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How much land to shoot on?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by wct097, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. wct097

    wct097

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    I was having a discussion elsewhere and a point of disagreement was the amount of land needed to shoot on.

    I'd like to buy or build my next home where I have 4-8 acres of land in a rural setting. I found a local subdivision that's surrounded by woods and rolling pasture land. The minimum plot size is 3 acres. The larger ones are big enough for horses and a barn.

    In my opinion, 4 or 5 acres in a rural area is a reasonable amount of space to safely target practice on provided that you have a good backdrop and no dwellings/people downrange or to the sides of where you're shooting.

    I'm basing this off of my parent's property where I grew up. 5 acres of wooded property with a clearing that I still shoot in to this day. The nearest neighbor is 150yards away from the clearing, but we shoot in the opposite direction into a backstop.

    What's your opinion? I'm talking about occasional daytime recreational shooting.... not a daily thing. 2-3x monthly.
     
  2. digitalmike47

    digitalmike47

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    I shoot on 2 acres. Nothing behind me for 1/2 mile but woods, and a hill. Never had any problems....
     

  3. racerford

    racerford

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    Check local laws. There are restrictions where I live, even in the county (not in an incororated area). I believe it is a minimum 10 arcres.

    In an incorporated are, it may not be legal, except with a licensed gun range. Don't ask me about licensing, no idea how it works. I just know that discharging a firearm (in the absence of self defense) is illegal in a nearby city, yet they have an indoor range. So there must be an exception process.
     
  4. Steve0853

    Steve0853

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    A lot will depend on your neighbors.

    Is the sound of shooting a common occurence in that neighborhood?
    ...no, Detroiters, that kind of shooting doesn't count..

    All is takes is one a-hole to put a stop to your shooting. However, if it truly is a rural area, then they probably hear shooting with some regularity and shoudn't spazz out when you start.

    If I were moving to a new location, I might let my closest neighbors know in a friendly way that I enjoyed firearms and shooting and if they heard some occasional shooting during the day, not to be alarmed. And that I would be following all safety rules. I would ask about their guns and invite them to shoot with me.

    Then, I would begin shooting with some .22's and work in a few handguns after that.

    And.........use some common sense. If one of your close neighbors is having an outdoor wedding or some kind of family reunion, or something like that, then don't pick that day to blast off a couple hundred .45's or something. If a church is within 1/2 mile, then don't get out there an go to blasting at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday. Stuff like that gets complaints.

    And...for the type property you are describing, I would leave the centerfire rifles in the safe until you take a range trip.
     
  5. glock5411

    glock5411

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    Im interested in this as well.... My bigger concern is legally what is allowed. If you live in a subdivision (3+ acre lots) what are the laws and how do you find this out. My guess is with the county, however, if a neighbor was to cpomplain then what ??

    BTW - I am in Gloucester, VA - heavy in hunting, yet maybe someone in these forums has local knowledge as to how Sheriff Gentry reacts to such things
     
  6. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

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    You're close. In Texas a municipality MAY NOT enact an ordinance that restricts shooting on land which is 10 acres or greater. That doesn't mean you MUST have 10 acres to shoot. You must simply live in a municipality that has not enacted an ordinance barring you from shooting on whatever size land you own.

    Yes, if you open up a range you apply for an exemption to the ordinance for discharge within (whatever distance) of a residence or city limits.
     
  7. bithabus

    bithabus

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    In Texas you need 50 acres to shoot rifles or pistols in a restricted municipality:

    Sec. 229.002. REGULATION OF DISCHARGE OF WEAPON. A municipality may not apply a regulation relating to the discharge of firearms or other weapons in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the municipality or in an area annexed by the municipality after September 1, 1981, if the firearm or other weapon is:
    (1) a shotgun, air rifle or pistol, BB gun, or bow and arrow discharged:
    (A) on a tract of land of 10 acres or more and more than 150 feet from a residence or occupied building located on another property; and
    (B) in a manner not reasonably expected to cause a projectile to cross the boundary of the tract; or
    (2) a center fire or rim fire rifle or pistol of any caliber discharged:
    (A) on a tract of land of 50 acres or more and more than 300 feet from a residence or occupied building located on another property; and
    (B) in a manner not reasonably expected to cause a projectile to cross the boundary of the tract.

