Can I shoot in My Backyard in Florida?

Is shooting on my private property in Florida legal?

I have been a firearms instructor for over 10 years. Over that time, I have seen changes to many of our gun laws. With guns, it is essential to remember that it is our responsibility to understand the law.


Students and friends routinely ask me, “can target shoot on private property here in Florida?”

The relevant Florida statute is 790.15

Residents, homeowners, and lawful gun owners can not shoot firearms on the private property of homes in residential neighborhoods where the land is less than one acre.

However, with gated communities or ‘zero lot land,' things are different. You cannot shoot in your backyard unless:

  1. the land is 1.25 acres
  2. have one home (or more)
  3. and your surrounding neighbors have one acre or more

Of course, even though it is legal to do so, you need to think about:

  1. Shoot safely
  2. Shoot responsibly
  3. Ensure your ammunition will not injure or kill someone on neighboring property

In almost every circumstance, you will want to shoot into a backstop that will catch the bullets.

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Building a backstop in your backyard:

There are many ways to build an acceptable backstop to shoot into. Search, and you will find specs and diagrams to suit your needs.

Although you can use many materials, sand and dirt are the cheapest and most accessible material to use in a backstop. Remember that bullets that hit rocks or hard objects can ricochet in unexpected directions. Naturally, this can be a significant safety concern for you and your neighbors. So make sure whatever material you use does not contain material that can cause ricochets.

Unfortunately, I live in a gated community with homes stacked on top of each other like sardines. Alas, my dream of sitting in my lawn chair while shooting bottles in my backyard will not happen. But your situation may be different.

Here is Flordia Statute 790.15

Discharging firearm in public or on residential property

(4) Any person who recreationally discharges a firearm outdoors, including target shooting, in an area that the person knows or reasonably should know is primarily residential, and that has a residential density of one or more dwelling units per acre, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

This subsection does not apply:

(a) To a person lawfully defending life or property or performing official duties requiring the discharge of a firearm;
(b) If, under the circumstances, the discharge does not pose a reasonably foreseeable risk to life, safety, or property; or
(c) To a person who accidentally discharges a firearm.

It isn't just Florida gun law that changes. Gun laws in many states vary across the country every year. Some of these changes are substantial and can have huge ramifications if unknown.

I am working on answering the question about shooting on your property for each of the 50 states. If you want to know the law in Texas, check out this link.

We have an unbelievably helpful resource for any gun owner, especially those who travel. We haven app that is totally free and provides so much more than just up-to-date legal info for every state.

Check out the Concealed Carry Gun Tool App here.

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If you know someone new to guns or needs a refresher course on safety, I highly recommend checking out and sharing our Gun Safety Course. It presents gun safety from a self-defense perspective and is totally free!



About Jay Lacson

Jay Lacson is a NRA instructor living in central Florida. He served honorably 3 years in the US Navy and 6 years with the US Army, held the rank of Sergeant and served as a pistol instructor while assigned with the Army. Jay also served 2 years as a correctional officer and 9 years as a federal law enforcement officer. Jay has over 20 years of professional firearms experience and training.


  1. Jonnea on August 25, 2023 at 8:47 pm

    I water my plants along 271 feet of my stockade fence and then the renter neighbor on his 1.25 acre land shoots off his gun on his side of the fence startling me, In which I assume was on purpose, I guess he has the right to do so , what say you?

    • Matthew Maruster on August 26, 2023 at 12:08 am

      What makes you think he did it purposely to startle you? Have you had issues with him? Have you talked to him about it? Maybe you two could talk it out and figure out a simple way that he could let you know he will be out shooting? Maybe send you a text, put up a sign you could see or something simple like that. When I was a LEO I was dispatched to many calls that could have been handled of the neighbors just talked to one another. If you’ve tried that and failed, try talking to the land lord.

    • Michael on September 9, 2023 at 11:53 am

      Sounds like you’re doing a lot of assuming and guessing. Maybe try acting like a reasonable adult and have a conversation with the person. It’s not a crime to startle you, and one’s rights don’t change because they are a renter. What say you?

  2. Chaplin on September 1, 2023 at 1:50 pm

    Oh my God. All you need is at least 1.25 acres to live the dream of shooting in your backyard like Hickok45? In Mississippi and Alabama it’s 50 freaken acres. Looks like Florida is where I’m moving (not joking). Though I must admit, since I’m a very considerate neighbor I would feel bad blasting out my neighbors knowing they have to hear it. I would have to send out group texts whenever I’m going to shoot and most of the time shoot silenced .22lr. But there will be days I go AR15 / pistol / shotgun crazy.

    • Ur friend on September 20, 2023 at 11:46 pm

      U sound like my type of friend brother

      • Ur friend on September 20, 2023 at 11:48 pm


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