News and Information 2018-06-03T07:08:12+00:00

Upcoming Events

Fri 18

Couple’s Date Night at Saddle River Range

January 18 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Sat 19
Fri 25

Couple’s Date Night at Saddle River Range

January 25 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Sat 26

Edge Weapons Overview Jan 26 & 27

January 26 @ 12:00 am

Gun Safety in the Home

Gun Safety in the Home

 

By Thom Bolsch and Ron Mullins

 

Did Santa bring you a new firearm for Christmas?  Did you decide not to take a chance with Santa and buy a new firearm on your own?  Great, congratulations on your new firearm.

 

So whether this is a first gun, or just another in your collection; Safety is of utmost importance.  With any complex piece of machinery, safety must be in the forefront of our minds.  We want everyone to understand the rules of safe gun ownership and stay safe – including the children in our homes.

 

There was a popular movie that came out around Christmas time a couple of decades ago about a boy that wanted a BB gun for Christmas.  He was tormented by all that if he had a BB gun, he’d shoot his eye out!  We recognize that any firearm can cause injury; and because of that, we want to address some safety considerations for new gun owners; and a refresher for those that have a collection of guns.

 

Four rules of gun ownership:

  1. Treat ALL guns as if they are loaded and ready to fire,
  2. Never point any firearm at anything you don’t want to destroy,
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire,
  4. Be aware of what is around and behind your target.

 

As adults, we can understand and respect these rules and abide by them; and we need to instill this respect in our children.  From an early age we must educate our young people that guns are beneficial, but must be handled with respect.  A recent CDC report presented statistics that gun related deaths of children between 1 and 19 was second only to auto crashes.  We can change that with a little practical, rational thought and the addition of available devices that can help keep guns away from curious hands.

 

Considering the aforementioned devices; what options are available to keep our guns secure and our children safe?

 

The basic three include: 1. a gun safe, 2. trigger guards, and 3. cable locks.

 

Each provides a level of safety and security for the firearm based on the particular risk associated with the household environment.  For a single defensive pistol kept in the bedroom with no children (and no expected children) a trigger guard or finger release box would be considered sufficient.  For four or five rifles, a couple of shotguns and a half dozen handguns with children living at home; a large room safe would be considered a more appropriate option.

 

The type of firearm, your situation, your lifestyle and household environment will determine the security measures you’ll want to take to keep your firearm(s) secure and ready, but out of the reach of the kids.  An informed sales clerk at a gun store – specifically the knowledgeable men and women behind the counter at Saddle River Range can help you determine the best option for you and your family.

 

They can also sign you up with an instructor learn about firearm safety and the basics of firearm operations.   Make if a family affair and bring the whole family; if everyone learns the basics, we all benefit as responsible gun owners.

 

Learn more about training programs to help you understand how best to protect yourself and your family here at Saddle River Range.  Club memberships can be found here.

Be Aware, Be Safe.

 

© Copyright 2019 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved

By | January 6th, 2019|Categories: News|0 Comments

 Legalities of Carrying a Handgun

By Thom Bolsch and Ron Mullins

 

Grab a cup of coffee and find a comfortable place to sit.

 

We recently penned an article on the use of force; and now we are going to take a deeper dive into the responsibilities of carrying a handgun in public and the potential use of deadly force. You’ll want to sit down and read this…  Not just skim through it!

 

In the state of Texas, Government Code 411, Subchapter H outlines the authority and obligations for a private citizen to carry a handgun, concealed or open, in public.  The latest amendments of this code went into effect January 1, 2017; referred to today as a “License to Carry” or “LTC”.

 

We are not going to go over the legalities associated with the LTC.  You should be familiar with that from attending your LTC class.

 

This article was drafted from research into GC 411, discussions with instructors and conversations with Law Enforcement.  We were fortunate to gain an audience with Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson, Montgomery County Precinct 3 Constable Ryan Gable and MCSO Captain Damon Hall in the development of this article.  Thank you all for your time, your insight and your service to the community.

 

You have watched the news and seen an increase in situations where the average citizen is under threat of violence; and you think to yourself “What if me, my wife and kids were in that situation?”.  Would you know how to protect your family?  Could you protect your family?

 

This is the primary reason for most individuals to make the effort to secure their License to Carry.

 

You are born with the right to protect yourself, the US Constitution stipulates that the government cannot take that right away from you; and Texas Penal Code Chapter 9 defines the legal use of deadly force to affect that protection.

