King County Firearm Discharge

Growing up in Indiana on 6.5 acres, it was pretty easy to find a place to shoot some guns if you wanted to. It’s a bit harder when you’re living on 1/6th of an acre in the middle of a bunch of wineries. Now we do have a gun range that we like, but is it legal for me to walk out back and fire my gun into the ground? Obviously I’d never do that, but it’s just a hypothetical situation and firing into the ground indicates that the shot isn’t leaving my property.

It took a while to chase down the info, but it’s all available online. The short answer, unsurprisingly, is no. King County defines no shooting areas and there’s a nice map that shows them. Looking at the map, the no shooting area ends less than a block from my house, but of course I can’t just walk over there and shoot.

Title 12 of the King County Code discusses the no shooting areas in section 12.68.030.

In all areas of King County not designated by ordinance as “no shooting” areas, except when a person is on his own property or has written permission from the owner, and the discharge of such weapons and the trajectory of any projectile is restricted to said property, it is unlawful to discharge a firearm within five hundred feet of any building capable of being occupied by people or domestic animals or used for storage of flammable or combustible materials or trails used for hiking, biking, or horseback riding, and designated as such in the county comprehensive plan; provided, that the above-referenced distance shall not be less than two hundred fifty feet when the firearm being discharged is a shotgun.

So basically you can shoot outside of the no shooting areas if you’re more than 500 feet from any building. I’m still not sure I’m 100% clear though. Clearly you can’t be trespassing on someone’s property to do this. There’s a lot of federal forest land around here. Is it legal to shoot there? If you know, feel free to comment. And don’t worry, this is 100% just a curiosity thing. I’m not planning to go Rambo around my neighborhood. I’m quite happing shooting trap at Kenmore Gun Range.