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Thread: OT- Legality of shooting on one's own land?

  1. #1
    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Question OT- Legality of shooting on one's own land?

    Maybe I'm jumping the gun here (no pun intended), but I gotta ask. A little while ago, I may have been shooting this terrifying hand-cannon on my property:

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    Using this ammo:

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    Just primer & bullet, no gunpowder. From that tiny barrel it doesn't even go 1/3rd of the way thru a 5/8 sheet of plywood. Most of the bullets actually end up in a pile below the target. Sounds like a loud cap gun or air rifle. I've been thru the Island county code, and all I could find relating to the discharge of firearms is one cannot do so near the lakes (hunting). So as far as I can tell, there's nothing unlawful, or unsafe, about any discharge of that lil gun that may or may not have occurred.

    A little while later, two ICSO vehicles show up at my neighbors, and hand around for a good while. Never came over to my property, and I wandered around the lawn for a few minutes too.

    So, um, input here guys? Such hypothetical actions a bad idea, or would such be completely within my rights & the scope of the law, or something else?

    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

  2. #2
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalhead47 View Post
    Maybe I'm jumping the gun here (no pun intended), but I gotta ask. A little while ago, I may have been shooting this terrifying hand-cannon on my property:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Using this ammo:

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	3602

    Just primer & bullet, no gunpowder. From that tiny barrel it doesn't even go 1/3rd of the way thru a 5/8 sheet of plywood. Most of the bullets actually end up in a pile below the target. Sounds like a loud cap gun or air rifle. I've been thru the Island county code, and all I could find relating to the discharge of firearms is one cannot do so near the lakes (hunting). So as far as I can tell, there's nothing unlawful, or unsafe, about any discharge of that lil gun that may or may not have occurred.

    A little while later, two ICSO vehicles show up at my neighbors, and hand around for a good while. Never came over to my property, and I wandered around the lawn for a few minutes too.

    So, um, input here guys? Such hypothetical actions a bad idea, or would such be completely within my rights & the scope of the law, or something else?

    As far as I know if you are not in any city limits that forbade the discharge and have a backdrop etc. You are ok. There are some things like disturbing the peace might be an issue with some LEO's. We used to shoot on our 5 acres by the touch and go strip next fort Casey all the time. But that was many moons ago.

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    Bad Idea...

    It's not just the state law you have to worry about but more the county and local laws and your "local sheriff."

    It's just a bad idea on just the liability issue of something going wrong. Also everyone differs on where you live and how much land you have and how you are shooting it and what your terrain is around your home - how close is your neighbor? School, etc, etc

    Obviously, they came after someone called regarding hearing "gunshots" even from this little .22

    Is it legal - I do not know your specific case but overall I would say just for the hassle factor - not something I would want.

    Maybe something to think about is making your own "sound proof range" or something on the lines like that. If no sound then your neighor don't know. Just depends on how much you want to spend (for making a "range").

  4. #4
    Regular Member Squeak's Avatar
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    It really depends on the county. How much land, your backdrop, houses nearby, etc.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Not much land, only shooting about 5' or so. Backdrop is a 3' sold wall of dirt and another 8' of blackberries above that. Nearest neighbor that direction is 100 yards away (uphill thru more blackberries). Hypothetically speaking of course
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Extracted from Island County code:

    Chapter 9.06
    Discharge of Firearms Prohibited


    9.06.010 Prohibited Areas
    The discharge, firing, shooting, and use of firearms is prohibited in the following described areas of Island County:
    A. Lone Lake. On the surface of Lone Lake and over the surface of the land within one-hundred (100) yards of the shoreline of said Lone Lake lying within Township 26 North, Range 3 East of the Willamette Meridian;
    B. Goss Lake. On the surface of Goss Lake and over the shoreline of said Goss Lake lying within Township 29 North, Township 30 North, Range 3 East of the Willamette Meridian;
    C. Honeymoon Lake. On the surface of Honeymoon Lake and over the surface of the land within one-hundred (100) yards of the shoreline of said Honeymoon Lake lying within Township 30 North, Range 2 East of the Willamette Meridian.
    D. Deer Lagoon. Discharge of firearms is prohibited on the Island County-owned Deer Lagoon property, described in the attached legal description, Attachment “A,”1 the property that lies within Township 29 North, Range 2 East of the Willamette M
    The prohibition of the discharge, firing, shooting and use of firearms provided above shall not abridge the right of the individuals guaranteed by Article I, Section 24 of the state Constitution to bear arms in defense of self or others or law enforcement officers in the performance of their official duties.
    (Ord. CC-73-3, December 3, 1973, vol. 14, p. 461; amended by Ord. 118-09 [R-47-09], October 12, 2009, vol. 2009, p. 474)

    9.06.020 Penalty for Violation
    Any person who shall violate the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided by applicable law.
    (Ord. 118-09 [R-47-09], October 12, 2009, vol. 2009, p. 474)


    edited to add:

    9.60.030 Public Disturbance Noises
    A. It is unlawful for any person to cause, or for any person in possession of property to allow to originate from the property, sound that is a public disturbance which unreasonably disturbs or interferes with the peace, comfort and repose of property owners or possessors. The following sources of sound when they unreasonably disturb or interfere with the peace, comfort and repose of property owners or possessors shall be prohibited public disturbance noises:

    ... 8. Sound created by the discharge of firearms during evening and nighttime hours between one-half (1/2) hour after sunset and one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise except for discharge on authorized shooting ranges.
    Last edited by fight4your_rights; 08-17-2010 at 01:34 AM.

