Got yourself an air rifle and you’re looking to test it out from the comfort of your premises? It’s understandable; since COVID-19 hit, gun ranges haven’t been as active as they once were. Sadly, firing away in your backyard may not be as simple as you think. You’ll need to consider a few factors. Depending on where you reside, several states have their precautions with regards to firearm use in privately owned areas.
In most states, you can shoot an air rifle in your backyard without any problems with the law, as long as you’re looking out for your own safety and that of those around you. It’s important to get in touch with your local authorities to find out whether or not it’s permitted in your state to use an air rifle in your backyard.
That being said, aside from preparing the ideal setting for an exciting shooting session, certain rules and regulations must be followed. Failure to comply with said rules and regulations might result in problems with the law and local authorities.
In this post, we cover everything you ought to know before you attempt firing an air rifle in your backyard, so stick around.
Laws and Regulations of Firearm Use in Private Areas
While it’s true that air rifles are generally much safer than powder guns, they’re still considered dangerous. This is why some states like New Jersey and Illinois consider powerful non-powder guns (NPGs) as firearms.
These states take NPG governing laws seriously because of several incidents. In the year 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) documented 21,287 injuries from NPGs, 76% of which were children and teens.
So, you can imagine why when browsing through your state’s laws, you’ll most likely encounter the age limit point. It states that you’ll need to be older than 18 to use an air rifle. Although, some states like Massachusetts and Pennsylvania may allow an 18-year-old to use an air rifle under adult (parental) supervision.
Most states will allow you to use air rifles within your private location. Some states may just require you to take more precautions than others. For example, Florida may not allow you to shoot unless your land is 1.25 acres.
One of the most vital points to focus on is that, whatever you do, make sure that your shooting range is within your premises. Predominantly, most US laws will consider a target in the wrong direction an offense. That said, unless your neighbor is okay with you shooting in their general vicinity, we’d recommend you take care where you aim.
As long as you don’t pose any harm or cause any risk to anyone’s life, lawfully, you’ll be safe to shoot in your backyard.
If the search for the rights and wrongs of using your air rifle becomes a tedious occasion, you can always check with your local authority figures. They’ll be sure to give you the all-clear on whether you can or can’t use your air rifle. They’ll also provide you with the safety precautions needed when handling your air rifle.
Consider Your Surroundings
Air rifles can get startlingly loud. You wouldn’t want to alarm your neighbors with loud gunshot noises. Asking for their permission before you start target-practicing in your yard is very much recommended.
To make them feel more at ease with your shooting practice, you discuss with them the safety measures that you intend to follow. If the glass is half full, they might even ask to tag along on your practice. There’s nothing better than a cooperating neighbor.
Staying Safe and Prepped
Before you start fixing up an at-home DIY gun range, we’d like to give you a few safety pointers to consider.
The first thing you’d want to build is the backstop, otherwise known as your targets. There are multiple options you can choose from. The most budget-friendly and convenient option would be using sand and dirt.
You definitely would want to steer clear from any hard or flat materials since you want to avoid ricocheting projectiles flying dangerously around you. Further, avoid chipboards, plywood, and any other smooth surface, as they can be punctured with ease.
If you have a brick wall in your yard that you’re looking to utilize, you’ll be able to have ample backstop by simply hanging a rug.
But let’s say you’re looking for a more challenging aim, something that would help boost your marksmanship. In this case, we’d recommend using smaller targets such as cards, paper, and other small objects that would need more precision. Another fun option to try would be using spinning targets. Shooting such targets at an angle will lead to them spinning around.
To enjoy a safe and pleasant shooting experience, you should always notify your family and/or anyone living in your house that you’re target-practicing to avoid any unwanted accidents from happening. No one should be standing near your gun range as you’re practicing, and even after you’ve shot your air rifle, no one should step near the range until you’ve unloaded your rifle.
We know that these rules may seem strict and rigid, but carrying out a practice shooting might pose several risks if not implemented properly, and we want you to enjoy the safest experience.
Why Shoot an Air Rifle in Your Yard Instead of in a Gun Range
Practicing in your home brings more comfort and serenity when shooting. Since you don’t have people around you that might sneak a peek at you or startle you in any way, you’ll feel more at ease and won’t have to worry too much about missing multiple times.
You’ll also have the freedom to practice whenever you want since your private gun range is just outside your backdoor. Another plus is that it spares you the expense of utilizing or renting out a gun range.
So, can you shoot an air rifle in your backyard? The answer depends on which state you’re in. In most states, it’s totally fine to shoot an air rifle in your backyard without causing any issues with the law as long as you’ve taken proper safety precautions.
We highly recommend getting in touch with your local authorities to find out whether or not it’s permitted in your state to fire an air rifle within the confines of your yard.