 

The LTC however, comes with some guidelines, rules and responsibilities.  It is our obligation, and our responsibility, to treat the right and the authorization with respect.  There are too many people in the world that want to take your right to carry a gun away from you; we don’t want to give them a reason to do so.

 

You have attained, or are deciding whether to attain, your “LTC”.  Understand, the gun you carry can only be presented in response to a direct threat of physical violence upon yourself, a family member or innocent bystander.  Shooting at the car of a shoplifter as they speed away from you does not meet the criteria of the established guidelines; and you may end up on the wrong side of the law!

 

It should also be pointed out that the “LTC” is NOT a badge.  It does not promulgate a law enforcement authority.  The “LTC’s” only purpose is to allow an individual to carry a handgun in public.

 

We’ll mention it again; there are responsibilities to carrying a handgun in public.  One being awareness of those around you.  Yes, we live in Texas and it’s expected that everyone has a gun in Texas; even so, there are many people that are uncomfortable with someone sporting a new Sig Sauer on their hip at the local restaurant.

 

And as is the case, if this handgun is seen by someone, they could call to have law enforcement investigate the situation.  If you are ever approached as a result of this situation; be respectful of the Law Enforcement official, be polite.  Present your license and be courteous; he or she are just doing their job.  And if asked by the establishment to leave; find somewhere else to grab a burger, you don’t want to eat where they don’t support the Second Amendment.

 

Sheriff Henderson shed a little light on the public carry of a handgun for Montgomery County, explaining that when the carry laws changed from concealed to open, the act of open carry was determined not to be considered ‘probably cause’.  Unless actions dictate otherwise, law enforcement officers will likely leave you alone.

 

In our conversations, it was shared with us that law enforcement officers routinely experience two very different personalities when approaching an individual with an open carry handgun: One is referred to as responsible and respectful; the other as arrogant and antagonistic.  A showboating attitude in such a situation does not promote a responsible and respectful gun owning member of society.  Again, show Law Enforcement the respect they deserve; and exemplify the responsible gun carrying citizen you are.

 

We should also mention that legislative changes are updated every two years for the law enforcement community.  LTC renewals are much less frequent; opening a possible gap in our compliance with legislative changes in the law.  The Officer or Deputy may only want to inform you of the change; not “Jack you up”.  They don’t want to harass you.  They do want you to be safe and respectful to the people around you.

 

We’ve mentioned that carrying a handgun in public is a big responsibility.  But protecting our family from harm, or keeping your co-workers safe while out for lunch is another enormous responsibility.  The handgun just gives us a tool to provide that protection.  Yes, we have an obligation and a responsibility.  But didn’t we have that moral character before we had our LTC?

 

In the past year, there have been several stories of the average citizen standing up to a threat and protecting an innocent, and even a couple of stories where a citizen intervened when a criminal element got the upper hand on a law enforcement officer.  Constable Gable referred to those individuals as “angels”.

 

We want citizens with that character, the character to stand up to a threat and to injustice; and we want them carrying the tools necessary to deal with those issues.

 

One additional item to point out.  Everyone we talked with in constructing this article pointed out that just having the tool does not make you an expert in the operation of that tool.  Just because you have a seven iron, it doesn’t mean you’re a golfer.  Just because you carry a sidearm, doesn’t mean you’re ready – unless you train!  The final obligation and responsibility we have as a result of carrying a handgun in public is to train.  The military trains, hoping never to have to go to war.  Law Enforcement trains, hoping to never have to draw their duty gun.  We too must train.  We rehearse; hoping we are never called on stage.  But if we are ever called upon; we must know what to do. And; as Sheriff Henderson pointed out, we need to have a ‘mental blueprint’ associated with the fact that we may have to take a life!

 

Sheriff Henderson and Constable Gable both reiterated the need for advanced education and practical training.  Both considered civilian carry of a handgun a positive consideration; as well, both pointed out that with this right and authorization comes substantial responsibility.

 

Training and practice means more than just going to the range and punching holes in paper.  Take a series of beginner, intermediate and ultimately a tactical pistol class and learn what it’s like to draw your handgun from its holster, what it’s like to shoot at the image of a real person (and not just a silhouette), how to direct your shots towards the perpetrator without risking the safety of innocent people around you.

 

We don’t promote taking a life; but we don’t want the life of one we know taken.  We have a responsibility to the people we care about!

