Guide to Night Vision Laws of US States - PointOptics

Guide to Night Vision Laws of US States

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Night vision is certainly something that we all love. Whether it is for hunting or simply having some fun out with friends for shooting. The problem s that not everyone is aware of all the night vision laws and exactly what they mean. Fortunately, we have developed this guide to help you get a better understanding and find out if night vision is permitted in your state.

Night vision is not for everyone and the traditional rifle is generally used for hunting during the day. However, the marine technology of night vision has subsequently spilled over to the public, with many people using it for hunting. It can be a real aid to help you locate targets and prevent you from making bad or inhumane shots.


As a disclaimer, we should add that night vision laws can be changed at any moment and politics does have a large influence on gun laws. This article is as accurate as possible from the date of being written, but you might also need to double-check with the local authorities for a more accurate answer.

Night Vision Laws In The Most Prominent Gun States In The US Explained:

We have dug in with night vision equipment and looked at some of the many US States that will be lenient on these laws. In this article, you should be able to find the states that you commonly use for shooting or hunting to find out about their night vision laws. Here are the laws if you plan to use goggles of night vision technology for your endeavors:

  1. Alaska

In the state of Alaska, the law on night vision is a little touch and go. Many people consider its artificial light and the law states that artificial light is considered legal for hunting. You might find that using a night vision scope might be banned in certain areas of the state depending on the people’s attitude towards it.

  1. Arkansas

Moving on to Arkansas, we find that night vision is allowed. However, it is not allowed for simply any wildlife hunting. As the current law stands, you can only use night vision or light enhancing equipment when hunting feral hogs at night.

  1. California

Surprisingly, in the state of California, it is actually legal to use night vision scopes for hunting. However, the law does come with a slight twist and it might be illegal to use this equipment when shooting at birds, certain mammals, amphibians, and fish. This does sound a little contrasting, but night vision is generally recommended to be used for pests or shooting competitions in a safe environment. You might also want to read more about California Night Vision Laws for hunting at night.

  1. Connecticut

Even though the use of night vision is legal in this state, you won’t have a lot of hunting to do in the state. It might be legal for use in shooting competitions and when you do have some pests that need to be thinned out.

  1. Florida

If you happen to live or visit the state of Florida, you will be happy to know that the use of night vision is allowed in this state. However, the night vision or IR equipment that you are using should not emit any light. This means that you cannot blind the animal when you are shooting with a light coming from the scope.

  1. Georgia

In the state of Georgia, it is legal for you to use night vision equipment for hunting. However, this does mean that you can only use this equipment during the hunting season. It is better to do some research into the seasons to ensure that you use it lawfully.

  1. Idaho

The state of Idaho is one of the many states that does allow you to use night vision, as long as you remain in the perimeters that has been set by the state. Unfortunately, it can only be used for hunting coyotes and raccoons and if you are using a spotlight, you will need to have the needed permits with you when hunting.

  1. Illinois

The state of Illinois is one of the most relaxed states when it comes to using night vision equipment for hunting. This is not to say that they don’t have other restrictions. One of these restrictions pertains to the use of artificial lighting on vehicles. This is not allowed when you are hunting in the state. Additionally, you can also use your laser sights if you have them fitted during the hunting season.

  1. Indiana

Indianan does permit us to use the night vision equipment for hunting, especially when you are hunting for certain feral pests like coyotes. However, they do put a bit of a damper on the whole silent thing by forcing hunters to continuously wear a light that can be seen for up to at least 500- feet when they are hunting at night.

  1. Iowa

If you live in the state of Iowa, you can actually use your night vision tools to ensure that you can see your targets. Unfortunately, you are not permitted to use night vision equipment inconjunct with infrared equipment when you are hunting. This can make it a little harder for most people.

  1. Kentucky

Kentucky has many laws and while one of them prevents hunters from using things like decoys or even slugs, they don’t have restrictions on the use of night vision equipment. Like most states, you do have to abide by normal hunting ethics and you can only use it during the hunting season each year.

