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Backyard Shooting Range

Discussion in 'Legal' started by acberger1, Jul 16, 2010.

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  1. acberger1

    acberger1 Member

    Jul 16, 2010
    I would like to build a shooting range in my backyard, but I'm not aware of all the legal issues.

    My home is in rural CT, and I own 5 acres of land. Depending on how much brush I want to clear, the range could be anywhere from 45 to 100yrds. Primarily, I'd be shooting my carbine highpoint on it (9mm). In the general direction of fire, the nearest homes are .60 miles away (I know, not nearly far enough to escape a bullet).

    However, there is a sizable hill behind where the bullet trap would be, that's 14ft higher from the terrain I'd shoot on. This hill is not on my property though, it's about 75yrds back from where my property ends (obviously I would check with the land's owner to make sure it's alright if stray bullets hit here-- there are no structures near this hill, and the land beyond it is used for farming).'

    Please tell me what you think! I'm hoping that with a bullet trap and the hill behind it, shooting will be allowed.
  2. bsctov

    bsctov Member

    Mar 5, 2009
    I think you should consult a lawyer. The $50-$100 it costs will be far better then the thousands upon thousands a felony criminal defense costs.
  3. zombienerd

    zombienerd Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Dig your range.

    Rent a backhoe from Taylor, or a similar outfit, and dig a 20' wide trench 100 yards long, and put all the dirt at the end to build a small mountain backstop, have it angle out 45 degrees on each side, toward you about 20' long from each edge of the trench. This should take no longer than a day or two, and their equipment rental is very well priced.

    That way, you're stopping 100% of the bullets on your property, do not have to deal with neighbors approval, and it's much safer.

    Attached Files:

  4. wishin

    wishin Member

    Nov 20, 2009
    +1 ^^

    Be sure to check local ordinances at the County seat. Don't depend on what the sheriff's department tells you...........
  5. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

    Sep 9, 2008
    MS, USA
    It's kind of hard to tell without looking at it. Maybe some pictures would help. With a bullet trap it might be safe. Understand that even if you are shooting into the hill the bullets will bounce off at an upward angle over the hill.

    I've got a similar set up in my backyard, minus the bullet trap. There is a large hill that I shoot into. Behind it is about a mile of woods before you get to the nearest farm. Whatever ricochets off the hill gets stopped in the woods.
  6. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    If the local laws allow shooting at all (some states have laws speaking to size of tract), and you have any sort of decent backstop, you should be good to go. You're not doing a commercial venture, so you'd have no liability beyond that resulting from your own mistakes.

    For range design, start a new thread in the Rifle forum. No more range design posts here, folks.
  7. tj_dude

    tj_dude Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    I dont think I would try this in CT without consulting the town and the state police first ,I think you have to have a permit to have a range and most towns wont approve them and they dont even like the public ones even and try to close them down ,if you start shooting in your yard the police are going to come and arrest you for "unlawluf discharge of a firearm" and what ever else they can ,CT is not pro gun state and if one bullet gets loose and hits a house they are going to arrest you then you will be sued
  8. beatcop

    beatcop Member

    Sep 14, 2008
    You can shoot on your own property, that's the simplified version...

    You may get quotes of "500 feet from nearest structure not owned by you"; this is from the hunting regs and although not specific to target shooting, is usually a legally safe statute to stand on. There is no minimum distance stated in regs on the State level, but municipalities have enacted "...no shooting within city limits" type ordinances.

    Ensure you have a good backstop and you'll be fine. I wouldn't get into heavy bulldozing, just make a backstop out of a few cords of wood, small earthen berm, etc...so you don't get into permits, etc.
  9. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    Dec 24, 2002
    Forestburg, Texas
    If I was your neighbor, I would not want stray bullets coming across the property line and impacting my hill.
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