Firearms and Bow Hunting Restrictions

When conducted safely, and within certain restrictions, hunting and legitimate target practice with certain firearms and bows is lawful within Prince William County. Violations of any provision of this article is a Class 3 misdemeanor (County Code section 31-40).
 
To report violations contact the Police non-emergency number 24-hours-a-day at 703-792-6500. For questions about this ordinance contact the Police liaison member to the Weapons Control Committee -- the Police Department's Eastern District Commander -- during normal business hours at 703-792-6764.
 
Note: Hunting on Quantico Marine Corps Base is not regulated by Prince William County. Contact the Base Game Warden's Office for further information.
 
The following quick reference outlines the restrictions that apply to hunting and the discharge of firearms and bows within the County. Consult the Prince William County Code sections that relate to these restrictions.
 
Firearms Regulations
 
  • Hunting or shooting firearms on or within one hundred (100) yards of a public right-of-way street or highway is prohibited (County Code section 31-24).
  • Hunting or shooting within one hundred (100) yards of a regularly occupied dwelling without the advance permission of the owner/occupant is prohibited (County Code section 31-23).
  • It is unlawful to hunt with any rifle larger than .22 caliber. However hunting with a muzzle loader is permissible during the prescribed open seasons but a separate muzzle-loading license is required. (County Code section 31-22).
  • The terms 'firearms/guns' includes BB and pellet guns (County Code section 31-21).
  • Shooting at wild birds or animals with a rifle or pistol on or over public inland waterways is prohibited (County Code section 31-25).
  • The carrying of a loaded rifle or pistol in a boat or other floating device on public inland waterways is prohibited (County Code section 31-25).

Bow Regulations
 
  • The shooting of a compound bow at or upon the property of another without the advance permission of the owner/occupant is prohibited (County Code section 31-41[a]).
  • Hunting game or fowl with a crossbow is permissible (County Code section 31-41[b]). All State game hunting rules must be observed.


Restricted Areas

The discharge of firearms within certain designated areas is restricted. In these areas the discharge of firearms is only permitted under the conditions outlined in County Code sections 31-26 and 31-27. County Code section 31-28 describes these restricted areas.

The Weapons Control Ordinances can be found in the Prince William County Code. These ordinances are subject to change. The material included on this Web page has been summarized and it is highly recommended that the full ordinance text be consulted.
 
Other shooting and hunting-related laws and ordinances exist in addition to those listed on this page. Amendments and additional areas will be added at the direction of the Board of County Supervisors.
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