Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default State Law on Target Shooting

    What is the State Law on target shooting on land someone owns?

    I heard you cannot fire a projectile that crosses property lines.

    I would imagine it is more complicated than that.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: State Law on Target Shooting

    Good question?

    I know certain areas twps have no discharge laws. This I have no idea how they can do it.

    They usually word it against weapon discharge so I could not even shoot my bow in the backyard with a nice back stop. (one of the necessities when I finally make a home purchase)

    Hope people can answer.

    FOAC; NRA Endowment Member

  3. #3
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    Default Re: State Law on Target Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by thefirstndsecond View Post
    I know certain areas twps have no discharge laws. This I have no idea how they can do it.
    they can make those ordinances because the state preemption clause does not cover discharge of firearms. it only preempts local regulation of ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms.
    F*S=k

  4. #4
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    Default Re: State Law on Target Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by thefirstndsecond View Post
    Good question?

    I know certain areas twps have no discharge laws. This I have no idea how they can do it.

    They usually word it against weapon discharge so I could not even shoot my bow in the backyard with a nice back stop. (one of the necessities when I finally make a home purchase)

    Hope people can answer.
    If a gun is not being used as a weapon, can it still be considered a weapon?

    Best thing to do is call the state police in your area and ask them if your area is restricted and what the guidelines are.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: State Law on Target Shooting

    So you are saying each municipality can regulate usage?

    FOAC; NRA Endowment Member

  6. #6
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    Default Re: State Law on Target Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by thefirstndsecond View Post
    So you are saying each municipality can regulate usage?
    if you exclude from "usage" "ownership, possession, transfer, or transportation", then yes, pretty much so.

    there is a legal theory that the right to ownership implies the right to use. i'm not sure exactly how that would end up playing out. (my guess is the best you could hope for is only allowing "reasonable restrictions" which would include regulating discharge.)

    but, the fact is that many municipalities in PA regulate discharge of weapons...and the courts let them. you cannot, for example, go out in your backyard in pittsburgh and target shoot. and, if you did it and got arrested, the courts would uphold it.
    Last edited by LittleRedToyota; May 5th, 2010 at 10:31 PM.
    F*S=k

  7. #7
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    Default Re: State Law on Target Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by CHEMICAL View Post
    If a gun is not being used as a weapon, can it still be considered a weapon?

    Best thing to do is call the state police in your area and ask them if your area is restricted and what the guidelines are.
    We don't enforce local law. If a township has an ordinance, it is up to them to enforce it. We only enforce Pennsylvania statute.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: State Law on Target Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by unclejumbo View Post
    We don't enforce local law. If a township has an ordinance, it is up to them to enforce it. We only enforce Pennsylvania statute.
    ^^^THIS. Contact your municipality's office. PSP couldn't care less about local ordinances. (No offense, unclejumbo)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: State Law on Target Shooting

    What I was getting at is the state can regulate when or how lets say you may use your gun.

    Can the local municipality?

    Like in a shooting etc isn't that state regulated?

    So how is the use for a range or target practice able to be legislated for a municipality?

    I am not a lawyer, I am a MIS person. So I do not understand.

    The state regulates Fish and game also, not local municipality.

    FOAC; NRA Endowment Member

  10. #10
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    Default Re: State Law on Target Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by thefirstndsecond View Post
    What I was getting at is the state can regulate when or how lets say you may use your gun.

    Can the local municipality?
    that depends on what exactly you mean by "use". if you mean "shoot" then the answer is yes. if you mean "carry" then the answer is no.

    Like in a shooting etc isn't that state regulated?
    there are state use-of-force laws that would apply in a shooting...as well as potentially other state laws.

    however, that does not prevent municipalities from passing ordinances against discharging firearms. some of them have exceptions for self-defense, but some do not. in theory, you could be charged with violating them even if you were justified according to the state use of force laws. i doubt you would be convicted, though. and, even if you were, it would only be a summary offense since it is only a violation of a local ordinance.

    So how is the use for a range or target practice able to be legislated for a municipality?
    because there is simply nothing in state law that says they cannot regulate those things. it's really just that simple.

    The state regulates Fish and game also, not local municipality.
    i am not positive, but i am pretty sure municipalities can regulate hunting and fishing...at least to prohibit it in county parks, etc.

    if they cannot, though, that would mean there must be a preemption clause in the game laws (or somewhere else in state law) saying they cannot.
    F*S=k

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