View Full Version : Shooting at a private ranch legal?

07-28-2006, 7:34 PM
I have a buddy that invited me to his ranch in Corning, CA. Is it legal to go shooting there? He has a few acres and says he's had no problems shooting in the past. Reason I ask is if my other firend that I'm bringing along brings his registered AW, can we shoot it? I'd rather not let him take any chances when we can just go to the range.

07-28-2006, 7:43 PM
As long as he isn't in incorporated city limits, sure, completely legal.

If you are shooting squirrels or anything, make sure you have your hunting license. Game wardens can come onto private property to check compliance.

Assault weapons on private property, as long as all other laws are obeyed are of no consequence. So shoot away!

07-28-2006, 8:30 PM
As long as he isn't in incorporated city limits, sure, completely legal.

If you are shooting squirrels or anything, make sure you have your hunting license. Game wardens can come onto private property to check compliance.

Assault weapons on private property, as long as all other laws are obeyed are of no consequence. So shoot away!

Thanks for the info!!! Looks like I'll have to bring mine as well.
I'll probably bump a few mags just to test out how good a Red Star Arms trigger performs under "stressful" conditions ;)

07-28-2006, 10:37 PM
+1 in Berdoo county, you can't shoot solid projectiles in most of the county.

Shotguns are legal as long as they aren't within I believe its 150yds of any road or dwelling...

I figured it out one time, it takes about 9 square acres to follow this rule, in any direction. Its late, so I could be off a little, but I think its 9 acres to give you enough room all around.


07-28-2006, 10:52 PM
Are you sure game wardens can come and check on private land? Every game warden I have encountered met me on the road off of private land because they claimed they couldn't go on it without permission.

07-29-2006, 8:25 AM
If the gate is open it's an invitation to come in.

If the warden sees you actually shooting something... he can check you.

07-29-2006, 11:20 AM
a friend owns a ranch up in norcal... it's on the wrong side of the dirt road. on his side you can't shoot (well, you can but the neighboring ranches can complain and get you busted), on the other side it's open hunting. he resorts to hunting deer with a bow at dusk on his own land. that way no one sees a dead deer laying around and it's quiet.

07-29-2006, 6:22 PM
WARNING! This is now always the case:

Some counties have laws restricting shooting, even outside of incorporated city limits. For example, Santa Cruz county has some no-shooting zones that are way outside the incorporated cities, but the bulk of the county allows shooting.
Many (most?) counties have regulations restricting how far away you can be from the nearest residence (other than your own). If I remember right, in our county it is 150 yards. If your buddy owns a lots that is 2 acres and exactly square (which works out to 295 feet on each side), and the neighbors have their houses really close to his property line all around, then in such a situation there is no possibility of shooting. If the limit is indeed 150 yards, then your buddy would have to have either luck with the position of the neighbors houses, or at least a 20 acre lot.
Look for a discussion of shooting in Riverside county, a week or two ago. If I remember right it is de-facto impossible to shoot in Riverside county.

I would recommend that you call the local county Sheriff's office with the exact location, and verify that shooting is allowed there. I found that the dispatch office for our county had the most knowledge of this question.

I want to also add that alot of times there are distance requirements for public roads and water (that is typically abused by LE as it originally was intended for publicly traveled waterways). I know this one first hand as I was up in the Sierra's, got bored because of all the snow, found a "road" so to speak that was snowed in and walked down this road with several feet of snow (as opposed to the 10-11 feet on the banks) down to a gully with a good backdrop (gully/hill) and did some target shooting.

I was busted due to someone down that road accessing his cabin by snow mobile (my guess) and complaining. They took all my guns and tried to fine me $1295 for shooting within 300 feet of a public road.

Found out the circuit court judge up there was a NRA youth instructor and Vietnam vet sniper (had all the memorabilia on the wall of his judges quarters) so decided to go to court and fight it. When I went to court I had to wait for those getting sentences first. There was the fella that was caught for the third time harvesting firewood without the $15 permit and getting a mandatory 6 months in jail, the snowmobiler who for the second time rode his machine (says by accident) into Federally protected preserve and was given 90 days in jail, then the lady who had a domestic violence against her husband who received 30 days in jail.

So when it became my turn I was *****tInnn my pants and decided to plead guilty (wishing I had paid my fine and not went to court fearing I was about to be incarcerated also) because the judge explained to me that in his mind that snow mobiles could traverse the road thus it was still a public road even though I said it was snowed in (and never mind that in CA if you have an unregistered vehicle on a road it is a fine and now most places sieze the machine). Turned out OK in the end as he only fined me $10 and it was like a class C misdomeanor or something like that, which he also said was the minimum he could fine me under the law and ordered the return of all my firearms. Funny thing is the Ranger could not find the guns in the safe at his office.

It took 9 months to get them all, as at first (after two months) they returned two 22's and two cheap firearms that were not mine that I voluntarily took to my local PD to surrender with them really perplexed about the situation and at first not wanting me to give surrender to them but after talking to the judge by phone ordered them to accept them. After threatening with lawyers and writing the judge the rest of the guns were finally returned (Glock 19, Rem 870, AR-15 type) and most surprising they were all clean and shiney and well oiled even though they were siezed in a dirty condition.

I guessed and through telephone conversations with the judge, that the federal marshal was temporarily assigned during the winter season to the Sierras, and who insisted on siezing the firearms while the county sherriff said let him keep them as we will cite and release, probably took them back with him to Arizona where he was a border guard and for whatever reason no one could get ahold of him or tried until the judge took it upon himself to take care of business.

.......and uh......at every step of this process, even those sympathetic with me like the judge, they would always scold me and shake their finger at me as they said ... I should have called and asked where it was kosher to target shoot, and allegedly they would have been happy assist me. I did really get tired of that lecture but I suppose they were right.

Unfortunately things have gotten alot worse since then so that I think if you call now they will ask, ..."where are you now"....."are you armed"......."please do not resist the officer and comply with his commands when he arrives at your location"....:eek:

So yes, do be careful else you may have a story to tell like mine but it may not have the wornderful ending I did.....oh, and I left alot of stuff out as it would take all night to type everything that happened to me.

Shoot Straight and don't let the Sherriff catch you!

07-31-2006, 12:41 PM
Thanks for the replies, all. We ended up having a GREAT time out! I brought along some goodies (I have a bump fire video for those that want to take a peek) and so did my friends. The owner ended up having 270 acres of land. :eek: The people that stayed behind in the ranch didn't even hear a peep. We 4 wheeled it up a steep ravine and blasted away! The 6 people I was with musta been sissies because they only went through 300rds of 7.62x39. It was HOT as hell, so that might have been a cause. Just sitting out in the sun, the goodies were almost too hot to touch. Can't wait till next time! :D