Indoor ranges provide users with a semi-controlled environment for trigger time without having to deal with environmental variables. On the other hand, customers are required to follow the company’s protocol and safety rules and shoot alongside a variety of unknown strangers.
Unfortunately, the range rules can be arbitrary and focused on liability rather than the protection of your gear. One Reddit user found this out the hard way when his silencer became unmounted enough to fly down range and into the backstop.
However, as the story goes, the range safety officer (RSO) refused to call the the line cold so that the customer could retrieve his silencer. In fact, the shooter was told to come back at the end of the night, and when he did, he was given the remains of his can.
Range Rules Prevents Suppressor Retrieval:
I usually shoot at my house, because I live in the middle of nowhere. However, since it was pouring rain, I went to my local indoor range.
The first shot I took with my 10.5″ AR-15 ended up shooting my SilencerCo Omega all the way to the back of the range. I immediately went out, contacted the range officials asking them if they could do a cease-fire and go get it for me. They said, “We’re really busy right now, and it’s inconvenient for everyone.”. They told me they would get it at the end of the night, and I could come back the next day to get it.
I initially questioned the legality of this, since it’s an NFA item and I wasn’t transferring it to them. I’m kinda curious if they were actually allowed to do this. They are an SOT, able to sell suppressors. I’m not sure if they are able to hold them temporarily if not for repair or whatnot.
They called me this morning, and told me to come pick up “what remained” of my suppressor. They stated it was in multiple parts, even though when I left, it was fine. They didn’t even stop renting out the lane where my suppressor was in, and in the 6 or so hours after I left, 2 shots had hit my suppressor. Somehow the cover that was on the suppressor is also missing. They apparently can’t find it.
I have an email out to SilencerCo to see if it’s repairable. I’m not sure what they’re going to say. However, I may be contacting this shooting range, since their unwillingness to call a cease fire because of the “inconvenience” may have cost me a significant amount of time and money. It’s not their fault that my suppressor shot off, but why would they not call a cease fire? Isn’t that fairly negligent? They know people will be shooting down range. And they didn’t help by allowing people to keep using that same lane.
Has anyone had a suppressor get shot like this and get repaired? There’s no puncture, just significant dents. Most of the repairs I’ve been able to find searches of are based on baffles.
Additionally, anyone have any advice for dealing with the range?
tldr; My suppressor shot off for some reason, and range wouldn’t let me or them get it. It got shot twice, and is now in multiple pieces.
[UPDATE: Response from SilencerCo]
I will not know if this will be repairable till we get it back and have it inspected. I will be happy to keep you informed during this process.
[UPDATE 2: Spoke with an attorney specializing in firearms]
So as I suspected, the gun range taking possession of the suppressor violates the NFA. The only way they could take it, would be for repair (which this ironically was pretty much the complete opposite of). I did not violate any laws, just them being in the possession of the item. Ideally, they’d also have to log it in their books as /u/556RShackleford stated. I highly doubt they did, which could potentially get them in more trouble. The attorney recommended that if SilencerCo couldn’t fix it, to do small claims court, as I and everyone else here has expected. From how he saw it (and many of you) this range owes me a new suppressor due to their negligence.
As a reminder, any FFL/SOT manufacturer can repair a damaged silencer. However, the serialized portion of the NFA item (usually the tube on a silencer) is not replaceable without creating a taxable event. Meaning another $200 tax paid and a waiting for the approval of a ATF Form 3 (transfer between dealers) and ATF Form 4 (transfer to a non-licensee).
Personally, I hope this story is manufactured; a business refusing to shut down a range for a customers ~$1K investment is depressing at best and negligent/liable at worst.