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Where to shoot air rifle


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#1 lelserg

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 07:38 PM

Hello Everybody.I am going to buy an air rifle within a few days and will definitely need to practice a lot. The first and most important question - is it legal to shoot from air rifle on my backyard? Of course I am going to buy or make a target and will make sure that pellets do not fly to the neighbors properties or public street. I do not see any state or federal law that prohibits this, but not sure about county or city. I live in Mountain View (Santa Clara county).Another question to locals is where else can I shoot (target practice or hunt)? Are there places other then National Forests (the closest one is 2 hour drive for me) where air rifle shooting is allowed? Is that true that I need to get a hunting license even if I want to kill the squirrel on the backyard? Anyone can suggest a local gun store that has decent air rifles (Beeman, Air Arms, RWS)? It would be great to have a chance to see and hold a rifle in my hands before buying.-- Sergey

#2 Bozsik

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 11:38 PM

The first and most important question - is it legal to shoot from air rifle on my backyard? Another question to locals is where else can I shoot (target practice or hunt)? Are there places other then National Forests (the closest one is 2 hour drive for me) where air rifle shooting is allowed? Is that true that I need to get a hunting license even if I want to kill the squirrel on the backyard?

Most cities do not want you to shoot anything in your back yard. I can't imagine living in the Bay area nowadays and not having some kind of ordinance against it. You can set up an indoor range in your garage with a metal trap to collect the pellets. If you have good relations with your neighbor, you could set up something small on the side of the house or back yard. Most springer guns are quiet, but some of the new air rifles are both powerful and fairly noisy for shooting in the yard with houses around. I live in Sacramento county and I talked to a serif one day. He told me shooting air rifles were a no, no, but if the neighbors didn't report it, they didn't really spend time pursuing the violation. If someone does, they usually give a warning.You are in a sucky area for doing hunting in this state. The bay area used to be a haven for bird and small game hunters. Now it is all homes, factories, and anti-gun nuts. Some of the local CPC members that still live there might have some suggestions for you, otherwise you are looking at a ride to the Sierras.Since you live in the City, you should enjoy what little wildlife you have left. Don't just kill things in the back yard because you are bored. Go out to the woodlands and fields to hunt game... and yes you need a license to shoot any animal in CA. To get a license, you will need to take a Hunter's Safety Course sponsored by California DFG. The course is not expensive, and it will provide instruction about many of the rules and safe handling of weapons, hunting, sportsmanship, and conservation.Oh Yes, Welcome to the club.db

#3 DKOwen

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 08:01 PM

As you've suspected, and another poster suggests shooting airguns is prohibited in most all California Cities, shooting in the back yard is not allowed in your city:SEC. 21.13. Discharge of firearms, etc.-Prohibited; exceptions.No person shall discharge within the city any cannon, anvil or firearm of any kind, or any air gun or other instrument which throws or projects bullets or missiles of any kind, to any distance, by means of the elastic force of air or any explosive substance, and no person shall make, use or have in his possession within the city any sling shot or other instrument or device by which missiles of any kind may be hurled or projected, or to use same in any manner to the danger of the injury of any property.Nothing in this section shall prohibit any person from discharging a weapon, firearm or instrument which throws or projects bullets or missiles of any kind under the following circumstances:1. The lawful use of force by peace officers or soldiers in the performance of their official duties;2. Reasonable self-defense or defense of another person as permitted by law;3. The discharge of weapons at a shooting range in the city for which all necessary licenses, permits and approvals have been obtained, when the shooting range is operated in accordance with law;4. The firing of air guns, such as BB guns or pellet guns, when fired indoors for marksmanship training under adult supervision when there is no danger to others;5. The shooting of arrows for marksmanship training under adult supervision when there is no danger to others, so long as such shooting does not include hunting arrows or crossbows;6. Other discharges of a weapon, firearm or instrument which throws or projects bullets or missiles of any kind when expressly authorized by the city council or state or federal law. (Code 1938, Sec. 479; Ord. No. 3.96, 4/9/96.)So you can shoot inside (assuming you're an adult). You cannot hunt any animals on your property even with a License. Even if the city allowed shooting, you can't hunt in California within 150 yards of a house or similar building you don't 'control' (that is have permission of the owners to hunt). All the neighbors would have to approve. Nor can you hunt small game such as Squirrels within 400 yards of anyplace that's had bait in the last ten days (even if you don't put it out, the neighbor's bird feeder counts as baiting game). Otherwise to shoot tree squirrels you need a license, a legal place to hunt and they have to be in season (second Saturday in September extending through the last Sunday in January).Now for some good news. There's a sporting goods store in San Leandro (Trader's) that has a pretty good assortment of airguns (they can no longer sell firearms....). Perhaps of more interest to you there's a group of us who regularly shoot our airguns at the range in Livermore. Between us we have a quite large assortiment of airguns you're welcome to try out. What's your schedule like, we shoot Wednesdays most every week. Sometimes on the weekends as well.Can you join us sometime?Doug Owen

