Target Shooting

Regulations: As a recreation shooter using the Federal Lands, it is your responsibility to conduct your sport 
safely. You must be aware of and comply with all state, county, and federal laws pertaining to the 
possession and transportation of firearms and to do it without damage to other forest users and to 
the natural environment.
The following is PROHIBITED under Federal regulations:

  •  Discharging a firearm or any other implement capable of taking human life, causing injury or damaging property 36CFR261.10(d);
  1.  In or within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site or other occupied area; or
  2. Across or on any Forest System road, or a body of water adjacent thereto, or in any manner or place whereby any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result in such discharge ;
  3. Into or within any cave.
  • Shooting in an area that has been closed to the use of firearms.
  • Damaging any natural feature or property of the United States. 36CFR261.9(a) (includes trees).
  • Firing any tracer bullet or incendiary ammunition. 36CFR261.5(b).
  • Failing to dispose of all garbage (this includes spent cartridges and targets). 36CFR261.11(d).
  • Using explosives, fireworks, or operating an engine without an appropriate spark arrestor. Exploding targets (binary explosives) falls under this prohibition. 36CFR261.52(b) Regional Order 15‐01.

Definition: The California Penal Code 12001 defines firearms as "rifles, shotguns, revolvers, pistols or any other device
designed to be used as a weapon from which a projectile is expelled by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion."

Where Can I Use My Firearm?
Visitors are free to scout the public lands under our jurisdiction to find suitable sites for plinking. It is your responsibility to be aware of the location of private property within forest boundaries and to not trespass. Permission from the private landowner must be obtained to cross private lands to access public lands. Refer to the
Tahoe National Forest recreation map to determine surrounding trails, roads, and campgrounds prior to shooting. Maps can be obtained at Forest Service offices and online at USGS.

Things To Know

  • Current Road Information. From late fall to spring most dirt roads are closed to vehicle travel. Obtain a motor vehicle use map from a local office.
  • Safe Shooting Area: A good shooting area has legal access, an effective backstop that absorbs bullets without producing ricochets, an unobstructed view so that no one can wander into the line of fire without being seen, and no nearby buildings, especially campgrounds and camping areas.
  • Targets: You must provide your own targets, preferably paper targets only. It is illegal to deface or destroy trees, signs, outbuildings, or other objects on federal lands.
  • Clean up after yourself (and others if you can). Pack home and remove ALL target materials, shells, clay pigeons, and boxes.

Be Legal
All shooters are expected to follow the principles of firearms safety, and to obey California State laws on
the use of firearms. California Firearms Laws Summary can be found on the web at:

Target Shooting Areas

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities