Backyard Shooting in rural communities

Hey y’all!

I wanted to really ask the group here a question. I live in a kinda rural community and it’s not a strange thing to hear a couple of backyard shots from people target shooting or maybe even hunting. Recently, there have been incidents where people started to (test and maintenance) there firearms on there property. Originally, I had no problems with it but it started to grate my nerves after it went to 5-8 hours. The second time it was 3 hours before I had to say something. Now Granted, the ranges or closed due to global pandemic so I can take that in to consideration as well as the that is there property and I don’t want to be a 2A hypocrite and infringe on someone. But after a neighbor complained to me concerning her elderly parent’s heart condition, I agreed to speak to the other neighbor. Now to the question, is 3+ hours of shooting to (train, test, service, maintenance, etc) too much? What is a respectful and responsible way to not infringe but not being an butt either?

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Seems a bit excessive… i shoot at my parents often but never lasts very long… shooting that many hours seems like they are operating a range. May have ordinances about that. Now I will say when working up new loads ill shoot multiple test shots then again later but there’s usually significant time in between sessions.

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I agree with @Thomas681. That sounds like they’re running a range.

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Seems excessive to me also…unless you can get invited.

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If my nephew and/or inlaws come over and we shoot then 2-3 hours of making loud noises is no big deal to achieve. But, I will usually stop in at my nearest neighbors and give them a heads up to make sure there are no conflicts of interest ahead of time.
I also try not to shoot before noon and to quit before dark and it is only 1 or 2 weekends a month at most. Other than that if someone stops here or I stop at another neighbors it is usually to say ‘wha’cha shootin’, mind if I shoot with ya?
Then again if neighbor A came over to complain about neighbor B, I would probably inform them they should voice their complaint to neighbor B.

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When I shoot at home, I pick days & hours when most folks are at work, and the time involved will be under an hour. These choices are made considering those who live nearby- I don’t want to be an inconsiderate neighbor.

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I would guess that maybe they have friends/family over for shooting? That is the only way several hours of shooting makes sense. If they are shooting at reasonable hours and not running a range, even informally, I would say you are probably out of luck. Have the original neighbor explain the situation to them and see if the two of them can work it out while you stay on the sidelines. Being able to shoot in their backyard may be a large part of the reason for living there but I am willing to bet they will be happy to work something out.

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First, I would not insert myself between two neighbors that are complaining. If you have one, fine.
If I have some friends over and we are shooting, yes, it may go on for hours. If there is a problem, then my neighbors will let me know (assuming they are not already here shooting). I have never had a problem.

Your neighbor has a concern. Let them talk to the one in question, and let them know. Perhaps a solution can be worked out.

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How far from others is it where you shoot? and what calibers do you shoot?

Just got back to the house after shooting for about 30 minutes on my rural property, so perfect timing for this topic.

People in my “neighborhood” shoot on their property all the time. The neighbor to my east (RIP) used to invite friends over to shoot, and when we first moved in he told me if it every gets to be too much just give him a call and they’ll stop. I told him it wasn’t a problem and that I just might join them. The neighbor to my west is a police officer. Now he’s had some multi-hour long shooting sessions, and I’m not sure if he is teaching the kids or has friends over or what. The volume of fire is pretty low, so not like he has his police buddies over running practice or anything like that. He’s never specifically asked us if it was a bother (it isn’t), but I’m sure if we stopped by and said something he would alter what he’s doing. Because people in these parts are pretty neighborly.

So all you can do is let him know that sometimes the amount of shooting is bothering you and other neighbors, and see if he is willing to make some accommodations for your concerns.

Well, this is one good case for not making silencers difficult to obtain, huh? The truth is, for me, I live out in the country because I want the freedom not available to those in the cities and subdivisions. However, I have found that, even if the neighbors don’t have much of a problem with the occasional shooting session, their dogs are terrified. I limit myself because of the disruption it causes within their homes. If I need a couple mags of practice, I go ahead and do it. If I want more, there is a shooting range two miles away.

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If that round fired crosses property lines then you may want to go to a safer place to shoot (range).
It is probly a violation of the state law.
Also…be realistic…and safety minded… Where could that bullet end up if it travels Max range.
Once the trigger is pulled …it’s a done deal.

