For Immediate Release
PR #:2000096
Date Issued:Jul 29, 2020 - 3:44pm

Sheriff's Office Reminds Residents About County Ordinances Governing Target Shooting in Congested Areas

CONTACT:Sarah Johns
911 Parr Blvd
Reno, NV. 89512
Office: 775-785-6235
Cell: 775-391-0407

Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam is reminding recreational shooters about shooting safety after this afternoon’s 12-acre Rowdy Fire north of Sun Valley.

The shooter today was not shooting illegally, as the person was not in a designated congested area, remained on-scene, and self-reported. No citation has been issued.

However, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office continues to respond to people target shooting in areas where recreational shooting is not allowed.

“Shooting within congested areas is a citable offense,” said Sheriff Darin Balaam. “We strongly urge outdoor enthusiasts to use our mobile app to determine whether they are located within congested areas and to please utilize common sense and caution because one small spark can lead to a fire in our community.”

Recreational shooters are asked to take precautions to avoid wildfires, including:

  • Bring water or a fire extinguisher
  • Choose locations with little vegetation, preferably dirt or gravel
  • Use soft targets, avoid steel core ammunition
  • Avoid shooting rocks, metal, pressurized containers, or exploding targets
  • Park your vehicle away from dry grass

The men and women of the Sheriff’s Office take residents' safety seriously and will issue citations to anyone found discharging a firearm within the prohibited areas.

Outdoor enthusiasts can access interactive maps indicating whether they are within a congested shooting area via the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Mobile App.

The WCSO App is available free for Smartphones, iPhones, and iPads through the appropriate app store. 

Restrictions on the Discharge of Firearms:

Refer to Washoe County Code, Chapter 50, Reno Municipal Code, Sparks Municipal Code:

  • It is unlawful to discharge any gun, pistol, rifle, shotgun or other firearm within any congested area of the county.
  • It is unlawful to discharge any gun, pistol, rifle, shotgun or other firearm in, on or across any county road or highway.
  • It is unlawful to discharge in the unincorporated area of the county, any gun, pistol, rifle or other firearm, with the exception of shotguns, air rifles or B-B guns, within 5,000 feet of any dwelling occupied by another person or persons.
  • It is unlawful to discharge in the unincorporated area of the county any shotgun, air rifle or B-B gun within 1,000 feet of any dwelling occupied by another person or persons.

Refer to NRS 503.175, NAC 407.105, and United States Code of Federal Regulations Title 36, Chapter II, Part 261,

  • It is unlawful to discharge a firearm from, upon, over or across any federal or state highway or any county road or highway.
  • It is unlawful to discharge a firearm within a Nevada State Park, unless otherwise designated by the Administrator.
  • Within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service, it is prohibited to discharge a firearm in or within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site or occupied area, or across or on a National Forest System road or a body of water adjacent thereto, or in a manner or place whereby any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result in such discharge, or into or within any cave.

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The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.

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