any regulations regarding shooting on one's own property?


September 30, 2003, 10:06 PM
My grandfather has some land, and every now and then(only twice actually)I've shot .22's & a .38 near his house.

Now there are two other houes ~3/4 & 1.5 miles away respectivly. Fairly dense woodlands separate all 3 houses. There are also some big hills to use as backstops.
It is still legal to be shooting? So far I doubt anyone could hear the .22 or .38 to get concerned, but what if I brought my sar-1? If I'm still on my grandfathers property and shooting away from the 3 houses, and into a hill am I ok? His property also backs up to a river, and I can occassionally hear gun fire from accross the river so...Just curious, thanks.

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September 30, 2003, 10:10 PM
There are 50 states in the union and each has their own set of laws governing discharging firearms. I suggest you talk first to local law enforcement and see what their take on the laws are, since they are the ones who will respond if someone calls in a complaint.


4v50 Gary
September 30, 2003, 10:17 PM
Check with county sheriff. Some counties have an ordinance prohibiting from shooting w/in a certain distance from another home. Be sure of backstop and beyond - always. I think I posted some historical stories here at the General Discussion forum (not the one about smuggling whiskey into camp or attempt to jab a caged prisoner with a bayonet either).

Also check with Motor Vehicle. Some codes (like CA) prohibit shooting from within a certain distance of the highway.

September 30, 2003, 10:18 PM
not only are there 50 states, there are hundreds of times that in counties and townships, each with its own regulations. However, if the land is over 10 acres and the rounds do not depart the property or endanger the other residents, I would think you have the right to shoot on you own property.

Mike Irwin
September 30, 2003, 10:30 PM
Depends on where you live and the laws of the individual state, county, township, city, town, village, etc., where the property is located.

September 30, 2003, 10:56 PM
Ridgeway, Safety is a big part of it. If you cause your neighbors no concerns then no new regulations will come your way because of them until that nice old couple moves in 10 miles away that swears they can hear gunfire at all hours of the day. Check with your local government to see what is in place. I live in a subdivision but the lots are large, it's in the county where no statutes limit firearms use on your own property. Do I set up the chronograph in the back yard and bang away without some of the members of this board needing input right away? Of course not! The varmit off the bird feeder will be taken care of with a 22 and sub sonic rounds.
If you can shoot in a safe fashion on your family land please enjoy but be very careful.

September 30, 2003, 11:50 PM
By all means approach the local law enforcement and courts, and even then, READ THE RELEVANT LAWS FOR YOURSELF.
The usual restrictions are 'Not within 1/2 mile of inhabited structures' and similar restrictions about shooting adjacent to or across public roads.

Find out what the exact laws are BEFORE you get challenged on them.

October 1, 2003, 12:28 AM
rayra, there is no way in the world most of us here could read, much less interpret the laws of Southern California. There are no usual restrictions I don't think we have been talking about shooting across any roads here.

son of a gun
October 1, 2003, 12:51 AM
I know in certain metro areas in Michigan your not allowed to shoot rifles.

October 1, 2003, 03:13 AM
As has been said, check with your county sherriff. Odds are if you have some land, you're not within any village/town/city limits, so the county mounties would be the folks to check with.

And, if for some reason you can't shoot on your land due to some silly ordnance, lobby to have the law changed, don't just sit back and complain about it.

SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY, though. Neighbors rarely appreicate having rounds hit their houses. And if your neighbors are somewhat close, be courteous, please. No shooting that .50BMG at 4:30AM on sunday morning...

October 1, 2003, 03:43 AM
rayra, there is no way in the world most of us here could read, much less interpret the laws of Southern California. There are no
usual restrictions
I don't think we have been talking about shooting across any roads here.
They are no harder to read than any other legalese.
I've looked into such laws for four different states for family and friends, and by 'usual restrictions' I am referring to their usually being language & restrictions regarding shooting within X distance of a public road, prohibitions against shooting across roads, etc.

Don't know how you actually meant your remarks, but they seem to be disparaging.

An example of what I'm talking about -
L.A. County Code, Title 13 Public Peace, Morals and Welfare, Chapter 13.66 – Firearms, Bows and Arrows.
Section 13.66.010 Use of weapons permitted when. –
“This chapter, except as otherwise provided in this Part 1, does NOT [emphasis added] prohibit the discharge of any rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or firearm of any kind, or the shooting of any arrow or other missile, when necessary to do so to protect Life or Property, or to destroy or kill any predatory or dangerous animal.”

13.66.040 – Discharging firearms –Restrictions Generally
13.66.050 – Discharging firearms – Prohibited on or along public ways
13.66.130 – Firearms – Discharge prohibited in designated districts

Looking at the language of those sections shows a "usual" legalese set of restrictions.
My (semi-educated) guess is that other States / Counties will have something on the books, even if no more complicated than 'Not within City Limits'.

And my original admonishment still stands - Learn your own localities laws, BEFORE they become an issue. Worked for me.

October 1, 2003, 08:29 AM
rayra, no offense meant. It just seems to me that California has so many state laws where "It is known to The State of California" ......
I'm with you on checking the local laws but if Ridgeway,s Grandfather's land is not in a municipality he should be fine. Let one round stray from said land other laws will apply.