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The problem with something like deer hunting on a small property is that you are at high risk of violating the second part of “Be sure of your target, and what’s beyond it”. But if you have a berm (or equivalent natural feature) on your property than as long as that is always what is beyond your target you are adhering to this safety rule. It does mean you have to be conscious of some other factors, like not placing the target such that from your shooting position you would send a round over the berm. Not generally a problem when you are shooting from a standing position as the angle is rather obvious, but still one must always pay attention. Almost no outdoor range is protected against the 2-mile distance generally quoted for centerfire ammunition, so it isn’t clear why that would make your own property any less safe. Containing the round within the range, home or otherwise, is what is critical.

Andy Hollar, former President of USPSA and before that longtime head of its National Range Officers Institute, had a backstop built basically at the end of his driveway. It was the most unique ‘range’ I’ve ever seen. I do not recall what was beyond it, certainly not a structure, but he lived where the land was perfectly flat and who knows what was 2 miles away. My first thought was that it didn’t look that safe enough that I’d want to shoot there, but technically it was probably fine.

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We plan to shoot at the back of a 6 acre lot a few times. It is >1100’ and downhill from the road. I shot ~30’ from the road while my girlfriend sat in the car. She said that it was very loud. Just .22lr, 22M, and 9mm. We’ll have to do to test the next time I go out there, with her at the street and me in the back shooting.

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In my mind the biggest risk in an urban/rural fringe area isn’t the shooter or their preparation, it’s everyone around the shooter that may not be aware, informed, experienced, able to hear, or smart enough not to pop their head over or around the berm and say ‘what ya doing?’
Show me a kid under twelve that doesnt see a dirt hill has a magnet calling them to climb to the top.
Have you taken steps to keep others away from the potential danger? If you had a pool would local ordinances require a fence? Just food for thought.

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Who here with any field time hasn’t heard ‘bang, bang…bang’ opening day of deer season and thought to themselves “I’ll bet you that one got away. Better stay alert in case he heads this way”?

Hey @Eolus, welcome to the forum! :slight_smile:
There are a bunch of questions that can be asked to grow your OP, and it looks like a lot of our fellow members are doing just that. This is a great question! Yes, you can intercede for the other neighbor as they maybe shy, not a gun person and not know what is appropriate in this case and maybe relying on your expertise, realize that they may have terrible communication skills and are very emotional about it and know you as a third party can stay focused without getting emotional. We use a faux “third party” at work a lot in emails, texts and online chat a lot about different things. It’s not uncommon and can be a good tactic. (This is why there are attorneys for business deals, divorces, etc)

Next, 5-8 hours, 3+ hours, by law, it’s probably not illegal. 3+ hours of shooting as you describe, is not too much. When not teaching a class, if folks just come over to practice at my range, they could be there for hours, talking, telling stories, shooting some, back to talking and telling stories, repeat. Does this happen every day, just weekends or was this a one or two off? Regardless, it’s their place and they can do what they want as long as there are no local laws or ordinances against it. As a courtesy they can stop but don’t have to and I would expect them not to, it’s their right.

When/if you go and talk to them, I’d recommend wearing your headphones, and wear a USCCA t-shirt, Ruger, NRA, or some other pro 2a attire. You really won’t have to ask, you’ll see what they’re doing. If there is a big group of what looks like students, it’s a class and you’ll have to live with it (barring laws or ordinances). This is how the people live and make money. If it’s just the good 'ole boys or family, it won’t be going on all the time. It’s expensive to shoot that much.

Let us know what you find out.

Hey y’all!

Thanks for all the great feedback and discussions that germinated from my question. Though I am retired military, I am very new to the 2A community and culture as a civilian. That being said, I’m glad people answered honestly and openly.

Happy Birthday @Thomas681!!

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I didn’t take @C-RATs comments as calling you stupid or a knucklehead, @Jane2. And I can go back and see his deleted comments.

I’ll say 2 acres can be too small in some instances and fine in others - depending on the situation / location.

We definitely do. And we know that text isn’t always the easiest method of communication.

Please also remember to ask questions when something comes across wrong to you. I’ve misworded my fair share of comments and have been incredibly thankful when people question them so I can explain what I meant and reword my responses as needed for clarity.

Tonality is very hard to convey over text especially when you don’t know the other person in “real life.”

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