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Need advice/info on building a small gun range on my property

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by Doublejack, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. Doublejack

    Doublejack Maple Valley, WA New Member

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    I was just wondering if anyone had first hand knowledge on building a small pistol range on your property?

    I've just moved into small home on 15 acres of wooded land out in unincorporated King County and according to every state/county laws it should be perfectly legal for me to shoot in that specific area.

    However .. What I don't know is if there is anything else I need to do before pushing dirt and logs around. Is this something I need to get a permit for? Are there specifications on the actual range? I do have experience with wetland issues and that can be serious business but as far as I can tell there shouldn't be a problem with that.

    I will be visiting my new neighbors in the area to find out if people have their kids hiking around in the woods and to feel out their opinions on guns/shooting in general but I'm also a bit nervous to say anything about an actual range. What I need to know is basically that they won't be calling the cops every time they hear a few shots ring off out in the woods.

    Will I need to fence off the entire property and have signs posted? This would be quite the undertaking as it's completely overgrown and could be near impossible as their is a creek running through a corner of the property.

    Should I visit the local Sherriff and ask directly for the specific regulations regarding this idea or should I just keep doing research and just do it?

    Any info would be appreciated!

    Edit: This would just be my private range - Used for sighting in and plinking around with a buddy or two.
  2. duane black

    duane black Washington Well-Known Member

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    Tagged for updates to this thread, I would like to know these answers as well.

    My father built a very small range on his property, really only good for pistol shooting. It was so awesome being able to walk outside, jump on the ATV, shoot for a few minutes, repeat.
    I know he did not get any permitting or discuss this with any other government entity, lol.

    Rural Oklahoma is a little different than King County Washington though.
  3. evltwn

    evltwn Gold Hill Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I have a pistol range as well as a 150 yd rifle range at home. I do not use it during fire season, as we live out in the woods. My neighbors have never complained, so I have to believe they are fine with it. No visits from the sheriff for the last three years, only better marksmanship on my part as a result of lots of practice.
  4. ATCclears

    ATCclears Seattle area, WA Well-Known Member

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    I have multiple ramblings here...

    Zoning. This is critical. You need to understand the zoning of your property and if a gun range is explicitly not allowed in that category of zoning.

    Noise. Will it be a problem? How well do you know your closest neighbors?

    Liability. What is the risk of a stray bullet? How close are your neighbors in any general direction of down range? Yeah, accidents happen.

    Insurance. Do you need it? Will your existing insurer cancel your insurance if they found out about the range, or do they perhaps already have something in the small print that doesn't allow a range? How would it impact your mortgage if the insurance got cancelled?

    I have acreage and a previous owner of the property had started to build a gun range. He dug down to the hardpan and created a dirt birm about 15' high on either end. I don't know the details but I think the neighbors shut him down. We have never used it for a gun range and instead use it as a small horse turnout area. Overall it's just not worth the headaches. If SHTF then I likely would get the wife and teen kids out there to fire a few rounds to freshen their skills...

    Riot and (deleted member) like this.
  5. Doublejack

    Doublejack Maple Valley, WA New Member

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    Thanks for the advice all.

    I think maybe I'll just get a membership at the Black Diamond gun range for now.

    Feel things out a bit until I do anything.