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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So... I called the Douglas County Sheriff's Office to ask if it is legal to shoot on my own property in Douglas County...

They tell me to go to georgiacarry.org

(Last I checked we don't have THAT kind of info there)

So...

Anybody else know where I can check since the deputy was so helpful?
 

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Weapons Law Booklet
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Go to municode.com and read the ordinances yourself.
Look for local laws on shooting, hunting, noise control, nuisance, and land use /zoning.

As far as state law is concerned you're good so long as you are at least 50 yards from a public street or road, unless your firing line is hidden from view of the street in which case you could be closer.
 

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Have you thought about checking the county's code of ordinances?

https://www2.municode.com/library/ga/douglas_county

Edit to add:
Using the search term 'firearm' returns the following:
Sec. 210 - Uses allowed in each zoning district.
(d) Prohibited uses.
(4) No person shall discharge a firearm within five hundred feet (500′) of a residential structure, except for personal protection and the protection of property.
 

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Municode is where I go. The county clerk has to provide you access to the county ordinances if you show up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As far as state law is concerned you're good so long as you are at least 50 yards from a public street or road, unless your firing line is hidden from view of the street in which case you could be closer.
I got this part covered easily the bold below is what I wanted to clarify.

Sec. 210 - Uses allowed in each zoning district.
(d) Prohibited uses.
(4) No person shall discharge a firearm within five hundred feet (500′) of a residential structure, except for personal protection and the protection of property.
Does this include my residence? Or does it refer to a neighboring residence? That is where it gets a little dicey. I'm definitely over 500 feet from another residence. But I can't get 500 feet away from my own house AND a neighboring residence.

I know some places have an arbitrary distance from another person's home, but they don't count your home. I just want to be sure.
 

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I don't know the answer, but is the S.O. willing to accept the answer you get from georgiacarry.org if they get a complaint call?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't know the answer, but is the S.O. willing to accept the answer you get from georgiacarry.org if they get a complaint call?
EXACTLY! I emailed them to see if I can get clarification from the Sheriff's Office. Harder to give me crap if I have a letter from them stating I am good to go.
 

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Check with the code enforcement office and/or the county attorney (who is different than the district attorney). They're the one's that are going to enforce the county ordinances. I'd be willing to bet it wouldn't be an issue unless a neighbor complains. That's not to say a Sheriff's Deputy isn't going to check out a "shots fired" call, but it'll probably be code enforcement and/or the county attorney to press any charges. And it's been my experience that code enforcement will ask for compliance before pressing charges.

That said, if it were me, I wouldn't do it. "A residential structure", in my mind means my house too. The county I live in has an similar ordinance, but they use the term structure. And there's no definition of what a "structure" is. Perhaps a pole barn, chicken coop, or even a dog house could be a "structure".
 

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Does this include my residence? Or does it refer to a neighboring residence? That is where it gets a little dicey. I'm definitely over 500 feet from another residence. But I can't get 500 feet away from my own house AND a neighboring residence.
I think it's pretty clear that it does include YOUR home. The code states, "within five hundred feet (500′) of a residential structure." It doesn't say "within 500 feet of someone else's residential structure"

Of course, this doesn't mean that you will be prosecuted and I can pretty much guarantee you won't get an answer one way or another *even* if you were able to talk to the DA. On a Monday, you might be charged because an ADA had a bad weekend, but if it happened on Friday, you may not be charged because the same ADA is looking forward to the weekend...

And I think it's been stated a couple of times, but getting an interpretation of the law from law enforcement is not a great idea (as ludicrous as that might seem).
 

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My wife works in building,permits and zoning. The law includes your house. That being said. If your neighbor calls about gunfire the police will likely respond. The probably don't know zoning law. Second, if code enforcement is called out. You get 1 warning you are violating county or city ordinance. If you continue you get a ticket. Now if the code enforcement officer is reasonable he may look the other way since it's your house but that's a long shot.
 

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I would not even worry about your own home.

