To the firing range we go!
posted June 22, 2013 9:57 AM   RSS

I got my FOID card a couple of months ago and would like to gauge MeFiChi's interest in an outing to the shooting range. You don't have to own a gun to participate.
First a note to those that may be on the fence about going to a shooting range or first-timers: A shooting range can me intimidating if you're not used to it or firearms in general, but it's also a lot of fun. Going with a group that includes people that have done this before will help ease any worries you might have. Although range employees have a reputation for being gruff, don't be afraid to ask questions - if you are earnest and polite, they will treat you well and are generally happy to provide information.

General guidelines for all ranges:
* Valid ID (drivers license, state ID, passport) is required
* 21 or older, unless with parent or guardian
* Ear and eye protection is required (bring your own, rent from the range for about $5 or so, buy at the range)
* Firearms brought into the range must be unloaded and in a case. Outside firearms and ammunition subject to inspection.
* Illinois residents must have a valid FOID card in order to buy ammunition and rent firearms.
* Ammunition for rented firearms must be purchased at the range.
* Closed toed shoes and long sleeve shirts are recommended, if not required. The spent casings are hot and you don't want to get burned. Ladies, consider the neckline on whatever you're wearing - having a hot casing bounce down your shirt is not fun!
* You can buy targets at the range.
* NEVER point a firearm at anything you don't intend to shoot, even if you are 100% sure it is unloaded. Firearms should be pointed down range at all times.
* Keep firearms unloaded and your finger off the trigger unless you are in a lane and prepared to shoot.

I've researched the ranges in the Chicagoland area and there are a two options that would work for a mixed group of FOID holders and non-FOID guests. The ranges listed below all allow guests to use firearms rented and ammunition purchased by a FOID card holder. That means you don't need a FOID card to shoot, just a valid ID.

Midwest Guns (Yelp)- Lyons, IL - 13 lanes
* FOID card holders are allowed to bring in additional guests. When I called, Pete said two or three guests per FOID card would be allowed. If we go to this range, I'll call again to confirm we're ok based on the number of FOID holders and guests.
* $20 all day range fee per person (you can leave the range for lunch or whatever and then come back without paying again)
* $8 firearm rental fee, $12 for multiple firearms (+ range fee and ammunition cost)

Deb's Gun Range (Yelp) - Hammond, IN - Six lanes
* IN residents only need a state ID in order to use the range, rent firearms, and purchase ammunition.
* If we're a group of all IL residents, one person must have a FOID. That person will have to rent all firearms and purchase all ammunition for the group.
* No limit on the number of IL guests per FOID card
* $10 all day range fee per person, $7 range fee if you buy ammo
* $10 firearm rental fee (+ range fee and ammunition cost)
* If we go before they open or after they close, we can rent the whole range (six lanes) for $75 per hour. This is a great deal if we have eight or more people and would probably allow the staff to give us more attention - especially for those that haven't been to a range or handled a firearm before!
* Depending on how crowded the range is, they may or may not enforce their 30-minute limit. That is, if there's a line of people waiting to use the range, you're limited to half an hour at a time, but can exit the range and sign in again at the end of the queue (does not apply to the whole range rental).

After talking with the staff at both ranges, I'm leaning toward Deb's even though they are smaller. They seemed happier to answer my questions and would probably work better for a group. However, Midwest is larger and has a wider variety of firearms to rent. As for a time frame, I'm thinking sometime in July or August for this meetup. We'd have to organize driving to the range, but I think we have enough cars in the MeFiChi contingent to provide rides for those who need one. I'd be happy to help pay the fees for anyone concerned about the cost of this outing fitting into their budget.
posted by youngergirl44 to Proposed (30 comments total)

I also have a FOID card, FYI.
posted by eamondaly at 11:54 AM on June 22, 2013

Another IL FOID card owner here. Do they have a good selection of handguns (for rent) at those ranges?

I saw a Smith & Wesson 0.50 cal handgun, that I think I would be afraid to fire. I've only fired a .44 Magnum once (one session, all six shots) and it scared the shit out of me.

9mm, .380's, and .45's are no big deal to me, but I'd still be lucky to hit the broad side of a barn with one.

