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Can You Shoot on Your Property in Vermont?

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Vermont is one of the more relaxed states when it comes to firearm rules and regulations. It is an open carry state which recognizes its citizens’ constitutional right to carry firearms. It allows permit-less carry and does not issue concealed weapon permits.

As long as you are 16 years or older and legally allowed to do so, you can carry a firearm. In this state, non-residents also enjoy the same gun privileges as residents. Thus, if you want to exercise your constitutional right within your property, the pointers below can help.

Can You Shoot on Your Property in Vermont?

Yes, you can shoot on your property in Vermont because there are no laws prohibiting this. However, while shooting, you need to make sure that you do so responsibly to prevent loss of life. A stray bullet from your gun that ends up injuring or killing anyone could lead to prison time for you.

man in gray long sleeves holding a pistol

Since Vermont does not have concrete laws governing shooting ranges including a noise ordinance, many people have built their own private ranges on their property. You too can do the same.

The top three things to pay attention to are:

  • Permission
  • Weapons and ammunition
  • Castle doctrine

Permission Needed to Shoot on Private Property

In order to shoot on any private property, you must have the owner’s permission. This means that if you choose to have any friends over to enjoy your private range, you reserve the right of admission. The same applies even when it comes to hunting.

If you don’t want to allow anyone on your property, you should put up posts that prohibit the same. In Vermont, the ‘No Weapons’ signs are enforceable by law. There are different signs that can be posted and each has its own meaning.

When it comes to hunting, you can also issue landowner courtesy cards if you don’t want to put up too many posts. Basically, these cards give permission to others to access a certain section of your property for a specific time or season regardless of the posting shown. This is according to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.

Weapons and Ammunition

Unlike other states in which individual cities and towns can control or establish local restrictions on firearms and ammunition control, in Vermont, the final say lies with the state laws.

Basically, no town or city is allowed to make its own laws on gun control unless special power is conferred to them by the state. This means that as long as you follow state regulations, you can enjoy shooting on your property.

Vermont does not have any set-out prohibitions when it comes to weapons and ammunition except those set out by Federal law. According to the NRA-ILA, it is legal to own, sell or buy machine guns that are compliant with federal laws.

You can also own antiques and replicas privately without a sale record as long as they don’t use conventional ammunition.

pistol and bullets on top of a fabric

Castle Doctrine

Vermont does not have a law titled the Castle Doctrine but it has an allocation for justifiable homicide in the state laws.

This is defined as killing while in defense of yourself, your mistress, or relatives from crimes like sexual assault, murder, burglary, or robbery with violence. This is according to Omaha Outdoors.

If you use lethal force, you will need to justify that lesser force would not have been enough. The state laws do not prescribe any specific locations.

Therefore, the concept applies no matter where you are. If there was imminent danger of great bodily harm or death, you have no duty to retreat.

Conclusion

Vermont is one of the friendliest gun states in the country. Most of Vermont’s gun laws are aimed at preserving lives without infringing on people’s rights to bear firearms.

You can shoot on your property as long as nobody gets hurt and you are within the state laws. You can also hunt on your grounds or invite others to do so.

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.