Taking Aim at Better Training


Virtual weapons training at InVeris Training Solutions prepares military, law enforcement, and safety personnel for whatever comes their way.

WITH TROUBLING HEADLINES—school shootings, officer involved fatalities, and active shooter scenarios—demand is up for better ways to train safety personnel, teach de-escalation techniques, and ensure the best outcomes in high-pressure situations. Traditional training programs with classroom lectures and role-playing exercises don’t cut it. Fortunately, new virtual reality and augmented reality options provide hands-on, tactile experiences that get as close to a real-life encounter as possible.

Based in Suwanee in Gwinnett County, InVeris Training Solutions hopes to answer the call. The company hosts both live and virtual weapons training demonstrations at its headquarters, as well as at sites across the U.S. and in more than 50 countries worldwide. Several systems allow trainees to practice with simulated weapons that are similar to their own live models, rehearse common stressful scenarios, and even maneuver spaces modeled after the important locations they protect, such as schools and government buildings.

“Our tagline is Because Seconds Matter,” says InVeris CEO Clyde Tuggle. “Our job is to build systems to make the world a safer place and give military personnel and law enforcement officers the tools to make good decisions. “Many of the people who work for us and with us are veterans or former law enforcement, which is part of the real magic,” Tuggle continues. “They’ve been in uniform.

They’ve done this training. They know what does and doesn’t work and how to adapt the programs to create a better experience.”

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De-escalation skills are crucial for law enforcement officers to ensure safe outcomes during high-pressure situations.

Training specifically for de-escalation can improve use of force discretion by law enforcement officers and has been shown to result in a nearly 30% reduction in use-of-force incidents, approximately 30% reduction in injuries to community members, and a 40% reduction in law enforcement officer injuries.

However, conventional classroom lectures and actor-based exercises may not be sufficient to prepare officers for real-world scenarios.

Our latest white paper, “De-escalation in the Digital Age:
How to leverage next-generation technologies to empower law enforcement officers to safely handle every situation” discusses how law enforcement agencies need to consider new technologies such as virtual reality training (VR) to provide effective de-escalation skills while maximizing their training budget.

Some of the key points discussed in the white paper include:

Next-generation technology solutions, such as VR, can revolutionize de-escalation training by addressing the challenges that agency trainers and trainees experience when building training programs and training officers. By using these technologies, law enforcement agencies can better prepare their officers for the high-pressure situations they may encounter in the field, ultimately leading to safer outcomes for both officers and the communities they serve.

You can get your free copy of the white paper by visiting this link: https://inveristraining.com/de-escalation-in-the-digital-age

Are you planning to open a shooting range or thinking of repurposing an existing space but do not know how to start? We know that designing a gun range from scratch can be challenging. And there are numerous considerations that must be taken into account. In this blog, we will discuss user requirements, zoning, compliance, and more. Let us get on with it.

First Things First

Are you building an indoor or outdoor shooting range? You need to determine first the services you want to offer as it will dictate the property and amount of space you need. While many customers prefer the air-conditioned comfort of indoor shooting ranges and their accessibility, it is also prone to limitations and constraints depending on the zoning. Other customers prefer the open-air feel of an outdoor shooting range but this type of range faces challenges in bullet containment due to the possibility of soil and water lead contamination.

Or if you want to cater to military personnel and law enforcers, you should offer them a training space for marksmanship and life-like combat experiences to prepare them for any threat.

Laws and Regulations

You need to know the gun control laws of your local municipality, country, or state. Check if the location or the property is zoned for a shooting range business. Apart from complying with zoning and building regulations, you should also observe other shooting range-specific and general standards, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regulations.

You should also take into consideration the cost of structural and ventilation requirements when going with an indoor shooting range. When designing your indoor shooting range, the HVAC systems should comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and EPA requirements.

