So we bounced back and forth a couple emails. I sent the last one Monday night asking for additional clarification regarding the issue previously brought up here. Mainly because I had an issue with trying to use section 10.5 to attempt to DQ a competitor.
If you’re wondering why I wanted to get to the bottom of this, its’ because I don’t want to see someone else do something like I did and have it turn into me ruining their day at the match. I knew how easy it was and even other RO’s at the time didn’t really think of it either. That said the rules exist for safety first and foremost. So I want a clear and concise reason and I want to have my facts straight if I have to drop the hammer.
So let me start at the beginning of my major issues. Rule 10.5.1 states:
Handling a firearm at any time except when in a designated safety area or when under the supervision of, and in response to a direct command issued by, a Range Officer.
And is prefaced with:
Examples of unsafe gun handling include, but are not limited to:
Which my main issue was that the Rule Book clearly defines what is and is not handling:
(As in “handling a firearm”) The act of manipulating, holding, or gripping a firearm while the trigger is functionally accessible.
The other RO did bring up a valid issue with casing, uncasing, and holstering of firearms. 2.4.1 states the following:
Competitors are permitted to use the Safety Areas for the activities stated below provided they remain within the boundaries of the Safety Area and the firearm is pointed in a safe direction. Violations are subject to match disqualification (see Rules 10.5.1 & 10.5.12).
Which he then pointed out that 2.4 specifies activites that are permitted at the safety table, not that you must be at the safety table. Which makes sense because you could uncase when when you step into the shooters box.
So the problem comes in that the case was opened, but no one actually touched the firearm. How can it be a DQ? Turns out it wasn’t. There are two things worthy of note from the email:
This sort of thing is just asking for a DQ. Might as well pass around a plate of chocolate chip cookies and tell people to look, don’t touch.
I can agree with that and sympathize whole heartily. Yeah all things considered, probably not a good idea since everyone will be staring at it going “Oooohhhh Shiny.” However it does open you to a potential DQ under 10.6.
One RM suggested that if someone had handled they would be DQ’d and the person displaying would get a DQ under 10.6. It’s a bit of a stretch but I can see that.
For those unaware, 10.6 is the section pertaining to unsportsmanlike conduct. As said above, it’s like tempting people with a plate of cookies, probably not the smartest idea. Like Kevin, it’s a stretch but I can see it.
So, in closing, not a good idea, expect a talking to, and if you see someone else do it, give them a gentle nudge that it isn’t a good idea and use the cookie example. Yes new toys are fun to show off, just walk over to the safety table just in case the monkey brain goes, “Shiny” and tries to pick it up. Then your bases are covered.
The following bit from the authority on this one is worthy of remembrance as well:
Remember, the basis of our rules is safety. You can game the non-safety related rules all you want but there is a very, very low tolerance for gaming the safety rules.
That is why I wouldn’t have an issue with it being brought up or a nudge. Show and tell is creating a situation that can lead handling. From a safety stand point, that’s bad, mmmkay.
This decision and justification does however solve another issue I had. New shooters may show up with said case and open it to put on mags and holster while in a more comfortable area away from the safety table which is usually quite busy at the start of a match. They key is they can not touch the gun. Once the holsters are on they need to go to the safety table to remove the gun from the case and holster.
Personally I advise putting the gun in a separate case and calling it good. The only reason I hadn’t yet was because I hadn’t had a chance to rearrange my range bag yet. I still want my other XD, mags, and ammo as a backup so I need to do some rearranging. However I can see new shooters showing up with that case, it as everything they need but eyes, ears, and ammo.
Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.
He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.