PDA

View Full Version : What law prevents me from shooting a gun in my front yard?


ChaoSS
11-20-2013, 3:02 PM
Ok, so bear with me. I know it's not safe to do so, so it would fall under 246.3. But theoretically, that doesn't ban me from shooting in my front yard, it just bans me from doing so in a reckless or negligent manner.

So, my house is in a residential neighborhood, but it is not within any city limits. I can't find any county regulations against shooting where I'm at. Next to my house is an open field, basically 11 different lots that haven't had houses built on them yet. I don't own them, but a family member does, so I can get permission to do as I please in them. So what state law, if any, bars me from shooting either in my front yard or in the field?


The reason I ask, btw, has more to do with shooting an air gun there, and nothing to do with actually wanting to shoot a real firearm.

SactoDoug
11-20-2013, 3:08 PM
How about you go into your local law enforcement community center or station and ask them? They will tell you right away if there are any laws against it. There might be a local ordinance that someone on an online forum won't know. Also, if they say it is OK and get any calls later, they might remember you asking and know they already spoke to you about it.

ChaoSS
11-20-2013, 3:10 PM
Local law enforcement refuses to answer questions about what is and isn't illegal. They have also threatened to arrest me, or others, if we did something that clearly isn't illegal. They simply don't know the laws. So I'm looking to find out if some California law applies to this.


Really, this should be pretty simple. I mean, where I can and can't shoot a gun, assuming it is safe, should be pretty well cut and dry. Don't know there isn't some sort of comprehensive guide to this, but I haven't been able to find one.

WyattandDoc
11-20-2013, 3:15 PM
Fortunately for you there is no law against being an idiot, or any that require common sense. Unfortunately for most of us, common sense isn't that common.

SactoDoug
11-20-2013, 3:17 PM
The thing is that even if it is legal at the state level, which it likely is, it still has to be legal at the county and/or city level.

If your local county has a web site, you should be able to look up any local ordinances on there. Try looking there if you don't trust your local LEO's advice.

You could also find a local lawyer and pay them $50 to consult with them on the question. They should be able to tell you also. That would be cheaper than getting a ticket and losing your gun.

DennisCA
11-20-2013, 3:23 PM
Most cities/towns/communties have ordinances preventing a firearm discharge.

Thunder
11-20-2013, 3:35 PM
I'll tell you this the 2nd says that you CAN do it.

Just keep yelling "shall not be infringed, shall not be infringed!" when they come and arrest you for it.

Film it too!

toby
11-20-2013, 3:39 PM
Just WOW!

707tothe907
11-20-2013, 3:43 PM
If you're outside of city limits and 150yards from any occupied building your good to go. If there are neighbors close by give them a heads up and let them know you'll only be shooting small amounts at decent hours.

Some counties have different ordinances. But if you're mainly only going to be using an airgun, I wouldn't overthink it.

Ninety
11-20-2013, 3:49 PM
too many city folk in here..

David13
11-20-2013, 3:50 PM
If you are not in the city it would be county ordinance.
Some counties say it's illegal to discharge a firearm within so many feet of a residence. Some say occupied residence. Some are 150 yards, 500 feet, 1000 feet, etc.
Some counties have no such requirement.
dc

ChaoSS
11-20-2013, 3:50 PM
Again, to all those who can't read, I'm not looking to shoot a gun in my front yard. I'm looking at technicalities because the law against "displaying an imitation firearm" exempts places where shooting a firearm is legal. Thus, if shooting a firearm in my front yard is legal, then shooting a low powered pellet rifle would be as well, according to my reading, although I still need to do it safely. However, if it isn't legal, then my front yard is off limits, even for carrying a pellet gun.


And also, to those who don't read very well, and need a refresher, I don't live inside city limits and seem to be ok as far as county laws go. I'm just concerned about state law here.

707tothe907, can you cite the law for the 150 yards? I thought that that was just for hunting.

CK_32
11-20-2013, 4:17 PM
How about you go into your local law enforcement community center or station and ask them? They will tell you right away if there are any laws against it. There might be a local ordinance that someone on an online forum won't know. Also, if they say it is OK and get any calls later, they might remember you asking and know they already spoke to you about it.

You ask a lawyer, not a LEO. Lawyers are paid to know laws and the exact criteria it can,should and will be used in and out, cops are just meant to enforce them and slightly educated to protect and enforce public and state safety on what they see fit for that law. What they see fit isn't always right. Exactly why they are in hot water so often.