 

Our safety is our responsibility.  The ability to defend ourselves is our right.  Knowing how is our challenge; and know-how not only includes understanding the laws that frame our rights, but also the knowledge of how to use the tools to protect ourselves, our families and our friends.

 

Learn more about training programs to help you understand how best to protect yourself and your family here at Saddle River Range.  Club memberships can be found here.

Be Aware, Be Safe.

 

© Copyright 2018 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved

By | December 4th, 2018|Categories: News|0 Comments

Holiday Safety Tips

 

Holiday Safety Tips

By Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

The days are getting shorter, the morning cooler.  It’s that time of year…

The time each year where we point out a few things to help keep you safe throughout the holiday season.

It bears repeating, the bad guys love the holidays as much as the rest of us; only because it affords them more opportunity for crime.

For those that have been reading our Situation Report for the past several years, some of these tips will be a needed refresher, for some of you – new material.  And to start off the season of Thanks Giving – Thank you to all of you; new readers and those that have been with us from the beginning.  We appreciate your support and your loyalty to Saddle River Range.

We have segmented the following tips based on the location, activity and age group.

Shopping:  Shopping centers and malls are ideal locations for criminals as the environment is “target rich”.

  • Stay alert and aware of what is happening around you, in the store and in the parking lot
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash: I suggest getting a debit card and limiting the amount loaded on the card.  There is no identification information and the loss is limited if stolen.
  • DO NOT overburden yourself with packages. Keep your purse closed and held tight, not dangling from straps.  Guys, put your wallet in your front pocket if carrying stuff for your gal.

 

 

At Home: We have all heard of someone being followed home, or having their home burglarized.  Some neighborhoods stand out as targets because of the displayed affluence.

 

  • When arriving at home be alert for suspicious vehicles on the block. Be alert for strangers approaching you in the drive way or at the front door.  Remove hiding spaced, by illuminating shadows.
  • Not to be alarmist, but someone at the front door may not be whom they seem to be. Criminals do pose as delivery personnel; and those asking for charitable donations may not be representing others in need.
  • After you open the gifts from your holiday spree, don’t announce your new toys to the world by putting the boxes on the front curb for collection. Break down the boxes and bind them.  This prevents a bad guy from noticing you have a brand new 70 inch flat screen TV.

 

Children:  It’s an exciting time for the little ones; plenty of colorful lights, and magical sounds and lots and lots of people.  It’s easy for you, and them to get distracted and get separated.

  • It will happen, regardless of the effort you make to prevent it; children will wander off. Teach your children that if they turn around and mommy is not there, they should seek out a store clerk, a security officer, or as a last resort another mommy with children.  Play a game with them, and stop on occasion and have them point out a safe person they might approach if you were not with them.
  • For the older children, have them be mindful of what they post online. Pictures of the house portraying all the stuff under the tree just points out to a criminal where they might want to shop.  Also, be especially considerate of posting pictures of grandma and grandpa’s house online.

 

Winter and the holiday season is a special time of year.  With a little thought and attention, you will be rewarded with wonderful memories of a joyous occasion; and the bad guys will end up with coal in their stockings.

Oh, yeah!  Don’t forget to load up on stocking stuffers for your family, friends and loved ones.  Gift certificates are now available for a new something special, an outing at the range or some instruction for a new shooter or archer.  Come in now and load up for the holidays.

Stay Alert, Stay Safe,

 

© Copyright 2018 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved.

 

By | October 31st, 2018|Categories: News|0 Comments

The Use of Force

 

The Use of Force

 

By Thom Bolsch and Ron Mullins

 

“Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these:  First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can.”  Samuel Adams (No, not the beer, the patriot that helped found this country).

 

So, the fundamental principles of our society and culture provide for us to be able to defend our right to life, liberty and property.  And built into the legal structure of each state are laws and statutes that define when we, as citizens can use force; even deadly force if necessary.  However, those laws are also based on what a “reasonable person” may do in a confrontational situation.  And those same laws are written with ambiguous language such that a prosecutor can second guess your actions.

 

We know we are allowed, as free men to be able to protect and defend; so let’s look at the progression and escalation of defense and “force”.

 

We are not going to espouse legal advice; nor are we going to present options on how to address a situation.  We do want to make you think.  Think about awareness.  Think about your situation.  Think about how you’d respond.

