Gun laws and shooting ranges in Virginia?


August 16, 2006, 11:19 AM
Looks like my wife is going to be getting a job promotion in the Washington D.C. area and we may be headed that way. I'm looking to change jobs so this may work out well for us. We are fed up with the cost of living in CA and just don't see any light at the end of the tunnel when a worn out shack of a house costs $700,000. Sure the weather is great here, but I haven't found a way to put sunshine in an envelope and use it to pay my bills.

I know D.C. has a handgun ban, but it's not like we could afford to live in the middle of the city or would even want to. Can someone recommend some gun friendly suburbs that are within a reasonable driving distance to D.C., and also offer some good shooting ranges?

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August 16, 2006, 11:26 AM
NRA website:

Their headquarters is in Fairfax where there is a shooting range as well. That's a start.

I am looking at a job in Germantown, MD and there is an Isaac Walton league right in town about 20 miles from DC

ps MD is not friendly to gun owners

August 16, 2006, 11:38 AM

Thanks for the links. It looks like I've got plenty of choices. :)

I like to shoot service rifle competition, so if anyone has a favorite range that has a monthly shoot, I'm all ears.

I've also heard that Maryland's gun laws aren't much better than what we have in CA. My wife has also been offered a job in Baltimore. Maryland is her home state and I've visited many times. It's beautiful, but I think Virginia is a better fit for us.

August 16, 2006, 11:43 AM
Competition is open to NRA members.

August 16, 2006, 12:02 PM
Here are some Northern, VA locations:

Indoor pistol ranges (Pistol and some shotgun/pistol caliber rifles):
Gilberts Small Arms Range Lortin, VA
Shooters Paradise Range, Woodbridge, VA
Blue Ridge Arsenal, Chantilliy, VA

Outdoor Ranges:
Clark Bros, Warrenton, VA (Rifle, pistol, shotgun)
Bull Run Shooting Park, Manasses, VA (Skeet, Trap, Wobble Trap, Sporting Clays)
Quantico Shooting Club, Quantico Marine Corps Base (Skeet, Trap, Rifle, Pistol), also hosts competitions of most shooting disciplines to include service rifle.

Here is the link to the VA State Police site. It includes good info regarding firearms and VA CCW requirements.

PM me and I will pass a contact phone number and e-mail addy if you want to chat.

Hope this helps!

August 16, 2006, 02:49 PM
trbon8r- if your wife will be working near Baltimore, perhaps you could look into living in Pennsylvania, just across the border, it would be closer then commuting from Va->Balt. Just take 83 south right to Baltimore.

August 16, 2006, 03:29 PM
Come on down to the Virginia side of things if possible. Maryland isn't necessarily a bad place to live, but they do try to make things difficult for gun owners. In VA we don't have mag limits, "approved" lists, waiting periods or any of that malarky. And you can open carry without a permit.

August 16, 2006, 03:46 PM
Another good range search site (set for Fairfax,Va)

August 16, 2006, 04:33 PM
If your wife doesn't mind taking the Metro to work and back, there are many communities in both VA and MD near Metro stations you can choose from.

Being near Germantown myself, I'd recommend VA over MD as far as shooting is concerned. Let's put it this way, I drive almost 40 miles north to do my shooting.

August 16, 2006, 08:45 PM
Down in Stafford, Virginia allows CC, Maryland makes it almost impossible to CC. Cost of living in the D.C. metro area is quite high, so don't expect much under $700K close in.

August 16, 2006, 09:16 PM
The D.C. area has the worst traffic problems on the east coast. Check it out before committing to job or home...but I probably don't need to tell someone from Cal. about that.+:D

August 17, 2006, 12:05 AM
in stafford is a great place and living near there is great but the commute can be a bear. there is a train and some other options dependingon schedule and where you work

August 17, 2006, 06:50 AM
Hi trbon8r,

There's a couple of not so subtle points made here.

Virginia is considerably more gun friendly than Maryland.
Montgomery County in Maryland is just like SF when it comes to the government's view of responsible firearm ownership. Keep that in mind.

On ranges in northern Virginia, do keep in mind the Izaak Walton League in Centreville. They have a great little 100 yard range with 14 points with no caliber restriction. They also have skeet/trap and the best archery field range in northern VA. There cost is $140 a year and simply is a steal.

PM me and I'll put you in touch with the membership chairman, or if you're visiting give you a tour.

By the way, that invite goes to any other THR-ers.


August 17, 2006, 08:30 AM
Hi, The MARC train leaves daily for D.C. from here in Martinsburg,Wv. Do a search of the Eastern Panhandle of Wv ! It's has a very pleasant climate and the housing costs though they have risen a bit in the past few years is very reasonable. Taxes are low . People are friendly. Unemployment is about 4.2% . Be aware that this isn't the coal mine section of the state, it is a high tech corridor that has turned into a bedroom community for DC and Baltimore . Nothing wrong with the rest of Wv but this area is a lot faster paced ! Only 15 miles in either direction to Hagerstown,Md or Winchester,Va ! Check it out before you move to Va ! Although Va is nice also , just a bit more expensive than Wv ! WVleo

August 18, 2006, 02:32 AM
Hey guys, I appreciate the information very much!!!

Looks like I've got a lot to go over. All I know is, things can't be any worse as far as the shooting sports go than here in CA. Did you know that currently Sacramento is trying ban the on-line sale of ammunition in CA? Of course this is designed to "protect the children". :barf:

Thanks again for all of the responses. I have a feeling I'll have more questions after we visit the area. I've been to VA and MD on a few occasions, but looking at it in terms of a place to live is a totally different perspective than as a tourist.

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