ChaoSS
11-20-2013, 4:22 PM
Lawyers are paid to advocate for you and represent you in a court of law. They regularly have to look up the laws and don't know them all.

Anyway last time I went to a lawyer they wanted to charge 500 bucks just to talk, and weren't familiar with some pretty basic laws related to what i needed help with. Not going that route again.

SactoDoug
11-20-2013, 4:42 PM
Ask a mod to move your thread to this forum then:

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/forumdisplay.php?f=330

There are a number of 2A friendly lawyers that post there. Maybe one of them will be nice enough to answer your question.

Librarian
11-20-2013, 4:49 PM
Ask a mod to move your thread to this forum then:

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/forumdisplay.php?f=330

There are a number of 2A friendly lawyers that post there. Maybe one of them will be nice enough to answer your question.

Done.

AFAIK, no state law has general application to the question asked.

ChaoSS
11-20-2013, 4:57 PM
Done.

AFAIK, no state law has general application to the question asked.

Sorry, the "litigation" always has me thinking that that is all that forum is for.:facepalm:

And thanks for the answer.

wolfwood
11-20-2013, 5:04 PM
rather than call the cops how about you call your City attorney's office?
I'd imagine they would be able to answer local legal questions a bit better than the law.

taperxz
11-20-2013, 5:07 PM
I shoot in my front yard all the time.

I am not prohibited in my area from doing so though.

chainsaw
11-20-2013, 5:12 PM
707tothe907, can you cite the law for the 150 yards? I thought that that was just for hunting.

I think you don't get it.

This is not about state law or federal law. According to state law, you can discharge a firearm in your front yard, as long as you stick to lots of other rules (for example gun free school zones, felon in possession, no rifle with caliber larger than 1/2 inch, machine guns, and all that stuff).

But this is about local law. For example of your county (since you said you are not in a city, town, or similar community). Here are two examples of county rules:
Being an area 800 feet wide, measured at right angles, the centerline of which is the centerline of the road described in Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors’ Resolution Number 298-62 and more particularly described as follows:

Beginning at a point on Empire Grade at Station 115+40, “P” Station 15+65, which point is 0.30 mile northwesterly from the intersection of Smith Grade Road with Empire Grade; thence northerly 0.75 mile along Empire Grade as originally traveled prior to the 1961 realignment to “P” Station 55+02.7 and Station 175+00 of the realignment. Plan Reference Road Department Job 58-18.
or
Notwithstanding any of the other provisions of this chapter allowing the discharge of any firearms, it is unlawful for any private person other than the owner, person in possession of the premises, or a person having the express permission of the owner or person in possession of the premises to discharge any firearms, including shotguns, anywhere in the unincorporated area of the County within 150 yards of any occupied dwelling house, residence, or other building or barn or other outbuilding used in connection therewith.

You don't need to go to the local police. They are not in the business of explaining the law (that's called a lawyer, and you need a license to be in that business). You need to go either hire a lawyer (overkill for this situation), or find all the local rules for your political entity (county etc.). In most places, they are on the web; if not, the local law library will have them.

chainsaw
11-20-2013, 5:15 PM
rather than call the cops how about you call your City attorney's office?
I'd imagine they would be able to answer local legal questions a bit better than the law.

You mean county counsel, right? The OP is not in a city or town.

I have dealt with county counsel many times. You are not their client. They will not explain the law to you, unless it is county business.

Actually, there are typically people in the administration who will be super helpful. In our county, good sources of information include the sheriff's dispatch center (when not busy with emergencies), because they keep the information on where discharge is permitted, and they have direct access to the GIS system that shows the shooting maps. Also very useful is the clerk of the board of supervisors, because it't their job to keep the ordinances straight. Furthermore, the web nearly always has all the local ordinances.

BrassCase
11-20-2013, 9:01 PM
The county planning dept. might be able to help you.

klewan
11-20-2013, 9:50 PM
You just need to be really discrete about using a gun. Somebody sees you or hears it, they get on their handy cell phone and report you. In the old days they had to find a phone and call, now it's no trouble to report a potential felon. I'd be in the back yard, or in the bush if you have that. I made a 6' long muffler I shoot thru, just to keep the muzzle blast suppressed and not give a reason for a neighbor to call the cops. It's a new day for gun use.

