Washoe County Sheriff’s Office cracking down on illegal target shooting

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 9:21 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam warns that Deputies will be issuing citations for target shooters who are not following the law.

Washoe County only allows rifle and pistol shooting in non-congested areas.

  • Shotguns, air rifles, or BB guns cannot be used within 1000 feet of an occupied building.
  • Rifles and pistols cannot be used within 5000 feet of an occupied building.
  • Firearms cannot be shot from, upon or across any highway or county road.

“There are also areas where it is legal to shoot, for instance south of Golden Eagle Regional Park, but hikers utilizing the Zipper Loop may believe target shooters are within a congested area when in fact they are not,” said Sheriff Balaam in a statement provided to KOLO 8 News Now. “These examples illustrate the necessity that all of northern Nevada’s outdoor enthusiasts both recreational shooters and hikers alike familiarize themselves with the County ordinances governing congested areas, which are readily available for review on the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office mobile app.”

Target shooters also need to be aware of the fire danger. If you spark a wildfire, you can be held liable for any damage and the firefighting costs.

As a precaution, recreational shooters should:

  • Bring water or a fire extinguisher
  • Choose a location with little vegetation, preferably dirt, sand or gravel
  • Use soft targets and avoid steel core ammunition
  • Avoid shooting rocks, metal, pressurized containers, or exploding targets
  • Park your vehicle away from dry grass
  • If you do spark a fire, call 911 immediately

Some areas where shooting used to be legal are now considered to be congested areas and no longer allow legal shooting. It is up to the shooter to know the law and to ensure they are both safe and legal.

Target shooters should also be considerate and remove trash and shell casings from the area they are shooting.

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