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Close targets and lawsuits


Guest Texas Bounty Hunter

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If a suit is brought by a shooter, they have a high hurdle to prove, but it might be accomplished. Having the club incorporation in order is critical if this happens.

 

Does this hold true if the cowboy club is a part of a larger multi-shooting discipline parent club?

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Guest Texas Jack Black

Does this hold true if the cowboy club is a part of a larger multi-shooting discipline parent club?

 

All shooting clubs are ripe for a lawsuit look at the targets,and you can find at least one that is beat up .The RO'S are not really safety officers and many are children . When I ran a major match I was advised to incorporate myself .This also adds a layer of protection .If a club is sued ALL members could be at risk and if you RO you and ALL your assets are at risk ,Your home etc.

 

 

T J B

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Thanks for the praise, but I think it is a bit much. My opinion is neither exhaustive, nor even thoroughly considered. You make a good point about individual liability, but I suppose in life if one wants to do something, they have to accept the risks.

 

If a suit is brought by a shooter, they have a high hurdle to prove, but it might be accomplished. Having the club incorporation in order is critical if this happens.

 

That is why I think a cabinet full of pre shoot inspection reports is a good idea.

 

 

Mark, just to play devil's advocate here..... Say that a CAS club shoots at a range that has multiple uses and the Club(Range operators) are assured that all SASS rules will apply. If a MD sets up targets closer than the SASS guidelines contrary to what the parent club agrees to and a bullet bounce back causes a major injury, Isn't the parent club free of liability and therefore, their insurance company? The MD setting up the course contrary to all agreements between the parent club and the CAS club, is opening himself to liability, according to one local Atty. I have spoken to. Does this sound plausible?

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Guest Texas Jack Black

Mark, just to play devil's advocate here..... Say that a CAS club shoots at a range that has multiple uses and the Club(Range operators) are assured that all SASS rules will apply. If a MD sets up targets closer than the SASS guidelines contrary to what the parent club agrees to and a bullet bounce back causes a major injury, Isn't the parent club free of liability and therefore, their insurance company? The MD setting up the course contrary to all agreements between the parent club and the CAS club, is opening himself to liability, according to one local Atty. I have spoken to. Does this sound plausible?}quote

 

 

 

 

 

The buck stops at the top The parent club also holds responsibility. I just love TORT LAW

 

T J B

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Mark, just to play devil's advocate here..... Say that a CAS club shoots at a range that has multiple uses and the Club(Range operators) are assured that all SASS rules will apply. If a MD sets up targets closer than the SASS guidelines contrary to what the parent club agrees to and a bullet bounce back causes a major injury, Isn't the parent club free of liability and therefore, their insurance company? The MD setting up the course contrary to all agreements between the parent club and the CAS club, is opening himself to liability, according to one local Atty. I have spoken to. Does this sound plausible?

There are no SASS rules on target distances, only recommendations, so a club with closer, longer, bigger or smaller targets is not violating the SASS rules????

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Guest Texas Jack Black

Once you deviate from the recommended guidelines you have opened the door.TORT law, at times can be, very subjective.

 

T J B

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Does this hold true if the cowboy club is a part of a larger multi-shooting discipline parent club?

 

 

My statements are general thoughts and perhaps a starting point, but should not be utilized in lieu of specific legal advice. This isn't intended to be just a disclaimer, but rather a warning that each state has voluminous legal history that I can't access and am not qualified t comment on.

 

If the club is part of a larger organization and takes actions along the lines of what I suggested, I suspect that my statements remain fairly accurate.

 

If the parent organization has specific regulations that the subordinate club chooses to ignore-then the parent club may have liability if they knew or should have known about the deviation. This is called "constructive notice" in some jurisdictions.

 

You should know what goes on at your range and if you don't, you need to take measures to find out.

