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Legal Shooting Areas
updated: Feb 22, 2013, 9:30 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

I live in the unincorporated area of SB and heard gun shots fired off recently. I called my neighbor and he admitted to having a new gun and wanted to "try" it. I was glad that there wasn't a murder next door and checked on my kids who were in their rooms... but man... the SB gun thing is getting crazy and out of control. When is it legal to shoot your gun off?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 377420 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 09:38 AM

The sb gun thing? What gun thing? It's not out of control or anywhere near a problem. Don't get worked up

Anyways about the legality, I checked when someone else asked the same thing about a month ago. In the county it's illegal to discharge a firearm. Unincorporated areas didn't have an exclusion that I saw.

If you feel it's dangerous, and there isnt alot of land separating you from your neighbor. Ask him politely not to fire his guns on his property.

 

 COMMENT 377425 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 09:41 AM

Usually you go into the hills to use a gun. I had to try out my new gun, bro.

 

 COMMENT 377430P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 09:45 AM

If you are concerned about your childrens' safety (as you should be) then ask your neighbor to take it to the glass factory or the gun club to shoot.

If they can't wait long enough to drive up there, then you have yourself a "gun nut" for a neighbor.

 

 COMMENT 377432 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 09:46 AM

Something like if you have a safe range set up 150 yards away from any neighbor and facing away from any inhabited areas you should be all legal, assuming your weapons are legal.

 

 COMMENT 377433 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 09:47 AM

Legal to shoot your gun when an intruder enters your home under the "Castle Doctrine" as in 'your home is your castle.'

From KSBY-TV: "In California you have the right to use deadly force, if you think your life is in danger.... and you're in your own home."

 

 COMMENT 377434P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 09:48 AM

not legal to discharge a weapon in populated area. Call Sheriff.

 

 COMMENT 377436 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 09:53 AM

I know someone at Ellwood ranch who fires their gun off every now and then. The only rule really is that the gun has to be registered, and when in use it has to be done on private property without endangering the public. (i.e. shooting into the air in the direction of a city.)

 

 COMMENT 377442P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 10:00 AM

California Penal Code Section 246.3

Legal Research Home > California Laws > Penal Code > California Penal Code Section 246.3

(a) Except as otherwise authorized by law, any person who
willfully discharges a firearm in a grossly negligent manner which
could result in injury or death to a person is guilty of a public
offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not
exceeding one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of
Section 1170.
(b) Except as otherwise authorized by law, any person who
willfully discharges a BB device in a grossly negligent manner which
could result in injury or death to a person is guilty of a public
offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not
exceeding one year.
(c) As used in this section, "BB device" means any instrument that
expels a projectile, such as a BB or a pellet, through the force of
air pressure, gas pressure, or spring action.

 

 COMMENT 377444 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 10:01 AM

2nd amendment protects right to keep and bear- not necessarily shoot for the fun of it.....sheesh.

 

 COMMENT 377447P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 10:03 AM

I thought that 'testing' guns was allowed only at authorized gun ranges and NOT in your backyard. Jeez.... IF my neighbor did that I'd call the sheriff. I live in Noleta.

 

 COMMENT 377448P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 10:05 AM

420, the whole US of A has a 'gun thing' right now not just SB.

 

 COMMENT 377449 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 10:07 AM

From what I recall from my firearms class, which was years ago, you have to be +50 feet from a road way, on County lands, aiming in a direction that poses no hazard to animals or people, with a known location for the bullets to stop (like a hillside), safe handling and transport, etc...

It sounds like your neighbor was within the law, but you obviously have a relationship with him. Explaining your concerns and politely asking him not to fire his weapon again seems like the best course of action at this point.

 

 COMMENT 377451 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 10:17 AM

no worries, bullets stop at the property line.

 

 COMMENT 377454 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 10:22 AM

Totally legal to discharge a firearm on your private property as long as you are outside CITY limits. As long as it wasn't/isn't excessive, what is the concern? Was anyone injured? We have all gotten a new item at some point that we were excited to use. I find the term "gun nut" to be quite offensive, especially because firearm enthusiasts are more likely to take extreme caution while shooting.

 

 COMMENT 377458 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 10:29 AM

Since you called your neighbor and let him know that YOU knew he was firing his weapon I'd leave it at that.

Don't think I'd want to be calling the Sheriff to report him since he obviously has no problem using it... if ya know what I mean.

 

 COMMENT 377462 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 10:34 AM

OP... I totally hear you on the SB gun thing. Your neighbour shooting off his gun on his property for fun is just what I would expect as negligent discharge by a "gun nut" . A responsible gun owner would take it to a designated shooting area or gun range. The comments in defense of your neighbour only proves your point about the "gun thing".

