Discharging a Firearm in a "Residential Area".


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grant1265
May 12, 2011, 09:40 PM
A few weeks ago, i was teaching my friend's 6 year old how to shoot. He was having a lots of fun and we were shooting a bowling pin at about 15-20 yds. at the end of my driveway with a henry lever octagon .22 with remington thunderbolts and mini mags. Keep in mind, this was into a completely safe dirt backstop. Anyway about an hour after my friend left and I went inside, the door bell rang. I went down and answered, and it was my closest "neighbor" that lives about 1 mile away. He said that it was illegal to discharge a firearm in a residential area and if I did it again he would call the cops:barf:. I kindly said I would not do it again and cleaned up the brass out front just in case the police came. The odd thing is that I have been shooting for almost 3 years and no one has mentioned anything( I don't even know how he heard the .22 rifle from a mile away). Also, I live in a very large development, but i live in the only house in here. I'm in west albemarle county, VA. Just wanted to see what you guys thought of this.


P.S.- I was going to post this in legal, but didn't really think it belonged there.

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9mm+
May 12, 2011, 09:47 PM
Have you looked through the VA laws and any local ordinances? I don't think we can provide good counsel here since your situation will unique to where you live. You don't appear to live in an incorporated town or city where firearm discharges are almost always a no-no.

JCallaway82
May 12, 2011, 09:48 PM
Residential area? I would imagine there was an acreage or sq. footage that need be met to discharge a firearm.But it is also about clearance and terrain, and city limits. Check your local ordinances, if you are within the law to shoot the only thing the guy could complain about is noise...which is negligible with a .22 from a mile away IMO.

grant1265
May 12, 2011, 09:50 PM
It says its illegal, but there is no one in my development. Here are the laws.

http://www.albemarle.org/upload/images/forms_center/departments/county_attorney/forms/Albemarle_County_Code_Ch10_Offenses_Misc.pdf

Frozen North
May 12, 2011, 09:52 PM
First, are you inside city limits or in township or county area? It is almost never legal to shoot inside the limits of any city. You may have to check on any county or township laws.

Second, every bullet can be a law suit, so make sure you know where ALL of them go.

If first and second are covered, tell the neighbor to kiss you tail feathers!

grant1265
May 12, 2011, 09:53 PM
I am not inside Charlottesville city limits.

9mm+
May 12, 2011, 09:53 PM
Okay, thanks. Although there is no one in your development, obviously your neighbor can hear you so you're going to get snagged sooner or later. My best advice is to find an accredited range and send lead down range there instead. Shooting in your neighborhood is going to land you in some hot water.

JCallaway82
May 12, 2011, 09:54 PM
Pretty funny in that it mentions you are not allowed to "stand" or "walk" with a loaded gun..but it says nothing about crawling, jumping or skipping. :cool:



On the zoning map does it show your area as being any of the following?

For purposes of this section, "residential district" shall mean any district described as Village
Residential - VR, Residential R-1, Residential R-2, Residential R-4, Residential R-6, Residential R-10, Residential
R-15, Neighborhood Model - NMD, Planned Unit Development - PUD or Planned Residential Development - PRD
on the official zoning map of the county.


If so, no shooting is possible, not matter distances or clearance it seems.

Kleanbore
May 12, 2011, 09:54 PM
The question is whether you reside within a residential district.

grant1265
May 12, 2011, 09:56 PM
Thanks. I've got a range about 40 miles away where i shoot my bigger firearms, but i just thought it was kind of ridiculous to drive that far to shoot a .22 rifle. Looks like i'll have to join the closer private ranges.

JCallaway82
May 12, 2011, 09:58 PM
http://gisweb.albemarle.org/GISWeb/Welcome.aspx

grant1265
May 12, 2011, 10:02 PM
It says it is a "rural area 3"

grant1265
May 12, 2011, 10:05 PM
I just checked, it is legal to shoot in my development.

JCallaway82
May 12, 2011, 10:09 PM
Well there you go. Your neighbor will most likely call the cops. I would have the pertinent literature handy if anyone doubted the legality...noise complaints are a whole other animal.

But .22 shots from a mile aware are not really "disturbing the peace" type noise....

mfcmb
May 12, 2011, 10:13 PM
In the county where I live (in a Southwestern state) it is illegal to discharge a firearm except in self defense or at a licensed range, despite the majority of our county being rural. On the other hand, in the town where my brother in law lives in Tennessee, where the houses are in a development on 1/2 acre lots with no fences, it is legal for him to shoot on his property: and he occasionally does. It all depends on where you live.

