In Houston: can someone convert a portion of their garage as a PRIVATE indoor shooting lane?

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Doug.38PR
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In Houston: can someone convert a portion of their garage as a PRIVATE indoor shooting lane?

Postby Doug.38PR » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:12 am

I live in the country in Louisiana but I frequently come to Houston on business and stay at my mother and father's home that I grew up in. Is it legal to convert, say, a portion of your garage in the city limits (cinderblocks, bullet catching sand or whatever, soundproof door, etc) into a small shooting lane for practice and fun?

As long as it's safe, soundproof and not bothering anybody...

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Re: In Houston: can someone convert a portion of their garage as a PRIVATE indoor shooting lane?

Postby gtolbert09 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:18 am

I would think Zoning Laws, home owners insurance company, HOA if there is one, would all frown upon having a shooting range in a garage of a home in a residential neighborhood.
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Re: In Houston: can someone convert a portion of their garage as a PRIVATE indoor shooting lane?

Postby Pritchical » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:29 am

Sounds awesome, but I would think the cost/benefit ratio would make it not worth it. It seems like it would be far more fiscally feasible to join a shooting range's annual program than the cost of renovating a garage. Not to mention the resale of the home...


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Re: In Houston: can someone convert a portion of their garage as a PRIVATE indoor shooting lane?

Postby Soccerdad1995 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:33 am

I think zoning laws typically apply more to commercial uses of property, and I believe that Houston has fairly lenient zoning laws in general. HOA laws tend to deal more with modifications that are visible from the outside of your home. That said, it is probably a good idea to check both of these to be sure. Building codes could possibly restrict you as well.

The other thing to check would be laws against the activity of shooting as opposed to the actual construction. There may well be laws against the discharge of a firearm, anywhere other than a shooting range, in the city of Houston. I suspect that might trip you up a bit.
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Doug.38PR
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Re: In Houston: can someone convert a portion of their garage as a PRIVATE indoor shooting lane?

Postby Doug.38PR » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:36 am

I actually just did a cursory check of the Deed Restrictions online in PDF. No mention of firearms. As has been suggested, they mostly deal with keeping your home and property looking decent.

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Re: In Houston: can someone convert a portion of their garage as a PRIVATE indoor shooting lane?

Postby GeekwithaGun » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:37 am

Is the home inside a city limits, if so there are probably ordinances against it.
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Re: In Houston: can someone convert a portion of their garage as a PRIVATE indoor shooting lane?

Postby Soccerdad1995 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:38 am

Pritchical wrote:Sounds awesome, but I would think the cost/benefit ratio would make it not worth it. It seems like it would be far more fiscally feasible to join a shooting range's annual program than the cost of renovating a garage. Not to mention the resale of the home...


Good points. I'm not sure what part of town you are in, but Boyert will let you shoot all you want for as low as $540 a year. They will even give you a free target each time you show up. Two locations in West Houston, and Katy. I'm sure you can find similar deals at other ranges in town.
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Re: In Houston: can someone convert a portion of their garage as a PRIVATE indoor shooting lane?

Postby imkopaka » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:40 am

Since discharging on a shooting range is one of the few defenses against unlawful discharge of firearms, definitely look up what classifies a property as a shooting range. What kind of safety measures must be in place, what kind of noise reduction must exist, what kind of backstop needs to be present, do you need any special certification or licenses from the city/county/state, does an inspector have to certify the range, do you need special insurance, so on and so forth. If these things are codified anywhere and you don't conform to them, your idea could get you sent to jail. Be careful and maybe contact a lawyer for advice. Personally I think you're better off just going to a public range; cheaper, easier, and less likely to get you into trouble - also won't affect the resale value of your home.

Edit: I remember reading somewhere that you must have a certain acreage to turn your property into a shooting range, but I'm not sure if that was a local ordinance or a statewide thing. It also may have applied only to outdoor ranges. However, this may give you an idea of what kind of ordinances may exist.
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Re: In Houston: can someone convert a portion of their garage as a PRIVATE indoor shooting lane?

Postby RPBrown » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:48 am

The construction modifications alone could be cost prohibitive. We remodeled our home several years ago (2007) and in the process we had our master closet made into a safe room with reinforced concrete walls and ceiling and steel secondary door. The room is 8'x10' and these added about 22k to the renovation cost. I say this to give you an example of the projected cost involved in converting your garage. This doesn't even begin to address the range ventilation that would be required.
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Re: In Houston: can someone convert a portion of their garage as a PRIVATE indoor shooting lane?

Postby Soccerdad1995 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:52 am

RPBrown wrote:The construction modifications alone could be cost prohibitive. We remodeled our home several years ago (2007) and in the process we had our master closet made into a safe room with reinforced concrete walls and ceiling and steel secondary door. The room is 8'x10' and these added about 22k to the renovation cost. I say this to give you an example of the projected cost involved in converting your garage. This doesn't even begin to address the range ventilation that would be required.


This is very helpful information as I have been considering doing something similar in my home. I just need to decide how long we are staying in this home first.
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Re: In Houston: can someone convert a portion of their garage as a PRIVATE indoor shooting lane?

Postby OldCannon » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:01 pm

I can personally think of several reasons why you should NOT even consider this, even if it was legal.

I'll leave the reasons as an exercise to the readers, but...boy, I set the "thinking bar" really low and came up with about five reasons in as many seconds.
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Re: In Houston: can someone convert a portion of their garage as a PRIVATE indoor shooting lane?

Postby Doug.38PR » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:35 pm

The closest one to my parent's home is Full Armor Gun Range. But you have a range fee, have to drive down under-construction Dairy Ashford, etc.

I guess I'm so used to stepping outside the back door and firing away at my own place in the country in Louisiana that that's kind of what I wish I had. Take 20 minutes to reload some rounds at my reloading station, step out back, try them out, go back in, reload a few more making adjustments, step out try them out.

There is so much more freedom in the country being able to do what you want on your own property. (one of the reasons I left Houston)


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Re: In Houston: can someone convert a portion of their garage as a PRIVATE indoor shooting lane?

Postby lama » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:39 pm

Ventilation and air filtration would likely be legal issues (EPA and such) as well.

I recently saw a company that built premade slide in garage ranges. Think they called them READY RANGE. They didnt advertise price though. (I expect because that would scare everyone away.)


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Doug.38PR
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Re: In Houston: can someone convert a portion of their garage as a PRIVATE indoor shooting lane?

Postby Doug.38PR » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:50 pm

Many years ago...decades ago...in the city limits of the town that I live outside of now, First Baptist Church off the downtown square had an indoor gun range in it's basement. The city judge had an outdoor pistol range in his own backyard that he used with a berm and everything. All of this was within the city limits of a small Louisiana town of about 20,000 people.

I just figured if big indoor gun ranges all over Houston could do it , so could one person wanting one little private lane in an enclosed garage or basement for themselves would be able to do it.

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Re: In Houston: can someone convert a portion of their garage as a PRIVATE indoor shooting lane?

Postby AdioSS » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:39 pm

I suspect the laws against discharging a firearm in the city limits might be the killer here. But, if the sound insulation were good enough, how would anybody really know? :mrgreen:


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