 

 COMMENT 377466P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 10:40 AM

454 - I do apologize for offending you with my term "gun nut" but anyone who finds no issue with firing a weapon in their backyard (even if it IS outside city limits - which isn't a guarantee of it being safe) is not being a responsible firearm enthusiast.

 

 COMMENT 377471 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 10:43 AM

whats a gun nut....? you people and the way you categorize others these days is hilarious

 

 COMMENT 377475 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 10:52 AM

There is no information on the size of the property involved, all we know is it's unincorporated SB. The rule is no discharging fire arms closer than 150 yards to any occupied dwelling. So, all you Edheads can just keep on speculating and calling people names, but until more details are given, there's no way of knowing if any laws were broken.

 

 COMMENT 377486P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 11:19 AM

Here is the ACTUAL COUNTY CODE:
Sec. 14A-4. - Same—Within one-quarter mile of buildings in certain areas.permanent link to this piece of content

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, it is unlawful to shoot, fire or discharge, or cause to be shot, fired or discharged, any firearm, airgun or spring gun within one-quarter mile of any dwelling, habitation or other building or structure for human occupancy within the following areas; provided, however, that shooting may be done within one-quarter mile of a dwelling or building on agricultural parcels in excess of twenty acres if the prior consent of the owner or occupant of any such dwelling or building is first obtained, and if there is no other dwelling or building for human occupancy within one-quarter mile:

(a)

District No. 1, South Coast Area. All that territory within the exterior boundaries described as follows:

The county boundary with Ventura at Rincon Creek on the east; the ridge line of the coastal range of the Santa Ynez Mountains on the north; the low tide line of the Pacific Ocean on the south and Tecolote Canyon on the west.

 

 COMMENT 377487 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 11:26 AM

466P: I grew up shooting in my backyard (when younger it was a 24 acre farm, later it was just a 1/2 acre back/sideyard). Nothing wrong with it. However, letting your neighbors know before you go popping off is probably the smart thing to do if they aren't used to it. Also, this is assuming it's legal - and I wouldn't count on a newbie knowing the rules & regulations (and firing in a safe manner). Next time the OP talks to the neighbor, ask if they've taken a safety course - if not, kindly request that they keep their target practice to ranges/safe areas until they do so because you're just looking out for the kiddos (or give you a call so you can make sure the kids aren't wandering around next time they start practicing). If you ask nicely & make your point well, I don't see them having an issue with it. It's when you call people "gun nuts" & call the cops on them when neighbors start having issues. I appreciate the OP since he called his neighbor first & talked to him.

 

 COMMENT 377491P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 11:32 AM

ummm, its clear from the County code that unless that fella was on a 20-acre agricultural property, he was in violation of the code. 1/4 mile from any dwelling is pretty darn clear to me

 

 COMMENT 377494 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 11:35 AM

Here is the next line of county code:

Sec. 14A-5. —Near houses or places of human habitation.

It is unlawful to shoot, fire or discharge, or cause or permit to be shot, fired or discharged, any firearm, airgun or spring gun within one hundred fifty yards of any house or place of human habitation WITHOUT the express permission of the owner or person in possession of such house or place of human habitation.

Next time the neighbor should be courteous, and ask for permission first.

 

 COMMENT 377506P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 11:59 AM

Damn. And I thought my neighbors were a pain.

454: I love your "what's the concern?" Um . . . Any noise that makes you jump right out of your skin and causes your heart to beat 10 to the dozen should be of concern.

The neighbor "testing" his gun is irresponsible and thoughtless. And the concern is---where do these test bullets end up?

Firing range is the best place to test your weapon and your skills. Period.

 

 COMMENT 377507 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 12:01 PM

486p- Thank you for posting the law. And to 436; it only needs registration if it is an "assault weapon" under CA law. While we have defacto registration in the paperwork required to purchase a gun, existing guns have/need no record or registration.

 

 COMMENT 377519 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 12:51 PM

The original poster needs to purchase a higher caliber weapon than his or her neighbor. Fire your larger louder gun off more regularly than he does and see how he likes it.

 

 COMMENT 377531P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 01:02 PM

494- the part I posted is specific to the South Coast- that's why I included that. What you posted is applicable to the rest of the County.

 

 COMMENT 377552 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 01:58 PM

Wanting people to be safe when people are just randomly shooting their guns off doesn't make someone a communist, sorry. Maybe you should buy yourself a dictionary.

 

 COMMENT 377555P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 02:02 PM

551 - your "rights as an American" are dictated by the laws. If you are firing a gun illegally, you are no longer "excerising your rights", you are breaking the LAW.

But, you're right about us law-abiding Americans being "cool" - we are! You should join us!