#4 lelserg

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 11:53 PM

Bozsik, Doug, Thank you for your answers and for providing so many details. I will be working towards getting the hunting license. I found the shooting range in Castro Valley that allows airgun shooting - it looks like it's the closest one to me.

Now for some good news. There's a sporting goods store in San Leandro (Trader's) that has a pretty good assortment of airguns (they can no longer sell firearms....).

I checked their website and will give them a call to see what they have in stock.

Perhaps of more interest to you there's a group of us who regularly shoot our airguns at the range in Livermore. Between us we have a quite large assortiment of airguns you're welcome to try out. What's your schedule like, we shoot Wednesdays most every week. Sometimes on the weekends as well.Can you join us sometime?

Doug, I would gladly join you. The only problem that I work Monday-Friday. Please, let me know when you meet next time on weekend and I will be there. Is the range you mentioned Livermore-Pleasanton Rod & Gun Club?

#5 DKOwen

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 04:15 PM

I remember working...cuts into your shooting time, doesn't it?Yes, that's the range we use. I used to shoot at Chabot (the range in Castro Valley), was on the BOD for a while even. I don't shoot there any more (draw from that what you will). Livermore is a much more 'airgun friendly' place....then again it's a lot more friendly than Chabot in other areas as well.....You might also check out the Optimist's range at the foot of Davis Street in San Leandro. Inside crank out targets to 50 feet (set them where you want) outside firing points at 10, 15, 25 and 50 yards. Small range, good wind protection, good folks. http://slrange.tripod.com/Mark your calendar for August 31. "Airgun Fun Shoot" at the range in Concord. Happens four times a year. Bring bottles of water, stuffed toys, CDs you can't stand and other suitable stuff (you have to pick up the pieces afterwards of course). Guys bring all sorts of Field Targets, Bells, a fun gizzie with a shaken can of shaving foam hiding behind a shield with a small hole, pictures of former bosses and the like. More cool guns than you can imagine and lots of proud owners anxious to try them out. I guarantee you a great time.If we get a weekend shoot going anytime soon I'll try to let you know (sometimes I forget the simplest things....), otherwise look forward to shooting with you at the end of next month!Doug Owen

#6 lelserg

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 12:29 AM

Doug, My rifle will arrive next week so I will be definitely shooting somewhere next weekend. I will check the Optimist's range you suggested. The range in Livermore does not say anything about air rifles on their site, which gives me an idea that a couple of other ranges that are closer to me (Santa Clara, San Jose) might also allow air rifles without stating it on their sites.What is the name of the range in Concord where "Airgun Fun Shoot" will be on August 31?

#7 DKOwen

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 01:59 PM

The range in Concord hosts several clubs. AFAIK the Airgung Fun Shoots are under Diablo Rod and Gun Cllub:http://www.diablorod...n.com/index.phpI think most ranges are OK with airguns, provided you come off as mature and all. I've never had any issues anyway. Oh, sure, they laugh at me some....but they still let me shoot. A couple of times I've had my fun, though. Shoot a target with several half inch groups on it, then take it to the window and ask the guy who gave you a bit of ribbing what he thinks you're doing wrong.....Good luck with your new gun, what is it?Doug Owen

#8 DKOwen

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 05:23 PM

The range in Concord hosts several clubs, the Airgun Fun Shoots (and most of the other airgun activity) is done by Diablo Rod and Gun club:http://www.diablorodandgun.com/Directions and schedules are linked from there.FWIW I've never had any problem shooting airguns at local ranges (then again, I've been shooting firearms for a long time....). Sometimes I take some teasing of course. The fun part is taking a target with several half inch groups back to the Rangemaster and ask him what you're doing wrong......Good shooting, I hope to catch up with you and your new gun eventually.Doug Owen




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