Pennsylvania State Game Commission Rifle Range Rules

by Patti Richards Google
Pennsylvania rifle range rules increase shooter safety.

Pennsylvania rifle range rules increase shooter safety.

Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Pennsylvania has many rifle ranges where shooters practice their marksmanship skills. This is true for both hunting practice and for sport. Each Pennsylvania rifle range must meet safety standards put in place by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Public rifle ranges are open year-round, Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. until sunset, unless otherwise posted.


Pennsylvania public rifle ranges may be used by anyone age 16 or over. Anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Public rifle ranges may be reserved by groups at least 20 days in advance of the event. When a group reserves a range, others may not use the site. Individuals and groups using a rifle range are responsible for keeping the area clean from trash and debris. A regional director or designee may close a range by posting a sign.


Appropriate safety gear must be worn at all times when using a Pennsylvania rifle range. This gear includes suitable eyewear and ear protection. A person using the rifle range cannot have a loaded gun anywhere on the range except at a designated shooting station on the firing line. A person using the rifle range cannot discharge a rifle at any place except at a shooting station. A range officer must be present on the rifle range if there is more than one shooter present. No alcohol or controlled substances are allowed on rifle ranges.


Persons using public rifling ranges in Pennsylvania may not discharge any armor-piercing weapons. They may not use any projectile or explosive weapon, incendiary device or tracer on the rifle range. Automatic weapons are not allowed, and no shooter may discharge, load or possess a firearm that contains more than three rounds of projectile ammunition. If you have questions about whether or not a firearm is appropriate for the range, check with the range officer before loading or discharging your gun.


When on the rifle range, shooters should use proper etiquette to make the experience pleasant and productive for all users. Before deer and bear hunting seasons the ranges are crowded, so it's important to be considerate of other guests and move through the course in a timely manner. Shooters should also be aware that a marksman may be teaching younger hunters to shoot or going through gun safety procedures. Shooters are also asked to keep all shooting benches clean and throw away all trash. In addition, they are asked to refrain from shooting up the target framework used to hold the backstop, in order to keep the targets in good shape for everyone.

About the Author

Patti Richards has been a writer since 1990. She writes children’s books and articles on parenting, women's health and education. Her credits include San Diego Family Magazine, Metro Parent Magazine, Boys' Quest Magazine and many others. Richards has a Bachelor of Science in English/secondary education from Welch College.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images