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Steel target lead splash-- liability?


Guest max morgan 75

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Guest max morgan 75

for some years now i have been hanging steel targets on the rebar target racks at a club and doing some cas practice. the targets are made of armor plate -- hardness ranging from t-1 to brinnell 500 and all hung at an angle to the ground to deflect splash.

 

at the entrance to the club range, there is a big sign that advises protective eyeglasses and hearing protection is mandatory.

 

usually i got to practice solo and had no concern about lead splash for myself as i wear osha approved safety classes with side shields.

 

how ever, as time went by more club members were shooting and many without any glasses let alone safety with side shields. i usually advised the folks they needed to wear safety glasses. some when home to get them; others ignored my advisory then i just went home or dry fired.

 

so lately i have reverted to shooting paper only due to the concern of liability.

 

the question is, does one have personal liability on a club range when shooting steel and someone gets a hit in the eye with lead splash?

 

how about that you attorneys?

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You won't get legal advice from me on an internet board.

 

By way of discussion though you could certainly be sued if the projectile YOU launched injured someone. I think you were wise to stop shooting steel when others were too stubborn/stupid/reckless to don shooting glasses after being warned. Those are just the kind of people to sue you later on.

 

Many states recognize "assumption of risk" as a bar to liability. That's why businesses post signs and have participants sign waivers. If you think that "paper shield" will protect you from being sued and from losing, go talk to the tobacco companies and see how well it worked out for them.

 

There was a another post by a shooter who was hit between the eyes by a bullet fragment from a "compliant" target. It happens.

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Best case is someone sues you and you win in court, you are still out the time and probably attorney fees. Worst case is you lose.

 

You should really have a quiet chat with whoever is in charge of the club, if shooters are failing to wear eye protection, they could be endangering the club from a liability stand point

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If they are so ignorant they don't want to wear eye protection they should not even own a firearm much less be allowed on a private range. Watch the same guys get in their cars and not buckle up. I don't know about the liability of steel targets, but you can't fix stupid.

 

 

LL'

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:mellow: YOU are responsible for YOUR bullet and EVERYTHING it touches. I'm not a lawyer, nor have I played one on TV and I don't sleep at Holiday Inn. ^_^

 

 

As far as other shooters shooting without eye protection .... THEY are stupid. At the ranges where we shoot, the shooters must wear a CLUB "ID". If the shooter or their guests are not following the rules, the member is brought to the attention of the range master and the board of directors. Failure to comply will result in suspension of club access or remomoval.

 

This type of liabality is addressed by most matches by having the competitors sign a RELEASE FORM. It's probably about as useful as the paper it's written on.....

 

My opinion, at it's just that, MY opinion.... is if someone is seriously injuried, the lawyers will go after 'everything'. It's just the way they do things. WITHOUT MAINTAINING SAFETY STANDARDS, WE CAN BE IN ALLOT OF TROUBLE.

 

FROM THE SHOOTER'S HANDBOOK ....inpart

SAFETY PRACTICES

FIRST, LAST, AND ALWAYS

Our sport, by its very nature, has the potential to be dangerous and a serious accident can

occur. Every participant in a SASS match is expected to be a safety officer. Each shooter’s

first responsibility is for his or her own safe conduct, but all shooters are expected to remain

alert for actions by others that are unsafe.

Any Range Officer or shooter may confront any participant about an observed unsafe

situation, and it is expected the matter will quickly be corrected and not repeated. Any

argument concerning the correction of a safety related matter can be expected to result in that shooter being ejected from the range.

 

Adhering to established rules and practices is the best way to meet questions of liability. The first thing a lawyer will ask is did they follows their rules and practices?

 

Insurance is good and necessary, but when the rubber meets the road, it only goes so far. Allowing shooters to compete on substandard targets and or ranges may negate the covenants set with the underwriters.

 

I’m talking from some experience…. We carry a policy on our property because of my wife’s employment. We have seen law suits where the legal team sued everyone in the building, even if they didn’t have anything to do with the actual ‘problem’. It cost time and money and the potential for monetary responsibility IS there.

 

 

Again I'm not legally qualified...I'm sure there are legal minds who will set me straight. ;)

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Though in theory you are responsible for every bullet you fire, the range owner is an idiot to ALLOW use of steel targets unless all are using proper safety glasses, period. It is one thing to shoot steel in controlled conditions such as a SASS match, and you appear to be using good practice setting steel, so your actual liability IF everybody wears good eye protection is likely to be somewhat limited, BUT, in truth, unlike a SASS match, you cannot control everyone on the line, insuring their compliance, and the range owner cannot control how the next guy sets steel etc. So, when somebody does get hurt, after bouncing a round off a bad piece of steel or steel set improperly, the range will get sued along with the owner/user of the target. What do ya suppose a jury would award a 7 yr old girl that got hit in the face with a piece of a bullet with enough force to leave a scar? Just a little inch-long scar on her cheek? You don't wanna know, and NO, Daddy or grandpa will not be held responsible for bringing her to the range where he will swear they always shoot paper and it always seemed very safe UNTIL somebody started using steel and the range allowed it? That very first time he ever saw such a think his precious gets hurt.....

 

Steel in an uncontrolled range is bad juju. It almost invites a "hey watch this" when somebody tries to see if their FMJ semi auto round will poke a hole in the plates.......

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Anyone shooting steel at our club without proper safety equipment would be asked to leave if they did it again we would not let them shoot at the club and/or take their membership away. As far as lead splatter goes I have been hit many times in the last 10+ years sometimes it has drew blood and on occasions I have had to dig out small pieces of lead....that is going to happen but you try to do everything you can to prevent it. If you have safety glasses you are only talking about minor boo boo's in the big picture. While getting a piece of lead in you isn't fun it's really no big deal unless you live in a glass bubble I guess.

