Arizona Recreational Shooting

Approximately 97 percent of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are open for recreational shooting. Recreational shooting on these lands is a longstanding and appropriate use, as long as it is conducted in compliance with applicable land use plans and in a responsible and safe manner.

Established Websites

Learn more about recreational shooting sites in the Phoenix area. The Phoenix District Office has completed three recreational shooting sites on public lands in the metro Phoenix area. We recommend using designated shooting areas as the best resource for reducing firearm shrapnel and litter and ensuring protection.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department provides a list of other designated locations and a map.

Important Information to be Aware of

Shooting is prohibited in certain areas due to concerns about resource conservation and high public use. All developed recreation sites and posted areas include specific locations where shooting is not allowed. Please refer to the provided list for the exact areas. As long as you clean up trash, shell casings, and targets, you are generally allowed to shoot on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), as well as other designated areas.

It is mandatory for you to adhere to all county ordinances and state laws regarding the legal and safe use of weapons and ammunition listed on the National BLM website. It is prohibited to shoot at illegal targets such as other objects or outbuildings, signs, or trees. Similarly, it is illegal to shoot at objects or outbuildings, signs, or trees on federal lands that are intended for the public’s use or enjoyment.

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Reach out to the overseeing BLM Office for the most precise details, and handle firearms safely to be aware of relevant regulations, as it is your duty.

Join us in the effort to sustain existing shooting opportunities in the southern landscapes of Arizona’s Sonoran region by participating in Campaign Access Respected Lightly’s tread. Take part in events to spread the word about appropriate recreational shooting habits to our shooting partners and friends.

Factors to think about when choosing a place:

  • You may not cross private lands to get to public lands unless you have permission to get to public lands from public lands. You must only get to public lands via public roads.
  • When utilizing a designated shooting area, it is advisable to consult with the local sheriff or land management agencies. Numerous public lands are situated in close proximity to private and state-owned lands. It is crucial to refrain from shooting on private lands without obtaining the owner’s consent. Additionally, shooting is not allowed in state parks or state trust land.
  • The ideal spot is situated behind a large cliff, hill, or mound. Shots can be fired across the open desert, spanning more than a mile. You are aware of what lies beyond the target.
  • It is prohibited to shoot guns within a 150-yard radius of houses, structures, camping sites, inhabited areas, recreational areas, or farm animals.
  • It is not allowed to shoot across a road, trail, or wash.
  • Shooting should only occur in areas far from other clusters of individuals and possessions.
  • It is not allowed to shoot from a vehicle.
  • When driving to your target shooting location, stay on designated routes. Cross-country travel is not permitted outside of OHV open area boundaries.
  • The use of incendiary devices and tracer ammunition, exploding targets, and fireworks is prohibited on public land managed by the Arizona Bureau of Land Management. This restriction is outlined in the AZ910-2015-0001 Fire Prevention Order.
  • Use the proper ammunition for your gun, and wear the suitable eye and ear protective equipment.
  • Only shoot targets that can be retrieved and are not attached to anything.
  • The act of shooting glass objects, electronic waste, and items that may contain dangerous substances–like Freon, propane, etc.–Is not allowed.
  • Attaching targets to living plants or solid objects such as rocks and plants is prohibited. It is also illegal to deface or destroy trees, signs, outbuildings, or other objects on federal lands that are intended for public enjoyment (CFR 8365.1-5 (a) (1) & (2)).
  • Always collect and discard targets, spent shells, and any additional fragments or wreckage before departing.
  • Avoid behaving aggressively or menacingly towards other users of public land.
  • Avoid being intoxicated by alcohol or any type of medication, whether over-the-counter, prescription, or otherwise, while engaging in shooting activities.
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    Arizona areas closed to target shooting due to BLM regulations

    Several areas under the management of the Bureau of Land Management have prohibited target shooting due to concerns related to wildlife management, high risk of fire, problems with litter, and safety issues. The areas that are not accessible for target shooting are:

  • Within a quarter mile radius of all recreational areas and buildings that could potentially be occupied.
  • Agua Fria National Monument (Contact Hassayampa Field Office).
  • San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (Contact Tucson Field Office).
  • Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness, located within the river canyon (Contact Safford Field Office),
  • Safford Field Office can be contacted for information regarding the Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area.
  • Sections of Table Mesa Recreation Area (Contact Hassayampa Field Office).
  • Miller Road/White Tanks Region (Contact Hassayampa Field Office).
  • Ironwood Forest National Monument (Contact Tucson Field Office)
  • Sections of the Sonoran Desert National Monument (Reach out to the Lower Sonoran Field Office).
  • The BLM field office serves as a point of contact. You can purchase these maps from the various field offices, including the Arizona State Office. While the maps do not display specific shooting sites, they can provide guidance for those seeking appropriate public lands for shooting targets. The available maps display other topographic information, such as water features, roads, and both private and public land ownership. The BLM has color-coded surface management maps available at a 1:100,000 scale.

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