Off the Roster
11-20-2013, 9:56 PM
Again, to all those who can't read, I'm not looking to shoot a gun in my front yard.

well then what idiot named this thread?

RickD427
11-20-2013, 10:30 PM
Ok, so bear with me. I know it's not safe to do so, so it would fall under 246.3. But theoretically, that doesn't ban me from shooting in my front yard, it just bans me from doing so in a reckless or negligent manner.

So, my house is in a residential neighborhood, but it is not within any city limits. I can't find any county regulations against shooting where I'm at. Next to my house is an open field, basically 11 different lots that haven't had houses built on them yet. I don't own them, but a family member does, so I can get permission to do as I please in them. So what state law, if any, bars me from shooting either in my front yard or in the field?


The reason I ask, btw, has more to do with shooting an air gun there, and nothing to do with actually wanting to shoot a real firearm.

In practice, at least in the urban counties, PC 246.3 has been very broadly interpreted. Once school of thought is that if you fire a weapon where the round can reasonably impact a person, then you've met the "reckless" element of 246.3.

Here's a couple of diagnostic questions:

1) What is the range of the weapon that you would be firing?

2) How many people live within that radius?

3) What projectile containment provisions are in place? Do you have an engineered and permitted range?

If the answer to to question two is larger than zero, and you don't have the right answers to question three, then the answer to your original question is that Penal Code section 246.3 prohibits you from shooting in your front yard.

Of course, I could also dissect the language in your original post. If you know that it's unsafe to shoot in your front yard, and the jury buys the argument that unsafe shooting of a firearm is negligent, then you've pretty much slam-dunked a 246.3.

The rural counties view things differently.

Tincon
11-20-2013, 10:56 PM
In practice, at least in the urban counties, PC 246.3 has been very broadly interpreted. Once school of thought is that if you fire a weapon where the round can reasonably impact a person, then you've met the "reckless" element of 246.3.

Well, rather than rely on a particular school of thought you have, let's look at the actual jury instructions:

Penal Code § 246.3, subdivision (a): [Defendant is accused [in Count[s]] of having violated section 246.3 subdivision (a) of the Penal Code.]

Every person who willfully [and unlawfully] discharges a firearm in a grossly negligent manner which could result in injury or death to a person is guilty of a violation of Penal Code section 246.3 subdivision (a), a crime.

In order to prove this crime, each of the following elements must be proved:

1 A person willfully [and unlawfully] discharged a firearm;

2 The person who discharged the firearm did so in a grossly negligent manner; and

3 The discharge of the firearm was done in a manner which could result in injury or death to a person.

[The willful discharge of a firearm is not unlawful when done in lawful [self-defense] [or] [defense of others]. The People have the burden to prove that the discharge of the firearm was not in lawful [self-defense] [or] [defense of others].

If you have a reasonable doubt that the discharge of the firearm was unlawful, you must find the defendant not guilty.]

Cal. Jury Instr.--Crim. 9.03.3, Cal. Jury Instr.--Crim. 9.03.3

“Gross negligence” is defined in CALJIC 3.36:

CALJIC 3.36 Criminal or Gross Negligence—Defined
[“Criminal negligence”] [“Gross negligence”] means conduct which is more than ordinary negligence. Ordinary negligence is the failure to exercise ordinary or reasonable care.
[“Criminal negligence”] [“Gross negligence”] refers to [a] negligent act[s] which [is] [are] aggravated, reckless or flagrant and which [is] [are] such a departure from the conduct of an ordinarily prudent, careful person under the same circumstances as to be contrary to a proper regard for [human life] [danger to human life] or to constitute indifference to the consequences of those act[s]. The facts must be such that the consequences of the negligent act[s] could reasonably have been foreseen and it must appear that the [death] [danger to human life] was not the result of inattention, mistaken judgment or misadventure but the natural and probable result of an aggravated, reckless or flagrantly negligent act.

JDay
11-21-2013, 7:26 AM
You need to look up your counties airgun laws.

Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk

bruceflinch
11-21-2013, 7:42 AM
well then what idiot named this thread?
:laugh:
Named by the newest member with previously banned usernames.

