Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Shooting on private property in PA...

    What are the laws on shooting on private property in PA. I'm sure basically every town has a law against discharging in city limits. What about counties?

    My parents have about a dozen acres near New Wilmington, my Dad seems to think he can shoot on his property, but he doesn't because he "likes his neighbors". I asked him if he was in any city limits and never gotten a strait answer (something to do with recent renumbering for 9-1-1 calls of addresses ect. ect.)

    The reason I ask is he has a huge ground hog (or whatever sort of creature) problem and has hinted at taking his ,22lr to get one or two of them. I doubt he will do it (Mom wouldn't let him she loves the fury animals), but I'd like to know if it is, in fact, legal or not.

    I realize this probably hinges on him being inside the town/city limits, but assuming he is outside of them. With all the Amish around and horse poop on the roads I don't think a couple of .22lr shots would bother anyone, but who knows.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Shooting on private property in PA...

    I don,t know , but the small village I live in , one of the burrough councilmen lives next door to me and sits on his deck and shoots groundhogs & rabbits with his 30-30 often .
    Don't blame me ; I voted for an American .

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Shooting on private property in PA...

    I'm not a lawyer, and this is just my opinion from what i've read in other threads here.

    He'll be within the city/township/borough limits of some municipality, so find out which one it is and get a copy of their local ordinances. If they don't have an ordinance against it, you should be good to go.
    Please help my Baby Kitties and I avoid being homeless.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Shooting on private property in PA...

    As long as there's no local ordanances against it you're ok.

    I live in middlesex and it's legal to shoot if you have an appropriate back stop.

    There's gunshots ALL THE TIME around here. We don't shoot pistols because out of respect for theneighbors, but we shoot the .22 rifle with shorts and sub-sonics. Even the standard .22's have a loud crack and we try not to use them.

    If we hated the neighbors i'd shoot my 9mm all the time.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Shooting on private property in PA...

    IANAL, but I believe the rules are determined by the local township ordinances, or subdivision/neighborhood covenants. I think there are state laws pertaining to shooting within a certain distance of a permanent residence, but they can be superceded by local laws or agreements signed at the time of purchasing a home.

  6. #6
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    Cherry Tree, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Shooting on private property in PA...

    There's only one town in Pennsylvania, and that's Bloomsburg. Everything else is either a city, a borough, or a township. You have to figure out in which your parent reside. It's probably a township. You'll have to contact the township and find out what, if any, their ordinances say about discharging firearms.
    I don,t know, but the small village I live in, one of the borough councilmen lives next door to me and sits on his deck and shoots groundhogs & rabbits with his .30-30 often.
    Groundhogs are okay (it's open season on them year 'round), but rabbits fall under the small game laws.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Shooting on private property in PA...

    FWIW, We shoot groundhogs all the time. It's been a while since I've looked at the local ordnances and frankly I don't care. I use the quietest options I have and very sparingly with a solid backstop. Mostly .22 rifle with subsonic rounds, if I need to I break out the shotgun. I don't shoot pistol or rifle out of respect for the neighbors.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Shooting on private property in PA...

    I got a friend who lives outside of New Wilmington, and his parents also have several acres of land. Last year we shot everything from .22 rifles to Mosin Nagants to my M1A, hundreds of rounds. Nobody complained, no police showed up.

    I'd say as long as you've got a good back stop, you're good to go.


    In fact, I'll be going back there in two weeks for a couple days of shooting and video gaming. I'll let you know if we get harassed, but I doubt it.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Shooting on private property in PA...

    Thanks for the replies everyone, I'll have to find out where their property falls.

    Quote Originally Posted by General Geoff View Post
    I got a friend who lives outside of New Wilmington, and his parents also have several acres of land. Last year we shot everything from .22 rifles to Mosin Nagants to my M1A, hundreds of rounds. Nobody complained, no police showed up.

    I'd say as long as you've got a good back stop, you're good to go.

    In fact, I'll be going back there in two weeks for a couple days of shooting and video gaming. I'll let you know if we get harassed, but I doubt it.
    Thanks. As far as backstop I don't think there is anything that would qualify as any sort of backstop that I can recall. I wasn't planning on any sort of range session but it'd be nice to know if you could legally shoot some ground hogs.

    Thanks again everyone!

  10. #10
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    Lebanon, Pennsylvania
    (Lebanon County)
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    Default Re: Shooting on private property in PA...

    Another option to keep the peace, some sliced apples and a have a heart trap would work wonders. Unless you get a very well placed shot, 22lr is IMHO underpowered for Groundhog, those suckers are tough. Remember, Dad has Mom to deal with here.
    Last edited by nijwnfi; August 31st, 2008 at 10:44 PM.

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