I went to the newest gun range in Memphis yesterday called Top Gun. This range is co-owned by conservative talk show host Ben Fergusen, so it gets a LOT of free advertising on his daily local talk show. The range makes a really huge deal about how they have a dozen machineguns you can rent. They mention this in every commercial or plug they get.
I did not carry any mg's with me yesterday on my visit. I was just going to break in two new glocks I recently puchased.
So as I'm checking in I asked the guy who was taking the money this question..."Hey, I see you guys rent machineguns. I have a personally owned smg that I need to dial the zero in on the EOTech sight. I dont need or want to shoot it on full-auto. Just maybe 4 to 8 shots on semi only to zero the optic. But NO full-auto fire. Can I do that here at some point in the future?"
The range worker said, "Well our liability insurance doesn't cover anything but our machineguns. If you bring your own we will need to tether the gun because even though you have no intentions of shooting full auto there is the possibility the gun could go full auto on the range. You will need to pay the range fee as well as $15 per hour machinegun range fee, and another $15 per hour for a Range Safety Officer to stand with you. You will need to call and make an appointment a week in advance so we can schedule a RSO to be here when you are here. And if we are busy it isn't a good time to do it."
I stopped him at that point and said, "That's okay man. I will just zero it in behind the house in the woods."
Hey, it is their house, their rules. I have no issues with that. And the range staff are really nice and professional. I also realize they don't know me from Adam, even though years ago I actually taught some classes there when it was under the original owners stewardship.
I totally understand the fear of liability with an unknown person using a 9mm weapon of mass destruction like a subgun shot on semi-only a few times to zero in an optic.
The part I didn't understand was the "tether the gun because there is the possibility of it going fully auto on the range".
Hmmm...it hasn't accidently gone full auto since I got it in 1989, but sure, anything could happen...I guess.
On a side note, the truly funny thing to me personally was that years ago there were two of us that were very close to purchasing that exact same range, but at the time we weren't sure if the range could make it financially without a huge on-going advertising expenditure.
I am glad to see they are doing well.
I hope their purchases of gun tethers for privately owned smg's don't eat into the bottom line profits.
And I genuinely really do wish them continued success. The staff there was the friendliest I think I have ever run into.