Range Design Criteria

Building a shooting range requires a lot of planning, organization, due diligence, and challenging work. It is easy for shooting range developers to feel overwhelmed with questions about ventilation, lead abatement, general environmental concerns, zoning regulations, proper range equipment, and much more. Ensure you have crossed all your t’s and dotted all your i’s before moving forward.

For guidance in planning shooting range facilities, you can refer to the Range Design Criteria prepared by the U.S. Department of Energy. Or you can also consult with experts in this field.

Quickly Design Your Gun Range with Expert Help

When choosing a vendor, it is important to consider their industry expertise and years of experience in shooting range construction and design.

InVeris Training Solutions has over 95 years of Caswell and Meggitt heritage and 15,000+ ranges fielded worldwide. We bring the industry’s best gun range design, development, installation, and support experiences to every job site. InVeris has all the resources you need under one roof to guide you through shooting range design, development, and management.

InVeris Training Solutions has created a Gun Range Design Worksheet that is designed to get you started planning for your gun range construction. The worksheet shows you the multiple options available for bullet traps, shooting stalls, target carriers, and more so that one of our gun range design experts can fine tune our recommendations based on your unique requirements.

Today’s environment calls for confident officers trained through both simulation and live fire so they can identify threats and act decisively in seconds. Yet increased training for officers has raised concerns about indoor range safety. Hence, range operators must make every effort to address safety concerns.

Considerations for Ensuring Safe and Effective Training

While the most obvious and extreme safety concerns on a range include death and serious bodily harm, fortunately, these occurrences are exceedingly rare. Other less serious, and far more common concerns affecting both shooters and range staff include the potential loss of hearing by the continued discharge of firearms, the hazard of ricochet fragments, and the potential damage caused by excessive exposure to lead contaminates.

To ensure a safe, noise absorbent, and environmentally sound indoor gun range, the following are the critical things to consider:

Ballistic Safety. All surfaces exposed to gunfire need to be assessed for ricochet potential. The most critical area of misdirected shots to compromise a shooter’s safety is typically the area between the firing line to twelve feet downrange.

Hearing/Sound Concerns. Most experienced officers understand the need for hearing protection while on the firing line. It is mandatory in most facilities and it is the range operator’s responsibility to ensure this policy is enforced.

Eye Protection. Since the typical range has become increasingly complex with more advanced target equipment, additional lighting, and other related safety equipment, the hazard of redirected particles and ricocheted bullet fragments has increased the risk of eye and facial injuries.

Lead Exposure. Lead can be a silent killer. It can build up in your body’s organs and bones and slowly cause permanent, irreversible damage to your body. Thus, extra care must be taken to protect people inside the range whenever lead dust is being created.

Ensure Safety Using Proven State-of-the-Art Equipment

Invest in the safety and effective training of your officers with InVeris’ proven state-of-the-art equipment. InVeris supplies everything your shooting range needs for safe live fire training.

The above products are InVeris’ proven live fire innovations that will ensure dynamic and safe training for your officers. To learn more about live range ballistic protection, contact our customer support team today!

How do you build an “intelligent” shooting range? Focus on construction and design. And in doing so, there are structural, environmental, and safety considerations.

In this blog post, let’s take a closer look at each.

Structural Considerations

When we say structural considerations, that mainly puts the focus on the design and construction of walls, floors, and ceilings.

For walls, your first choice should be poured-in-place or tilt-up concrete panel walls for maximum noise attenuation and ballistic security; your second choice would be concrete masonry units (CMU) filled with cement or grout. Do not use gravel or sand as filling material for concrete blocks, since they can leak onto the range floor if the wall is cracked or breached. If you will be using an existing structure with inadequate wall material, steel plating can be applied to the side walls downrange.

When a bullet hits an object downrange, it may be deflected from its original path — traveling in a different direction such as the floor. This is why a hard and smooth floor is best since it makes for less erratic ricochets. Non-absorptive hardened concrete is the recommended flooring from the firing line to the bullet trap since this area will get a lot of low-angle impacts. For the area behind the firing line, vinyl, rubber, or any non-slippery flooring material can be used for shooter comfort and safety.

