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Thread: Legal to shoot outdoors?

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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Legal to shoot outdoors?

    Question about shooting outdoors in Virginia.

    We went looking for a place and found something with:
    1. No 'Posted signs'
    2. Two Tree stands
    3. 200 yds or more from dwellings and roads (actually in a valley where you can't see any roads or houses.
    4. Not in the city - Spotsylvania I think

    One would assume that areas have 'Posted' signs to prevent hunting or shooting so absence of them means it's OK??

    I figure if someone is shooting in a tree stand it would be ok to shoot some pistol rounds. The charge for screwing up is a class 3 Misdemeanor. Would I be right in assuming that:

    a). if the cops showed up they'd just say stop shooting and we'd leave
    b). if charged it would have no effect on our CPL, being a misdemeanor.

    Other than finding a willing property owner with several acres and getting permission is there any way to shoot extemporaneously outdoors in Va?

    Advice? Thoughts?

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    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    Question about shooting outdoors in Virginia.

    One would assume that areas have 'Posted' signs to prevent hunting or shooting so absence of them means it's OK??

    Other than finding a willing property owner with several acres and getting permission is there any way to shoot extemporaneously outdoors in Va?

    Advice? Thoughts?
    We Virginians are big on manners. It would be considered rude to just start shooting on someone's property.

    I think what you're looking for is called a "Range". There are many of them throughout the state. Some of them are even outdoors.

    Just because an area isn't "Posted" doesn't mean its open to the public. You may sometimes get away with walking on someone's private property if you're looking for your dog that slipped off his leash or your child that wandered away from the family picnic at the nearby public park. It is NOT "OK" to just shoot on a piece of land because there aren't signs that say you can't.
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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSC 45ACP View Post
    We Virginians are big on manners. It would be considered rude to just start shooting on someone's property.

    I think what you're looking for is called a "Range". There are many of them throughout the state. Some of them are even outdoors.

    Just because an area isn't "Posted" doesn't mean its open to the public. You may sometimes get away with walking on someone's private property if you're looking for your dog that slipped off his leash or your child that wandered away from the family picnic at the nearby public park. It is NOT "OK" to just shoot on a piece of land because there aren't signs that say you can't.
    That was put much more nicely than I was going to respond with...so I'll just say +1.

    I won't ask if he has a BarBQ without a posted sign. I may need one one day.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSC 45ACP View Post
    You may sometimes get away with walking on someone's private property if you're looking for your dog that slipped off his leash or your child that wandered away from the family picnic at the nearby public park.
    I think there are still places in Virginia where unless you can prove that is exactly why you are there you might just get disappeared.
    It is NOT "OK" to just shoot on a piece of land because there aren't signs that say you can't.
    Hear, hear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    Question about shooting outdoors in Virginia.

    We went looking for a place and found something with:
    1. No 'Posted signs'
    2. Two Tree stands
    3. 200 yds or more from dwellings and roads (actually in a valley where you can't see any roads or houses.
    4. Not in the city - Spotsylvania I think

    One would assume that areas have 'Posted' signs to prevent hunting or shooting so absence of them means it's OK??

    I figure if someone is shooting in a tree stand it would be ok to shoot some pistol rounds. The charge for screwing up is a class 3 Misdemeanor. Would I be right in assuming that:

    a). if the cops showed up they'd just say stop shooting and we'd leave
    b). if charged it would have no effect on our CPL, being a misdemeanor.

    Other than finding a willing property owner with several acres and getting permission is there any way to shoot extemporaneously outdoors in Va?