JDMorris
May 12, 2011, 11:07 PM
Subsonic ammo should help keep the noise down, that or you could get a supressor :evil:

ShroomFish
May 14, 2011, 01:14 AM
Subsonic ammo should help keep the noise down, that or you could get a supressor :evil:
.22 Super Colibri's nice quite and nobody will ever know :P

Not to mention cheap >.>

rozziboy18
May 14, 2011, 02:15 AM
yet another vote for a supressor

deadin
May 14, 2011, 10:15 AM
yet another vote for a supressor

If it's illegal to shoot at a certain place, having a supressor doesn't make it legal.:cuss: (It just makes it harder to get caught. Not very "High Road".)

If it's legal, the neighbor needs to get used to it.

scythefwd
May 14, 2011, 10:26 AM
I vote for subsonics as well. It aint about legalitt deadin, it's about not pissing off the neighbors. It's the ame concept of not mowing my lawn @ 10 am if my neighbor works nights. I'd be perfectly in the law, but it'd still be a dick thing to do.

deadin
May 14, 2011, 10:44 AM
And, once again, we bow to the anti's wishes.:fire:

I can always mow my lawn later. I don't imagine I can shoot at anytime without "upsetting" him.
I should spend $400-500 to keep him happy?

Robert
May 14, 2011, 12:03 PM
I just checked, it is legal to shoot in my development.
Did you read post #13? It is legal to shoot in his area. His neighbor may not like it but there is nothing he can legally do to stop him. Now if we like our neighbors then we would be wise to try and get along with them. I don't see that as bowing to anything, simply respecting his neighbor. If they can hammer out a time that works well for everyone than I'd say go for it. If the neighbor refuses and continues to stonewall then I would not worry about him.

deadin
May 14, 2011, 12:18 PM
I don't see that as bowing to anything, simply respecting his neighbor.

You and I both know it's not about the noise (especially from a mile away) it's about the shooting. I see no reason to accommodate that kind of a "neighbor" if it's going to cost me money. Now if it is just about the noise, maybe they can reach an agreement to split the cost of a supressor. Then it's a win/win...;)

Friendly, Don't Fire!
May 14, 2011, 12:40 PM
I would be careful (I am sure you are) in shooting a bowling ball with any gun, but particularly with a small caliber or low-velocity bullet as there is a real good chance of a ricochet from a glancing-shot.

Could it be possible one bullet may have ricocheted towards the person's house who came to talk to you? In other words, is his property past the bowling ball and in the basic direction in which you were shooting?

I live in the wilderness, there are some nearby houses, but for all intents and purposes, I live in an extremely RURAL area.

When a person starts shooting his .22 rifle (or pistol) I often wonder what it is they are shooting at, as his house is about a mile away by driving, however it is only about 1/3 mile away from point a to point b. If he is shooting into a river that is between us or into a swamp that is also between us, there is a possibility that one of his bullets could ricochet in the direction of my house.

When he shoots (perhaps five to twenty rounds, sporatically - say once every month to several months), sometimes I will go out and just listen to hear if I can hear any of his projectiles either buzzing over my house or making their way through woods I own adjacent to my house. In the 25+ years that I have lived here, I have never heard a ricochet, so there is really nothing I can do. Yes, I can wonder where his bullets may be going, but that is the extent of it!

Now, another neighbor is totally ANTI-GUN! She is against any kind of shooting, no matter how legal it is. If I take a shot at vermin on my property (I have many skunks here and have since I have moved here), she will not hesitate to call me and lay right into me. I calmly tell her that I am shooting skunks that ruin my lawn and also live under a building I have that is on concrete sonatube footings (wooden floor structure off the ground at one end and basically on the ground at the other end). She had called the game warden about three years ago when I used my 12 gauge to kill a huge skunk. When the game warden came, I showed him the lawn all dug up, I showed him the dead skunk and I showed him the skunk scat (feces) that is visible under the corner of that out-building.

Once the game warden saw all that --- he knew immediately that this woman is just a complainer and told me what I am doing is perfectly fine. If I wanted to, I could shoot all day here, every day. Other than the noise, there is not much anyone could do. I try to respect those near me, so I only shoot something when necessary. To have someone complain just for the sake of complaining is really childish in my book! :uhoh:

Stumpknocker
May 14, 2011, 12:52 PM
@Friendly - he was shooting a bowling pin, not ball! The pins are made of wood and make great targets.

Deltaboy
May 14, 2011, 01:00 PM
Since it Legal get the paper work printed and keep it in a folder in the house.

I would build a secondary Bullet Trap a target holder. Make one out of old Electrical Panel Box, Wrap with a wood frame fill with major city phone books and your set.

There is also plenty of subsonic ammo you can get to cut down on the noise. Agular (SP) Sniper Subsonic Ammo also known as SSS ammo is no louder out of bolt action rifle than my Pellet gun.

jimmyraythomason
May 14, 2011, 01:06 PM
Since it Legal get the paper work printed and keep it in a folder in the house. Good idea. Remember that many laws banning an activity came about as a reaction to citizen complaints. Too many complaints to the right people and first thing you know it will be illegal.

red-demon652
May 14, 2011, 01:55 PM
Ok you said you live in a development, even thou your the only one there. There is probably restrictions to witch you have to obide by in your developement check those laws

Friendly, Don't Fire!
May 14, 2011, 02:48 PM
OK, sorry, bowling pin.
The same rule applies.

A bullet could easily ricochet off a bowling pin with a glancing (meaning oblique in direction; slanting or deflected) strike!
Heck, bullets ricochet off water - they can ricochet off anything!

scythefwd
May 14, 2011, 03:18 PM
dead, if the cost difference between subsonic ammo and hi velocity ammo is that much of an issue, you can't reallt afford to shoot. I spend about 3 dollars a box for target quality subsonics. A suppressor isn't needed. Seriously, there is no 400 dollar cost. And yes, you can hear a 22 from a mile away. Why piss off a neighbor when you can continue exactly what you are doing without pissing anyone off? You aren't bowing to the anti's if you are still shooting.

deadin
May 14, 2011, 03:34 PM
You aren't bowing to the anti's if you are still shooting.

And being forced into shooting something I don't want to shoot. I don't shoot just to be shooting. I shoot to practice for competition and the competition I shoot in doesn't allow sub-sonic ammo.

My point being that if it is legal to shoot, shoot. If the neighbor is truly complaining about the noise (which I doubt) maybe an accord can be reached as to when it would be all right to shoot without disturbing him. However, if it's about the fact you are firing bullets, you are then merely trying to hide the fact you are doing something he doesn't like. Are you going to stop shooting if he demands you stop?
If so, you are bowing to his wishes. If not, why bother with sub-sonics or suppressors?

Zach S
May 14, 2011, 04:15 PM
You and I both know it's not about the noise (especially from a mile away) it's about the shooting.

I agree.

I vote for subsonics as well. It aint about legalitt deadin, it's about not pissing off the neighbors. It's the ame concept of not mowing my lawn @ 10 am if my neighbor works nights. I'd be perfectly in the law, but it'd still be a dick thing to do.
No, its not. If your neighbor work nights he can deal with the noise of the mower.

Before you call me inconsiderate, you should know that I've spent over ten years on graveyard shift.

grant1265
May 14, 2011, 05:17 PM
I just printed off the papers so if the cops do come i can show them. I had my father drive to the front of the development to see if he could hear me shooting and he said it was negligible and you would have to be really listening to notice it. Now that I know its legal and the noise will not bother him, I can go back to my normal shooting. Thanks for the help everybody.

scythefwd
May 14, 2011, 05:47 PM
zach, I did several years of night shift as well. A mower would wake me up. Kids talking loudly walking down the road would wake me up. Just because you can sleep through it doent mean every can or will.

dead, you shoot to practice and you matches don't allow subsonics.. How does that effect the op in this case? How does your situation invalidate solutions for other people.

oh, and nobody is forcing anyone. These are simple suggestions. To say that shooting a different ammo, when it is a viable solution (your not shooting for practice if you are teaching someone else to shoot) is somehow caving to the anti's is a bit of a stretch. To claim it wouldn't work for you is one thing. To dismiss someone elses options because they wouldn't work for you is assinine. To claim a 3.50 box of ammo is to expensive, and then claim your a competetive shooter is at odds with yourself. To claim that any of this is caving to an anti rings about as true as the anti's claim that the noise is the issue.

the subsonics do 2 things. It removes the noise excuse and shows that you are willing to work with that person to the cops who will invariably be called.

2. It also goes to show how unreasonable the person is to thw cops who get called in, meaning any followup calls don't get the same type of response.

op, you also have the option of air guns. As long as you have a suitable backdrop, you cannot be forbidden from shooting them on your property. That law was just passed.

IlikeSA
May 14, 2011, 06:12 PM
I have to ask, as you mentioned shooting at bowling pins at the end of your driveway. You are shooting away from the road, right? I would like to assume you are, but just want to make sure.

As far as having the police visit, some friends of mine and I were shooting on their land and had a deputy visit us. He said that another homeowner was complaining about rounds landing in his yard and that we were getting closer. Some people will make anything up to get a LEO to visit. It was perfectly fine of course, and the deputy even showed off his crimson trace grips on a 1911 he owned, while shooting with us. Be sure to invite the officer to shoot with you, as it will seriously frustrate the neighbor :-)

deadin
May 14, 2011, 07:53 PM
scythefwd,

I agree that my example doesn't necessarily effect the OP. It was an attempt to make my point that I wouldn't bend over backwards to satisfy a grouchy "neighbor" if what I was doing were perfectly legal. I doubt very much if the "noise" of a .22 at 1 mile is the real reason for the complaint, so why should I go out of my way to appease him? He's getting in my face without legal standing and I don't have to take it. As for $3.50 a box for sub-sonics.... would it be that they would work for me. I'm currently shooting Eley Club at around $8.50 a box. I suppose I could get an Airsoft, but somehow I don't think it would be the same.........
Oh, and I do have a Target pellet gun (Walther CP2) and in my jurisdiction it is treated the same as a firearm when it comes to shooting in a residential area.
Using sub-sonics to hide from the neighbor that you are shooting seems somewhat disingenuous if his complaint is the fact that you are shooting in the first place. I suppose that this comes from the modern morality that seems to think that anything is OK as long as you don't get caught.....
I guess I grew up under a different set of mores.....

scythefwd
May 14, 2011, 08:11 PM
take a look as aguila... Good stuff and usually less than elay.

deadin
May 14, 2011, 08:42 PM
It's really not about the money, it's about the performance. Sub-sonic won't reliably function my gun for timed and rapid fire, it shoots to a different POI at 25 yds. and won't hold a group as well as target ammo. Great for plinking, but not much good for serious target work.

TheCracker
May 14, 2011, 09:23 PM
If u aren't in any city limits call your local sheriff and ask. If they say it's ok and you have a good backstop shoot it up.

Sounds like a anti-gunner or plain old antagonist sticking his nose where it doesn't belong. If he comes back tell him to move back to the city and shove it!

grant1265
May 14, 2011, 10:38 PM
@ IlikeSA-Yes I am shooting away from the road into the side of a dirt hill. I will look into trying some of those subsonics, although the thunderbolts are not very loud out of the 20" octagon barrel either.

BTW- The guy is a total a-hole antigunner. He is like Judge Smails from Caddyshack just so you get the idea.

scythefwd
May 14, 2011, 11:27 PM
dead the aguila stuff is match and supersonic that I'm talking about. I use their subsonic stuff, but they do have a whole line of ammo.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
May 14, 2011, 11:37 PM
I just printed off the papers so if the cops do come i can show them. I had my father drive to the front of the development to see if he could hear me shooting and he said it was negligible and you would have to be really listening to notice it. Now that I know its legal and the noise will not bother him, I can go back to my normal shooting. Thanks for the help everybody.
Don't forget that noise travels with the wind!
If the wind happened to be blowing away from your dad at the entrance to the neighborhood, the sound would be a lot less than if the wind were blowing directly from you to him.

It's really just simple physics! http://www.google.com/search?q=does+noise+carry+with+wind%3F&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-US&ie=utf8&oe=utf8

mes227
May 15, 2011, 12:08 AM
First, are you inside city limits or in township or county area? It is almost never legal to shoot inside the limits of any city. You may have to check on any county or township laws.

There is no federal law on this and every state has it's own rules.

Kajan
May 15, 2011, 12:31 AM
On Saturday night before Halloween 2010, a young father in his 20's home alone with the kids while his wife worked a night shift as a nurse heard noises outside his door several times. He saw nothing the first couple of times, but at 2:00 AM he opened the door. There was a car in the drive and a stranger lurking around the front door. In an attempt at a home invasion, the guy on the front porch tried to Mace the homeowner. Homeowner fired his 9mm pistol, striking the perp in the upper chest. His buddies in the car left him bleeding on the doorstep. Cops and EMTs saved the guy who turned out to be 15 years old. Absolutely nothing ever hit the papers or the local TV. This shooting took place three blocks from my house in a sleepy town of 4000 people in south LA. The reason I posted this here is the punchline: on the Monday following the shooting, the Cops showed up at the hero's house and gave him a $200 fine and citation for illegally discharging a firearm in the city limits! As far as I know, he paid the fine.

Zach S
May 15, 2011, 07:28 AM
zach, I did several years of night shift as well. A mower would wake me up. Kids talking loudly walking down the road would wake me up. Just because you can sleep through it doent mean every can or will.
Being able to sleep through it is not the issue. When I went to night shift, I knew I'd have to deal with mowers and such during the day. There is a shop next door and the guy has a hydraulic ironworker - and he uses the crap out of it.

When I sleep, I actually sleep for about 1/2 or 3/4 of the time due to mowers, trains, hick pipes, dogs (my own GSD included), and the metalworking tools next door.

I deal with it. IMO working graveyard shift and getting upset about people doing loud stuff during the day is akin to buying an old pickup with a big block and complaining about getting 10mpg on a good day.

MDW GUNS
May 15, 2011, 08:32 AM
1. Bowling pin are too hard to shoot at and the bullet might get back at you!
2. Get a suppressor, then your neighbor will not hear you and will not care.

The Red Hot Rider
May 16, 2011, 12:04 PM
I CANNOT BELIEVE how many of you have said "get a supressor". Why should he be sorry and acommodate the jerk if he's in his rights? It's time for people to quit apologizing for exercising their rights. If it's legal, it's legal, and he has nothing to worry about. He should have told the guy off and dared him to come back on his property...EVER. I shoot guns off of my back porch all the time here in eastern KY. I think he should tell his neighbor to go pee up a rope.

jimmyraythomason
May 16, 2011, 08:19 PM
If it's legal, it's legal, and he has nothing to worry about.If you beat people over the head with your rights you may find yourself without them. As I stated before citizens complaints are a very good way to get something presently legal outlawed.

andrewstorm
May 16, 2011, 09:34 PM
When a cop came up to me and said i was felony tresspassing,since i was on power line property,with a firearm,thank god his supervisor was a good ol boy,and told him to settle down,after he admired the 58,he said load me up,and he proceeded to shoot at a dry cedar,nearly cutting it down,he was amazed that i got it from cabelas for only 99.00,he told the rookie to go on,and said he was gettin him one too.:D oh jimmy ray,ive been complaining about traffic tickets and insurance companys for years and nobody has outlawed them:scrutiny:

The Red Hot Rider
May 17, 2011, 02:08 PM
Quote: "If you beat people over the head with your rights you may find yourself without them. As I stated before citizens complaints are a very good way to get something presently legal outlawed."

Thank God the founding fathers didn't take that attitude. We'd all be eating kippers for breakfast and thinking the 4th of July was just another day on the calendar.

Rolling over and accomodating people who want to stop you from doing what is perfectly legal to do is an even better way to get something outlawed. If it's legal, and you refrain from doing it, or significantly alter what you do to appease somebody like his neighbor, it might as well be illegal anyway.

Am I the only American who is getting tired of changing what I do or say to keep from hurting somebody's feelings?

IF the OP was legally right to be doing what he was doing and IF he was shooting in a safe manner, no apologies needed...except from the jerk neighbor.

jimmyraythomason
May 17, 2011, 05:22 PM
Rolling over and accomodating people who want to stop you from doing what is perfectly legal to do is an even better way to get something outlawed.Being considerate of your neighbors (even obstinate ones) isn't "rolling over". I served as a city councilman for 8 years (1992-2000). I authored the city's firearms ordinance because of citizen complaints of noise from target shooting. I purposely made the ordinance about "reckless discharge" to avoid banning all shooting inside the city limits. Had it been a less gun friendly member of the council it may have just ended ALL target shooting there. Being responsible and considerate when practicing our rights may win some to our side rather than galvanize an anti.

Shadow 7D
May 17, 2011, 06:39 PM
I'd call the county SO and see if they would mind talking with you, since your neighbor seems to have it in for you.

Just mention you are having issue with a city guy trying to make up laws and harassing you.
Most rural SO are pretty understanding, also might do to invite some deputies over, maybe have a few bring their duty FA's over, should be worth it to see his face when he comes barging in and it's a posse cops and you shooting and grilling in the back yard.

crracer_712
May 17, 2011, 08:52 PM
Always check with local authorities about gun laws. My dad lives in Wichita and likes to target practice with a bb gun in his fenced in back yard. Jokingly I asked if it was legal (I would have never thought otherwise). I called the PD and was told it was indeed illegal to discharge a bb or pellet gun, or any firearm for that matter, in the city limits.

Odd times indeed.

Art Eatman
May 18, 2011, 02:19 PM
See Post #13...

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