Regarding the ceiling, go for a smooth concrete surface — such as slab or precast — on the range side (underside) of the ceiling and route all your lights, plumbing, ducting, and range ventilation on the outside. If a slab or precast ceiling is out of the question, use a truss ceiling with redirective guards and air-space baffles to protect ceiling fixtures.

Environmental Concerns

Establish environmental soundness from the start. Make sure that you maintain all regulations and eco‑friendly standards, from lead abatement and air quality to acoustics and appropriate zoning. A smart training solutions provider like InVeris Training Solutions has decades of experience in helping commercial, law enforcement, and military training institutions and shooting ranges in ensuring these standards.

To further address environmental concerns, InVeris also installs noise absorbent indoor ranges with the highest air quality by engineering ballistic baffles and guards to contain misdirected shots and maintain ballistic integrity as well as bullet traps that reduces lead dust (more on the lead dust later). These engineered baffles and guards not only absorb noise for the sound level inside but also prevent noise transmission outside the range.

When dealing with environmental concerns, also consider the location of the property. Consider the intended site’s current zoning, any special-use permit process, ease of access, existing utilities, and any signage limitations.


Whether you’re building an indoor shooting range from the ground up or repurposing an existing space, one of your foremost considerations should be the overall safety of your customers, trainees, and staff.

This is another area where InVeris’ experience shines. Commercial shooting ranges can protect their customers and range by capturing and containing the entire bullet. This is possible through the GranTrap™ rubber bullet trap’s patented stair‑step design, which uses unique GranTex™ granulate rubber material to stop incoming rounds mostly intact. That action minimizes airborne lead dust, averts back splatter, avoids ricochets, and reduces impact noise. Plus, the GranTrap’s rugged design stands up to busy ranges.

Leverage Turnkey Range Solutions

InVeris Training Solutions, makers of FATS® and Caswell technologies, draws on a 90+ year history and comprehensive knowledge of live fire ranges to do something that hasn’t been done before: provide an end-to-end range that meets the needs of a commercial shooting range.

InVeris professionals will design, equip, and provide training for your best-in-class commercial shooting range on time and within budget, meeting your end user’s requirements.

For more information on how you can get help in building a safe, reliable commercial shooting range without cutting too many corners, contact InVeris Training Solutions.

So you’re thinking of setting up an indoor shooting range. Whether you’re building one from the ground up or repurposing an existing space, one of your foremost considerations — way before you even get into the nitty gritty of bullet traps and target systems — should be the structural foundation of your soon-to-be training facility.

We’re talking about the walls, floors, and ceilings of your shooting range, of course — the top-to-bottom barriers that will ensure ballistic security and the overall safety of your users, trainers, and facility staff.

Here are some structural considerations to keep in mind when you’re building an indoor shooting range:

What’s the best wall material for an indoor shooting range?

Your first choice for walls should be poured-in-place or tilt-up panel concrete walls for maximum noise attenuation and ballistic security. Second choice would be concrete blocks filled with cement or grout. Do not use gravel or sand as filling material for concrete blocks, since they can leak onto the range floor if the wall is cracked or breached.

If you will be using an existing structure with inadequate wall material, steel plating can be applied to the side walls downrange.

Why smooth concrete is the safest floor for indoor shooting ranges

A hard, smooth floor is best since it makes for less erratic ricochets. For this reason, non-absorptive hardened concrete is the recommended flooring from the firing line to the bullet trap, since this area will get a lot of low angle impacts.

For the area behind the firing line, vinyl, rubber, or any non-slippery flooring material can be used for shooter comfort and safety.

How to protect ceiling fixtures in an indoor shooting range

When and if feasible, go for a smooth concrete surface — such as slab or precast — on the range side (underside) of the ceiling and route all your lights, plumbing, ducting, and range ventilation on the outside.