    Advice? Thoughts?
    The short answer is NO. The start of the longer answer is i'm glad you at least had the sense to ask. If your name isn't on the deed or you don't lease it or have permission to be on the property KTFO, posted signs or no posted signs. You wouldn't want me to drop by your house while your not there and have a cookout on your deck just because there weren't any posted signs would you? Treat property that doesn't belong to you like anything else that doesn't belong to you. The group i hunt with pays a bunch of money to lease the property we have access to year round. I'm guessing if you can see two deer stands that someone else wouldn't be happy to have you traipsing all around. We have this problem every year with folks who buy a 3/4 acre lot and think that the 300 acres behind them is their own private park. We had a guy this past summer decide that he could cut a road from his property onto ours hook into our timber roads and ride the loop from his house around the timber roads and then back down the sewer line right of way in his UTV. He even took down the cable we had blocking one side of our gated access so he could short cut it down the public highway if he wanted. This evidently went on all summer until we happened to be there before hunting season started in order to clear the roads and he shows up and has this oh **** look on his face. he's lucky he had his 3yr old or so grandson with him so i had to hold back a little, kinda like i'm doing now.

    i think yo get the jist

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    1. No 'Posted signs'
    Do you mean an actual "No Trespassing" or "POSTED: No Trespassing" sign? Did you seen an trees with painted horizontal stripes on them?

    VA DGIF regs (see page 15) state:
    "Using a paint mark of aluminum color paint consisting of a vertical line at least 2 inches in width and at least 8 inches in length, no less than 3 feet and not more than 6 feet from the ground or normal water surface and visible when approaching the property.
    ---

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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSC 45ACP View Post
    We Virginians are big on manners. It would be considered rude to just start shooting on someone's property.

    I think what you're looking for is called a "Range". There are many of them throughout the state. Some of them are even outdoors.
    OK, glad I asked. I've looked for outdoor ranges around the state and only found Clark's Brothers. There's a lot of hunting allowed in Va's wilderness areas, (from the Inland Game and Fisheries site), but it's not clear if you have to get a license, say, for hunting rabbit just so you can go into those woods and shoot a HG. All of their 'shooting ranges' are sight-in ranges, long guns only.

    Thanks to all for the advice.

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    Regular Member sst0185's Avatar
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    GW National Forest has several really nice shooting ranges, but can be a long drive depending on your location. Look for a gun club in your area with an outdoor range.

    Make friends that own land and will let you shoot with them on it. You took the time to research if you would "get in trouble" with the law, do some research and find a place to shoot without making you and the rest of us firearm owners look bad.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sst0185 View Post
    Make friends that own land and will let you shoot with them on it.
    ^^^ That.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
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    Regular Member coondog22554's Avatar
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    Izaak Walton League

    Check out the Izaak Walton League in Spotsylvania Co. They have both pistol and rifle ranges. Annual membership is about $100.

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    Regular Member AtackDuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    OK, glad I asked. I've looked for outdoor ranges around the state and only found Clark's Brothers. There's a lot of hunting allowed in Va's wilderness areas, (from the Inland Game and Fisheries site), but it's not clear if you have to get a license, say, for hunting rabbit just so you can go into those woods and shoot a HG. All of their 'shooting ranges' are sight-in ranges, long guns only.

    Thanks to all for the advice.
    Northern Virginina Gun Club in King George might be what you are looking for.
    http://www.northernvirginiagunclub.org/

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coondog22554 View Post
    Check out the Izaak Walton League in Spotsylvania Co. They have both pistol and rifle ranges. Annual membership is about $100.
    Are there any members here?

    TFred

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    Rude People

    I came here looking for an answer on the same question. I'm amazed but not surprised at some of the rude responses to a legitimate question. First off, there's an assumption that this person is going to shoot on private property. There are public lands you know, not like out west but there are. I am from the west, where you can shoot almost everywhere (excluding maybe California) as long as you are outside of the city limits, not on private property or shooting within 1/4 mile of a residence or from/across a road. In my current state of Maryland, it is not legal to shoot anywhere but on a range or private property. Even the national forest is governed by restrictive state laws. The only legal target is paper and it has to be 48" above the ground. In other words, you cannot legally shoot a tin can with a .22 in the state of Maryland unless you're on private property. Last year I joined a local range just to be able to sight in. It was so micromanaged that it took me 4 hours to do 1 hour of shooting, which is a total waste of my time. So consequently I do not go shooting here; I do my shooting when I'm back home out west where my son and I have our own unofficial range on BLM land with steel targets from 100 to 500 yds. I moved here for work and cannot wait to retire and escape the snobby east coast climate, where everyone (even gun owners) has been brainwashed to accept the namby-pamby, gentrified country club mentality.
    Last edited by k3n; 08-08-2014 at 11:31 AM.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k3n View Post
    I came here looking for an answer on the same question. I'm amazed but not surprised at some of the rude responses to a legitimate question.
    If you knew the person that started the thread, you'd know both that it wasn't a legitimate question and rudness is the prescribed way to respond.

