SHERIFF'S CORNER: Clarifying laws on shooting firearms



I have received several questions on what are the regulations for the shooting of firearms on private property. There is no state law that restricts the day, time or area an individual can target shoot. As it would be common courtesy to not shoot during late night hours or in the early morning, however, the law does not restrict it. The only law that addresses shooting, is specifically addressed to hunting.

The law states:

"No person may hunt with a firearm within 450 feet of an occupied building, dwelling, house, residence or cabin, or any barn or other building used in connection with a farm operation, without obtaining the written permission of the owner, renter or occupant of the property."

This safety zone only applies to hunting. It does not apply to target or practice shooting on your private property, other property that you have the owner's permission to shoot on, or a shooting range.

A local unit of government (village, city or township) can adopt ordinances that restrict the unlawful discharge of firearms. This may include target shooting within the limits of the municipality. There are some arguments that this may be limited to a city or charter township.

A related topic is the transporting of pistols on an ORV, motorcycle or snowmobile. Even though your pistol may be visually exposed, unlike that of carrying it in a car or other motor vehicle, you must have a concealed pistol license to do so. Under the law, an ORV, motorcycle or snowmobile is considered a motor vehicle, meaning it is considered concealed when a pistol is being transported.

This information is provided to you for clarification on specific laws, and not legal advice. This is not to be construed as a personal opinion, agreement or disagreement of any specific law.

If you have any questions on any specific topic, you can always email me your questions to

As always, it is a honor serving and working for all of you who live, visit and work in Lake County. Working together, we can make a difference.