Shorthair
11-21-2013, 8:09 AM
Incorporated or otherwise, not brilliant, even in theory, to say the least. Besides violating every rule of common sense and regard for being a good neighbor. I lived in a small town in Nebraska and there was a guy that lived right on the outside edge of the city limits that insisted on shooting in his yard. Supprisingly the local LEOS ( all 5 of them) never shut him down because he was, technically legal. A 20 unit appartment building was about 150 feet away. I assume city or county has probably changed zoning or ordinance to stop this. Like many or our rights, sometimes just because I "can" doesn't mean I should.

Ninety
11-21-2013, 8:36 AM
Incorporated or otherwise, not brilliant, even in theory, to say the least. Besides violating every rule of common sense and regard for being a good neighbor. I lived in a small town in Nebraska and there was a guy that lived right on the outside edge of the city limits that insisted on shooting in his yard. Supprisingly the local LEOS ( all 5 of them) never shut him down because he was, technically legal. A 20 unit appartment building was about 150 feet away. I assume city or county has probably changed zoning or ordinance to stop this. Like many or our rights, sometimes just because I "can" doesn't mean I should.

So say I've lived on the county line for oh.. 50 60 years.. and have always shot in my front yard.. the city decided to build an apartment complex next to my land on the city side of the county line.. Now I shouldn't shoot in my front yard any more??

Give an inch take a mile.

Mitch
11-21-2013, 8:36 AM
BTW, for the information of those who would call the police to find out the skinny on municipal laws, your local public library probably has your city's entire municipal code, in three-ring binders. Ours does.

Binders full of legislation.

So say I've lived on the county line for oh.. 50 60 years.. and have always shot in my front yard.. the city decided to build an apartment complex next to my land on the city side of the county line.. Now I shouldn't shoot in my front yard any more??

Depends on whether or not you are interested in being a good neighbor.

Personally, I always try to be, because god knows my neighbors could (legally) make my life pretty ****ty if they decided they didn't like me.

BigPimping
11-21-2013, 8:50 AM
Wow........troll thread for sure

09rubicon
11-21-2013, 8:57 AM
I still think you would be best off contacting your local PD. Its all in how you ask the question. I am in a incorporated area, but outside the city limits and was having a problem with snakes, specifically the rattling kind. I called the local PD and asked "what I was allowed to do". I was told in no uncertain terms that "pest control" with a rimfire or a shotgun was legal, that the cops would still show up if someone called and would still make a report. Well about the third time it happened the cops did show up, asked about a reported gunshot, I showed them dead snake, they laughed, asked where it happened, took a quick report and told me to enjoy cooking said snake.

Shorthair
11-21-2013, 9:27 AM
So say I've lived on the county line for oh.. 50 60 years.. and have always shot in my front yard.. the city decided to build an apartment complex next to my land on the city side of the county line.. Now I shouldn't shoot in my front yard any more??

Give an inch take a mile.

It would behoove a person in this situation to exercise good judgement. Cities large and small grow and expand. Again, because you can doesn't mean you should. Being a good neighbor in this stituation also means being a responsible gun owner. We have enough bad press to go around. A local news camera crew taping you shooting with an appartment building in the back drop would make gun owners look to be irresponsible morons on the evening news. I watch the silly crap they put on the local San Diego news and something like that would undoubtedly earn the heading "special report" for a full week on channel 10. If you wanted to keep shooting in your front yard move further out of town, sucks but its life. Example, last fall I traveled back to the heartland to hunt deer on what used to be pretty secluded private land, 8 miles from the nearest small town. A new house had been built near the property line of my hosts since my last visit. In that state the law requires me to not hunt within 200 yards of an inhabited dwelling. I was not happy about it and my hosts had protested to the county zoning board to no avail prior to its construction. I decided to limit myself to areas of the property that were well beyond the 200 yard mark and even then, tried to remain out of sight of the house even if I knew i was safely beyond 200. I also chose my specific locations to face away from that house or be well below the potential line of sight of my rifle (the house set fairly high on a hill). After driving 1623 miles to hunt with the proper permits and exclusive permision to hunt that land I could have claimed my right to hunt anyplace on the land that the law allowed. I chose to err on the side of caution. A land owner on the edge of town as you described would be well advised to do the same.

Spyguy
11-21-2013, 10:13 AM
Local law enforcement refuses to answer questions about what is and isn't illegal. They have also threatened to arrest me, or others, if we did something that clearly isn't illegal.
Am I the only one here curious to know the back-story on this statement?

JoshuaS
11-21-2013, 3:49 PM
20170. (a) No person may openly display or expose any imitation
firearm in a public place.
(b) As used in this section, "public place" means an area open to
the public and includes any of the following:
(1) A street.
(2) A sidewalk.

