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Old September 26, 2012, 08:31 PM   #1
tahitian.tedgrace
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Do free or public areas exist in the U.S where one can fire a weapon?

I was going by an indoor shooting range in Florida, and the thought crossed my that mind "Is there anywhere that a person can pratice shooting in the open" Who owns the public lands? What are your comments.

Last edited by tahitian.tedgrace; September 26, 2012 at 08:44 PM.
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Old September 26, 2012, 08:40 PM   #2
kraigwy
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We, American's own public lands. I shoot on BLM or Forest service lands.

Yeh there are restrictions: Don't shoot across roads, don't near buildings, watch for live stock, etc.

But this is common sense, not an infraction on our freedoms.

We need to police our selves though or we'll lose our privilages.

There is a abandoned gravel pit about two miles from the house on BLM land.

I use steel targets I set out and pick up at distance, (up to 2000 yards), but I also throw a plastic garbage can in the truck and pick up broken glass and shot up beer cans, un-considerent people shoot and leave.

Also do the the fire hazzard I try to discourage anyone using steel bullets on public lands. We have already heard of shooters being blamed for starting fires.

True or not, steel does cause sparks, copper jackets or lead doesn't.

If we loose the freedom to shoot on public land, it will be our fault, not anyone else's.

But right now we can shoot on public lands, lets not abuse the land. I figure if I carry out more then I carry in, I've had a good day of shooting.
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Old September 26, 2012, 08:50 PM   #3
tahitian.tedgrace
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Very good reply!

Excellent points all. I was not aware that Public lands and Forest areas allowed shooting. Of course the shooter must be aware of the conditions you mentioned. Thanks for the information
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Old September 26, 2012, 09:09 PM   #4
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Back in North Dakota where I'm from, there are a couple outdoor ranges that are free. I'm not even sure who does the upkeep on them. The one has no signs or anything, but it's kept up pretty well. Where I live now, the club membership is only like $30/year. Nice outdoor ranges.
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Old September 26, 2012, 09:10 PM   #5
Hedge313
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Public Lands

We have two outdoor ranges within 30 minutes of my home. They are both located in a National Forest. So yeah, sure, there are public places. The hours are dawn to dusk, and the range is kept clean by those of us who use it. Some idiots went in and shot up the place, forcing it to close for about 90 days while the shed we sit under was replaced. We have about 10 shooting tables, and there is usually about a half hour wait to get one. There are a lot of shooters in the area that go regularly. We have about 110 yards of shooting distance. Pretty decent out there.
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Old September 26, 2012, 09:52 PM   #6
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I think pretty much where you can hunt without getting permission, or paying, it is okay to practice also. At least in California. I hunt Coyote year round.
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Old September 26, 2012, 10:08 PM   #7
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I'm within easy driving distance of the Daniel Boone National Forest (700,000+ acres) and shooting/hunting is allowed in almost all of it. There are two public ranges I know about but I just go to a range at a private club.
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Old September 26, 2012, 10:16 PM   #8
9mm
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Where I live now, the club membership is only like $30/year. Nice outdoor ranges.
Like all day too? I would be tipping for those prices..............................................................

$17 all day indoor pistol/rifle

another range
$13.50 hourly outdoor and 500m+ $20 hourly.

I would pay $$$ to use an outdoor range where I could do some drills, but nothing like that here.
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Old September 26, 2012, 10:31 PM   #9
Mesquito Whitey
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Most anywhere in Nevada, outside of population centers. Thank God.
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Old September 26, 2012, 10:42 PM   #10
FrankenMauser
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I pay yearly membership dues to the massive BLM and Forest Service "ranges" (any safe location I feel like shooting in) with my income taxes.

I've only been to an actual shooting range about 5 times in the last 10 years.


You didn't say what part of Florida you're in, but there are public lands to shoot on in the state. It's better in the panhandle than the peninsula, but there are places to shoot just about everywhere.
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Old September 26, 2012, 10:53 PM   #11
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It's a long drive from Florida, but West Virginia has a lot of public ranges that are freely available to the public. The signs request ordinary shooter courtesy: put your fired brass in the barrel, along with shot targets, tin cans and any other trash, and try not to shoot up the wood target stands. It is the free-gun-use-friendliest state I have ever visited. Haven't been there in about five years, but I doubt it has changed.

You go to a place like that and all of a sudden you realize what America used to be.
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Old September 27, 2012, 02:06 AM   #12
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In my state the Missouri department of Conservation, or fish and game police as they are called in some other states, operate public ranges throughout the state. Some are supervised ranges with a range master, and range officers. Others are unsupervised ranges. The supervised ranges do charge a small fee. the unsupervised ranges are free.
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Old September 27, 2012, 02:10 AM   #13
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I have no range. I drive about 10 minutes north to the canyon. BLM land with wonderful backstopping. Set up some targets, shoot away, clean up, go home.

Sunday my buddy and I headed out, set down some cardboard boxes with hand drawn targets on them, blasted about 200 9mm and 200 .40, picked up the brass and boxes, went home. Waved at a deputy and a few mountain bikers that rode past.

