide in general.
Having volunteered for a crisis hotline I know that human connection helps in preventing suicide. At Phoenix gun range we are very involved with “checking in” with our customers. We ask them if they have any questions, are they having fun and compliment then on their gun safe handling. I think this goes a long way in promoting safe fun use of guns.
We have heard that other ranges are not like this. I think why Phoenix is different starts with the owner, he is openly proud of his range and supportive to his staff. It is like a club where people just drop in to talk. I’ve heard that some people who hang out there so much have been given jobs.
As for non-single shooters. It is usually their girlfriend that shoots better than the guy. That’s a completely different dynamic.