 

Sgt. Smokepole,

 

I would not presume to contradict an attorney practicing in your jurisdiction. Tort law does, from time to time, result in a jury making an unexpected decision. The goal I would suggest is to make sure your club has sufficient documentation that all decisions were reviewed for safety, that such review was equal to or greater than that conducted at similar organizations (since it is a reasonable person standard) such that in the event of a lawsuit, your attorney has sufficient material to try and get the Judge to dismiss the case at a Summary Judgment Motion or a Motion for a directed Verdict. My personal opinion is that if a trial goes to the jury, the likelihood that defendant has lost in any given civil case regardless of the facts or the law increases very significantly.

 

I also think most shooters I have met would have no desire to sue if they were injured by splatter-Proper corporate organization and maintenance of books and records protects both the officers and members from personal liability. I suspect most clubs lease the ranges they operate on, that the buildings are affixed to the land and are the property of the land owner, and that only the targets and portable props, and bank account of the clubs should be considered assets that are subject to levy in the event of a successful lawsuit against the club. I'm trying to say that while we should be careful and take preventative measures to try and prevent injuries, we should do it because we don't want to see our pards get hurt. We incorporate and maintain records and books to protect the club. It is important to understand that you can't prevent lawsuits absolutely, but they are rare. You shouldn't focus on them to the exclusion of having a good time either.

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I didn't read every post, but what I've read asumes the shooter that would be injured would sue. You get injured and you have a big insurance claim, the insurance company will sue whether the shooter want to or not.

 

Law suit or not a steady flow of big up close targets sure makes a shoot boring.

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Guest Texas Jack Black

My statements are general thoughts and perhaps a starting point, but should not be utilized in lieu of specific legal advice. This isn't intended to be just a disclaimer, but rather a warning that each state has voluminous legal history that I can't access and am not qualified t comment on.

 

If the club is part of a larger organization and takes actions along the lines of what I suggested, I suspect that my statements remain fairly accurate.

 

If the parent organization has specific regulations that the subordinate club chooses to ignore-then the parent club may have liability if they knew or should have known about the deviation. This is called "constructive notice" in some jurisdictions.

 

You should know what goes on at your range and if you don't, you need to take measures to find out.

 

Sgt. Smokepole,

 

I would not presume to contradict an attorney practicing in your jurisdiction. Tort law does, from time to time, result in a jury making an unexpected decision. The goal I would suggest is to make sure your club has sufficient documentation that all decisions were reviewed for safety, that such review was equal to or greater than that conducted at similar organizations (since it is a reasonable person standard) such that in the event of a lawsuit, your attorney has sufficient material to try and get the Judge to dismiss the case at a Summary Judgment Motion or a Motion for a directed Verdict. My personal opinion is that if a trial goes to the jury, the likelihood that defendant has lost in any given civil case regardless of the facts or the law increases very significantly.

 

I also think most shooters I have met would have no desire to sue if they were injured by splatter-Proper corporate organization and maintenance of books and records protects both the officers and members from personal liability. I suspect most clubs lease the ranges they operate on, that the buildings are affixed to the land and are the property of the land owner, and that only the targets and portable props, and bank account of the clubs should be considered assets that are subject to levy in the event of a successful lawsuit against the club. I'm trying to say that while we should be careful and take preventative measures to try and prevent injuries, we should do it because we don't want to see our pards get hurt. We incorporate and maintain records and books to protect the club. It is important to understand that you can't prevent lawsuits absolutely, but they are rare. You shouldn't focus on them to the exclusion of having a good time either.{QUOTE}

 

 

 

 

 

 

In simple layman's words you are on your own and the risk is yours, Sort of a roll of the dice.If you are comfortable putting your life's earnings and all your assets on the line than RO or be a member .or just go shoot and enjoy. The great thing about our country is you can decide if you want to risk your assets or not. ;)

 

 

T J B

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you are as full of crap as a christmas turkey. Tha folk from where you are, are glad you stay away from shooting because of tha histeria!