I love Wyoming.
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Old September 27, 2012, 04:41 AM   #14
supermick83
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Imagine been born into Ireland where if you want to shoot you need farmers permission or be a member of a gun club and unless your in the mountains( where I might add you can't legally shoot unless you have deer hunting tags and only in the specified months) you'll never shoot beyond 400yards. Not only that but anything over a 223 is frowned upon by the police and it takes months before you can get a gun licence. Its a big pile of ass tryin to shoot here. I'm lookin at all these posts about shooting out beyond 1000 yards and thinkin... I'll never do that. Oh well at least theres loads of hunting to be done although deer been the biggest I still love this country and could never leave it enjoy your gun freedom guys
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Old September 27, 2012, 06:13 AM   #15
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Well said, Kraigwy
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Old September 27, 2012, 06:26 AM   #16
jephthai
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All states are different. In my state, there is essentially no public land where you can shoot that I've found (Louisiana). The dept. of wildlife & fisheries operates a couple of ranges on the WMAs, but with tough rules and only 100yds. Plus, you need a hunting license to use 'em.

I asked my CCW class instructor where i could shoot a watermellon (he suggested it as a good visual for gun safety for the kids). He thought and thought. He's a parish sheriff. My house is too close to neighbors; there is no BLM land to speak of; all the ranges prohibit non-paper targets. He said he'd have to get back to me.

I finally bought into a hunting lease where there isn't a specific prohibition on shooting, so maybe i can finally shoot a watermellon.

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Old September 27, 2012, 08:49 AM   #17
carguychris
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Quote:
All states are different. In my state, there is essentially no public land where you can shoot that I've found (Louisiana).
+1. Public BLM land is basically non-existent in TX.

TX was a sovereign country before joining the USA, so unclaimed land reverted to the state gov't rather than the Feds upon statehood, and the state subsequently sold almost all of it to private owners to raise funds.
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Old September 27, 2012, 08:49 AM   #18
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I never thought to ask the question. Just go out an shoot where it is safe to do so. Always been that way here. I use our range mostly as it more convenient time wise.
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Old September 27, 2012, 10:10 AM   #19
kinggabby
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Quote:
Back in North Dakota where I'm from, there are a couple outdoor ranges that are free. I'm not even sure who does the upkeep on them. The one has no signs or anything, but it's kept up pretty well. Where I live now, the club membership is only like $30/year. Nice outdoor ranges.
Only think I miss about North Dakota was the Range near Minot . It was $50 a year.
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Old September 27, 2012, 10:13 AM   #20
22-rimfire
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Not familiar with Florida public lands. In my state, the public lands are wildlife management areas (WMA) and the state does not allow casual shooting on these lands outside of hunting season if you are not shooting at a established range. There are some free ranges inside these areas. I am not fond of this restriction as it means you can't take a walk in the woods with a gun and do some plinking. Some do it anyway, but those are the rules. During hunting season, you have to have the appropriate license and permissions to hunt in the WMA and for the most part, they are shotgun, black powder, rimfire, or archery only for most seasons.
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Old September 27, 2012, 11:48 AM   #21
PetahW
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Florida has more than a few public ranges - all AFAIK in state forests/management areas.

I've attended one, in the Babcock-Webb Wildlife Area, East off Rte 75, South of Punta Gorda (North of Ft.Myers).


.

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Old September 27, 2012, 12:51 PM   #22
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Lots of places. Typically if you get outside of major cities, there are no restrictions on shooting in many states as long as you have a safe area to shoot in. If you have enough land and a safe backdrop, you can even shoot on your own land (I'm working on setting up my own range). Also, there is a lot of county land that is available for shooting on for free. My father-in-law lives in rural Minnesota. There is a rarely used county sand/gravel pit. It's fair game for shooting in when not in use (I've never seen the county use it but there are signs they've been their occasionally, probably getting a truck of dirt and then their gone). You can get about 50yds there with a good 30' high back drop. We wave to the sheriff as he goes by too, keep thinking he might stop and chat some day ... hasn't happened yet. Rarely used sand pits that are open for shooting are pretty common in many places. A call to the county should confirm if you can shoot in it.

On the flip side, in the area around the Twin Cities (Minneapolis, St Paul, and suburbs), there's pretty much no shooting except at official ranges. I keep a membership at one of those too so I can go shoot when I want just 2 miles up the road. Not as much fun as the sand pit but close and good for practice and fun leagues.

You should be able to check your states laws on line to get the specifics.
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Old September 27, 2012, 06:35 PM   #23
COLT_45
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+1 For Nevada
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Old September 27, 2012, 06:50 PM   #24
Don P
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Ocala National Forest has places to shoot for "free"
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Old September 28, 2012, 12:37 AM   #25
nazshooter
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My neighborhood is surrounded by National Forest and there are several good cinder pits nearby although access in the winter and spring is limited due to snow and mud. Otherwise I just walk out the door, head a mile or two into the woods and plink pine cones off of logs.

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