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Shooting over open water.

Discussion in 'Legal' started by SilverDragn, Jan 14, 2010.

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  1. SilverDragn

    SilverDragn Member

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    I don't know where to post this at. But I can't find this info anywhere else.
    Does anyone know if its legal to shoot out into open water? I live on lake Erie and I was wondering if its safe and legal to fire rounds out into the water.
    I know when I was in the Navy we'd shoot thousand of rounds but that was out in open ocean and in International waters.
     
  2. DAVIDSDIVAD

    DAVIDSDIVAD member

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    Umm... I don't mean to be rude, but unless you have a target on the water, what's the point?
     
  3. mptrimshop

    mptrimshop Member

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    he wants to shoot trap...i'm guessing
     
  4. SilverDragn

    SilverDragn Member

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    No, really just want to waste ammo for free instead of paying range fees
     
  5. highorder

    highorder Member

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    waste ammo? Did your cash bonfire burn out then?

    Send me all your ammo that has no value.

    With no target to shoot at, why bother?
     
  6. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    We already have more than enough snark on hand, thank you. Don't send any more!

    Okay: Odds are, local ordinances about shooting will apply. Purely a guess, but maybe the Coast Guard would be the only group with legal authority for any regulating in international boundary waters.

    As far as safety, and considering the size of Lake Erie, if there are no boats within an arc of 60 to 90 degrees, and within a couple of miles if you're talking centerfires, odds are there's no downrange danger. Overall, however, it's not the best idea I've ever heard.

    Bound to be some farmer around who'd maybe like to join you in shooting; share your ammo...
     
  7. highorder

    highorder Member

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    My apologies.

    I was reminded of Lloyds "extra gloves" in Dumb and Dumber.
     
  8. DAVIDSDIVAD

    DAVIDSDIVAD member

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    I was serious.

    I always wondered why the Navy shot into the sea, and thought maybe OP was ex-navy.


    Also, in these days of liability and lawsuits... I doubt that farmer is out there
     
  9. mrokern

    mrokern Member

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    Rule 4: Know your target and what is behind it.

    If you can't say with 100% certainty that there are no boats within the range of your rounds, don't shoot.

    -Mark
     
  10. SilverDragn

    SilverDragn Member

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    Yeah I am ex navy and we alway did shoot out into the sea for "Training and qualification"
    And I would be sharing my ammo with some buddies who own property on the lake.
     
  11. larry_minn

    larry_minn Member

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    In MN you are no longer allowed to fire lead "over water"... If you are talking shotgun/clays with steel shot you would be fine (in MN) provided nobody complained. :( As this is ment for waterfowel hunting.
    I would worry about pistol/rifle ammo against water. I have no idea how far its possible for it to "skip" OR if you fire slightly above. (what is your backstop?) Is the chunk of wood/target able to deflect bullet? will you be charged with littering?
    A river where you are UP on a bank and the other side has high bank is one thing. 5' above water level (assumption) is another. Heck on ships not only are you miles from land/other ships but 20'??? above water line? (steep angle)
    Call the local DNR, Water safety patrol/Coast guard/etc. My guess is they will tell you "NO YOU CAN NOT DO THAT"
     
  12. edSky

    edSky Member

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    I'm guessing it has something to do with a low angle of attack and skipping. Just like when we sidearm flat rocks and they end up going much farther than they would if they didn't skip. Just a guess. Maybe something for MythBusters
     
  13. wishin

    wishin Member

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    I live on a 15,000 acre lake (a pond compared to Lake Erie) in Georgia that has no prohibitions on firing on the water as long as you have a GFL, and aren't using the firearm to fish. As a practical matter the lake doesn't lend itself to shooting because there are many homes along the shore line vulnerable to stray bullets.

    Definately check with your local government and any other entity that governs Lake Erie.
     
  14. Bud Tugly

    Bud Tugly Member

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    Bad idea IMO, especially with a rifle that can skip a long way. You'd probably notice someone in a boat out there, but what about a kayak? They sit awful low in the water and could easily be obscured by waves.

    They're all over the place up here in Lake Superior and I assume Erie would be similar. Unlikely in the dead of winter, but some of those folks are pretty fanatical about their sport.

    Potentially very dangerous to assume the lake is totally empty in front of your shooting area
     
  15. redneck

    redneck Member

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    I was told by a guy at the range that Camp Perry where the National Matches are held, uses the lake as a backstop (for lack of a better word). I don't know if this applies only to special occasions/large matches because they lack enough berm to put on an event or if it is full time.
    He said that the water they shoot into is patrolled by the coast gaurd and posted, but that they routinely have to stop shooting and run private boats back into safe water because people think the foaming water where the rounds are hitting is caused by schools of fish....

    I'd be inclined to think he was feeding me a line of BS but he's a great shot, gives lots of good advice, and never seems interested in putting one over on anybody, just helping folks improve their shooting and keeping the range safe.

    So assuming that its true, it sounds like it is possible that you could shoot into the lake as well, but keep in mind you don't have anyone patrolling the water for you or backing you in the event of an accident.
     
  16. HOME DEPOT GEORGE

    HOME DEPOT GEORGE Member

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    When I had my 32 foot century we would always shoot when we were 15 to 20+ miles offshore either clays or helium balloons providing we saw no boats within 10 miles on the radar. We would shoot at the balloons with different calibers of centerfire even handgun. As far as lead in the water there's more poundage in fishing weights on the bottom especially around the wrecks and reefs we fish, even the Navy with all the practice shooting in the world couldn't top it.
     
  17. Odnar

    Odnar Member

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    You might check your Dept of Natural Resources Hunting Guide. Mine (Indiana) specifically states:

    It is illegal to shoot across a body of water, except in the lawful pursuit of wildlife.

    Good luck.
     
  18. Jim_100

    Jim_100 Member

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    I think Bud Tugley makes a valid point about the kayak possibly not being noticed. Imagine being out there with your wife or son and have rifle rounds making a skipping splash around you. It does sound like fun to shoot out into the water but I would definitly be concerned about not knowing what is down range.
     
  19. SilverDragn

    SilverDragn Member

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    Should have specified it would only be a 9mm handgun i'd be shooting.
     
  20. Hardtarget

    Hardtarget Member

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    I thought Camp Perry was on Lake Erie...and they shot high power out onto the lake. Never been there...I am likely way off base.

    Mark
     
  21. T.A.Sharps

    T.A.Sharps Member

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    I would call the DNR in your state and just ask them.

    I don't have a lake here, but I know we are not supposed to shoot over water. But that is here in Iowa.
     
  22. kanook

    kanook Member

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    Unless you can do what HDG said above, It wouldn't be wise.

    Unlike a child, you are resonsable for the bullet for its entire life. If you think that once the bang is over it's done, it's not. There has been a couple of cases where the shooter has been charged for manslaughter and didn't even know they shot somebody.

    The drunking felon idiot gave his drunking wife (also an idiot because she bought the felon the firearm) the revolver and told her to aim at the steel drum. She did and shot, bullet richotted and hit (killed) an elderly man sitting at the park a couple of miles away.
    After a long investigation the police where able to track it back to the drunk felon and the wife. Both were charged in this case.
     
  23. ole farmerbuck

    ole farmerbuck Member

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    Bound to be some farmer around who'd maybe like to join you in shooting; share your ammo



    Yup Just call me.
     
  24. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    Thought I`d try google and darn if I didn`t find this entire (up till now) post
    listed. Plus, some other information. :)
     
  25. jackpinesavages

    jackpinesavages member

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    Shooting lead over/onto water is generally illegal, but check with your local DNR. I can't imagine shooting 9mm into a lake for? No targets?
     
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