 

RRR who now fishes mostly but not on account of a cussed lawsuit! :angry:

 

 

RRR

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Guest Texas Jack Black

you are as full of crap as a christmas turkey. Tha folk from where you are, are glad you stay away from shooting because of tha histeria!

 

RRR who now fishes mostly but not on account of a cussed lawsuit! :angry:

 

 

RRR

 

 

I can see that you ARE NOT smarter than a FIFTH GRADER :lol: :lol:

 

T J B

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I can see that you ARE NOT smarter than a FIFTH GRADER :lol: :lol:

 

T J B

 

Nice...I'll tell ya what Mr. I don't shoot no more, RRR is a helluva person. A man of his word and the salt of the earth.

 

Seriously...you make me ill.

 

:FlagAm:

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When was the last time a ricochet of a lead bullet at a SASS match resulted in a major injury?

 

I spent the first ten years of my professional life worrying about "what if" sorts of torts. You see, I am smarter than a 5th grader and I am a practicing lawyer and have been for nearly 40 years. At some point I realized that if I allowed tort lawyers to rule my decision making process I would accomplish nothing in life. You try your best to avoid anybody being injured not out of fear of lawsuit, but because it is just right to try to keep people safe. If you think you have a risk, buy insurance. Let the insurance company lawyers lose sleep. If you are too stupid to buy insurance you deserve what you get.

 

Their is a world of difference between being sued and being liable. In the hypothetical postulated the parent club would probably be sued, but I can imagine all sorts of defenses. The insurance company lawyers would probably settle the case not because they thought they wouldn't win, but because they would conclude it is just cheaper and safter to pay some bucks. If the case is totally bogus and they have a really strong defense they will crush the plaintiff's lawyer. This thread is boring unless somebody can point to a ricochet of a lead bullet off a steel target that has resulted in a major injury.

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When was the last time a ricochet of a lead bullet at a SASS match resulted in a major injury?

 

I spent the first ten years of my professional life worrying about "what if" sorts of torts. You see, I am smarter than a 5th grader and I am a practicing lawyer and have been for nearly 40 years. At some point I realized that if I allowed tort lawyers to rule my decision making process I would accomplish nothing in life. You try your best to avoid anybody being injured not out of fear of lawsuit, but because it is just right to try to keep people safe. If you think you have a risk, buy insurance. Let the insurance company lawyers lose sleep. If you are too stupid to buy insurance you deserve what you get.

 

Their is a world of difference between being sued and being liable. In the hypothetical postulated the parent club would probably be sued, but I can imagine all sorts of defenses. The insurance company lawyers would probably settle the case not because they thought they wouldn't win, but because they would conclude it is just cheaper and safter to pay some bucks. If the case is totally bogus and they have a really strong defense they will crush the plaintiff's lawyer. This thread is boring unless somebody can point to a ricochet of a lead bullet off a steel target that has resulted in a major injury.

 

What do you consider major injury? Would a trip to the emergency room to have a cut on the forehead washed out (from a bullet bounce back), xrayed and three stiches to close count? Any firearm related injury that a emergency room (doctor) treats is reported to the local police and a report is made.

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Guest Texas Jack Black

Nice...I'll tell ya what Mr. I don't shoot no more, RRR is a helluva person. A man of his word and the salt of the earth.

 

Seriously...you make so happy old friend

 

:FlagAm:

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Guest Texas Jack Black

Nice...I'll tell ya what Mr. I don't shoot no more, RRR is a helluva person. A man of his word and the salt of the earth.

 

Seriously...you make me ill.

 

:FlagAm:

 

 

ANYTIME I can make you ill brings a :lol: :lol:

 

T J B

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I can see that you ARE NOT smarter than a FIFTH GRADER :lol: :lol:

 

T J B

 

 

ANYTIME I can make you ill brings a :lol: :lol:

 

T J B

 

 

Reminds me of someone who whines about elected officials, but never bothers to get out and vote.........how pathetic.

