Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default The four safety rules while on private property

    I'm currently on an extended stay at my best military bud's place in rural NC. He owns about 40 acres of pinelands in the relatively remote sand hills area northwest of Ft Bragg. He has a shooting gallery in the cleared part of his back yard backed by berms, one for about 25 yards for pistol and a longer one for rifle. Beyond the range is at least 16 acres of dense pines so really no issue, right?

    Well, there's really no coordination about firing weapons toward the woods. The default expectation is that beyond the target area there is no issue...just woods. Problem is, I, or his kids or his dog or who or what ever could happen to be on a trail back through there or even blazing a new path through the woods when someone decides to pop off a few rounds in that direction. There's also a sort of an "indiscriminate" plinking that happens with .22's outside of the range area which happens whenever and wherever people feel like it around the property and other calibers are used if a snake or something is spotted. It's all sort of casual. I mean, I like the freedom of it and all, but not sure if appropriate safety protocols are sufficiently present. Again, this is the rural south where people tend to live and let live with minimal rules so I don't want to be a debbie downer. Still seems slightly sketch, safety-wise. Maybe I'm just too northern suburban.

    My buddy is ex-spec ops and very familiar with weapons safety but maybe he's become too comfortable and complacent with safety rules on his own land. What do you all think about this?
    "Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Gman106
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the face." - Mike Tyson
    "Get the hell out of my way." - John Galt

  2. #2
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    Mohnton, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: The four safety rules while on private property

    Don't play on a hot range.
    The Gun is the Badge of a Free Man

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Quakertown, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: The four safety rules while on private property

    If he has berms that extend high up, I would also do berms to the sides as well. Dense woods won't protect him from a lawsuit..

    Posted signs may also help...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The four safety rules while on private property

    Having the appropriate backstop is paramount whether he has one acre or three hundred acres.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The four safety rules while on private property

    When the kids or anybody are out riding, we dont shoot, unless they are in the opposite direction.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The four safety rules while on private property

    You have a right to be concerned and cautious about your and your family's safety. He has a right to operate as he sees fit on his own property. You must decide how to address your concerns, then live with the consequences. It's called freedom and maturity and it can be a challenge to address both. Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The four safety rules while on private property

    I'd consider casually broaching the subject during a fire side beer chat.
    "Hey, what was your consideration on how you laid out your firing range?"
    And let the conversation form organically.
    Member: NJ "undocumented" Felons Club. NRA Life Member

  8. #8
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    York, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: The four safety rules while on private property

    For us when shooting on our 'country property' the first rule is "know where everyone is". To me THAT is the main problem facing your buddy - that his kids COULD be out wandering around or not. He should either KNOW they are (and use appropriate shooting restraint) or KNOW they are not (and where they are).

    My family owns a very large parcel of land in southern Missouri, mostly forested, where we also have a range with berms. We do also typically have a gun on us while walking the property - usually a shotgun - and yes, we'll discharge when/if needed: say a snake in the path too dumb/stubborn to skedaddle when it hears us coming. We do not hunt there unless a feral hog decides to take up residence (happens every few years), nor do casual 'plinking'. We do have several neighbors who hunt the property, but they all know to call first and ensure nobody's there - which is probably the case about 320 days a year...

    IMO the standard 4 rules still apply, as always, we just add a 0th rule - know (as in KNOW, not think, not suspect, not guess) where everyone is.

    Trespassers? Property is fully signed. Also, the place is EXTREMELY remote and the adjoining properties are same-or-larger than ours. The nearest "public road" is 6 miles away, and to walk/drive onto the property, you'd have to have ignored multiple gates and signs. OR you'd have to have hiked much further across multiple signed properties up and down some pretty serious slopes to get to us other than the drive. The nearest public land (Mark Twain Natl. Forest) is about 20 miles cross-country.

    I do agree with what some have said: what he does on his property is fundamentally his business. Any conversation about it should strictly be based on your (legit) concern about your/your family's safety when there. So I'd avoid the 'one of your kids might be back there' element in favor of something like "hey, can we hold off shooting until I know my kids aren't out there?" or similar. And I'd definitely avoid any semblance of 'telling him what to do' beyond that.
    "Stirring the Pot" since 1967

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The four safety rules while on private property

    Never shoot unless everyone is present and accounted for behind the firing line.

    Trees are nice, but don't substitute for a proper berm.

    Watch some videos of people shooting tracer rounds and you won't even want kids anywhere around a home shooting range. I've done it and seen many more rounds than expected (like 10%) ricochet off of branches and shoot off in every direction.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: The four safety rules while on private property

    Sounds pretty sketchy to me. In the end you gotta know your target and what is behind it.

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