Loaner Firearms Policy
In late 2016, the Revere’s Riders Board of Directors approved the following motion:
WHEREAS, the mission of our organization includes promoting the shooting sports,
WHEREAS, many new shooters do not have equipment to participate in these activities,
RESOLVED, the SOP shall be updated to specifically authorize members to loan equipment to include firearms to students so long as a waiver of liability is signed, a servicing/safety record maintained, no fee is charged, and the activity is in compliance with applicable laws and regulations,
FURTHER RESOLVED, the President with assistance from the Secretary shall draft an additional waiver of liability for equipment to make available to Event Directors,
FURTHER RESOLVED, that members shall only be authorized to loan firearms if they have been inspected by a gunsmith or armorer in the last 12 months, and that the member certifies no modifications have been made to the action since the safety inspection,
FURTHER RESOLVED, that the treasurer shall modify the reimbursement policy to allow members to claim reasonable reimbursement for safety checks and cleaning,
FURTHER RESOLVED, that the SOP be updated to make clear that members may loan equipment to students without a waiver of liability or a safety inspection but that such loans are not sanctioned by Revere’s Riders.
This should have been included in our SOP but that apparently was overlooked and will be corrected ASAP. The below is a FAQ concerning the loaner firearm policy.
I don’t want to deal with any of these requirements. Can I still loan out my rifle to students?
Absolutely. We are liberty minded people. Everyone has a different tolerance for risk. You may be willing to generously loan firearms out and accept the risk. Others may want Revere’s Riders to help cover the risk.
If you choose to loan firearms to students without adhering to the requirements, such loans may not be covered by Revere’s Riders insurance. You may be personally liable for the failure of your equipment if it did not function “as advertised” which led to an injury or damage. We would have to work with our insurer after the event and see if they can cover the incident. Your homeowner’s insurance or other policy may or may not provide protection for you in this scenario.
What is a “safety check” and why do I need one? My rifles are safe.
Most gunsmiths and armorers will conduct a safety check (often in conjunction with a cleaning) for a nominal fee of $10-25. Revere’s Riders will cover this expense under the reimbursement policy so long as it is coupled with an event that has paying students. The expense must be “reasonable;” for now, talk to the treasurer directly if the cost will exceed around ~$30. Otherwise just add it to your reimbursement request following an event.
Other industries that loan out critical equipment such as SCUBA gear, rock climbing gear, vehicles, etc have their equipment regularly inspected for safety and document these inspections. It is a standard practice that keeps students safe and also provides critical evidence from a qualified and independent third party showing that the equipment was safe to operate.
What is a “servicing record”?
You will want to hold onto the proof of safety check. It will be “strongly recommended” (but not required) that you also keep a log book of all events at which the loaner firearm is used. A simple spreadsheet with appropriate columns would serve this purpose or either of the Maintenance Log Book or Round Count Book from Impact Data Books, Inc would as well. The cost of this item would also be reimbursable as an “incidental expense” under our current reimbursement policy.
Where will I get the liability waiver?
An equipment liability waiver will be added to the Rider’s Resources website within the next 45 days.
What do I do with the documentation?
You do not need to send documentation of the safety check and liability waiver, but if an incident occurs you will need to produce the records.
How often do I need to get a safety check for my loaner rifle?
Once a year, or after you make modifications to the action. For example, if you modify the trigger group then a new check would be needed.
Can I charge students a fee for loaners?
No. Our current insurance does not cover sale or rental of firearms. Additionally, renting equipment may trigger local or state tax requirements we probably don’t want to deal with.
My local/state government bans private transfers, to include to students. Can I still loan to students?
Our insurance will not cover any illegal acts. Your activity needs to be in compliance with applicable laws and regulations for our insurance to help.
This doesn’t mean that we think such laws are a good idea. Its just the facts of insurance. It is impossible to get insurance that covers knowingly illegal activity.
Will our insurance cover damage to my rifle?
Our insurance does not cover damage to equipment owned by or controlled by our members. The insurance does cover injury to participants or damage to other people’s property. For example, if a student hurts themselves or someone else with a rifle loaned out in accordance with this policy, the insurance should provide coverage for the member and organization from a liability lawsuit. Likewise, if the student damages the facility with the loaner (for example, shoots a car, damages the range, etc) and blames the equipment we should also be covered.
Damage to the rifle itself is not covered (example, the student breaks your optic). Repairs to equipment damaged by students can be covered under the existing reimbursement policy as an Event Director expense, or on a case-by-case interest by the Treasurer. Don’t loan out equipment if you are not willing to risk having a student damage it.
When will authoritative guidance in the SOP be available?
The next revision of the SOP will include a section on loaner rifles as well as an update to the reimbursement policy. That should be ready within about 45 days.
Was I covered in the past?
This was a grey area as our SOP did not cover it. Receipt of several rifles to be loaned out to students via grants brought the issue to our attention, and we wanted to make sure that we had clear guidance in place before the granted rifles were put into service.
Other organizations have different policies about loaner rifles, and they weren’t such a pain in the neck.
Every organization has its own risk management strategy. Some other organizations may have adopted policies without talking to their insurer, looking at industry best practices, and taking steps to ensure that members would be covered in the event of an accident.
The Board had discussion and we agreed that our policy struck an appropriate balance. It is optional, and “zero cost” to Revere’s Riders members—if nothing else, you get a free gun cleaning and inspection every year out of the deal!