Safe Shooting

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Where to shoot safely in the Northern Front Range:

Participants who are new to sport shooting are encouraged to begin at a shooting range which has oversight by a Range Safety Officer. Beginning in a verified range helps new sport shooters learn safety protocol in a more controlled setting before deciding to engage in dispersed shooting. A list of shooting ranges in Colorado is available from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and can be viewed in the map below.

Definition of a Shooting Range

Shooting range or firing range: A specialized facility designed for firearms practice. Each facility is typically overseen by one or more supervisory personnel, called variously a range master or “RSO – Range Safety Officer.”

 

Private property is intricately intermingled with public lands. When planning to go dispersed shooting, it is imperative to have a good map which shows the boundaries of the many different lands. Typically, National Forest Service lands are the legal option for target shooting. Shooting is typically not allowed on county-owned land and permission must be acquired to shoot on private land. One map to check online or purchase in a sports store, is the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests’ visitor map. This will show all national forest lands in green. It is important to check if shooting is legal in any given spot when choosing a place to shoot.

Definition of Dispersed Shooting

Dispersed Shooting: Random and dispersed shooting that occurs throughout public lands, except in firearms closure areas.

You should also be aware that though target shooting is allowed on most National Forest System lands, there are some regulations, restrictions, closures, and safety steps you should know before you shoot. For specific sport shooting regulations, restrictions and closure information on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, please visit www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/targetshooting. General sport shooting safety information can be found in the Partnership brochure below.

There are also a few places within the Partnership boundaries that currently DO NOT allow shooting sports to occur. Those are:

National Forest System Land Closures in Boulder County

  • Brainard Lake Recreational Area
  • Former Allenspark Dump
  • South Nederland Closure
  • Flood Related Shooting Closure – James Canyon, Lefthand Canyon,
  • Mount Alto, and Sugarloaf Mountain
  • Lefthand Slot Canyon Closure 
  • Lefthand Entrance Closure

National Forest System Land Closures in Clear Creek County

  • Barbour Forks Trailhead Area
  • Beaver Brook Trailhead Area

National Forest System Land Closures in Larimer County

  • Buckhorn Road
  • Stove Prairie Road
  • Big Elk Meadows Road
  • Christy Meadows
  • Greyrock Trail

For updates and maps that detail the specific boundaries of the closure areas, visit the www.fs.usda.gov/detail/arp/recreation/?cid=STELPRD3836311.

Currently, there are no “designated shooting areas” within the four Partner counties. That is precisely what Sport Shooting Partners is trying to establish. If all goes as planned, within the next few years there will be multiple designated areas that shooting can be done in a safe, sustainable manner.

Definition of a Designated Shooting Area

Designated shooting area: An area or a facility designated for firearms practice that is not typically overseen by supervisory personnel.

There are, however, designated shooting areas and shooting ranges in neighboring counties. You can find a list of shooting ranges through Colorado Parks and Wildlife and also find information about Baker Draw Shooting Area. Colorado Parks and Wildlife has also compiled some helpful information about Shooting Sports in Colorado.

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