 

Initially, we want to avoid a potential situation in which a confrontation may develop; but if we find ourselves in such a situation; probably ninety percent of the time we are going to be able to do one of two things to evade any use of force.  If we find that we are in a situation which could develop, or has developed into a confrontation; consider de-escalating or retreating from the situation.  Both are non-force responses to a confrontation; and we want to attempt these actions if we have the ability.

 

There are numerous stories about a guy’s ego getting out of control in a situation as he feels he must defend honor and then gets the snot beat out of him; or worse.  There is no shame in ignoring a comment or gesture and walking away.  However, if as you’re walking away, your antagonist decides he must make an example of you; use of force is needed to end the threat.  But, and this is important, how much force can you use to end the threat?

 

Your personal safety and security is at risk; how much force is necessary to neutralize the threat?  Reasonable force is the force necessary to stop the threat, but not “exceed” the threat.  Given any situation where you are at risk of harm, you are not going to stop and determine the legal aspect of balancing your force against the threat.  But you need to maintain a situational awareness regarding the threat and be prepared to escalate or de-escalate your force as necessary given the situation.  And NO; we will not provide examples, as every situation is different and it will be your responsibility to protect yourself and your loved ones as you deem necessary given that situation.

 

But we should consider and discuss “Reasonable” and “Deadly” force.

 

Reasonable Force as Defined by The Legal Library

 

The amount of force necessary to protect oneself or one’s property. Reasonable force is a term associated with defending one’s person or property from a violent attack, theft, or other type of unlawful aggression. It may be used as a defense in a criminal trial or to defend oneself in a suit alleging tortious conduct. If one uses excessive force, or more than the force necessary for such protection, he or she may be considered to have forfeited the right to defense. Reasonable force is also known as legal force.

 

One might consider that reasonable force would be matching the tool of the attacker.  You might still get the snot beat out of you, or worse, if you are not as skilled as the attacker with that tool.  It’s not tool versus tool.  It’s what you have to do to survive!

 

Deadly Force

 

Deadly force is generally thought of as escalating beyond “Reasonable Force” and includes the penetration of a weapon, or projectile into someone and of course the killing of someone.

 

With any responsive force; you must follow rules; else you might find yourself on the wrong side of the law even if you were just trying to protect yourself from a threat.  Some food for thought; you’re about to enter your car in a parking lot when you see an unsavory character approaching you with a knife in his hand.  Are we at risk of a threat?  If so, what “force” might we present given this risk of threat?  (And if you didn’t think about how you would respond to this threat when you walked towards your car; you are already two moves behind your antagonist!)

 

Our safety and security, and the safety and security of our families will depend on you presenting force as necessary when needed; but you don’t want to find your livelihood and liberties lost for not being responsible in your use of force.

 

Our safety is our responsibility.  The ability to defend ourselves is our right.  Knowing how is our challenge; and knowhow not only includes defensive fighting and weapons use, but an understanding of the laws that frame our rights.

 

Learn more about training programs to help you understand how best to protect yourself and your family here at Saddle River Range.  Club memberships can be found here.

Be Aware, Be Safe.

 

© Copyright 2018 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved

 

 

By | October 5th, 2018|Categories: News|0 Comments

Practice Makes Perfect

By Thom Bolsch and Ron Mullins

(Downloadable Dot Torture can be found here)

What is the difference between being able to ride a bike and engaging in a sport such as tennis, golf or fly fishing?

The ability to ride a bike is base predominantly on balance; a function of a part of the inner ear that allows us to remain upright.  Our ability to play a sport requires an enforcement of consistent engagement to keep the muscle memory active for peak repetitiveness – ‘practice’.

Regardless of your sport or activity, if you took a month off, two months off or maybe a whole year; you’d still understand the fundamentals of the activity, but your capability would deteriorate from lack of ‘practice’.  You will have lost your ‘groove’.

The same can be said for our capabilities in firearm marksmanship and archery accuracy.  If we do not practice the activity, our level of competency – our skill – deteriorates.

Skill is important, regardless of activity.  Bow or gun, competition or hunting, for fun or protection; enhancing and maintaining a level of competency in our ability to perform is important.

Ask yourself; ‘Is getting to the range every three years to requalify for the License to Carry enough practice to establish a level of competency to react to a deadly threat?  Similarly, can you realistically think you’ll drop that trophy buck when you haven’t nocked an arrow since you put down the bow last season?  We don’t think you need us to answer those questions for you.  You know.