 

Note - the lack of smiley faces

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What do you consider major injury? Would a trip to the emergency room to have a cut on the forehead washed out (from a bullet bounce back), xrayed and three stiches to close count? Any firearm related injury that a emergency room (doctor) treats is reported to the local police and a report is made.

 

I looked at the title of the tread. It talks about lawsuits. In the context of lawyers I consider a major injury one that will give a working lawyer the idea that he can make some real money. If you have never handled a tort case you have no idea how expensive it can be. The lawyer the victim hires will. He isn't going to want to work real hard on a scratch.

 

Again, try to create a safe environment because it is the right thing to do. Buy insurance. If you do you shouldn't lose sleep.

 

SASS rules on target placement are probably the result of decades of experience. A lot of considerations went into those rules including safety. Safety is only one consideration. If targets are too close or too far shooting them isn't much fun for the average person. SASS after all is in the entertainment business. How close is no fun. That is an interesting question.

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I looked at the title of the tread. It talks about lawsuits. In the context of lawyers I consider a major injury one that will give a working lawyer the idea that he can make some real money. If you have never handled a tort case you have no idea how expensive it can be. The lawyer the victim hires will. He isn't going to want to work real hard on a scratch.

 

Again, try to create a safe environment because it is the right thing to do. Buy insurance. If you do you shouldn't lose sleep.

 

Lawyer is just a hired gun that will handle a case if the party that hires him pays. There are those that will chase an ambulance,,,, you know, the 'Heavy Hitters'. Perhaps the only compensation required is to cover medical bills that the victims insurance or lack of doesn;t have, but then again, the victim may want more for that scratch. You know, to pay for his legal fees on top of what ever else he thinks he needs.

 

Yes, the title has "lawsuits' in it but I took it as anytime lawyers are involve or injury/compensation enters the equasion.

 

 

You still have not define major injury.

 

I see you have edited... There are no SASS rules on target distance. Just suggestions on distances.

Yep, SASS is in the entertainment business, just like the carival or circus, there still is potential liability.

 

As far as how close to be fun? That has been cussed and discussed on recent threads.

 

Have a good day.

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I have defined major injury. That is an injury that would attract any competent lawyer to be involved.

 

Anyway, the closeness or distance of a target is generally irrelevant as to whether a major injury might occur. Five yards, 10 yards, 20 yards. A bullet that is going to really hurt you will travel those distances in a heartbeat. That is why this thread is so stupid. You don't want targets too close to make sure there aren't too many splater injuries. Unless an eye is hit it is unlikely a splater injury will be serious enough to attract a lawyer, but if a club has too many of them, shooting stops being fun at that club and people leave.

 

Pardon me, I used the word "rules" instead of "suggestions." The suggestions are based on years of experience.

 

Have a nice day. :)

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

 

This thread really makes me think hard on scrapping the SASS range venture on my ranch. :angry:

It'd be a SOB to get sued over an accident when you do all you can to make the place safe for shooters, watchers and neighbors.

 

Mustang Gregg

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About target distances and SASS recommendations.

 

Those that think that you shouldn't go closer or bigger than...should read Tex's Ed. in this month's CC.

 

Oh my...

 

:blink:

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This is nothing more than a scare tactic of an anti-gunner wanting to throw fear and hesitation into the minds of people who are pro-gunners. Ever play soft ball in a league or on an organized team? Getting hit with a bat could sure cause a major injury. I don't see any municipalties shutting down any ball parks. Has anyone ever had a major injury playing football at any level? Those organizations aren't running for the hills. I am not sure who this "cowpoke" is, but I know one thing, he is nothing more than an anti-gunner trying to scare people away from enjoying our rights as American Citizens. Texas Jack Black, I am addressing you directly. I will fight for your right to voice your opinion; and, I already have in the late 60's. But, what I don't appreciate is you hiding behind an alias used in cowboy action shooting and pretending to be something you are not. Why not get some courage, and just tell us you are against guns and gun owner's rights and is in favor of gun control or worse.

