RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Wake County approved updates to decades-old shooting rules for unincorporated areas on Wednesday.
Homeowners had recently raised concerns about bullets coming too close to their homes.
The board of commissioners approved several changes:
- You now have to be 300 yards away from a home, building or livestock before discharging a firearm. That's an increase from 100 yards.
- A backstop is now required to block bullets.
- And it is prohibited to discharge a firearm between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m
- Increasing the maximum fine for violation from $50 to the statutory limit of $500.
There is an exception for the distance requirement. Residents will be able to discharge a firearm within 300 yards of someone else's home if the person first gets written permission from the owner or current resident. The permission form can be downloaded from the county's website and must be signed and dated.
The permission is valid for one year, and anyone shooting must have the form with them.
"For the safety of all our residents in Wake County, we needed to make these improvements," said Sig Hutchinson, chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. "We are thankful for the thoughtful input from gun owners and others, including the Wake County Sheriff's Office whose deputies will enforce this ordinance. Our community has grown so much since this ordinance was last updated in 2001, and these changes better reflect that growth."
The ordinance only applies in unincorporated areas of Wake County, meaning outside of any city or town limits where firearms activity, like target practice, is allowed.
The areas inside the boundaries of Wake County's 12 municipalities prohibit shooting at any time of the day or night.
Hunting animals or birds would not be affected by changes to this county ordinance, as they are regulated by state and federal law.
The new rules go into effect Dec. 9.