October 1, 2003, 11:05 AM
As an additional comment, I am not from Ohio but I do have close friend there. They are trying to pass a Township (similar to county) regulation there which will prohibit discharging a firearm if there are a certain number of residences within a square mile. I believe the figure is 10 but not sure. This applies to land outside of city limits.

October 1, 2003, 01:52 PM
Like others have said, it depends where you are. And people knowledgable with the area can't t tell you, becasue you haven't told us where the property is.

In Indiana, their are no laws prohibiting discharging firearms; HOWEVER, many cities and towns have local ordinances that prohibit it.

If you can legally hunt in the area, you should be able to target practice. Apparently if their are laws against it, no is complaing and the laws aren't being enforced anyway.

October 1, 2003, 02:20 PM
Maybe the best thing to do is call the county sheriff and ask or invite them out to see where you'll be shooting before you open up with the SAR. Then if they get a call about it they'll know beforehand that its you and OK.

If it was my land in the county, I'd just go for it and talk to them when they got there (if they came) but thats just me. I probably wouldn't ask about the SAR speciffically, no need to put it into their head to find a reason to say no. Imply a .22 rifle and later just decide to do the SAR also. Its a rifle too isn't it? :D

Be very careful though, all common sense rules apply.

October 1, 2003, 02:31 PM
"Depends on where you live and the laws of the individual state, county, township, city, town, village, etc., where the property is located. --- Mike Irwin

Budda-bing, budda-boom ...


October 1, 2003, 02:55 PM
dont let this happen in your county:

Sec. 57-3. Discharge of guns in the urban area.
A person, other than a peace officer or employee of the Maryland Department of
Natural Resources performing official duties, must not discharge a gun within
the urban area. Except as provided in Sections 57-5 and 57-7A, a person may discharge
a gun:
(a) on any indoor or outdoor target, trap, skeet, or shooting range that the Range
Approval Committee has inspected and approved in writing;
(b) in a private basement or cellar target range;
(c) when necessary to protect life or property;
(d) to kill a dangerous animal;
(e) for discharge of blank cartridges in musical and theatrical performances,
parades, or sporting events;
(f) for salutes by firing squads at military funerals; or
(g) under a deer damage control permit issued by the Maryland Department of
Natural Resources and approved by the Chief of Police under Executive
Regulation promulgated under method (2). (1981 L.M.C., ch. 42, § 1; CY 1991 L.M.C.,
ch. 21, § 1; 1997 L.M.C., ch. 14, §1.)

Gun or firearm: Any rifle, shotgun, revolver, pistol, air gun, air rifle or any similar
mechanism by whatever name known which is designed to expel a projectile
through a gun barrel by the action of any explosive, gas, compressed air, spring or

yep, its a crime to fire a spit wad thru a straw in Monkey County MD

October 1, 2003, 02:56 PM
guess I should have mentioned it's in Tenn...Knoxville area

not planning on heading down for another month so I guess I'll give a call to the sheriff just to be sure before I head down and decide what to bring

thanks :)

October 1, 2003, 02:59 PM
Gun or firearm: Any rifle, shotgun, revolver, pistol, air gun, air rifle or any similar

wow that pretty strict

I'd hate to be testing a paintball gun or something similar and be arrested for it....

October 1, 2003, 03:05 PM

October 1, 2003, 03:35 PM
Generally speaking, if you're in an unincorporated area, you're probably OK, especially if big game hunting is allowed.

You mentioned dense woodlands, hills, and the nearest neighbor being 3/4 mile away - this sounds like a pretty rural area, and if the mental picture I have is accurate, I'd go for it. If you're in among hills and trees they'll tend to muffle sound, so as long as you're not visible from the road, you're probably OK. Especially if you're just shooting a small caliber.

I suppose you can get a scanner and monitor the local constabulary's wavelength so if a "shots fired" call goes out you can pack it in quick . . . ;)

BUT . . . I really do suggest you check for what the local ordnances say.

October 1, 2003, 03:55 PM
HanKL, thanks for the clarification, and apologies for my sounding huffy - been dumped on so many times for being in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Kalifornistan that I'm developing a reflex about it :)

CA does have a huge amount of ill-defined and overlapping / contradicting regulations (which I've just recently been forced to navigate and dissect).

And as other poster's have mentioned - there are so many layers of Regs - Fed, State, County, City / Municipality, and even Covenants of Home-Owner Associations, that everyone should make a maximum effort to find out everything that applies to them and their individual situations.

Flak 88
October 1, 2003, 07:01 PM
I used to go shooting with some friends of mine on some land owned by their kinfolks.Never had a problem until some people from Ohio moved in.
After that every single time we tried to shoot there they'd drive up to see what we were up to.This wasn't their land but they always gave us a hard time about it.Once they came and accused us of shooting at their house and how bullets were zinging all around the house and so forth.We were shooting in the opposite direction from their house up a long hollow with mountains all around,there was no way we could have came anywhere close to their house.After that we never went back.Some time after all this the man that owned the property was letting his son-in-law and some of his friends deer hunt there,and when they found out they drove and up and started slamming their car doors and blowing the horn and completely ruined the hunt.So if there aren't any laws that prohibit your shooting you'll only have to worry about stupid neighbors.

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