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Thread: Shooting Firearms on Private Property in Prince William County

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    Regular Member jsfrederick's Avatar
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    Shooting Firearms on Private Property in Prince William County

    Question for all your Prince William Countyites. What are the laws on shooting firearms on your own private property in PWC?

    If I own, say 20 Acres, am I able to shoot my firearms on my property ( assuming I've already made the location safe so no stray bullets can leave the property).

    What about building a range, indoor or outdoor? Will I need "special" permission if it's for my own personal use?

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Well, for instance, in Virginia Beach we have what's called a "green" line, below which shooting on private property is authorized.

    As to building a "range" that would depend entirely on local zoning and public works ordinances. You could probably build one... with the proper permits. However, on your own property... seems OK if you abide by a few simple rules:

    http://library.municode.com/HTML/141...2/C31_AII.html

    Looks like you're covered under §31-27 (8), but pay attention to 31-28 for "restricted" areas.

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    Regular Member jsfrederick's Avatar
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    Thanks! Good info, I am studying it now.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    PM "gis". He might be able to give you some insight on this.
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    Regular Member gis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    PM "gis". He might be able to give you some insight on this.
    I will say first that I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. Here is what I know. See the following link for PWC hunting/discharge regulations: http://www.pwcgov.org/default.aspx?t...11001120000710

    My understanding is that you have to be over 100 yards from the nearest road, right of way, and occupied dwelling which is not your own. I interpret it to mean that your projectile can't come closer than 100 yards at any point. Obviously, it's best to be shooting away from those things.

    I don't know what you mean by "building a range", but I would think that putting down one or more piles of dirt to act as back stops doesn't qualify as "building". If you want to put up buildings, safety walls, etc., you may be opening yourself up to various construction related regulations. An indoor range is a huge hassle. There are all kinds of EPA and health regulations that require expensive equipment (fans, filters, etc.) and are cost prohibitive. I know you said that this was for personal use, so business regulations and licesing wouldn't apply. Lastly, if you are in a city, they may have their own regulations regarding discharge and other things, so I would check that too.

    I would talk to a lawyer and let him comment on your unique set of circumstances. The VCDL site has a good list of VA pro-gun attorneys. I would find one in PWC. However, I hope that this information is useful.
    Last edited by gis; 06-29-2010 at 11:30 PM.

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    Regular Member jsfrederick's Avatar
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    Thanks GIS.

    Am looking at purchasing about 20 Acres just west of Haymarket. Was looking into the issues with "building" a range,either outdoor or maybe a 2 lane indoor range, for personal use only. I'm going to get the NRA Range handbook and read through that too.

    I'll look into a PWC Gun friendly lawyer too.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Give User a call. He's in NOVA and he's certainly gun friendly. I don't know what he charges for research but his rates are on Par with everyone else.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    Give User a call. He's in NOVA and he's certainly gun friendly. I don't know what he charges for research but his rates are on Par with everyone else.
    Speaking of User.. did he make the jump? I haven't noticed any posts from him lately.

    TFred

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    I"m not a lawyer nor giving legal advice. When I moved here 13 years ago I thought there was a "5-acre rule" or something of the kind.

    The code is covered in Chapter 31 at http://library.municode.com/index.as...eName=Virginia. If you build a "private basement or cellar target range" "Sec. 31-27. - Same—Exceptions." Looks like it would apply. It look like that's where I got my "5-acre rule" as it states one excpetion as "The discharge of firearms by the owner, or any member of his immediate family, or any permittee of the owner, on one or more contiguous tracts of land, located within the prohibited area, having total area of five acres or more".

    I don't know what the "prohibited area" is though. Maybe Sec. 31-28 areas, but a good question for User. I'm in the "Gainesville" area.

    If you're not in a "prohibited area", are zoned agricultural, and comply with the other restrictions (100-yard rule, etc.) it seems like a good thing.

    I wish someone would open a range in our area!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsfrederick View Post
    Am looking at purchasing about 20 Acres just west of Haymarket. Was looking into the issues with "building" a range,either outdoor or maybe a 2 lane indoor range, for personal use only. I'm going to get the NRA Range handbook and read through that too.
    You realize nobody here will believe you have a private range until you invite us over for a shoot?

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