  1. We’ve justified the need to practice. If you want to maintain your level of skill; whether that skill is in competitive marksmanship, hunting accuracy or consistency of arrow flight – we need to practice.  We take the thought further; how much and what kind of practice?

If we compare our marksman and accuracy activities to any other sport; we quickly realize that the top golfers, the top tennis players, the top football players all practice.  They practice daily, or at the very least weekly.  They also incorporate another element to their practice – they employ a ‘coach’.

Do you engage a shooting coach?  If you golf, I’ll bet you have an instructor you go to when your game is off.  Do you have an archery coach?  How do you assess, evaluate and identify your weaknesses and incorporate adjustments to improve your ability if you are focused on the activity?  You cannot.  You cannot see yourself from behind and notice the slight twitch of your left arm when squeezing the trigger causing you to miss the target.

A coach can see you from all angles, can assess your foundation, can evaluate your actions and help get you into a groove.  A coach can also push you.  Take you outside your box; up your game.

We maintain muscle memory from punching holes in a sheet of paper ten yards away in an isolated lane.  We enhance our level of capability by stretching our range; and a coach/instructor can help us with that.

We just sent the kids back to school to enhance their learning; let’s go back to school ourselves to enhance our abilities.

And now is an opportune time to go back to school; Saddle River Range is offering Labor Day specials on memberships.  Come in, sign up and hire a coach.  You owe it to yourself to get to the range regularly and practice.

Check out Saddle River Range training programs here for firearms; and here for archery at Saddle River Range.  Club memberships can be found here.

Stay Alert, Stay Safe.

 

© Copyright 2018 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved

By | September 2nd, 2018|Categories: News|0 Comments

Meet our Team: Gunsmith Brian Meidal

By Thom Bolsch and Ron Mullins

We are going to take a detour from our regular topics on safety and training and introduce you to Brian Meidal.  For those readers unaware; Saddle River Range has a fully functional gun smith operation; and Brian is your go to guy in the shop.

In a conversation with Brian last week we asked about what he does, and can do for a Saddle River Range customer…

“We help with failures on the range; helping shooters see how things are supposed to work.  Additionally, we replace a lot sights, adjust trigger pulls or repair a broken part.”

But if you ask what excites him; Brian answers: “The custom work.  I’m working on a custom competition cowboy rifle that the owner uses during shooting competitions.  The intimate work and intricacies of honing a firearm for competition requires the expertise of a skilled mechanic as well as a visionary artisan.”  He showed us that rifle; and it is a work of art as well as a fine example of engineering.  I think it’s safe to say that customer will be winning shooting competitions soon.

We asked Brian how he got started as a gun smith and his answer was surprising.

“I was working at a sandwich shop when I learned about the gun smith program at Colorado School of Trades in Denver.  I mentioned the program to the shop owner and he encouraged me to call and ask about enrollment.  The next thing I knew, I was back in school learning how to work on and build firearms.”

Brian shared with us that shortly before graduation, he was offered a job with GunSmoke; a gun store and custom gun builder in Denver Colorado.  We’ve heard of that place!  GunSmoke was the setting for a reality show on the Discovery Channel.  Readers may remember the show named American Guns.  Brian was with GunSmoke for a number of years and was with them during the filming of the show.

Naturally, we had to ask; what was his most memorable experience in working at the iconic shop.

His response: “There’s a few: I presented one of our Presidential 1911s to President George W. Bush, I got to meet Ted Nugent – he filmed an episode of the show; and we built a black powder axe mortar gun with a Damascus Steel Tabar blade mounted to the forend.”  Of course we had to go back and research that episode to comprehend a ‘black powder axe mortar gun’; a very interesting piece of firearm engineering and craftsmanship to say the least!

We asked Brian what was next.  His response was a desire to expand the operation of the shop with ‘made to order’ firearms.  He wants to expand on the shops capabilities to build ‘made to order’ custom firearms; with more build to spec ARs, hand guns and rifles for sport and competition.

Brian is one of the many team members Saddle River Range, here to help with your shooting experience.  Next time you visit, stop by and say hello.  Ask him to build a custom gun for you.

Click the link for more information on the services offered through our gunsmith department; or to learn more about the only NSSF Five Star rated Indoor range in Texas, head to our web site.

Stay Alert, Stay Safe,

 

© Copyright 2018 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved

By | August 1st, 2018|Categories: News|0 Comments