  7. #7
    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    As others have stated, is the area you are in prohibited in the discharge of firearms this can be City or County.

    Second, this could be a very dangerous action as to location of homes and others depending upon backstops and that odd chance that one time a bullet was not just cap and lead and actually have powder in it.
    Accidents do happen and those famous words " I did not know it was loaded "

    Here is a link on restrictions for discharge of firearms.

    http://www.islandcounty.net/document...20C-136-05.pdf

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    One more extract from Island county code:

    Chapter 9.40
    Island County Parks Property Rules and Regulations

    9.40.320 Firearms, Weapons, Hunting Prohibited
    No person, except duly authorized law enforcement personnel, shall possess a firearm in any park area. No person shall discharge across, in, or into any park area a firearm, bow and arrow, air or gas weapon, or any device capable of injuring or killing any person or animal, or damaging or destroying any public or private property, except, when the department has authorized a special recreational activity allowing such use or uses.
    (Ord. C-44-90, adopted April 9, 1990, effective May 15, 1990, vol. 31, p. 60)

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    Quote Originally Posted by fight4your_rights View Post
    One more extract from Island county code:

    Chapter 9.40
    Island County Parks Property Rules and Regulations

    9.40.320 Firearms, Weapons, Hunting Prohibited
    No person, except duly authorized law enforcement personnel, shall possess a firearm in any park area. No person shall discharge across, in, or into any park area a firearm, bow and arrow, air or gas weapon, or any device capable of injuring or killing any person or animal, or damaging or destroying any public or private property, except, when the department has authorized a special recreational activity allowing such use or uses.
    (Ord. C-44-90, adopted April 9, 1990, effective May 15, 1990, vol. 31, p. 60)
    but isnt that a preemption type issue there? At least the read part you quoted....

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by devildoc5 View Post
    but isnt that a preemption type issue there? At least the read part you quoted....
    It is unenforceable and leaves the county open to lawsuit if they decide to act upon this "illegal" code.

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    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    stay on topic

    he may or may not have shot his gun into a Safe back stop!!!!
    On His Own Property!!!!!!
    HIS OWN PROPERTY!!!!
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

    “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

    Stand up for your Rights,, They have no authority on their own...

    All power is inherent in the people,
    it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1245A Defender View Post
    he may or may not have shot his gun into a Safe back stop!!!!
    On His Own Property!!!!!!
    HIS OWN PROPERTY!!!!
    Thanx 1245a

    As I said, I have already reviewed county law. I am not in an incorporated area. I do not live near a lake. I do not live in a park . I do not make a racket after dark. I will OC in a park & nag the county about their unenforceable & preempted statute later. I believe I am (hypothetically) acting with all due dilligence in reguards to the safety of myself & my neighbors concerning a backstop, proper firearm safety, etc.
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

  13. #13
    Regular Member Lante's Avatar
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    Shooting on your own property in Island County

    Island County does not have a specific law on a discharge of firearms on private property (like many other counties do) However, it does appear in the criminal code (below) as a reference to "shooting range" and in the zoning code, it goes into it in more depth. I found from personal experiences in other counties that shooting on your own property, seems to fall into only 2 areas....hunting, and private shooting range.


    For Island County part of the law is in sub section 8 of ICC09 9.60.030
    "9.60.030 Public Disturbance Noises
    A. It is unlawful for any person to cause, or for any person in possession of property to allow to originate from the property, sound that is a public disturbance which unreasonably disturbs or interferes with the peace, comfort and repose of property owners or possessors. The following sources of sound when they unreasonably disturb or interfere with the peace, comfort and repose of property owners or possessors shall be prohibited public disturbance noises:
    1. Frequent, repetitive or continuous noise made by any animal, except that such sounds made in animal shelters, or commercial kennels, veterinary hospitals, pet shops or pet kennels licensed under and in compliance with ICC Titles 16 and 17 shall be exempt from this subsection; provided, that notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, if the owner or other person having custody of the animal cannot, with reasonable inquiry, be located by the investigating officer or if the animal is a repeated violator of this subsection, the animal shall be impounded by the county animal control officer subject to redemption in the manner provided by ICC 6.08.170;....
    ...8. Sound created by the discharge of firearms during evening and nighttime hours between one-half (1/2) hour after sunset and one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise except for discharge on authorized shooting ranges. "

    ADDITIONALLY
    according to the Island County Building code your property has to be in a Zone II or III area, is subject to a conditional permit (as you are classed as a "private" range), if in a ZONE III area it is subject to the same conditions as a property owner who wishes to install a covered riding arena - there has to be a public meeting / comment period.
    Minimum property required for discharging a weapon at a target is 5 acres.

