Firearms safety is of utmost importance to the Johnson County Sheriff's Office. We want our citizens to exercise their rights but do so in a safe manner. To protect not only your well being and your property, but your civil liability as well, we would like to provide you with some tips.
Discharge of a Firearm
It is not illegal to discharge a firearm in the unincorporated areas of Johnson County. However, by discharging a firearm, the shooter can be held liable in civil and/or criminal court. The person shooting the firearm and the homeowner or renter can be held responsible for any action on the property that causes damage to other property or bodily harm.
Cardinal Rules of Firearms Safety
1. Treat all guns as if they are loaded
2. NEVER point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to shoot or destroy
3. Keep your finger out of the trigger guard and off the trigger until your sights are on the target and you are willing to fire
4. Be sure of your target, backstop and beyond
Following the four cardinal rules of firearms safety will ensure the safety of all. With these rules in mind, you need to know what is beyond your shooting location within no less than a mile. Ask yourself - if a projectile were to get past your backstop, where would your round end up? You are responsible for your rounds staying inside the confines of your range area.
The location of your range will be one of the most important decisions. A firearm must be fired in a safe direction with a suitable backstop. A projectile not impacting the backstop could travel miles before coming to a stop. A projectile that ricochets could go in any direction, even leaving the area of the range. Noise should also be a consideration when it comes to keeping peace with neighbors.
You should erect effective barriers at all key points on the range to stop all ammunition in a safe manner. The most common method for outdoor shooting ranges is an earthen berm (a big pile of dirt). Placed behind the target area, the dirt acts as a solid backstop to capture rounds that go through or past the target. Side berms perpendicular to the backstop or external to the shooting lanes help manage "wild" release and ricochet rounds.
For more information regarding applying for a Concealed Carry License, please visit the Kansas Attorney General's Office and for recommendations regarding berm construction, contact the National Rifle Association.