 

 COMMENT 377560 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 02:07 PM

Was the guy unsafe while shooting? Did you ask him? Were his shots random? Perhaps he planned this event well beforehand and took every precaution possible. Have any of you ever heard of a bullet trap? It's a completely safe way to test a firearm in confined spaces and used by gun shops/gunsmiths/hobbiests world wide.

 

 COMMENT 377605 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 03:21 PM

531- Good to know, thanks.

 

 COMMENT 377617 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 03:43 PM

The only "gun" that you can shoot in the city is an airgun. You can't even shoot a "BB" in the City. I checked with the PD before buying an airgun. They are great for target practice and the pellets dissolve. As with any gun, know your surroundings. I can remember people shooting their guns off on New Years Eve in Santa Barbara.

 

 COMMENT 377631 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 04:22 PM

560, any discharged firearm testing within the city is unsafe and it's completely illegal to do so unless you are doing so as a matter of saving your life or the life of another in danger.

I don't really care what gunsmiths and hobbiests world wide think. I care what is logical and legal. Neither of which cover this incident.

(And no, I'm not anti-gun. I'm actually one of those responsible gun owners who would never compromise someone else's safety or their sense of safety by doing something this incredibly selfish and stupid.)

 

 COMMENT 377661P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 05:57 PM

SBROCKS. Air guns are so cool aren't they? I was really happy when my neighbor down the street said she caught the holy terror kids next door to me chasing their cat around, out in front of her house, with their air guns---trying to shoot the poor kitty. Air guns are fun, fun, fun.

 

 COMMENT 377680 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 06:25 PM

How scary that so many people think it's legal to shoot a gun in a residential neighborhood. And I bet those same people like to think of themselves as "responsible gun owners".

 

 COMMENT 377690 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 07:21 PM

I shoot weekly right in my own yard and very safely into a dirt back stop. All distances to other homes are roads are legal. The neighbors may not like it much, but it doesn't go on that long. Ammo is not cheap. The sherriff has been called many times but they won't even come up here anymore. They know who I am and that I'm shooting safely. But everytime some new Poo Poo moves into the area, they like to call the police. Nothing funner and stress relieving than a little target shooting and gopher control!

 

 COMMENT 377691 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 07:22 PM

661p-I guess the clue is you said " holy terror Kids", they should never of been allowed to have them. It's not the guns, it's the people.

 

 COMMENT 377692 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 07:25 PM

Does the OP care enough to come back on here and let us know if their neighbor has a 20 acre parcel, or was 150 yards from their home? Or will we be forced to read more responses from those, who when the "G" word gets mentioned, suddenly can't tell the difference between a residential neighborhood, city, or unincorporated area?

 

 COMMENT 377729P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 09:29 PM

692 - It seems like Edhat could have an e-mail notification to OPs when there is a new comment on their thread.

 

 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 07:07 AM

I thought calling someone a communnist if you disagreed with them went out of style years ago.

 

 COMMENT 377786 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 08:14 AM

I don't care what they say about "guns don't kill, people do" - and frankly that is the dumbest argument I've ever heard. The prolliferation of guns, the availability of guns means any person, weird, sane, angry or has a grudge against someone can buy a gun, pass all the tests and shoot: take your pick. It's the people's easy access to an excess of guns that causes mayhem. If you have to wait a certain amount of time or whatever the restriction, so what? You will have your gun(s) in the end. And BAM! goes the neighborhood and kids and innocent people and schools - get the picture?

 

 COMMENT 377793 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 08:30 AM

You can shoot on your property if you are Warren Zevon:

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/warren-zevon-19810319?page=2

 

 COMMENT 377813P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 09:57 AM

519, you may be joking but that type of one-upmanship with guns exists, and it gets out of hand.

 

 COMMENT 377824 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 10:36 AM

OP here. He does have a large property, and does usually shoot a distance away, but this time it was VERY close to my house... I'd say less than 100 feet. He did apologize when I called (but there was laughter in the background...). Hopefully it won't an issue in the future. I was just curious to know how legal or illegal it was to discharge a firearm so close to a home.
Thanks for the discussion.

 

 COMMENT 377836 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 11:00 AM

If someone wants to know about gun nuts, I'll just point them to the comments here from those insisting they aren't.

 

 COMMENT 378083 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-24 08:57 AM

Kudos to the OP for addressing the issue with the neighbor. The neighbor blew it. Given the current political climate, he should be very appreciative to have you next door. There is nothing wrong with target practice if done it in a safe, legal manner and trash gets picked up. I'd call the guy up and ask that he give you a courtesy call before shooting in the future, and perhaps consider sticking to the lower calibers to help keep the noise down a bit. Offer to come by with a box of .22 so you can check his target range out.

 

33% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.

 

*** One comment was removed from this thread by the Edhat Board Nanny for violating Edhat Comments Board policy. Click Here to see it.

 

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