Can You Shoot on Your Property in California?

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Safe shooting of firearms is essential in protecting you from harm that could arise from ricocheting bullets and flying debris. If you fire your firearm while holding it in the wrong position, you can also get injured from recoil action. Firing your firearm in a regulated environment is one way to protect yourself.

Can You Shoot on Your Property in California?

While California gun laws do not explicitly prohibit you from shooting on your property, they require that you do not do so within 150 meters of any residence.

Palm Springs California backyard property

Therefore, shooting on your property is dependent on whether your location is within 150 yards of any residence. If you live in a densely populated area, you cannot shoot your firearm on your property.

Most municipalities do not allow shooting in properties within city limits. If you live outside such city limits, it is best to check with the local authorities what local laws allow in regard to shooting on your property. This is to help you remain on the safe side as some localities may allow while others may not.

The top four things you need to note on when you decide to shoot on your property are:

male shooting a gun at a gun range
  • You should check with local authorities to find out what the law allows and what is illegal before you start shooting on your property. You can get this information from the police department and other relevant authorities. Some of the information to enquire about includes permitted firearms and bullet caliber.
  • If you can shoot on your property, take all the necessary precautions to prevent shooting accidents. Let others, especially those who have access to your property, be aware of the location of your target shooting setup. You should also let them know of the time the shooting range will be in use to ensure no one strays close.
  • Create the ideal shooting range on your property. Ideally, you should have an effective backstop that helps contain the flying bullets. Ensure you leave a safe distance between yourself and the target area, taking into consideration the direction as well as distance that the fired bullet will ricochet back.
  • Wearing protective gear adds a layer of protection. You should have earmuffs to prevent ear damage. Consider the direction the wind blows as the gunpowder released during the shooting of weapons is dangerous when inhaled.

Gun Storage Within Your Property

State and federal laws guide the way you store your firearm on your property. It is illegal to store a firearm loaded, especially if you do so in a manner that a minor can access it. The same applies to situations where an adult who is legally prohibited from possessing firearms can easily reach it.

Gun placed on top of storage black bag

It is recommended that you store the firearm unloaded and in a lockable container. The ammunition and the weapon itself should be stored separately. This goes a long way in preventing accidental discharges that could lead to loss of life or serious injuries.

Transporting Firearms Within Property

If transporting your firearm within your property, you need to have it unloaded. It should also be in a lockable container or locked in the trunk of your car. This again is for your safety and the safety of anyone else that is riding in the car with you.

Gun Laws in California

Law Handguns Long Guns
State permit for purchasing Partial Partial
Firearm registration Yes Yes
Owner license requirement No No
Assault weapon law Yes Yes
Magazine capacity restriction Yes Yes
Concealed carry license Yes N/A
Open carry Partial Partial
Vehicle carry Yes No
Castle doctrine law Yes Yes

Related Questions

Can You Legally Carry a Gun on Your Property in California?

Yes, you can legally carry a gun on your property in California. The requirement is that you must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident over 18 years old and this only applies to handguns.

Can You Shoot a Trespasser in California?

Yes, you can. There are laws regarding shooting a trespasser or home intruder in California as long as you’re a legal gun owner.

What Self-Defense Weapons Are Legal in California?

There are five legal self-defense weapons in California. They are pepper spray, stun guns or tasers, specific knives, personal alarms, and specific guns.


California gun laws do not expressly forbid you from shooting your firearm within your property, especially if your property is outside city limits and does not have residences within 150 yards radius.

However, it is best if you find out from local authorities if local laws allow the shooting of firearms on property. Taking safety precautions is best to avoid accidental shootings that may lead to fatalities.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.