(4) An alley.

(6) A park.
(7) A driveway.
(8) A front yard.

(10) An automobile, whether moving or not.


20175. Section 20170 does not apply in any of the following
circumstances:
(c) The imitation firearm is used in a theatrical production, a
motion picture, video, television, or stage production.

(e) The imitation firearm is used in conjunction with lawful
hunting, or a lawful pest control activity.

(l) The imitation firearm is used in an area where the discharge
of a firearm is lawful.

16700. (a) As used in this part, "imitation firearm" means any BB
device, toy gun, replica of a firearm, or other device that is so
substantially similar in coloration and overall appearance to an
existing firearm as to lead a reasonable person to perceive that the
device is a firearm.


So may you discharge a firearm? If so, so too with an air gun.


The Health and Safety Code bans it if within 500ft of a "magazine" That is, if you store much gunpowder at all or something like that

Cannot be from a motor vehicle (with a very limited handicapped exception for hunting)

Cannot be in an incorporated area

Cannot being in the direction of a dwelling, even if uninhabited.

It also must be in accord with county ordinance.

For example, Los Angeles (if you said where you were that would be helpful)

13.66.040 Discharging firearms—Restrictions generally.

A person shall not shoot, fire or discharge, and a person, firm or corporation shall not cause or permit to be shot, fired or discharged, any rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or firearm in the general direction of any house, camp or place of human habitation, or in the general direction of any public highway, road, street, way, park or premises, unless the place from which such rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or firearm is shot, fired or discharged is at least one-half mile distant from such house, camp or place of human habitation, or is at least one-half mile distant from that portion of such public highway, road, street, way, park or premises toward which such rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or firearm is shot, fired or discharged. The exception in Section 13.66.010 to destroying or killing any predatory or dangerous animal does not apply to this section.

13.66.050 Discharging firearms—Prohibited on or along public ways.

A.

A person shall not shoot, fire or discharge, and a person, firm or corporation shall not cause or permit to be shot, fired or discharged, upon, along or across any public highway, road, street or way, any rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or firearm.

B.

The exception in Section 13.66.010 to destroying or killing any predatory or dangerous animal does not apply to this section.

13.66.060 Shooting arrows or other missiles—Restrictions.

A person who is within 150 yards of any public highway, public area or place of human habitation shall not shoot any arrow or similar missile toward any such highway, public area or place of human habitation.

13.66.500 Regulations in less-restricted districts.

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a person shall not shoot, fire or discharge, and a person, firm or corporation shall not cause or permit to be shot, fired or discharged in the unincorporated territory lying within the boundaries of any district or area defined in this Part 3, any firearm of any kind having a firing range of, or capable of propelling any bullet, shot or missile for any distance of one-half mile or more.

It then goes on a defines the "less-restricted shooting areas" Then you have restricted areas

13.66.130 Firearms—Discharge prohibited in designated districts.

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a person shall not shoot, fire or discharge, and a person, firm or corporation shall not cause or permit to be shot, fired or discharged, in the unincorporated territory lying within the boundaries of any district or area defined in this Part 2, any rifle, shotgun, revolver or firearm of any kind.




I guarantee you your county has similar. Restricted, less restricted. San Bernardino, e.g., has areas where only shotguns are allowed.

Ritchie8719
11-21-2013, 4:00 PM
So say I've lived on the county line for oh.. 50 60 years.. and have always shot in my front yard.. the city decided to build an apartment complex next to my land on the city side of the county line.. Now I shouldn't shoot in my front yard any more??

Give an inch take a mile.

Ya shudda bought the empty lot when it was available.

ChaoSS
11-21-2013, 4:02 PM
Wow........troll thread for sure
Says the guy who clearly can't read very well.
Am I the only one here curious to know the back-story on this statement?
Nothing terribly interesting.

A cop who threatened to arrest me if he caught me again committing the grievous crime of walking in public without carrying photo id.

A cop who, before I educated him on what the law he cited actually says, threatened to arrest me if he caught me shooting a paintball marker, he claimed it was a violation of 246.3. Fellow didn't know that the law includes the term "gross negligence".

Let's just say that we have some ignorant cops around here.

20170. (a) No person may openly display or expose any imitation
firearm in a public place.
(b) As used in this section, "public place" means an area open to
the public and includes any of the following:
(1) A street.
(2) A sidewalk.