    10 acres in the county they cant restrict anything.

    Sec. 235.022. AUTHORITY TO REGULATE. To promote the public safety, the commissioners court of a county by order may prohibit or otherwise regulate the discharge of firearms on lots that are 10 acres or smaller and are located in the unincorporated area of the county in a subdivision.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2010
  8. Glenn129

    Glenn129

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    This all depends on how much power you give your local authorities. You can shoot on 1/2 acre around here if it is not in a town.
     
  9. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

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    You're reading it wrong, that law restricts the ability of a municipality to enact a a regulation, it does not mean you must have that much land to shoot if there is no such regulation in the municipality where your land is.
     
  10. bithabus

    bithabus

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    Re read my post. Even before the edit, I said you need 50 acres to shoot on a restricted area. I changed it to say restricted municipality. Not all municipalities or counties are restricted.

     
  11. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

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    Noted, sorry.
     
  12. bithabus

    bithabus

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    :cool: When I go to buy land I'm looking at 10 acres min. for this reason.
     
  13. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    Yes it depends on the local laws and even possibly your neighbors.

    I have 8.5 acres and 10.5 acres West of Forth Worth and have been shooting in the back yard since the mid 1960's.
    Neighbors are as close as 200 feet and closer. If they don't hear me shooting for a couple days they wonder if I'm sick.


    The thing is, no matter how much land you have you are responsible to make certain that a bullet does not leave your property.

    Behind both of my backstops there are houses within range of a pistol bullet.
    I have only two absolutely unbreakable rules for people shooting on my ranges.
    1. Under no circumstances are you to allow a bullet to miss the backstop.
    2. Under no circumstances are you to shoot me.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2010
  14. Steve0853

    Steve0853

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    M2, if they break rule #2, then they are probably not going to respect rule #1 either.....:wavey:
     
  15. hoffy

    hoffy

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    I have the key to a friends private property , I would guess a least about 5 acres but I don't know. He has a cinder block shack, with bunks for dear season. None of the neighbors care, and the closest one is a good friend of mine and he lets me know when he is working 2nd or 3rd shift. People around here shoot all the time, so it is not uncommon. It is only about 4-5 miles (less as the crow flies) out of my little podunk gun friendly town so it is really handy. My gun club takes me a half hour at least to get to .The terrain is perfect, a draw goes back into some cliffs , ~100feet high, and hillside on top of that, + we have built a back stop about 100 yards from as close as we should get to the road.For you If they are not used to gunfire , start slow, and work up, but 2-3 times a month aint much, sometimes I do it that much in a week, and hold shooting portion of classes out there too. Neighbors can make or break you. I lived in Toledo Ohio for a bit(way to long,) and urban sprawl threatened two gun clubs, they complained about the noise, duh, like building next to an airport. Clubs had been around for decades, and they got the poorer one shut down(I think, this is what I was told when I was visiting inlaws once) but it was becoming an issue when I lived there in early '90s. One strategy is to let your neighbors shoot with you if they are safe and you get along, it would help to have an ally if somebody complained. It sounds like you have enough land and I have been by Lynchburg on interstate but it has been a while, but seems like it is not a huge place, if I am wrong and it is a bedroom community of DC, then good luck. If it where I think it is it can be done, one of my goals in life is to be able to step out back door and shoot(more than a coon in the trash)
     
  16. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    This is true and I probably won't invite them back.:supergrin:


    The first time I met some new neighbors, that had move in a few months before, the first thing the lady said was, "Are you the one that does all the shooting?"
    Now you don't know where a question like that is going.
    I said, "That's me".
    She said, "Will you teach me to shoot?"
    I said, "I'd be glad to".
    She brought two other ladies for me to teach.:)
    She recently got her concealed carry license.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2010
  17. Nicky D

    Nicky D CLM

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    I would imagine it all depends on where you live and the zoning. We are looking for a new house with a good bit of land. We looked at a house last week that had 3 acres and the owner shot and hunted on his property. We also looked at home that had 12 acres and this township had a nice page of code allowing for shooting as long as it had a good backstop and was 150 yards from neighbors residence or livestock. I loved the 12 acre property, it already had deer stands built onto some of the trees.