 

Every shooting organziation needs to use common sense, practice safety as a top priority, and RELAX. Just enjoy the HECK of our great sport, while protecting the 2nd Amendment, and let the 5th Graders play the game "The Sky is Falling".

 

Knob Creek Drover

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About target distances and SASS recommendations.

 

Those that think that you shouldn't go closer or bigger than...should read Tex's Ed. in this month's CC.

 

Oh my...

 

:blink:

 

+1. First paragraph, page 7.

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I have defined major injury. That is an injury that would attract any competent lawyer to be involved.

 

And there you have it. Heavy on the word "competent." Essentially, if an attorney is not intelligent enough to realize that unless he stands a good chance of winning a case, a case with a sizable award that he will receive a percentage of, there's not much worry. Sure, as has been stated, anyone can sue over anything and that would without a doubt be a PITA, but no amount of worry will prevent the frivolous crap.

 

The competent attorneys realize that "just having a job" is not what it is all about. From what I've seen, the insurance companies typically have competent attorneys and I wouldn't anticipate that the insurance companies who insure our ranges and would be defending us against the frivolous crap would be any different.

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

 

Solicitor types;

 

Well, do you recommend getting incorperated if you're going to stat up a new range?

Oh, hell, I'll just start a new topic. ^_^ I don't want walk on the original thread.

 

MG

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Law suit or not a steady flow of big up close targets sure makes a shoot boring.

 

What Colt said 100% on the boring!

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Guest Texas Jack Black

This is nothing more than a scare tactic of an anti-gunner wanting to throw fear and hesitation into the minds of people who are pro-gunners. Ever play soft ball in a league or on an organized team? Getting hit with a bat could sure cause a major injury. I don't see any municipalties shutting down any ball parks. Has anyone ever had a major injury playing football at any level? Those organizations aren't running for the hills. I am not sure who this "cowpoke" is, but I know one thing, he is nothing more than an anti-gunner trying to scare people away from enjoying our rights as American Citizens. Texas Jack Black, I am addressing you directly. I will fight for your right to voice your opinion; and, I already have in the late 60's. But, what I don't appreciate is you hiding behind an alias used in cowboy action shooting and pretending to be something you are not. Why not get some courage, and just tell us you are against guns and gun owner's rights and is in favor of gun control or worse.

 

Every shooting organziation needs to use common sense, practice safety as a top priority, and RELAX. Just enjoy the HECK of our great sport, while protecting the 2nd Amendment, and let the 5th Graders play the game "The Sky is Falling".

 

Knob Creek Drover

 

 

All some are saying is be prepared do not bury your head in the sand The Tort laws are a fact. and you should WANT to protect yourself as much as possible.

 

 

T J B

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All shooting clubs are ripe for a lawsuit look at the targets,and you can find at least one that is beat up .The RO'S are not really safety officers and many are children . When I ran a major match I was advised to incorporate myself .This also adds a layer of protection .If a club is sued ALL members could be at risk and if you RO you and ALL your assets are at risk, Your home etc. T J B

 

 

As a former personal injury lawyer, I am compelled to point out your error. Every state has "homestead" laws that protect one's home from being garnished or otherwise appropriated in a lawsuit. In rural areas, there is an acreage factor, too.

 

Only someone that you voluntarily give this right to, such as a first or second mortgage holder, or a taxing entity, can take your home. Even with a mechanic's or contractor's or materialmans's lien, they cannot actually TAKE your property. They are merely encumbering the proceeds of any future sale. Bankruptcy also has provisions to protect your "homestead." This is why "home equity loans" are a device of the Devil - they increase the risk of losing your abode during hard times.

 

 

That said, club incorporation is a good idea. But incorporation and liability waivers will only protect against "ordinary negligence." If your targets are so bad or your range so hazardous that it might be deemed "gross negligence," then not even these will protect you. Lawyers call it "piercing the corporate veil." (sounds sexy!)