(4) An alley.

(6) A park.
(7) A driveway.
(8) A front yard.

(10) An automobile, whether moving or not.


20175. Section 20170 does not apply in any of the following
circumstances:
(c) The imitation firearm is used in a theatrical production, a
motion picture, video, television, or stage production.

(e) The imitation firearm is used in conjunction with lawful
hunting, or a lawful pest control activity.

(l) The imitation firearm is used in an area where the discharge
of a firearm is lawful.

16700. (a) As used in this part, "imitation firearm" means any BB
device, toy gun, replica of a firearm, or other device that is so
substantially similar in coloration and overall appearance to an
existing firearm as to lead a reasonable person to perceive that the
device is a firearm.


So may you discharge a firearm? If so, so too with an air gun.


The Health and Safety Code bans it if within 500ft of a "magazine" That is, if you store much gunpowder at all or something like that

Cannot be from a motor vehicle (with a very limited handicapped exception for hunting)

Cannot be in an incorporated area

Cannot being in the direction of a dwelling, even if uninhabited.


Can you give me a citation for those last two perhaps?

The incorporated area thing would be an issue.

And I can handle county restrictions on my own. County laws are pretty straight forward, and online. I'd have to look them over again, but I looked them over several years ago, when I was wondering (just for kicks and giggles, not that I had the money to do this) whether it would be legal to build an underground shooting range in the backyard. Something that would be safe, but not truly completely contained, as in an indoor shooting range.

:edit: Ok just looked up the restricted areas again, and I forgot, the other reason I was looking them up before was because the same regulation bans the shooting of a bow and arrow, and I was looking to practice that. It also bans pellet guns. Not in my area though.

JoshuaS
11-21-2013, 6:02 PM
25850. (a) A person is guilty of carrying a loaded firearm when the
person carries a loaded firearm on the person or in a vehicle while
in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated city
or in any public place or on any public street in a prohibited area
of unincorporated territory.


So if you are in an incorporated area, cannot even carry it loaded (or generally unloaded for that matter)

Pen 247
(b) Any person who discharges a firearm at an unoccupied motor vehicle or an uninhabited building or dwelling house is guilty of a public offense punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year or in the state prison. This subdivision does not apply to shooting at an abandoned vehicle, unoccupied vehicle, uninhabited building, or dwelling house with the permission of the owner.

chainsaw
11-21-2013, 6:12 PM
I am in a incorporated area, but outside the city limits …

The term "incorporated" usually is defined to mean: part of a city (or town, or similar regional corporation, I don't know whether we have anything in California other than cities and towns). So if you are in an incorporated area, you can not be outside the city limits. You might be outside of certain service areas (for example, within a city but without sewer service). Note that zip codes have nothing to do with city boundaries, and sometimes even cross county boundaries.

and was having a problem with snakes, specifically the rattling kind. I called the local PD and asked "what I was allowed to do". I was told in no uncertain terms that "pest control" with a rimfire or a shotgun was legal, that the cops would still show up if someone called and would still make a report. Well about the third time it happened the cops did show up, asked about a reported gunshot, I showed them dead snake, they laughed, asked where it happened, took a quick report and told me to enjoy cooking said snake.

If you are really in an incorporated area, the cops gave you really bad legal advice. At least they had the good grace to not arrest you.

chainsaw
11-21-2013, 6:17 PM
A cop who threatened to arrest me if he caught me again committing the grievous crime of walking in public without carrying photo id.

A cop who, before I educated him on what the law he cited actually says, threatened to arrest me if he caught me shooting a paintball marker, he claimed it was a violation of 246.3. …

I don't believe this. This is simply incompatible with the training that California LEOs receive. To begin with, it is very obvious that a paintball marker is not a firearm … it lacks the "fire" component. As every California POST-certified LEO has had mandatory firearms training, it is inconceivable that they are not aware of the difference between a compressed air or CO2 marker, and a firearm.

You need to provide a lot more documentation for me to believe this, like the IA investigation that doubtlessly would have had to happen after these events.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

meaty-btz
11-21-2013, 6:27 PM
20170. (a) No person may openly display or expose any imitation
firearm in a public place.
(b) As used in this section, "public place" means an area open to
the public and includes any of the following:
(1) A street.
(2) A sidewalk.

(4) An alley.

