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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I live out in the backwoods, and gunfire is common and provided it isn't late at night or early in the morning no one really cares much.

I am aware of the 500 ft rule though and had a question.

My neighbors house is about 250 ft from mine (rough estimate) and his property completely surrounds mine and I only have one acre with the yard, my barn and my garden on it. Every month or so they fire off some rounds by the house towards his woods, no big deal, it doesn't bother me at all.

My question is this, I keep a .22 loaded with shorts by my desk to pop squirrels or grouse or rabbits that might be helping themselves to my garden, shooting on the opposite side of my house and away from his house. If by some odd chance he heard me firing would I be in trouble if he called the cops, and additionally, could I complain about his shooting inside of 500 ft from my house?

Keep in mind I hate kicking hornets nests, I am an easy going guy and pretty likable. I just don't think my neighbor likes me that much. My other neighbor is awesome though, and could care less as long as I don't shoot at his cattle or his house.
 

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Well you could try going to your neighbor and asking if he would mind if you shot from within the 500 feet. If he says he doesnt then maybe you 2 should write up an agreement giving each other permission to shoot within that distance so their wont be any issues. If you do that then I would suggest you 2 talk about it and maybe put times in it when you can shoot so if you 2 get mad you are shooting at midnight to keep each other awake lol. As long as you have each others permission it doesnt matter how close you are.
 

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Without his permission you are not allowed to be shooting within 500' of his house.

The same goes for him.

Why not just go talk to him and ask for his permission, either he says yes and you are legal or he says no and can no longer shoot from his house.
 

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Signed permission slips from all three parties to all three parites would be a great way to go.
 

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Signed permission slips from all three parties to all three parites would be a great way to go.
YUP! a verbal agreement can be denied ever happening if your neighbor gets mad at you but signed permission slips can not. only thing is you want to be careful with wording. Maybe put a clause in there that if someone wants to revoke permission to shoot to another then they have to give written notice. Its not perfect and nothing is but at least with something written down your more protected from a neighbor trying to get you in trouble because they are mad.
 

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hello mr. doesnt matter...I realize that I am less than 500 feet from your home but would you mind if I shot vermin invading my garden...flowers..barn...ect.
 

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So the 500 foot rule, I think it mentions "Dwelling". is that the house? what about a barn or shed?
 

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Be a friendly neighbor and have a chat. Dont know if you need to put something in writing (I am no Lawyer so maybe you do). You may find that you are both interested in shooting and you may end up with a new shooting buddy. I extended an olive branch to my neighbor when I moved in and now we shoot together and he lets me hunt on his property whenever I want. None of the other neighbors are allowed as they never made an attempt to say hello and talk to him.
 

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I don't want to derail this thread from the op's question, but what constitutes a "firearm"? I've heard a few different things and have no idea what's the truth, and my google-fu has failed me. The definitions I've heard are "anything that launches a projectile including toys are technically firearms," "anything that launches a projective above a specific fps would count, so bows and bb guns and airsoft are", and lastly I've heard that it would only include modern guns eg metalic case, primer, powder, shot/bullet. Logically I think it is somewhere between the last 2 choices, but this is NY... can anyone clear this up.
 

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I don't want to derail this thread from the op's question, but what constitutes a "firearm"? I've heard a few different things and have no idea what's the truth, and my google-fu has failed me. The definitions I've heard are "anything that launches a projectile including toys are technically firearms," "anything that launches a projective above a specific fps would count, so bows and bb guns and airsoft are", and lastly I've heard that it would only include modern guns eg metalic case, primer, powder, shot/bullet. Logically I think it is somewhere between the last 2 choices, but this is NY... can anyone clear this up.
"...A firearm is a weapon that launches one or more projectile(s) at high velocity through confined burning of a propellant...." Wikipedia.

Toys are not firearms, FPS is not relevant.
 

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Firearm is defined differently depending on what laws your looking at. In penal law a firearm is pistols and revolvers and rifles with barrels less then 16 inches and shotguns with barrels less then 18 inches. In Environmental conservation Law (where the law in question above is found) firearms are all pistols, rifles, shotguns and revolvers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My neighbor called the cops on me the first month I lived here because my new puppy ran across his lawn. I think he hates me.

I am going to skip the olive branch and just keep shooting the quiet bullets I think.

In five years I have only needed to pop one grouse and one attempt at a chipmunk. All should be well.

Thanks for the suggestions though, as I said, my other neighbor is super cool and has offered to let me hunt on his property with him, we get along well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, what about a muzzle loader. I consider something a firearm if I have to have a NICs check to purchase it.

I did learn that in certain areas they outright ban and list in the local law things like sling shots, bows, bb guns and any projectile weapons.

But if penal law is dealing only with shooting, and DEC law is dealing with a hunting situation, it just creates one more of those wonderful NY grey areas.
 

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DEC law is all powerful law. DEC law has been pretty much interpreted to apply to everyone regardless of if you hunting or not. penal law only really deals with possession and not really use of firearms.

But yes a muzzle loader is a firearm under DEC law so it still applies.
 

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forgive me if i am wring. but i tought the 500 foot rule was written law? can a verbal or written agreement override written law? again just throwing itbout tere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It is written, but it is in regards to a dwelling that you don't have permission to fire next to.

Like if you hunt a piece of property and there is someone with a house near the line, unless you have permission from the dwelling owner to fire a gun near their house you have to stay 500 ft away.
 

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forgive me if i am wring. but i tought the 500 foot rule was written law? can a verbal or written agreement override written law? again just throwing itbout tere.
Owning or haveing permission from owner of the dwelling is a written exception to the 500 foot rule in the law.
 

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The short answer is, if you are within 500 feet without permission, it's illegal.

Here's another consideration:
If you're looking for quiet, you didn't list any critters that a decent air rifle wouldn't handle perfectly. Nice & quiet, and perfect for small pests.
Just a thought....
 

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i had a cop show to my bro's house we were shooting one house that was within 500f but he was cool with it so cop didnt care but said if i wanted to keep doing it to get it on paper and cops wouldnt even come after i showed them it.or droped it off at the office..he was cool also looked over target and so on and said we were doing all things right even with backdrops..lol he even said if he wasnt working he would have joined us..(note cop showed up do to someone calling from 800feet away and cop said oh well.but after we movedinto the woods hmm would say 300feet more away and she still re called same cop showed back up and said the girl was nuts but for each call had to show up with out it being on paper from anyone within 500feet or land you may want to use
 
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