    He/she or it, is either man or woman depending on who he's pretending to be that day, is a karate man who has an injured back because he caught someone falling from 80 feet, doesn't open carry because the police have a plan to take him/her to the pavement and disable him due to some government spy business.

    Please don't bring up its old threads anymore because if his name appears 3 times.....it may return

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    Last edited by jegoodin; 08-08-2014 at 12:11 PM.

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    Regular Member The Truth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k3n View Post
    I came here looking for an answer on the same question. I'm amazed but not surprised at some of the rude responses to a legitimate question. First off, there's an assumption that this person is going to shoot on private property. There are public lands you know, not like out west but there are. I am from the west, where you can shoot almost everywhere (excluding maybe California) as long as you are outside of the city limits, not on private property or shooting within 1/4 mile of a residence or from/across a road. In my current state of Maryland, it is not legal to shoot anywhere but on a range or private property. Even the national forest is governed by restrictive state laws. The only legal target is paper and it has to be 48" above the ground. In other words, you cannot legally shoot a tin can with a .22 in the state of Maryland unless you're on private property. Last year I joined a local range just to be able to sight in. It was so micromanaged that it took me 4 hours to do 1 hour of shooting, which is a total waste of my time. So consequently I do not go shooting here; I do my shooting when I'm back home out west where my son and I have our own unofficial range on BLM land with steel targets from 100 to 500 yds. I moved here for work and cannot wait to retire and escape the snobby east coast climate, where everyone (even gun owners) has been brainwashed to accept the namby-pamby, gentrified country club mentality.
    I'm personally amazed but not surprised that you were offended by such appropriate responses. The questions OP was asking are pretty common sense... "am I allowed to shoot on property that's not mine even if there are at least 2 tree stands up on the property?" Come on, man. Use your head! How does the OP even know there are 2 tree stands on the property, unless it's clear cut? He must've been trespassing is my only guess, and he's probably already been shooting on the property.

    EDIT* Oh for crying out loud, who bumped this old thread?!? I've been tricked!
    Last edited by The Truth; 08-08-2014 at 12:18 PM. Reason: THRED IS DED

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    Last edited by jegoodin; 08-08-2014 at 12:14 PM. Reason: Didn't realize this was necro thread...

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k3n View Post
    .... I moved here for work and cannot wait to retire and escape the snobby east coast climate, where everyone (even gun owners) has been brainwashed to accept the namby-pamby, gentrified country club mentality.
    Sorry to disappoint you but we do not have a lot of "public lands" east of the Mississippi, and what we do have are, as you note, pretty heavily regulated. I just don't agree with you that is is a "namby-pamby, gentrified country club mentality" to try and avoid getting arrested for violating the restrictive regulations of what public lands we do have. As for privare ranges/clubs - you should have checked out their rules before putting down you money. Many of the restrictions they have are because they have been the victim of predatory lawsuits and drives for zoning regulations by the antis - it is too often the choice between accepting the regulations or being forced to shut down.

    While you are stuck here on the elitist east coast, how about joining one of the gun-right groups in Maryland and trying to help them come closer to your beloved West? How come I have not met you at any of the VCDL activities?

    BTW - why are you here on OCDO? You come across as a Fudd - I have a rifle and shoot long-distance target so of course I support gun rights, except that I only support rights for folks like me.

    stay safe.
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    Regular Member Shovelhead's Avatar
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    I live on 50+ acres in central Virginia that fronts a paved road on one side and a dirt road on the other.
    Signs or not, if I heard unauthorized gunshots on my property, someone would find themselves about to have a very bad day.

