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Target Shooting on Public Land

Help Protect Your Public Lands by Shooting Safely and Responsibly

Target shooting can be a safe and fun activity when you do your part to think of others and protect natural resources. Responsible use of firearms is permissible on most public lands within the Salt Lake Field Office. However, there are several areas where target shooting closures have been implemented to ensure public safety and prevent resource damage. Read below to learn more about how you can shoot safely and responsibly on public lands while helping protect yourself and the environment.

Caution: Use of steel core and steel-jacket ammunition is prohibited from June 20-September 30 by Fire Prevention Order #UTW002-15-01.  Tracer and incendiary ammunition, exploding targets and fireworks are are also prohibited on BLM administered public lands in Utah in accordance with this order and the statewide BLM Fire Prevention Order.

Fire and Target Shooting: A New Federal Study Has Demonstrated Fire Ignitions Caused By Rifle Bullets. Learn more here.


Target Shooting Closure Areas
Fivemile Pass Off-Highway Vehicle Shooting Closure
Knolls Off-Highway Vehicle Shooting Closure
North Oquirrh Management Area Shooting Closure
Lake Mountains Closure Area Detail
Lake Mountains Closure Area Map
Lake Mountains Closure Federal Register
Safe Shooting Handout


Guidelines for Target Shooting on Public Land 

  • Safety First: Always maintain a safe line of fire. Shoot towards a high, dirt backstop. Never shoot towards other people, vehicles, structures, roads, trails, or livestock. Respect private property and posted signs.
  • Fire: Target shooting can cause fires under hot and dry conditions (Learn more). Check current fire conditions with BLM. Don’t shoot near rocks or dry vegetation and avoid shooting metal targets when hazardous fire conditions exist. Be prepared; keep a shovel, fire extinguisher and extra water on hand. Persons responsible for starting a fire may be held liable for damages and suppression costs.
  • Ammunition: Use of tracers or incendiary ammunition is NOT permitted on BLM public lands in Utah to prevent fires and maintain public safety. Use of steel-core or steel-jacketed ammo is now prohibited from June 20th to September 30 each year to avoid causing fires in hazardous conditions. Surplus or foreign-made military caliber ammo may contain bullets with steel cores or steel-alloy jackets that can cause ignitions from hot fragments. Solid lead or copper-jacketed, lead-core bullets have much less chance of igniting fires. Use a magnet to check bullets for steel components. (Learn more).
  • Targets: Use paper, cardboard, or clay targets only.  Use of exploding targets, explosive devices, or pyrotechnics is prohibited on BLM public lands in Utah (Fire Prevention Order). Please do not shoot at glass, metals, plastics, home appliances, electronic components, or furniture.
  • Stop Trigger Trash: Shoot over a tarp for easy cleanup of spent cartridges and shells. Remove all targets, trash, and debris after shooting. Dumping or littering on public land is never permissible.
  • Vehicles: Keep vehicles on existing roads and trails. Don’t drive or park on vegetation; you could cause damage or a wildfire.
  • Permits: Commercial, competitive, or organized group activities require a BLM permit. Check with our office for details.

To get more information, obtain a permit, or report violations, contact the BLM Salt Lake Field Office (801-977-4300). Cash rewards up to $250 are available for information leading to the arrest or conviction of any person(s) violating public land regulations.

Thank You for Protecting Public Resources!

Respected Access PSA