If a slab or precast ceiling is out of the question, use a truss ceiling with redirective guards and air-space baffles to protect ceiling fixtures. InVeris Training Solutions can help you with the optimal placements for air-space baffles or redirective guards along with the load weight computations to your range planner as part of our submittal drawing package.

Get a free Indoor Range Design Guide

If you found any of these tips useful, then consider downloading InVeris Training Solutions’ Indoor Range Design Guide — it’s a free, 32-page e-book that covers everything you need to know from planning and design considerations, to choosing your range type, equipment, safety considerations, noise standards, sample range layouts, and more.

Police One showcases shooting range equipment and simulation training systems by InVeris.

The second in a series on how VR and AR are enhancing learning when it’s needed.

Within the past few years, VR and AR have steadily moved from early adopters towards the mainstream. Though not applicable for all situations, e.g., traditional simulation and live fire still have a prominent place for group training, the new technologies have arrived at an opportune moment. There is a strong call for revisiting, increasing and improving law enforcement training. With its immersive capacity, VR and AR appear to be game changers in preparing trainees for unexpected threats.

The technology alone, however, cannot ensure well-trained professionals. A comprehensive curriculum must integrate vivid and apt scenarios. This content must evolve side by side with the technical advances, which are rapidly becoming available.

The hour has come for VR and AR

In mid-January, a digital consultant for Aufait, an Indian SharePoint Development Company, posted a list of upcoming “law enforcement tech trends” on Legal Reader, a U.S.-based legal news and commentary aggregate site. The author cited virtual and augmented reality training among the top technologies, along with the Internet of Things, Body-worn cameras, drones, Artificial Intelligence and 5G connectivity[1]:

The author noted that “the realism and flexibility of VR training make it the best training law enforcement trainees can get.” By simulating real-life situations using goggles and headsets, virtual reality police training improves efficiency as well as cognitive response.

The posting added a further application: “Virtual reality methods can also be used to train officers for providing appropriate medical assistance, better connecting police and community … especially in the light of the recent hostility towards officers.”

Matching heightened realism with the right scenarios

Law enforcement, with its split-second judgments, has always been a physical, mental and emotional challenge, but 2020 with COVID-19 and community unrest made it more complicated. Professionals now find themselves under a glaring spotlight for their actions. The Supreme Court decision that removed second-guessing and Monday-morning quarterbacking is being questioned. The law enforcement officer more than ever requires confidence to approach issues like use of force and handling of people in crisis. Not surprisingly, almost everyone agrees that improved training must be a part of the solution. But what constitutes an improvement?

In 2018, two academicians at the University of Copenhagen, Lasse Jensen and Flemming Konradsen, identified situations where VR’s head-mounted displays (wireless headsets) are the most useful for skills acquisition.[2] After their review of 21 experimental studies, they determined that VR seemed to improve learning in three areas:

  1. Cognitive skills related to remembering and understanding spatial and visual information and knowledge.
  2. Psychomotor skills related to head-movement, such as visual scanning or observational skills.
  3. Affective skills related to controlling your emotional response to stressful or difficult situations.

Each of these areas are pertinent to law enforcement skills. VR and AR, with their three-dimensional sensory inputs, provide unprecedented realism for memorable learning. Even though the actual training space may be a small room, officers can respond to calls in a vivid environment, duplicating actual conditions they are likely to encounter.

Of course, the technological effects can only be as instructive as the courseware. Scenarios drawn from authentic events, adjudicated with a clear legal result, can have long-term implications for an officer’s career and the community. That is why choosing the right VR and AR vendor is so critical: as in any educational hardware advance, software is the component that makes it meaningful.

Choosing VR content that fits your training program

For 3D VR to reach its training potential, it must have content that matches the capabilities of proven successful simulation systems. It should have a comprehensive, video content library for all applications: From use-of-force de-escalation to active shooter to person-in-crisis response. These scenarios should have branched outcomes, where officer response modifies the flow of events.  Most important, all content should be created in conjunction with users, e.g., law enforcement, first responders, and correctional and military police partners.

