How many of you take whatever bag you have on hand with you to the shooting range? And how many of you have a bag dedicated for all your range day essentials? I know a few ladies that like to go to the shooting range straight from work so they will just use their purse, tote bag, or backpack. While this might be convenient it's not really a smart idea.
I have a dedicated range bag to not only satisfy the organizer in me but also to reduce my risk of running into unnecessary problems. There is a practical reason why I do this. Every now and then you hear about someone trying to go through TSA security with a loaded firearm, a magazine, or some leftover ammo in their carry-on bag. In almost all cases it's an honest mistake. They probably use their backpack as their carry-on bag but also as their range bag. However, this honest mistake could easily lead to unfortunate consequences.
As someone who travels frequently and has to go through security checkpoints in buildings, the thought of having a single round, an empty shell casing, or worst case a firearm unknowingly in my bag is a real concern. Depending on where you live a mistake like this could possibly land you in jail. For instance, if I'm caught with an empty 9mm shell casing in D.C. and I don't have a gun permit that corresponds to that millimeter shell casing, it's a felony. Yes, you read that right, a felony. Whereas in some other more gun-friendly states an empty shell casing is nothing to fret over. For the law-abiding citizen that has had a clean record their entire life, this one 'oops' has now tarnished their record and is going to cost them loads of money to get out of, if that's even possible.
You don't want to end up in jail over something that could so easily be avoided. Using your everyday bag/purse or even your work bag as a range bag increases your risk of an unintended consequence. As much as anyone may be careful, it’s easy to get distracted when you’re in a rush or get sidetracked on something else and forget about removing all of the range items from your daily bag. As responsible gun owners, it is our responsibility to know where our firearm and ammunition are at all times.
For those of you that are new to firearms, think of a dedicated range bag as a bag that contains the shooting range staples that you need. You don’t need to buy an expensive range bag. In most cases an old gym bag, backpack, some type of tote bag, or backpack will work just fine. Just make sure it can fit all of your range gear and that it's only used when going to the range.
A Few Range Bag Options
While I prefer to use a non-traditional range bag, the below are a few great bag options that range from being specfic for range use and/or every day carry use.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is based on my opinions and for informational use only. I am not an expert in this field and any items/services/products/advice mentioned in these posts should be used at your own discretion, in accordance with your local & state laws, and you should follow applicable manufacturer’s instructions. You can read more about my privacy & disclosure policies here.