(6) A park.
(7) A driveway.
(8) A front yard.

(10) An automobile, whether moving or not.


20175. Section 20170 does not apply in any of the following
circumstances:
(c) The imitation firearm is used in a theatrical production, a
motion picture, video, television, or stage production.

(e) The imitation firearm is used in conjunction with lawful
hunting, or a lawful pest control activity.

(l) The imitation firearm is used in an area where the discharge
of a firearm is lawful.

16700. (a) As used in this part, "imitation firearm" means any BB
device, toy gun, replica of a firearm, or other device that is so
substantially similar in coloration and overall appearance to an
existing firearm as to lead a reasonable person to perceive that the
device is a firearm.


So may you discharge a firearm? If so, so too with an air gun.


The Health and Safety Code bans it if within 500ft of a "magazine" That is, if you store much gunpowder at all or something like that

Cannot be from a motor vehicle (with a very limited handicapped exception for hunting)

Cannot be in an incorporated area

Cannot being in the direction of a dwelling, even if uninhabited.

It also must be in accord with county ordinance.

For example, Los Angeles (if you said where you were that would be helpful)

13.66.040 Discharging firearms—Restrictions generally.

A person shall not shoot, fire or discharge, and a person, firm or corporation shall not cause or permit to be shot, fired or discharged, any rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or firearm in the general direction of any house, camp or place of human habitation, or in the general direction of any public highway, road, street, way, park or premises, unless the place from which such rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or firearm is shot, fired or discharged is at least one-half mile distant from such house, camp or place of human habitation, or is at least one-half mile distant from that portion of such public highway, road, street, way, park or premises toward which such rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or firearm is shot, fired or discharged. The exception in Section 13.66.010 to destroying or killing any predatory or dangerous animal does not apply to this section.

13.66.050 Discharging firearms—Prohibited on or along public ways.

A.

A person shall not shoot, fire or discharge, and a person, firm or corporation shall not cause or permit to be shot, fired or discharged, upon, along or across any public highway, road, street or way, any rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or firearm.

B.

The exception in Section 13.66.010 to destroying or killing any predatory or dangerous animal does not apply to this section.

13.66.060 Shooting arrows or other missiles—Restrictions.

A person who is within 150 yards of any public highway, public area or place of human habitation shall not shoot any arrow or similar missile toward any such highway, public area or place of human habitation.

13.66.500 Regulations in less-restricted districts.

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a person shall not shoot, fire or discharge, and a person, firm or corporation shall not cause or permit to be shot, fired or discharged in the unincorporated territory lying within the boundaries of any district or area defined in this Part 3, any firearm of any kind having a firing range of, or capable of propelling any bullet, shot or missile for any distance of one-half mile or more.

It then goes on a defines the "less-restricted shooting areas" Then you have restricted areas

13.66.130 Firearms—Discharge prohibited in designated districts.

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a person shall not shoot, fire or discharge, and a person, firm or corporation shall not cause or permit to be shot, fired or discharged, in the unincorporated territory lying within the boundaries of any district or area defined in this Part 2, any rifle, shotgun, revolver or firearm of any kind.




I guarantee you your county has similar. Restricted, less restricted. San Bernardino, e.g., has areas where only shotguns are allowed.

20170 examples 7 & 8 are for driveways and front yards open to the public.. aka w/o a wall and locked gate. Which is why your property should always be fully enclosed with the driveway closed by a locked electric gate and any access prohibited because that instantly removes it from a "public place" legally speaking.

20175 exempts air-guns used for pest control or hunting.

13.66.010 exempts lawful removal of dangerous animals (that would be rattlers).

Most counties do not have such heavy restrictions, rural ones usually only have restrictions on HUNTING within 300 yards of inhabited structures (which is a DFG rule, not a county rule) but do not even define non-hunting discharge of firearms and you are pretty much good to go with this in the "north" as long as you are not "shooting into an inhabited building or vehicle (not bay area, which isn't northern california). Coastal counties are likely to have restrictions however.

Just countering Chainsaw a bit. As the codes given here in this forum do specifically offer examples of and exemptions that deal directly with pests/dangerous animals/hunting/air rifles.

<blocked>
11-21-2013, 6:36 PM
I live in San Diego County, have neighbors 200 yards to one side (who are cool with it) and shoot in my front yard...I've had the Sheriffs dept and friendly LEO both at my house and tell me I'm GTG. They're actually jealous...