Because of constant changes in what officers confront, your vendor needs to release new content on a regular basis. Ideally, the system itself should also let you author specific customized scenarios to place the trainee in specific environments, such as the following:

InVeris’s VR based on unparalleled law enforcement simulation

Building immersive systems thus involves more than adapting an innovative technology. With 35 years of experience in simulation hardware and software, InVeris Training Solutions understands the rigors of writing and producing courseware that hundreds of agencies use each day. If you have a demand for a geographic setting or training circumstance, it is likely that InVeris has either an available scenario or one that can be readily modified.

The trainee can consequently benefit from the most advanced technology, accompanied by the latest law enforcement scenarios.

To explore virtual reality for your agency and how it might meet your training needs, please contact info@inveristraining.com

[1] For the full story, see “Law Enforcement Tech Trends to Watch Out for in the Future,” an article by “Prejmith”, a digital consultant for Aufait, an Indian Sharepoint Development Company and Microsoft Gold Partner, posted on Legal Reader at : https://www.legalreader.com/5-law-enforcement-tech-trends-to-watch-out-for-in-future

[2] See Jensen, Lasse, and Flemming Konradsen. “A Review of the Use of Virtual Reality Head-Mounted Displays in Education and Training.” Education and Information Technologies, vol. 23, no. 4, July 2018, pp. 1515–29. Springer Link, doi:10.1007/s10639-017-9676-0. The study is quoted in Ffiske, T. P., The Immersive Reality Revolution: How virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) will revolutionise [sic] the world (2020). Ffiske runs Virtual Perceptions, a UK-based website highlighting trends in Immersive Reality (VR, AR, MR).

In their desire to provide ballistic protection, some range planners have designed highly specialized structures that become unusable for any other purpose. This may not necessarily be of great importance in a municipal range.  However, it does impact a public or commercial range building. You should look for a manufacturer that specifically designs shields and guards to contain misdirected shots within the range and maintain ballistic integrity. Range planners should avoid heavy earthen berms and overly thick concrete walls and ceilings in their building design. Other key structural considerations include:

Walls:Range walls should be of poured concrete or concrete block filled with cement or grout, not gravel. This type of construction provides maximum noise attenuation and ballistic security. Blocks filled with sand are not recommended as any crack or penetration of the block will cause leakage onto the range floor. For additional ballistic protection, steel plating can be applied to the side walls downrange.

Flooring:The most suitable type of flooring for the range is a smooth, non-absorptive hardened concrete floor from the firing line to the bullet trap. The floor will take a lot of low shots, so a smooth floor results in less erratic ricochets. The firing line and the area behind it are typically covered with vinyl or rubber flooring. Due to environmental considerations, floor drains require filtering systems to collect range contaminates. These systems are typically expensive, so the vast majority of range planners today exclude floor drains and sloped floors from their design.

Ceiling:A slab or precast ceiling is most suitable because it normally requires minimal baffles and guards. Guards are still required for lighting, plumbing, conduit, ducts, or protuberances in the ceiling downrange. Therefore, when using a slab or precast ceiling, the range designer should attempt to route pipes, conduit, etc., on the outside of the range and enter into the range only at the points absolutely required. For other types of ceilings, a series of angled air-space baffles or redirective guards suspended at various locations are usually required. The exact placement is determined by ceiling height, range length, and if any shooting activity will be conducted beyond the primary firing line. Meggitt Training Systems provides these suggested placements and load weight computations to the range planner as a part of the drawing package.

Dividing the Range:Dividing the range into bays should be considered if the range will exceed ten shooting points. Generally a ten-point range will function more efficiently if divided into two bays of five points each; a twelve-point range into two bays of six points, etc. By dividing the range into bays, several advantages can be realized. Among the most significant are:

A solid or a minimum 8-inch fully grouted block wall is recommended for separating the bays. The type of shooting activities planned for the range will dictate the thickness. The separating wall should be continuous from the front to the rear wall of the range and extend from the floor to ceiling. This is required for range safety, noise reduction and ventilation integrity. Doors between adjoining ranges may be required to meet fire regulations so the range planner should verify this with the local fire department. Spectator area walls separate the firing line from the ready room or lobby area. Bulletproof glass must be specified for the viewing area that is capable of stopping the largest caliber round that will be shot on the range.

