Back to Whatcom County home page Whatcom County | Departments | Contacts |  Help |  Search
 County Councilheader image
  Council  | Meetings  | Boards  | Hearing Examiner  | County Code


No Shooting Zone Citizen Petition Form Information


If you want the Whatcom County Council to create a no shooting zone, you should :


  1. Read this cover sheet,
  2. Complete the two-page Petition Form (some signatures must be notarized, as indicated on the petition form), and the Petitioner Signature Sheet(s), and
  3. Return the Petition Form, Petitioner Signature Sheet(s), and the required map, to the Council Office.   You may attach additional materials if you think they will help.

Click on the button to download the latest reader for your system.  


What is a no shooting zone?  

It 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.


Is shooting completely prohibited within a no shooting zone?  

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:

  • The slaughter of cattle, sheep or swine, or the attempted destruction of predators, or the humane dispatch of diseased or injured animals.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Organized "black powder" events.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • The Bellingham Gun Club (Larson Road facility), and the Custer Sportsman Club (Custer and Lynden facilities).


Hints 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.


What happens 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 676-6690.