During match registration, we visually inspect your PAL (firearms license) at every event. This is an easy way for us to qualify participants for our events.
In order to get your firearms license in Canada you must undergo:
To summarize, the Government of Canada and its appointed authorities have already put in place a set of conditions designed to keep firearms out of the hands of people who should not have them. By visually inspecting your firearms license, we know that you have been checked out by the RCMP for any reasons you might not be permitted to participate.
We do not record any information from your license. We simply verify the photo and expiration date.
A chamber flag is simply a specially designed device which when installed in your firearm prevents the action from cycling. This is usually accomplished by obstructing the bolt's movement and preventing it from closing on the chamber. Many models also obstruct the chamber with a bright yellow bullet shaped piece of plastic. All chamber flags used at our matches are required to be "high visibility" and easily observable from a distance.
When a chamber flag is installed in a firearm, you can easily tell the firearm is currently incapable of discharging ammunition. Our match-designated range officers will instruct participants to only remove the chamber flag when it is their turn to shoot and will again instruct the participant to re-insert the chamber flag before they leave the stage and the range is considered clear for taping and setup for the next participant.
Eye protection and ear protection is mandatory any time the range "is hot".
While we may not enforce it, other personal protectective equipment such as gloves, kneepads and quality shoes or boots are a great idea too. While you're at it throw in some sunscreen and bug spray in your range bag!
Our TacRifle events are supervised. Every participant is directed by a range officer for the entire duration that their firearm is capable of discharging any ammunition. The range officers will disqualify participants for gross safety violations such as pointing a non-chamber flagged firearm anywhere except "downrange" (downrange includes 90 degrees to either side of directly downrange - aka "the 180 line"). Disqualified participants are required to case their firearms for the day and will not be permitted to finish the match.
We welcome new shooters and are familiar with the possible safety risks. We frequently remind new shooters to slow down and take their time so as not to get flustered and risk disqualification.
In addition to the dedicated range officers, the club range warden will also periodically check in on any events at the club to ensure they are being conducted in a safe manner and in compliance with range policies.
Ultimately we are operating at a sportsmens' club. As a community we have a vested interest in protecting our privileges and maintaining a safe environment for the enjoyment of firearm relating sporting events. Generally speaking everyone who participates in our matches wants to protect the reputation of their sport and will keep an unofficial eye on each other's safety. We watch out for each other and will remind our friends to install a chamber flag, engage their safety mechanisms and keep the muzzle pointed up or down when not actively shooting.
Of course, if anyone sees any unsafe behavior at the range and are uncomfortable speaking to the unsafe individual, they are encouraged to report it to the designated match range officers or range warden on duty.