To learn more about designing, building and equipping a gun range, request the Range Design Guide.

The popularity of shooting has soared dramatically with an estimated 40 million recreational shooters in the US alone every year. However, a hidden killer crouches within America’s estimated 16,000-18,000 gun ranges. When shooters shoot guns with lead-based ammunition, they spread lead dust and fumes which can lead to serious health problems.

Health Risks Associated With Lead Exposure at Commercial Firing Ranges

According to a study conducted by Environmental Health, individuals who frequent or work at firing ranges had blood lead levels from between two to eight times the level of exposure considered acceptable by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Exposure to lead dust and fumes at both indoor and outdoor firing ranges presents a potential health hazard to shooters, range employees, and their families.

Exposure to lead in indoor firing ranges comes basically from breathing in lead particles suspended in the air within the range. Fine and coarse lead particles from both the primer and bullet fragments can also stick to their hands, hair, skin, clothing, and other surfaces, and can be accidently ingested.

On the other hand, lead exposure from outdoor ranges stems mainly from spent shotgun pellets and rifle bullets, which also involves matter fired into backstops. This also poses an environmental hazard as lead can also contaminate the outdoor range’s surrounding environment.

Employees and shooters in many firing ranges unknowingly accumulate so much lead that steadily poisons their bodies. When exposed, the symptoms may barely be noticeable initially. However, prolonged and continued lead exposure can damage the brain, blood, nerves, kidneys and reproductive organs. The damage can also cause memory loss, extreme tiredness, emotional problems, kidney failure, even coma or death.

Children are also especially vulnerable to lead exposure. Lead dust can attach to shooters’ or employees’ clothing during the day. They unintentionally carry lead residue or what is known as take-home lead that can contaminate their cars and homes, inevitably exposing young children to lead-contaminated dust. Moreover, medical research has revealed that exposure to lead can affect a child’s behavior and intellectual development. It can cause damage to their brain and nervous system that  results in slowed growth and development, learning, behavior problems, as well as hearing and speech difficulties.

It has long been acknowledged that police officers, soldiers, and others who train with firearms are exposed to a significant amount of lead dust and fumes. Fortunately, there are strict workplace rules and regulations in place to minimize their exposure and to regularly monitor their blood lead levels for safety purposes. However, the same cannot be said for recreational shooters. Commercial ranges are not subject to the same kind of strict safety regulations as workplaces.

Reducing Lead Hazards at the Firing Range

Lead poisoning is avoidable. Good range-management and basic personal hygiene practices can minimize or even eliminate the risk of lead exposure. The following simple steps are recommended to avoid lead exposure in firing ranges:

• Make sure the range is correctly ventilated and that the ventilation system is working properly.
• At the range, wash your hands and face before eating, drinking or smoking.
• Wash hands and face before leaving the range.
• Wash range clothes separately from the rest of the family’s clothes.
• Always load bullets in a ventilated area.
• Do not load bullets at home or in areas children frequent.
• Do not allow children into the bullet loading area.
• Keep the bullet loading area clean by using detergent.

Protecting the health of employees, customers, and their families, while also reducing environmental contamination from lead exposure, is crucial to the safety plan of commercial firing ranges.

InVeris Training Solutions has all the resources you need under one roof to guide you through the processes of range design, development, and management. Our GranTrap™ granulated rubber bullet trap also boasts a patented stair-step design and is the industry’s first environmentally friendly option that minimizes airborne lead dust.

Contact us if you would like to learn more about InVeris Solutions’ commercial shooting range products and how we can help you prevent lead contamination in your shooting range.


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