We understand that navigating the rules for this element of the BSA outdoor program can be a challenge. The terms can be confusing so we offer the guide below to help with this effort. It will be worth in the end for you to organize a fun and safe activity.

To hold a shooting event you need qualified range staff and a range.

Finding a place to hold an event might be a little difficult as shooting sports gets even more popular than it is today and its one of the most popular even now. Scout Camps offer some the best facilities as they are maintained according to BSA standards but if you can’t get a reservation you might want to consider a commercial facility.

Range staff What do they do?How many do I need?
BSA Rangemasteroversee operation of BB gun range, archery range, slingshots, tomahawk throwing, rocket launches- on a BB gun range 1 per 8 shooters is needed.
- on remaining ranges a minimum of one.
NRA Range Safety Officer (RSO)oversee the operations of every firearm range, deliver safety briefinga minimum of one per range while in operation
NRA Instructorfacilitate the operation of firearm ranges. They are discipline specific, i.e. pistol, rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader- on a rifle range: 1 per 8 shooters
- on a shotgun range: 1 per active shooter
- on a pistol range: one per shooter
Archery Instructoroversee safe operations of an archery range. Teach the BSA Archery Rangemaster course.one per active archery range if a BSA Rangemaster is not present
BSA Shooting Sports Directorstaff the Council shooting sports committee
train Rangemasters
help ensure Council and Districts events are held according to BSA standards
ideally we need at least one in each District

Note: if you plan to use a firearm range you must have at minimum two separate people to run the range, one NRA Range Safety Officer and at least one NRA Instructor of the discipline of the firearms that you are planning to use.

Archery ranges may be supervised by either a BSA Rangemaster or an archery instructor certified by USA Archery, or National Field Archery Association.

Example
You plan to simultaneously open the rifle range, shotgun range and archery range at Camp Durant for an event. You need at minimum the following:

  • at rifle range: 1 NRA Range Safety Officer, 1 NRA Rifle Instructor (two different people)
  • at shotgun range: 1 NRA Range Safety Officer, 1 NRA Shotgun Instructor (two different people)
  • at archery range: 1 BSA Rangemaster or USA Archery Instructor

So at a minimum you would need 5 people. It is recommended to have more to assist. For events with many participants we recommend having more RSOs and Rangemasters (archery) so that safety briefings may be conducted for waiting groups while the range is in operation.

Your checklist to run an event should include making a reservation at an approved range and securing qualified range staff the number of which is determined by the above.

The Occoneechee Council Shooting Sports committee is here to help fulfill your range staff needs. You can request help from us. Be sure to ask your range volunteers for a copy of their certification. Verify that they will not expire before your event occurs. Also ask what role they are volunteering to fulfill. Are they volunteering to be an RSO, instructor, Rangemaster? Do they hold that certification?