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Can You Shoot on Your Property in Colorado?

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State and federal laws control how gun owners discharge their weapons. These laws support the establishment of shooting ranges that create ideal spaces for safe discharge of weapons. Using such spaces prepares gun owners for the safe use of their firearms even if they have to shoot within their own properties.

Can You Shoot on Your Property in Colorado?

In Colorado, you cannot discharge your weapon within city limits unless at the designated shooting ranges. You therefore need to be sure that your property does not fall within the confines of city limits. If you live in a rural setting, you need to check what local laws are in place that guide on how and where you can shoot your firearm.

two rifles leaning to a tree trunk

Some rural authorities allow for the discharge of weapons within private properties but with conditions. Some require that the bullets fired should not go beyond the limit of your compound. Finding out what applies for the area you live in will prevent you from unknowingly breaking any laws.

Why You Need to Be Careful When Shooting on Your Property

  • There is always risk of other people coming within the vicinity of where you are shooting and stray bullets may hit them, leading to accidental shooting. You should put up signs warning of shooting activity on your land. Therefore, even strangers that stray onto your property are aware.
  • Apart from target practice, you may also be hunting on your land. As animals are not stationary targets, they may lead you away from the safe range of your own property. Bullets you shoot may go over to the neighboring property and this may get you into trouble with the law.
  • By shooting close to residential areas, you increase the risk of shooting someone or even pets. Even if it is within your own property, it is crucial to limit your shooting to areas that place any dwelling far away from the range of your bullets.
  • Using your firearm away from people places you in isolation and you need to maintain safe gun practices. Engage the safety feature on your firearm and double check for this before placing the gun into your holster. Keep your finger off the trigger unless you have aimed at your target and you are ready to fire. 
Close up shots of bullets

Licenses Required for Shooting on Private Property

If you are shooting on your property for hunting purposes, you will require a hunting license to do so. You need to have this license with you as you hunt. The state offers different types of licenses depending on the type of animal you want to hunt on your property.

A Private Land License is a limited license that confines your hunting to within your property. You should ensure you get the right license to protect you from any legal action. You should also comply with the terms of your license at all times to keep you on the right side of the law.

Hunter Education Certificate

Before obtaining a hunting license in Colorado, you need to undergo a mandatory hunter education course, approved by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife. This course equips you with the knowledge required for safe, ethical and responsible hunting. There is no minimum age limit as to who can enroll for this course.

Rifle with a scope on top of a case

Conclusion

Discharging your weapon on your property within city limits is illegal and can get you into trouble. You should ensure that you are not within the city boundaries before discharging your weapon in any manner. If your property falls outside the city limits, you should check what local rules state about discharging firearms. 

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