Recreational Shooting

Know before you shoot.

Target and recreational shooting in Snohomish County is regulated by a variety of local, county, state and federal laws.  Most incorporated cities and municipalities have their own laws regarding the discharge of firearms within city limits. Please check with the city code and/or appropriate law enforcement agency before discharging firearms in city limits.

Snohomish County Code (Chapter 10.12) outlines "no shooting areas" on unincorporated, non-Federal lands.  A map of "no shooting areas" in the county is available for download.

State lands under the management of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources are open to recreational shooting. The regulations that set the criteria for the legal discharge of firearms on DNR lands area governed by the Washington State Administrative Code under WAC 332-52-145. A complete list of all state firearms laws are found under RCW 9.41.

Recreational shooting is an acceptable activity within the Mount Baker Snoqualmie Nation Forest, but it is not allowed in areas designated as Wilderness Areas. The regulations that set the criteria for the legal discharge of firearms on US Forest Service managed lands are governed by the United States Code of Federal Regulations under Title 36.261.10

Recreational Shooting IS NOT permitted on privately-owned property owned by persons other than yourself unless you have permission by that property owner to be on their property, including the privately-owned timberland owned and managed by many private timber companies located adjacent to the national forest and the state owned and managed lands within Snohomish County. View the Snohomish County Online Property Index to find out who owns the property intended for shooting activity.

It is the responsibility of the person(s) wishing to engage in recreational shooting activity to determine who owns the property. Failure to do so may result in arrest for criminal trespass per RCW 9A.52. The fact that someone other than the legal property owner indicates that shooting can take place in a particular location because they or others have done so in the past, IS NOT an affirmative defense of the charge of criminal trespass. Owner’s permission is required and written proof is advisable if they are not present.

The presence of spent ammunition casings and other shooting-related debris at a location does not necessarily mean shooting is legal in that area. Failure to remove spent casings, targets, empty ammo boxes, etc. constitutes littering under RCW 70.93.060. This includes the fines and a one hundred dollar per cubic foot restitution fee for the clean-up. Only broken clay pigeon debris may remain behind at a shooting location.

Items of trash such as bottles, cans, plastic containers, home appliances, etc., as well as trees and other vegetation are NOT acceptable targets or back-stops for shooting. Damage to trees or other vegetation may result in arrest under RCW 9A.48.

Shooting activity must take place in a location with an ACCEPTABLE BACK-STOP free of timber, rocks, and other obstructions capable of stopping fired rounds. Exposing persons or property to danger as a result of shooting activity can result in arrest for assault or reckless endangerment under RCW 9A.36.

Thumbnail of the shooting map for illustration only, not reference.