 

Everything has risks, getting to the range, running between tables, loading your gun cart, etc.... I usually can't spend a day in the garage working on the car without busting up my hand worse than any bullet splatter I have gotten in SASS....lol. I guess I'm old school but compared to dirt bikes, AMA road racing, skiing, mountain climbing, and all the high risk activities I like or liked to do in my lifetime a little bullet splatter is not worth mentioning to the guy standing next to me.

 

If you know the risk and don't want to take it stay home and watch TV or do something you deem is "safe" for you but please don't come out and ruin our fun just because you might get a scratch and feel the need to sue someone.

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Anyone shooting steel at our club without proper safety equipment would be asked to leave if they did it again we would not let them shoot at the club and/or take their membership away. As far as lead splatter goes I have been hit many times in the last 10+ years sometimes it has drew blood and on occasions I have had to dig out small pieces of lead....that is going to happen but you try to do everything you can to prevent it. If you have safety glasses you are only talking about minor boo boo's in the big picture. While getting a piece of lead in you isn't fun it's really no big deal unless you live in a glass bubble I guess.

 

Everything has risks, getting to the range, running between tables, loading your gun cart, etc.... I usually can't spend a day in the garage working on the car without busting up my hand worse than any bullet splatter I have gotten in SASS....lol. I guess I'm old school but compared to dirt bikes, AMA road racing, skiing, mountain climbing, and all the high risk activities I like or liked to do in my lifetime a little bullet splatter is not worth mentioning to the guy standing next to me.

 

If you know the risk and don't want to take it stay home and watch TV or do something you deem is "safe" for you but please don't come out and ruin our fun just because you might get a scratch and feel the need to sue someone.

 

 

Here's the deal on "assumption of risk", and how that can still bite ya in the butt. Yes we assume a certain amount of risk when we enter the arena, be it a rodeo, shooting range, car race, etc. We assume REASONABLE RISK that is going to be measured according to common practice and/or state of the art at the time.

 

If Grandpa gets up on the stand and says "I've shot all over the place at all sorts of ranges, and the common practice is to limit targets on an "open" range (not a registration-required match with it's own rules and conventions), and we always shot paper and used only wood target frames, so bullets didn't bounce back." When subpoena-ed range owners from all across the state testify likewise, and the attorney for the plaintiff starts reading from various range rules prohibiting steel targets, using phrases like "paper targets only", ya bought the farm. It's over for the range and the shooter likely loses his house, savings, etc.

 

Why? because the crux of any negligligence suit is "reasonable care and caution". Did the person being sued use reasonable care and caution, based on the state of the art and common practice in the activity being engaged? If not, yer toast.

 

We've all shot steel at point blank range, sometimes at targets ya could almost touch, but we're supposed to know what we're doing, set up proper steel using proper methods and placement to insure bounced bullets or bits go somewhere safe. But if you set up a plate angled up a bit instead of down, a plate that is solid instead of swinging, etc, and one comes back and hits a spectator in the face, or while yer shooting your slow lead loads an idjit not part of yer informal game shoots a hot jacketed round and it comes tearing back in one piece, yer in deep doo doo.

THAT is why we have three rulebooks and strict penalties for improper ammo at matches, and we don't allow anyone NOT part of the game to shoot anywhere near us..... This is stuff ya can't control at an "open" range, where newcomers can show up and start blazing away with an SKS or AR-15 while yer not even looking, busy practicing, etc.....

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If the steel targets are yours and not the club's property, you will assume partial responsibility. If the club allows you to shoot at the steel, they also assume partial liability. If a shooter fails to wear the required safety equipment as required by the club, they also assume partial liability.

 

Now, the reality of life sets in. The jury will look at the person with a patch over their eye opening because they lost it due to the incident. They will feel sorry for this person. They will assess damages on the deep pockets of the club and the owner of the steel targets.

 

Don't believe it? Look at incidents where Police Officers are sued for violating somebody's civil rights after they shoot him in in self defense... There is a definite pity factor that becomes involved...

 

Don't think that it happens? WRONG! Been there. The plaintiff's lawyer (small l intentional) stood there and inferred that I "should have shot the gun out of his hands."

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for some years now i have been hanging steel targets on the rebar target racks at a club and doing some cas practice.

How far are these steel targets from the firing line?

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Guest Texas Jack Black

If you think you would have a problem with steel target shooting Think what Liability you assume when you become an RO and run a stage. You put everything you own on the line.

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If you think you would have a problem with steel target shooting Think what Liability you assume when you become an RO and run a stage. You put everything you own on the line.

 

 

As I mentioned on the other thread...

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If you think you would have a problem with steel target shooting Think what Liability you assume when you become an RO and run a stage. You put everything you own on the line.

 

 

:lol: I'll probably quite shootin all together adder readin this post! Maybe git me some steel toe'ed bedroom shoes an stay inside mostly :D

 

 

RRR

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:FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm:

 

Yep, this here thread gives me a warm fuzzy feeling about building a CAS range on my property. :angry:

If it does happen, it will HAVE to be a "controlled-use" range. All practies will require a CRO/safety to be there.

 

Mustang Gregg

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I have wondered about the practice of swinging targets that may angle the splash safely with the first shot of a string but due to being set swinging with said first shot may be caught at an unsafe angle when the shooter gets back to it in the sweep...

is this taken into account when setting the steel? the one time I have helped in setting up a stage it did not seem to be only the initial static angle seemed to be of concern.

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