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#3030278 - 01/09/17 07:41 PM non range target shooting in Az.
sarman Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 45
Loc: michigan
Hi everyone. I'm wondering if it's legal to go out into the desert in Az. for target shooting. Here in Michigan it's common to go to some old gravel pits to shoot but I'm ready to start spending winters in Az. and was wondering about target shooting out there. So is it ok or will I have to go to a range?


Edited by sarman (01/09/17 07:42 PM)

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#3030372 - 01/09/17 10:52 PM Re: non range target shooting in Az. [Re: sarman]
Fursniper Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 09/14/09
Posts: 1967
Loc: AZ
It is OK to shoot on USFS and BLM land. Just pick up all of your spent cartridges and targets because that is considered littering if left behind in the field. The BLM and USFS have tried to implement policies to prohibit target shooting in the past. The reason is due to people bringing bottles, televisions, computers, etc. to shoot at and then leaving their trash in the field.

Target shooting is prohibited on state land in AZ, but enforcement is a can of worms. State land is open to hunting and you can discharge a firearm for the purposes of hunting. However, if you are target shooting to check the zero on your gun for the purpose of hunting, that may/may not be hunting depending on the officer that contacts you. The AZ State Land Department does not employ any law enforcement officers and they rely on other agencies to enforce their laws. Most game wardens are not going to care as long as you pick up your targets and spent ammo when you are done shooting.

Hope this helps.



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#3031651 - 01/12/17 10:04 PM Re: non range target shooting in Az. [Re: Fursniper]
tripod3 Offline
PM senior

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 8663
Loc: WA
I passed through AZ with a friend a few years ago. There was shot up crap through the brush as far as the eye could see and it went on for miles. People were blazing away at everything they could drag out.
One road, everything that protruded above the pavement had been shot. A new housing development entrance was leveled from gunfire.
A guy nearly ran us off the road reloading his pistol. A sheriff told us they call it "reloading while driving" and recommended we don't stop along the road.
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#3056972 - 03/20/17 11:19 AM Re: non range target shooting in Az. [Re: sarman]
MotoHunter Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 01/03/10
Posts: 751
Loc: Newer Mexico
I wish they would outlaw it here in Newer Mexico, same thing, horrible trash and safety issues here. Some people just can't let us have a good time. driving 4 wheelers and shooting guns in the same place are not a good match. Shut it down, I'll go to the range.
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#3057348 - 03/21/17 01:09 PM Re: non range target shooting in Az. [Re: MotoHunter]
Fursniper Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 09/14/09
Posts: 1967
Loc: AZ
Originally Posted By: MotoHunter
I wish they would outlaw it here in Newer Mexico, same thing, horrible trash and safety issues here. Some people just can't let us have a good time. driving 4 wheelers and shooting guns in the same place are not a good match. Shut it down, I'll go to the range.

There is not enough shooting ranges to go to. That is the primary reason why people use public lands to target practice. The BLM and USFS want to ban shooting on public lands to control a dumping problem. There are existing laws to prevent dumping that just need to be better enforced. The Sonoran Desert National Monument is currently trying to ban target shooting between Gila Bend and Tucson. The Ironwood Forest National Monument located northwest of Tucson tried to do the same thing a few years ago, but a large turnout of sportsmen opposed it so it was not done.

There are a several reasons why there is a shortage of shooing ranges in AZ. Here are a few.

1) Existing shooing ranges have been closed due to urban sprawl and urban sprawl decreases the locations where shooting ranges can be built.

2) Cities and counties will not set aside their land for a community shooing range and they do not see golf courses as wasted spaces for shooting ranges.

3) There are isolated sections of public land identified as "disposable properties" by the BLM and USFS that could be used to build shooting ranges. Developing a shooting range on public land requires a non-profit organization to receive grant money, coordinate the construction, and operate the shooting range. Most non-profit organizations do not have the means to do that.

The chances of getting more shooting ranges built is not something to depend on. We need to police ourselves to continue having places to shoot on public lands. Here is a link of a good example. Its about an organization conducting a youth predator hunt and cleaning up a shooting area on BLM land where dumping occurred.

http://www.predatormastersforums.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2020559

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Introducing a new person to hunting and watching them be successful is more rewarding than being successful yourself.

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#3057365 - 03/21/17 01:46 PM Re: non range target shooting in Az. [Re: sarman]
Tbone-AZ Offline
PM senior

Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 6884
Loc: AZ, Phoenix
I just hate dealing with the power grabbers and the dangerous at the range.

I prefer the desert, and there are tons of places to go to, that are safe for shooting. I used to go to the range (Ben Avery) and every single time the officers would stand there and then comment on my girls (apparently kids scare these old timers)

More thank once they would jump on their case about leaving their finger on the trigger of a semi auto while shooting during a live fire session. (they wanted them to remove their finger from the trigger between shots) The other times it was because i was more than one arms length from the girls while they were shooting (ages 9,11) I was usually clearing a jam on one gun on one side of the shooting table and the other girl was shooting on the other side of the table. She was doing as she was supposed to, and not breaking any other rules.

I got tired of it, and now prefer to go to the desert, which is closer, and less of a headache.
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#3057660 - 03/22/17 10:04 AM Re: non range target shooting in Az. [Re: sarman]
azmastablasta Offline
PM Junkie

Registered: 12/13/07
Posts: 14187
Loc: Arizona
Our beautiful desert is indeed suffering because of slobs and equally as bad, illegal aliens. Many areas, even remote areas, are absolutely covered with plastic milk jugs, black garbage bags, discarded clothing etc. It is easy to spot smuggling trails by the refuse left behind. Many areas on the outskirts of communities are layered with old tvs, computers, water heaters and literally mounds of spent brass.it is fairly common to find old rusty discarded auto bodies used as targets. I suppose most slobs don't consider the fact that it will take well over a century for most of these items to return to nature even if nothing more were added. Glass alone will likely still remain long after humans are extinct. It's not uncommon to find piles of shattered bottles and rusted out tin cans throughout some of our desert parks well within city limits left for us by previous generations before they became state parks. I don't know how to ever resolve the issue at this point. The damage is done. We build shooting frames with 1/2 inch pvc and coupled with cardboard they make good targets. Yes they sometimes get shot but pvc is cheap and easily transportable. Carry a few spare lengths for simple on the spot repairs. Take it out if you brought it there. Wish more people were concerned about the legacy we're leaving for future generations.
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#3057992 - 03/23/17 10:51 AM Re: non range target shooting in Az. [Re: sarman]
Tbone-AZ Offline
PM senior

Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 6884
Loc: AZ, Phoenix
right..

I saw this just last weekend.

My friends and I all bring 2x4 saw horses and hang metal plates off them. We can also staple a paper target to it, if we want.

But, we also have a large fabric tarp we lay down, it keeps the dust out of the guns, and makes policing up the brass a breeze. (we all reload) Then you just grab the tarp lift the edges and slide it all into a 5 gallon bucket. Simple fast and for what you save in brass, the tarp pays for it's self.

I don't know why people feel the need to bring that other stuff to the desert, shoot it, and then leave it. I would bet that most of them live in a mess at home too.
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Have fun being an [beeep].. I hope it's all you hoped for.

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#3058662 - 03/25/17 04:40 PM Re: non range target shooting in Az. [Re: sarman]
vahunter Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/20/07
Posts: 2196
Loc: Virginia
I would guess most of the junk shot such as TV's, and computers are done by the tacti-cool crowd.
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