    Shoot on an authorized range, and save everyone a lot of trouble.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shovelhead View Post
    I live on 50+ acres in central Virginia that fronts a paved road on one side and a dirt road on the other.
    Signs or not, if I heard unauthorized gunshots on my property, someone would find themselves about to have a very bad day.

    Shoot on an authorized range, and save everyone a lot of trouble.
    +1

    I made a very similar post, but deleted it because I didn't want to perpetuate a necro-thread.

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    ...technically, it is a zombie thread, was dead, now alive-ish...
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    ...technically, it is a zombie thread, was dead, now alive-ish...
    It's been necromanced.

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    Shooting outdoors in VA

    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    If you knew the person that started the thread, you'd know both that it wasn't a legitimate question and rudeness is the prescribed way to respond....
    Good point, maybe I should have researched a little more into this troll's history. All, I'm new and apologize for resurrecting a dead thread and poking everyone in the eye. You were pretty patient with me considering, and deserve more respect...which I'm willing to give.

    I shouldn't act this way I know.... It's just that every time I go home, my son and I and several friends drive to the edge of town, drop our tailgates and start shooting whatever the heck we please at whatever we please and nobody cares! I guess I'm spoiled and expect it to be the same everywhere but it's not. I guess I should listen to Dr. Phil: "Life ain't fair...get over it!" The problem with the east coast plain and simple is just too many people, and many of them are good people. A few are jerks that need a strong fence around their property to keep them in and away from everyone else. Eventually it will be the same coast to coast, it's just a matter of time. The BLM is already starting to come down with a heavy hand in the west as you've seen in the news. They tried two years ago to shut down the offroad riding in my hometown to all but "designated" trails with a thousand plus page study that no one could decipher, but it caused such an uproar that they stood down. I'm sure they're regrouping and getting ready for another onslaught to restrict our freedoms. Whatever happened to the line, "This land is my land, this land is your land...." I guess that line got removed as it's all private now, and public lands belong to the agencies that are supposed to manage them for our benefit.

    Now as to why I came on here stirring up trouble in the first place... I'm going to be in the Luray area 17-18 Aug with a lady friend and we are looking for a place where we can do maybe an hour's worth of 9mm plinking in between motorcycle riding and kayaking. Does anyone have private property they're willing to loan us? I can afford to pay but I guess since I am so spoiled I figure that the right to shoot should be equal to the right to breathe air. Rural MD has some outdoor ranges on Park Service land that are only $5 for all day and no one there breathing down your neck. The problem is, they're all at least 1-2 hrs from town. Also it's technically not legal to go out into rural MD for a multipurpose weekend. In other words, you can legally only drive straight to the range and back, without stopping to do anything in between. That is a big grey area that's open to misinterpretation and to the MSP to enforce however they like. Are there any ranges like that near Luray? I think we'll be south of there 10 or 20 miles and near the Shenandoah. We don't need any tree stands

    Re: politics in MD, this place is hopeless. Gov O'Malley sleeps with Obummer. They could even get married now if they want, and soon be able to smoke medicinal pot, if they aren't already. The earth is screwed. All we can do is make the best of our time while we're here and leave a mess for our grandchildren to deal with.
    Last edited by k3n; 08-09-2014 at 06:18 AM.

  24. #24
    Regular Member sparkman2's Avatar
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    SE Virginia range

    There is a nice outdoor range in Virginia Beach called C2. Has multiple ranges to shoot from. Very tight on the open carry rules though but still a nice range.
    http://www.thec2center.com/_index.php
    "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one." Thomas Jefferson (quoting Cesare Beccaria)

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    No shooting

    It looks like the short answer (to shooting near Luray VA) is NO. I searched Google Maps, for "virginia shooting ranges" and they pop up in various places around the state. But in the entire Shenandoah valley there is nothing either public or private in at least a 2,500 square mile area. Good job VA. You're right behind MD. Think we'll change our destination to WV instead of VA.

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