I'd be interested in this, so please keep me in mind.


posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 12:26 AM on June 23, 2013

Iam most certainly interested. I've always wanted to learn to handle a gun.
posted by bibliogrrl at 6:28 AM on June 23, 2013

I'm definitely down.
posted by phunniemee at 6:51 AM on June 23, 2013

I've been wanting to go to a shooting range for ages, but haven't been able to find anyone to go with me. So yes, count me in! The only problem will be scheduling... if it's early enough in the day that we'll be back in the city by 6, I could do August 10 or August 3. Weekdays are also fine for me, but I know those don't work for most people. The weekend of July 6-7 is also free for me.
posted by booknerd at 8:24 AM on June 23, 2013

I want to go. I do not have a FOID card.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 6:26 PM on June 23, 2013

I do not have a FOID card, but I am highly intrigued. It would depend on the date.
posted by Windigo at 4:34 AM on June 24, 2013

I do not have a FOID, but would love to do this. If there is enough advance notice so he can request off work, my awesome guy would probably want to as well but that may not be possible.
posted by misskaz at 8:05 AM on June 25, 2013

This has spurred me to finally get an FOID card. Problem: I do not have an Illinois license or ID. Any ideas how to get around that?
posted by phunniemee at 8:09 AM on June 25, 2013

I'm pretty sure that makes you a scofflaw.
posted by garlic at 12:16 PM on June 25, 2013

I have *a* driver's license. And my passport was issued in Chicago, does that count?
posted by phunniemee at 12:20 PM on June 25, 2013

And my passport was issued in Chicago, does that count?

Not as a valid state ID, no, it does not.
posted by crush-onastick at 12:48 PM on June 25, 2013

As your attorney, I advise you to run, very fast.
posted by crush-onastick at 12:49 PM on June 25, 2013

Okay, forget what I said about the 6-7, we're now going to be moving that weekend. July 13 is free for me though!
posted by booknerd at 4:19 PM on June 25, 2013

Here is a list of rentals as Midwest. Deb's doesn't have a list online. I emailed to ask about a list and didn't get a satisfactory answer the first time around. I emailed again today and hopefully I'll get something. In any case, rental lists are subject to change as items are removed for cleaning and repair.
posted by youngergirl44 at 6:29 PM on June 27, 2013

Any ideas how to get around that?
Getting a state ID is pretty easy, actually. You should have one.
posted by youngergirl44 at 6:31 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

You should always have a state ID. If your driver's license is confiscated, it's a gigantic pain in the ass to do anything with just a passport, as strange as that is.
posted by eamondaly at 7:56 PM on June 27, 2013

(By the way, a FOID card is acceptable at all places that require a state ID. Including airport security.)
posted by eamondaly at 7:57 PM on June 27, 2013

Don't worry, guys, I have a driver's license. It's just not an Illinois one.
posted by phunniemee at 8:28 PM on June 27, 2013

Oh reading fail. I see.

Looks like I'm gonna be getting a state ID!
posted by phunniemee at 8:29 PM on June 27, 2013

youngergirl44: "In any case, rental lists are subject to change as items are removed for cleaning and repair."

That's a good point. I didn't mean to sound picky about the type of gun I would "need." It's just this thing I have where I try to always get some sort of "hand cannon" to pop off a few rounds just so I can experience firing that type. I'm happier to spend the majority of my range time with a more controllable/manageable gun. Although, like I said, I am not a very good shot. I need to buckle down and commit to some lessons with a certified instructor. The costs, for all that, though, tend to add up very quickly.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 11:01 PM on June 27, 2013

I'd be down, but also do not have an FOID card.

Should someone start accumulating date recommendations? I'd be free weekends, and potentially some Fridays.
posted by BevosAngryGhost at 12:47 PM on July 2, 2013

You guyyyyyyssssssss come on, let's do this! You're (all, collectively) such a tease.
posted by booknerd at 6:34 AM on July 23, 2013

I'm not going to be free until probably September, but that shouldn't stop you guys from going earlier if you can find a time.
posted by phunniemee at 7:02 AM on July 23, 2013

I'm fine with waiting until September, I'd just love to get something on the calendar so I know it will actually happen.
posted by booknerd at 7:12 AM on July 24, 2013

I'm sorry I've dropped the ball on this one. Things have been icky at home.

I like the idea of September, now that most of July is gone. How about the 2nd or 3rd weekend?
posted by youngergirl44 at 7:16 AM on July 27, 2013

RiotFest is the 13th through the 15th, and I'll be out of town the 20th through the 22nd, FYI.
posted by eamondaly at 8:33 PM on July 27, 2013

Fill out this form to get your FOID.
posted by garlic at 11:15 AM on July 29, 2013

Between AV/Hideout Fest, Riot Fest, and Eamon's travel schedule, maybe the last weekend in September?
posted by booknerd at 8:37 PM on July 31, 2013

I am interested. I have little experience with a gun, but this seems like a good way to get to know other MeFites!
posted by thelastpolarbear at 9:30 AM on August 1, 2013

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments