PA Game Commission to Outlaw Target Shooting on State Game Land?


PDA






Beren
February 16, 2004, 10:50 AM
If I'm reading it right, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is set to approve a change of regulations that would prohibit target shooting on state game land.

"Target shoot with firearms, bows and arrows or devices capable of launching projectiles in a manner that could cause injury to persons or property, or on areas posted closed to such activities."

You can find the list of changes set to be approved in April here:

http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/PGC/landmgt/landuse/regulation.htm

The existing regulations are silent on the practice of target shooting on state game land.

Does this change irk anyone else? Yes, I know there are still public ranges one can use, but there are many safe areas on state game land in my area where one can freely enjoy some private target shooting.

Is there anything we can do about it?

If you enjoyed reading about "PA Game Commission to Outlaw Target Shooting on State Game Land?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
keyhole
February 16, 2004, 11:08 AM
Bummer, also not allowed in Kansas either. Must be why we started our own range!:D

Beren
February 16, 2004, 11:28 AM
I wrote a nice long letter to my state reps, and might try writing the Game Commissioners directly. Additional help from fellow Pennsylvanians would be more than welcome!

Steve in PA
February 16, 2004, 11:41 AM
The way I read it......they are trying to stop un-safe target shooting, ie....someone just walking into the woods and opening fire.

This regulation your reading about is already approved. Page #19, Part #27 of the 2003-2004 Hunting Digest.

Beren
February 16, 2004, 11:52 AM
Argh. I was afraid of that. There's no year stamp on the page on the Game Commission website.

I'm one of those people who, technically, walks into the woods and blasts away. I blast away in an area I've checked for sufficient safe backstop, check to ensure noone is in the area, clean up my trash afterwards, etc. My usual "range" has been the base of a set of double ridges, at a downward angle into the base of the first ridge. No chance of riccochets, etc.

Looks like that's illegal for me to do now. It'd be nice if they'd update their posting of rules more than once a decade, though, the current posted list at the entrance to my local game land is the old one.

Brian Williams
February 16, 2004, 12:50 PM
According to existing statutes you are forbidden to shoot or target practice on State Game lands before the change in the statute. Here is the existing law and it has been this way for many years, so techinically you have been breaking the law this whole time. You are only allowed to shoot at approved ranges on statel lands. These lands are for the "game" animals to be "undisturbed" by humans......
see section 15

http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/058/chapter135/chap135toc.html

§ 135.41. State game lands

(c) Additional prohibitions. In addition to the prohibitions contained in the act pertaining to State game lands and § 135.2, except with the written permission of the Director, it is unlawful to:

(1) Contaminate, pollute or degrade groundwaters or surface waters or any waterways.

(2) Graze or permit the grazing of livestock, place or maintain beehives or beekeeping apparatus.

(3) Solicit, or place advertisements, signs or posters.

(4) Ride a nonmotorized vehicle, conveyance or animal, except on roads normally open to public travel, or designated routes as posted, or while lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping or fishing.

(5) Ride a nonmotorized vehicle, conveyance or animal from the last Saturday in September until the third Saturday in January, and before 1 p.m. from the second Saturday in April through the last Saturday in May inclusive, except on Sundays or while lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping or fishing.

(6) Ride a nonmotorized vehicle, conveyance or animal on roads open to foot travel only.

(7) Drive motor vehicles with or without attachments having a registered gross vehicle weight in excess of 12,000 pounds.

(8) Use boats propelled by a motor. Battery powered electric motors may be used on waterways unless posted otherwise.

(9) Consume, possess or transport any alcohol, liquor, beer, malt or brewed alcoholic beverage.

(10) Use or possess any controlled substance as defined or classified under The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (35 P. S. § § 780-101—780-143).

(11) Occupy, use or construct, place or maintain structures or other tangible property, except that portable hunting blinds or stands may be used, provided no visible damage is caused to trees.

(12) Feed wildlife or lay or place any food, fruit, hay, grain, chemical, salt or other minerals.

(13) Release domestic animals, captive bred or captive raised game or wildlife.

(14) Operate a motor vehicle in willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property or in excess of posted speed limits, or where no speed limit is posted, in excess of 25 miles per hour.

(15) Target shoot with firearms, bows and arrows or devices capable of launching projectiles in a manner that could cause injury to persons or property, or on areas posted closed to those activities.
(16) Except as provided in Subchapter J (relating to shooting ranges), discharge any firearm, bow and arrow, or device capable of launching projectiles that is not a lawful device to hunt game or wildlife.

(17) Engage in an activity or event involving more than ten persons, which may conflict with the intended purposes or uses as defined in section 722 of the act (relating to use of property), or poses a potential environmental or safety problem.

(18) Sell, distribute, deliver, service, guide or rent any equipment, material or commodity or otherwise transact or engage in any commercial activity. Commercial activity is any activity in which a person directly or indirectly accepts consideration of value as compensation for the provision of goods or services, including transportation.

(19) Use State game lands for any personal, organizational or commercial purpose other than the intended use as defined in section 722 of the act.

(20) Operate under authority of a contract, lease, agreement or permit and fail to abide by the terms and conditions contained in the contract, lease, agreement or permit.

(21) Except on Sundays, be present on State game lands from November 15 through December 15 inclusive when not engaged in lawful hunting or trapping and fail to wear a minimum of 250 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange-colored material on the head, chest and back combined or, in lieu thereof, a hat of the same colored material. The material shall be worn so it is visible in a 360° arc. Persons using shooting ranges are exempted from this requirement.

Beren
February 16, 2004, 01:04 PM
Perfessr:

The bit about target shooting was effective in Feb. 2003, not prior.

So where do us humans go to be undisturbed by humans? :)

Joe Demko
February 16, 2004, 01:20 PM
Buy yourself a piece of property and set up your own range.
Join a private gun club.
Befriend a property owner who might give you permission to shoot on his/her property.

Over the years, I've done all of these. The Gamelands belong to the Game Commission, for better or worse.

Beren
February 16, 2004, 01:53 PM
The embarrassing part is that I had already e-mailed my state Congressional reps. I e-mailed a correction shortly after finding out the regulations had already passed, but boy, do I feel a little stupid now.

SodaPop
February 16, 2004, 02:12 PM
You aren't suppose to pick the perty flowers either...........

NavajoNPaleFace
February 16, 2004, 02:59 PM
I spent many years growing up in the backwoods of NE Pennsylvania and I can tell you first hand of the idjits (primarily from the the cities) that just go where ever they please (whether it's private or public land) and shoot targets, trees, signs, barns, cars and parked farm implements (yes...seen that all too many times) and leave behind garbage, let alone care less about what is behind those things they are shooting at.

Year after year we'd either have to put down a cow or horse that was shot and wounded or patch up or bury a dog or two and it wasn't even deer season (them getting shot during that time is a whole other story).


The state of Arizona is also clamping down on open range shooting because of the garbage left behind and the fact that most shooters have no concern of their backstop or where their bullets are headed.

I have over a mile and a half of my private drive to drive down to the public road. All along the way, each week, is new chit that people drag up there and shoot to oblivion or is just littered by the inconsiderate shooters. All stuff I HAVE TO PICK UP.

There is no justifiable reason to get uspet with the states. It's their lands...not ours.

The way I look at it's the en mass of impromptu shooters that are the ones to blame.

How can I put this tactfully? Oh, heck...I'll just say it. If you're one of those that go out and just shoot anywhere you please, go to the mirror, take your right finger and point it at yourself.

Someone always ruins it for others regardless of the issue.

Beren
February 16, 2004, 03:34 PM
How can I put this tactfully? Oh, heck...I'll just say it. If you're one of those that go out and just shoot anywhere you please, go to the mirror, take your right finger and point it at yourself.

As stated earlier, I was one of those people who used to target shoot on state game land. I no longer do so, as it is now forbidden by law. However, in the days when I used to do so, I made sure I had a safe backstop, that the area was clear, and that I gathered up all my trash afterwards. Yes, even spent shell casings and targets. I packed it all out with me.

I'm with you, really. People who fire without ensuring they have a safe backstop, who don't care about what's behind their target, and who leave trash behind really aggravate me. However, I'm not of the mind that irresponsibility on the part of some people mandates that an act or object should be forbidden of all people. Armed tresspass, littering, reckless endangerment, and destruction of property are already covered by state law.

I used to /avoid/ the state gun ranges because of the yahoos who would gather there. I can't count the number of televisions or other items I've found abandoned and shattered on state gun ranges. Or the times I've left because of either unsafe handling, or outright stupidity on the part of others present. (Some of them, even drinking alcohol while shooting.) I felt far more safe out by myself than at most public ranges.

So, now, I'll follow up on Golgo's advice. There are a couple of reputable private clubs in my area, and a family friend is willing to sponsor my membership. We may also have some private property conducive to shooting, once we've constructed a safe backstop.

NavajoNPaleFace
February 16, 2004, 06:36 PM
Beran, the idea of a private range is a great idea if you can swing it.

Not too far from my hometown in NE Pennsylvania they had a Rod and Gun club which some locals put together and then charged a minor fee to others to join.

I never knew them to do any fishing but they had a nice range set up and I've heard of some really great poker games there on Saturday nights.

:D

If you enjoyed reading about "PA Game Commission to Outlaw Target Shooting on State Game Land?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!