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Old October 13, 2011, 09:56 AM   #1
goingape
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Does anyone know the laws for shooting on your own property in NJ

I searched the forums and found nothing that answered my question. I live in new jersey on about 2 and a half to 3 acres. The lot is about 100 foot wide by almost 1000 feet deep. the back half ofhour my yard is nothing but surrounded by trees. I am trying to find out if it legal for me to shoot my gun in my yard. I called the state police who cover my area. They didn't know what to tell me and told me to call my local municipal building. I called the municipal building and they didn't find anything in the local ordinances against it and told me to check with the state police. I've searched the internet for anything on the laws and come up with nothing. Its like nobody wants to give an answer.
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Old October 13, 2011, 10:12 AM   #2
Savage32-20
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the easy way to find out would be go out and shoot - then when they show up tell them you didn't know and couldn't get an answer from local or state people.

(kidding)

Did you try to call the local police dept. they usually know the rules about firing weapons and are usually more knowledgeable than the legislature types sitting behind desks in the municipal building.
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Old October 13, 2011, 10:23 AM   #3
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This can be a sticky wicket. Reason being that even if here are no local laws that prohibit you from discharging firearms specifically, there may be geneal noise and public nuisance statutes which might be used against you should someone complain. Best thing I can recommend would be to pay a visit to your neighbors and find out up front if any of thssem would object, then try to work out some sort of compromise in advance.
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Old October 13, 2011, 10:27 AM   #4
goingape
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Thanks for the advice, Actually where I live the State Police are our local police. You are right about looking into the noise ordinances. People hunt in the woods all around our town and I hear gunshots all the time during hunting season. As far as checking with neighbors, our closest neighbor is the reason I bought my gun. I just want to follow the law, I am not worried about getting the neighbors angry as long as I am following the rules.
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Old October 13, 2011, 05:16 PM   #5
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Perhaps locating the local prosecutor's office and checking with them and a local lawyer as well just to cover your six.
Legal advice could be a very good thing to have before you pull the trigger.
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Old October 13, 2011, 05:25 PM   #6
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Don't trust what the police say. Ask the local DA's office.
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Old October 13, 2011, 06:37 PM   #7
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Well first question is are you in "city limits".

Then I'd find out if you have a sheriff in your county. If the state police are the guys who answer your 911 calls, you aren't inside anyone's city limits, you should be OK. My brother skeet shoots at his friends farm all the time.

If you hear shots from hunters I can't see it being a big deal.

If you get arrested I disavow any knowledge of this conversation.
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Old October 13, 2011, 06:51 PM   #8
WANT A LCR 22LR
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" As far as checking with neighbors, our closest neighbor is the reason I bought my gun. "

Oh!, that would be rich. " Hi, since you are my neighbor, do you mind if I practice shooting in my back yard? " ( you holding a AK, bandoleers of bullets and a Uzi )

Trust me, a few well timed shots does wonders in keeping the local looser at bay.
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Old October 13, 2011, 07:11 PM   #9
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shoot it in the backyard a few minutes before you go to dinner w/the family. slide it under the couch&you'll be eating pizza by the time anybody shows up
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Old October 13, 2011, 07:12 PM   #10
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then again, maybe you should call the DA
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Old October 13, 2011, 07:36 PM   #11
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If it IS OK to shoot, make sure you have a VERY good backstop - some standing timber is NOT considered a good backstop.

There are enough stories of folks shooting with trees in the background and having bullets striking folks quite a ways downrange - if you do not have a berm or hillside, you may need to build a good backstop
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Old October 13, 2011, 07:52 PM   #12
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I also live in NJ, if you have a safe backstop, and are more than 450 feet from your neighbor's house, where you shoot, you will be ok. Also Contacting the County Prosecutor in NJ is almost always a bad idea, more likely to invite problems than solve them, just about all 21 County prosecutors are at least unfriendly to guns, if not anti gun altogether. If the NJSP didnt tell you not too, and you live in the woods, just have at it. Thats what I do.
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Old October 13, 2011, 08:16 PM   #13
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Not sure what the laws are for where you live. When I was a teenager I shot a .22 on our property a few times, never had a problem. Looking back on it, we probably didn't have sufficient property for that, but I was shooting downwards out of a treestand; bullets weren't likely to go anywhere but into the ground, and in fact none of them penetrated all the way through my backstop (two paper bags full of newspapers). We also used to hunt in some of the local woods.

Talking to your local police would probably be the best bet, since they would be the ones to respond to any complaints of you shooting. If the NJ State Police are the police in your area, you probably live well outside any city limits, right? Try to talk to one of the supervisors if you can.
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Old October 13, 2011, 08:27 PM   #14
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For a fee, an attorney will research the law and advise you regarding those laws. Almost certainly that fee will be less than the attorney's fee if you are charged with a crime.

It has been my personal experience that if you ask 10 law enforcement officers the same question regarding firearms, you will get at least 3 different and conflicting answers. I recall reading somewhere that if a police officer knew the laws, he would be called a lawyer and get paid a lot more money. There's certainly a kernel of truth in that aphorism.
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Old October 13, 2011, 10:18 PM   #15
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I can tell you from experience just because something is legal, does not mean that a complaint from a neighbor won't bring the cops. My family has been through this several times with a neighbor on our Wisconsin property, the guy is convinced every time he hears a shot we are shooting at his horses. On more that one occasion this has brought the local Sheriff out. I am talking about single or two shots, usually at woodchucks. You mentioned that the one neighbor is the REASON you have a gun, well all I can say is I hope his activities have him fearful of the authorities or you may have some level of police harassment.
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Old October 13, 2011, 11:58 PM   #16
Mr. James
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Quote:
Did you try to call the local police dept. they usually know the rules about firing weapons and are usually more knowledgeable than the legislature types sitting behind desks in the municipal building.
Fail.

Completely wrong.

Contact the state AG or state police.
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Old October 14, 2011, 08:46 AM   #17
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Please, in NJ it wouldn't pay to contact any of the above because you practically have to a be a founding member of the Brady bunch to get one of those jobs. It also requires you have no knowledge of actual gun laws.
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