    And no I am not inserting the 12 pages for that in here. If you wish to read Island County Zoning code (or really, really need to go to sleep) it can be found here....http://www.islandcounty.net/code/documents/ICC17_03.pdf

    I did not go into city codes which may have further prohibitions on discharge within city limits.

    Hope this helps.

  14. #14
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    As far as I'm concerned build a mosque it's your own property. But that is just my own opinion.

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lante View Post
    good stuff

    Hope this helps.

    Ah, zoning laws. So that's how they get ya. Still seems to be a big honkin' gray area tho. It did tell me what I needed for down the road when I have land, to set up a real shooting range. How'd you dig all that up so quick?

    Either way, think I'll *hypothetically* cease and desist for now (not that I actually did anything). Turns out the sheriff was over at a neighbor who had previously gotten in hot water over setting off fireworks, giving them the third degree over it, but it's diffused for now.
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    As far as I'm concerned build a mosque it's your own property. But that is just my own opinion.
    And Obama apparently agrees with you
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Regular Member gsx1138's Avatar
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    I've been told you need at least 5 acres. At the most we shoot BB guns at my house.

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsx1138 View Post
    I've been told you need at least 5 acres. At the most we shoot BB guns at my house.
    That's the frustrating part. A BB gun is MORE powerful than this combo . 20gr @ <300 fps
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

  19. #19
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsx1138 View Post
    I've been told you need at least 5 acres. At the most we shoot BB guns at my house.
    When shot on our land down there before it was five acres. Richard got the A ok from the sheriff here in Whatcom and he has 3, but I could be missing some details on that.

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    Regular Member Lammo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    As far as I'm concerned build a mosque it's your own property. But that is just my own opinion.
    Troublemaker. :-)
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    ive got a couple buddies over on the island and from what i understand the onley thing they would get you for is the noise ordinance. im not sure if the above zoning requirements actually affect you since you arent actually setting up a range.

    wheres a lawyer when you need one?

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    A smart lawyer charges...

    So, lawyer's aren't dumb (well, you know). Ain't going to step into a pile of questions without a "retainer."

    You have to remember this is how they make a living.

    So, back on topic - why invite the hassle factor?

    Unless you know for sure. I've seen other forums and how they set up their "home ranges" and it's almost pitiful in regards to what some folks feel is "safe." When you have neighbors less than 100 yards from you it's too close. Noise and also anything else.

    Think of it this way: is it worth your house? - your career? - your family's name? One or all can be called into question.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldkim View Post
    So, lawyer's aren't dumb (well, you know). Ain't going to step into a pile of questions without a "retainer."

    You have to remember this is how they make a living.

    So, back on topic - why invite the hassle factor?

    Unless you know for sure. I've seen other forums and how they set up their "home ranges" and it's almost pitiful in regards to what some folks feel is "safe." When you have neighbors less than 100 yards from you it's too close. Noise and also anything else.

    Think of it this way: is it worth your house? - your career? - your family's name? One or all can be called into question.
    Next house I build I intend to have 300' of 6' Dia Culvert buried first. Then build the basement at one end. Close it off with a door that looks like a concrete wall. Add some lighting, ventilation/filtering equipment, and I'll have 100 yards right in my basement. All I'll need to do is hide the culvert and "door" somehow from the building inspector. Maybe I'll just cut in the door after I get the Certificate of Occupancy.

  24. #24
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    Next house I build I intend to have 300' of 6' Dia Culvert buried first. Then build the basement at one end. Close it off with a door that looks like a concrete wall. Add some lighting, ventilation/filtering equipment, and I'll have 100 yards right in my basement. All I'll need to do is hide the culvert and "door" somehow from the building inspector. Maybe I'll just cut in the door after I get the Certificate of Occupancy.
    You don't need permits for "bomb shelters".
    Hiding making a door is easy. Seperate the section you want the door inside your forms, several ways you can do this. The only real inspection of your foundation is the forming and rebar part. before you pour concrete do what you want. Ive built some pretty cool things like this into houses over the years.

    And if you can afford it connexes are way better than culvert pipe.

  25. #25
    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldkim View Post
    So, lawyer's aren't dumb (well, you know). Ain't going to step into a pile of questions without a "retainer."

    You have to remember this is how they make a living.

    So, back on topic - why invite the hassle factor?

    Unless you know for sure. I've seen other forums and how they set up their "home ranges" and it's almost pitiful in regards to what some folks feel is "safe." When you have neighbors less than 100 yards from you it's too close. Noise and also anything else.

    Think of it this way: is it worth your house? - your career? - your family's name? One or all can be called into question.
    Why invite the hassle? Because it's my home and I should have the right to do as I wish there as long as it's not directly harming or endangering anyone. Knowing for sure is exactly what I'm trying to accomplish, but of course the laws on the matter are a big legaleze gray area. If this thing can't even punch through half the thickness of a sheet of plywood, I think 100 yards of hill & blackberry thicket is pretty durn safe
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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