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Firearms Safety

Safe storage of firearms is an important responsibility. Over the course of the year, police officers have responded to several firearms-related calls where bullets have struck and, at times, entered homes.

Many of these cases stem from individuals engaged in criminal activity using unsecured firearms stolen from either vehicles or residences. If you own firearms, their safe storage is one of your most important responsibilities. You must always secure your firearm and ammunition, so they are not accessible to children or other persons.

The information below can also be found in the following PDF documents:


Safe Storage

Safely storing firearms helps prevent firearms from being stolen and used illegally.

  • Keep firearms secured in approved gun lockers or safes. A lock box, trigger guard or a gun padlock may be used.
  • Firearms should be stored in a separate place from the ammunition. 
  • Do not leave firearms in vehicles, even those that are locked.


Cardinal Rules of Firearms Safety

  • Treat all firearms as if they are LOADED.
  • Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until your sights are on the target and you have made the conscious decision to shoot.
  • Know your target and what is beyond it.


Know the Law

Reckless Handling of Firearms (Virginia Code 18.2-56.1):

It shall be unlawful for any person to handle recklessly any firearm so as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Firearms Control Ordinance (Prince William County)

Sec. 31-23: One hundred- yard safety zone. It shall be unlawful to shoot or hunt within one hundred (100) yards of any regularly occupied structure without advance permission of the owner occupant.

Sec.31-24: Proscription against use of firearm - On or near public rights-of-way. Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, it shall be unlawful for any person willfully to discharge a firearm on or within one hundred (100) yards of any public right-of-way, or any public street or highway.

Sec.31-25: Same- On public inland waterways. It shall be unlawful for any person to shoot a rifle or pistol at wild birds or animals on or over public inland waterways within the county, or to carry a loaded rifle or pistol in any boat or other floating device on such waterways.

Sec.31.26: It shall be unlawful for any person willfully to discharge a firearm within any area designated in this article as prohibited area, subject to the exceptions provided.


This ordinance is subject to change. Amendments and additional areas will be added at the direction of the Board of County Supervisors.


What to do with Unwanted Firearms and Ammunition

If you have a firearm or ammunition you wish to discard, you may bring it to the Police Department at one of the district stations. You may also call the Police Non-Emergency number at 703-792-6500 to have an officer respond and pick up the firearm or ammunition.

  • Eastern District Station: 15948 Donald Curtis Drive, Woodbridge, VA 22191 
  • Western District Station: 8900 Freedom Center Blvd., Manassas, VA 20110


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