  1. Louisiana

If you live in any of the cities like New Orleans and you wish to go hunt in the bayou, you might not really like the fact that you can’t hunt at night. In Louisiana, you can only hunt at night on private property with the permission of the owner or lessee. However, night vision is something that you can use.

  1. Maine

Even though night vision is legal in the state of Maine, there are a few additional rules that you need to know about hunting at night. Hunting at night is only for coyotes and raccoons, while you need a permit for coyotes. On a Saturday, the hunting will cease and can only be continued at 00:01 on a Monday morning.

  1. Maryland

Maryland will allow you to use your night vision equipment, but they have many other laws surrounding the animals that you can shoot. During the hunting season, things like opossums, coyote, and raccoons can be hunted, but the time for hunting foxes changes a little. You need to look up some of the laws surrounding what you can shoot in Maryland.

  1. Massachusetts

If you live in the state of Massachusetts, you can find an abundance of hunting opportunities to make your life more fun. Much like the others, they do allow hunting certain animals like opossums and coyotes at night. However, you cannot use a rifle and they can only be hunted with a shotgun until midnight.

  1. Michigan

Michigan is home to the Motor City of Detroit and you might think that you can run wild here. Yes, you are allowed to use your night vision equipment when hunting in this state, but you cannot really use artificial light. The only lighting sources that can be used in the dark need to be handheld, which could limit some of your vision.

  1. Mississippi

Mississippi can have a lot of pests that you need to deal with on your private property, especially if you have a ranch. For this reason, you can use night vision equipment, but your options for hunting are limited to mostly predators at night. You cannot legally hunt for deer in any area of Mississippi at night legally.

  1. Montana

Montana is another one of those relaxed states when it comes to hunting at night. However, you are limited to only hunting for predators when you are out and about. A spotlight can only be used for hunting coyotes and you cannot use your night vision for hunting game species either. You will need a permit for this.

  1. Nebraska

So far, the most relaxed state that we have encountered on this list is the state of Nebraska. While you might not be able to mount any lighting on your motor vehicles, you can effectively use the night vision for hunting. So far, we have not seen any real restrictions on the type of animals that can be hunted with night vision goggles.

  1. Nevada

If you thought that you can simply get out in the desert and start shooting at night, you might be in for a surprise. While the use of night vision and hunting at night is all permitted in Nevada, the rules and regulations do differ from each county. It is important to visit your local Sheriff’s Office to ensure that you find out the right details.

  1. New Hampshire

Once you have jumped through all the hoops of getting permission to hunt at night, you are allowed to use night vision. However, you need permission from the landowner and the consent of a local conservation officer to ensure you are in the right. Additionally, you can only hunt for coyotes at night.

  1. New Jersey

New Jersey does not have a law against the use of night vision being used for hunting. However, you are limited to only using a shotgun when hunting at night. Much like some of the other states, there are plenty of hoops to jump through and you can only hunt for foxes and coyotes during the special season. You will need a permit on you at all times to do this.

  1. New York

In New York, one might think that using night vision will be banned. However, there are a few areas that you can use. The downside is that you can only use it for furry animals when you are hunting, which may limit your options. Additionally, your scope needs to create natural light and you cannot use any artificial light.

  1. North Carolina

Even though in the state of North Carolina, you can only use night vision for hunting coyotes and feral hogs, you can also use infrared assisted scopes. This is not only limited to hunting and it can also be used for scouting. Additionally, setting up stand sites with the use of night vision equipment can definitely be a benefit in this state.

  1. Ohio

In Ohio, you don’t have any real permits on the night vision equipment that you are using. The downside is that you will need to use a light that can be seen for at least half a mile and this will give away your location. However, when hunting for predators or pests from a stand, you can use a beam light with any color.

  1. Oregon

Here, night vision is mostly left for the landowners to use and you can’t simply use it as a guest. The night vision can only be used for hunting predators, but not things like the game that could put them at a disadvantage.

