No Shooting Zone

If you want the Whatcom County Council to create a no shooting zone, you should:
No Shooting Zone Definition
A no shooting zone is an area within Whatcom County in which shooting is mostly prohibited. The Whatcom County Council has the authority to create no shooting zones if it believes it would be in the best interest of the public's health, safety and welfare. There are many no shooting zones in the county, some created as far back as the 1960s (Whatcom County Code 9.32) .

There are exemptions that allow the discharge of firearms in a no shooting zone (see Whatcom County Code 9.32.090). For example, no shooting zones do not apply to the following:
  • Competitions or events at any county park which are authorized by or sponsored by the county parks system
  • Covered ranges (defined in Whatcom County Code 9.32.010)
  • Discharge firearms by law officers while in the line of duty, or by citizens for self-defense, defense of others, or defense of their property
  • Historically-hunted areas adjacent to shorelines of lakes, ponds, and streams (including the Nooksack River, Terrell Lake, Tennant Lake, Squalicum Lake, Mosquito Lake, Fazon Lake, Boundary Lake, Green Lake, Pangborn Lake). The council may define other "historically hunted" areas based on testimony at the public hearing
  • Organized "black powder" events
  • Shooting in the County park facility known as the Plantation Rifle Range
  • Shooting in the County park known as Tennant Lake (with permission of the County's parks director)
  • The Bellingham Gun Club (Larson Road facility), and the Custer Sportsman Club (Custer and Lynden facilities)
  • The slaughter of cattle, sheep or swine, or the attempted destruction of predators, or the humane dispatch of diseased or injured animals
Tips for Completing the Petition Form
Please complete the form carefully. If the council approves your request and a substantial error is later found, your no shooting zone could be challenged. In some cases you will need the assistance of County departments to complete a section of the form. Sources of information or assistance are included on the form, for your convenience.

After the Form is Filed
After the petition is filed with the council, an ordinance (proposed new law) creating the zone will be written and the council will schedule a public hearing. The petitioner's representative will be notified of the date and time of the hearing. After the hearing, the council may either approve or deny the request to form a no shooting zone.

If you have any questions about the no shooting zone process, please contact the Clerk of the County Council, at 360-778-5010.