 

A personal injury lawyer is NOT going to be interested in a case of minor injury. If someone loses an eye - - - - well, that might capture someone's interest.

 

So ENFORCE ALL of the safety rules! Eye protection is mandatory. Do the best you can with targets and make certain that pistol targets are well designed and blemish-free, always. Make certain that ALL visitors have eye and ear protection.

 

Make sure the club has insurance to protect against major injury, and have a little faith in your fellow shooters. We might whine about misses, but nobody I shoot with is going to do more than complain about splashback.

 

Buena suerte, amigos

eGG

(who has been on the wagon from practicing law for 19 years)

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Guest Texas Jack Black

As a former personal injury lawyer, I am compelled to point out your error. Every state has "homestead" laws that protect one's home from being garnished or otherwise appropriated in a lawsuit. In rural areas, there is an acreage factor, too.

 

Only someone that you voluntarily give this right to, such as a first or second mortgage holder, or a taxing entity, can take your home. Even with a mechanic's or contractor's or materialmans's lien, they cannot actually TAKE your property. They are merely encumbering the proceeds of any future sale. Bankruptcy also has provisions to protect your "homestead." This is why "home equity loans" are a device of the Devil - they increase the risk of losing your abode during hard times.

 

 

That said, club incorporation is a good idea. But incorporation and liability waivers will only protect against "ordinary negligence." If your targets are so bad or your range so hazardous that it might be deemed "gross negligence," then not even these will protect you. Lawyers call it "piercing the corporate veil." (sounds sexy!)

 

A personal injury lawyer is NOT going to be interested in a case of minor injury. If someone loses an eye - - - - well, that might capture someone's interest.

 

So ENFORCE ALL of the safety rules! Eye protection is mandatory. Do the best you can with targets and make certain that pistol targets are well designed and blemish-free, always. Make certain that ALL visitors have eye and ear protection.

 

Make sure the club has insurance to protect against major injury, and have a little faith in your fellow shooters. We might whine about misses, but nobody I shoot with is going to do more than complain about splashback.

 

Buena suerte, amigos

eGG

(who has been on the wagon from practicing law for 19 years)

 

 

WOW! You do know that the states with homestead exemptions have a fixed dollar amount and that you are ONLY protected to that amount. Of course I am not a lawyer, yet, I know that.I also know that Say you live in Colorado you are protected for a measly 45,000 .Not much protection.

 

 

T J B

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Thanks for the praise, but I think it is a bit much. My opinion is neither exhaustive, nor even thoroughly considered. You make a good point about individual liability, but I suppose in life if one wants to do something, they have to accept the risks.

 

If a suit is brought by a shooter, they have a high hurdle to prove, but it might be accomplished. Having the club incorporation in order is critical if this happens.

 

That is why I think a cabinet full of pre shoot inspection reports is a good idea.

As another SASS loving lawyer, I concur wholeheartedly with Mark Flint's post. Anyone can sue anyone for any reason or no good reason. Just be sure that your waiver carefully and in BIG letters has the shooter acknowledge that the game involves the firing of real bullets and there is an element of serious risk involved in participating or watching (our spectators can stand awfully close at most ranges). It should also state that the signer understands and assumes the risk. It should also state that eye protection (and I recommend that it include wrap around eye protection or side shields (mandatory at our range)) is required and that the signer agrees to wear same at all times on the range. A proper waiver will not prevent a lawsuit from an injured participant (and sometimes a non-injured person), but it will give them a large hurdle to overcome if they do try to assert a claim for damages.

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Guest Texas Jack Black

All I know for sure that any discussion that I am on the opposite side as TJB I am on the right side of the argument. Judge I rest my case!

 

 

 

YUP the lawyers posting here say to protect yourself I say protect yourself , So it seems you have your head up your A%% again

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YUP the lawyers posting here say to protect yourself I say protect yourself , So it seems you have your head up your A%% again

 

I think of all my good SASS friends that have left this earth...just goes to show ya.

 

<_<

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