I might also invite the neighbors over to shoot the first time. It might go a long way to avoiding any problems. Fire up the grill, throw on some hamburgers and hot dogs, and let them try out some of your toys. Have extra eyes and ears.
 

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It does include your home. MP, why would you choose to ignore this law? And put it out on the internet that you encourage breaking it also?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My wife works in building,permits and zoning. The law includes your house. That being said. If your neighbor calls about gunfire the police will likely respond. The probably don't know zoning law. Second, if code enforcement is called out. You get 1 warning you are violating county or city ordinance. If you continue you get a ticket. Now if the code enforcement officer is reasonable he may look the other way since it's your house but that's a long shot.
Thanks! Best info yet!
 

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It includes your own home the way it's written, but if your neighbors don't call, and you don't call, I don't see how that would be an issue. I think it's one of those laws designed to pile on penalties if somebody does something stupid that get's someone hurt.
 

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If someone in this county received a ticket for shooting too close to their house, we would have a new sheriff the next election. The city has a range that is within 500 feet of 3 or 4 houses and no one thinks anything about it. It all depends on your county and the people running it.
 
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Cobb County's ordinance is much more reasonable:

Sec. 86-5. - Weapons discharge.

(a)
It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge a firearm, air rifle, pellet gun, slingshot, crossbow or other similar device into or over property belonging to another person or entity without first obtaining written permission from that person or entity.
(b)
In addition to the penalty provided for in section 86-1, if the person charged with violating this ordinance is a minor, it will be within the discretion of the officer issuing the citation to issue a warning. If this is done, a duplicate of the warning will be sent to the minor's parents or legal guardian by certified mail.
(c)
The provisions of this section shall not apply to:
(1)
Persons who discharge one of these devices in defense of person or property;
(2)
Law enforcement officers in the performance of official duties;
(3)
Military forces of this state or the United States in the performance of official duties.
(Ord. of 6-27-00)
 

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Cobb County's ordinance is much more reasonable:

Sec. 86-5. - Weapons discharge.

(a)
It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge a firearm, air rifle, pellet gun, slingshot, crossbow or other similar device into or over property belonging to another person or entity without first obtaining written permission from that person or entity.
(b)
In addition to the penalty provided for in section 86-1, if the person charged with violating this ordinance is a minor, it will be within the discretion of the officer issuing the citation to issue a warning. If this is done, a duplicate of the warning will be sent to the minor's parents or legal guardian by certified mail.
(c)
The provisions of this section shall not apply to:
(1)
Persons who discharge one of these devices in defense of person or property;
(2)
Law enforcement officers in the performance of official duties;
(3)
Military forces of this state or the United States in the performance of official duties.
(Ord. of 6-27-00)
BUT...you still have to 50 yard requirement from state law.

OCGA 16-11-103 (b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, it shall be unlawful for any person, without legal justification, to discharge a firearm on or within 50 yards of a public highway.
 

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I got this part covered easily the bold below is what I wanted to clarify.

Does this include my residence? Or does it refer to a neighboring residence? That is where it gets a little dicey. I'm definitely over 500 feet from another residence. But I can't get 500 feet away from my own house AND a neighboring residence.

I know some places have an arbitrary distance from another person's home, but they don't count your home. I just want to be sure.
The 500 feet is not including your property. It says this "No person shall discharge a firearm within five hundred feet (500′) of a residential structure, except for personal" but I did further re-search and this rule is within the city limit of Douglasville. If you are in the county I have found different rule. As you can see there are two sections about this inside the city limit in Douglass the 500 feet rule and nothing specifically about the county rule. And if you are in the county of Douglasville, stale law apply of the 50 yards. I'm researching this as I want to buy a property in the county of Douglasville.
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First, you need to get your city and county straight.
I did. City is different from county and different rules. But I called the sheriff and asked him about this and told me that as long as I'm on my property and 50 yards from the road they can't do nothing about it as they have to follow state law. Also said that as long as my bullets stays on my property and doing it safly I shouldn't have any problems.
 
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