  1. South Carolina

Yes, you can use your night vision equipment in South Carolina. However, this is limited to predators like in most other states. The only artificial lighting that can be used can either be attached to the belt of clothing of the hunter. You cannot use any lighting that has been attached to a truck or any hunting vehicle in the state.

  1. Texas

The Lone Star State is renowned for controversial gun laws, but with the addition of the night vision law, many people can get rid of the pests that they need to deal with. However, you need to contact the local Warden just to let them know and hunting is only permitted on private property. With the Texas gun laws, you might also want to let your neighbor know about it as well.

  1. Utah

While Utah might seem like a great state for hunting, their regulations on night hunting is a little tight. The regulations will vary from county to county and much like Nevada, you should perhaps consider looking at the county rules. Visiting the local police department can be a great way to find out what you can and cannot do with night vision.

  1. Virginia

You might have a lot of nuance species in this state and this is why the law is a little more relaxed. In Virginia, you can use night vision, as long as the artificial lighting is not attached to a car or cast from it. Hunting is not allowed on a Sunday in this state, aside from hunting raccoons. This can be done until 2am on a Sunday morning.

  1. Washington 

One might think that the Capital will be a little tight on this and while gun rules are extremely tight, you can still hunt for nuance species at night using night vision. Since the state does not have many hunting opportunities, you will be limited though. Many visitors might need the written permission o the landowners as well.

  1. West Virginia

Much like the state of Virginia, you can use some of the night vision equipment here for hunting at night. However, you will need to ensure that the light being emitted is red and not any other color, while also adhering the seasons for hunting. Hunting will be limited to nuance animals and predators at night.

  1. Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, you might also find yourself making a trip to the local county Sheriff’s Office to familiarize yourself with some of the rules of the county. You may use night vision for hunting, but, you cannot use it with IR equipment and this can reduce the effect, especially when you are using some of the more tactical rifles.

  1. Wyoming

Without the full moon, hunting at night in the state of Wyoming can be a little challenging. Night hunting is limited to only predators, of which some can also be considered nuance species. However, the state has banned the use of any artificial light that could potentially damage the naked eye. Without a spotlight, it can be hard to find a target.

What About The Other States?

While we have not covered all the states and only focused on those that have been certified for hunting with night vision scopes, the other states can also have a few tricky complications and if you do get to use your night vision, you will need some permission to ensure that it is done on a legal basis. Here are some of the reasons why other states don’t allow it.

Animal Control

The most important reason is animal control. Many people might set out to hunt predators, but this is not always what they do. To help combat people from hunting at night, you can take away the night vision scopes and this will limit their abilities to go poaching at night.

Additionally, the only species that can actually be hunted in most of the states at night are predators and nuance animals. In a state like Delaware, the coyotes’ population is extremely low and this has led to it becoming a protected species. We all know that protected species can get you landed in jail and all of your weapons confiscated.

Night Time Hunting Is Not Permitted

Not all states allow you to go hunting at night. In a certain area, you might find that hunting at night can be dangerous, especially when bears are present. To help protect you as a hunter, you cannot go hunting at night. This directly leads to night vision not being allowed for use in the county or state where nighttime hunting is not allowed.

Keep The Community Safe

If you visit a state and nighttime hunting is not permitted, you should not think that all hunting is banned. Generally, you can easily start hunting at sunrise and this will make it fun for hunting during the day.

Some of the bans are also related to crime and to keep the community safe. Since night vision technology and equipment can be extremely dangerous, you are trying to keep it out of the wrong hands. By reducing the temptation for people to buy some of the best night vision equipment, you can help stop crime.

Final Thoughts

Night vision equipment is a great idea when it comes to hunting, but many activists have spoken out about it for not giving the animal a fair chance to escape. It is great for nuance and pest control and if you want to get rid of predators as well. Aside from sport shooting, we recommend it for these purposes. We would like to remind you that this is subject to change and gun laws are constantly evolving.

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