National Park Carry Law

This is a discussion on National Park Carry Law within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by claybreaker0 I was visiting GA this weekend (Fredrica Fort) and was pondering this same question. I carried into the park, but upon ...

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Thread: National Park Carry Law

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by claybreaker0 View Post
    I was visiting GA this weekend (Fredrica Fort) and was pondering this same question. I carried into the park, but upon approaching the main office there was a good sized sign stating that "guns were prohibited in this federal facility." So I guess it's ok to carry everywhere but the building. That's annoying.....leave pistol in car......pay to access park.....go back to car and get your pistol....then enjoy the facilities.
    That's pretty much the bottom line, and don't forget, the places you can carry follow the state laws for the state they are in! (But it's better than nothing.)
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  3. #17
    Senior Member Array boatail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevePVB View Post
    I've tried "search" and google and can't find an answer to this. Is a National Wildlife Refuge (such as Okefenokee) the same as a national "park"?
    I don't think so, it's a wildlife refuge, and at least in Fl., they don't want guns in them. That may have changed since the carry laws did in National parks and it may be state by state, so definately check with the authorities before you do. When I lived down there, the refuge's operated under a little different rules than the parks.

  4. #18
    Senior Member Array Gary Slider's Avatar
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    StevePVB,

    National Wildlife Refuges fall under the Dept of Interior so Carry is allowed there. Any national area administered by the US Dept of Interior or and agency of the US Dept of Interior falls under the new law.
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  5. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slider View Post
    StevePVB,

    National Wildlife Refuges fall under the Dept of Interior so Carry is allowed there. Any national area administered by the US Dept of Interior or and agency of the US Dept of Interior falls under the new law.




    Quote Originally Posted by rstickle View Post
    That's pretty much the bottom line, and don't forget, the places you can carry follow the state laws for the state they are in! (But it's better than nothing.)
    Again .

    However, be careful.

    NPS's repeated announcements that they "will not.... It is up to the individual to know and follow the law" and the like is, IMHO, a giveaway that they are in a "cut no slack" mode.

    And as I have posted before things are not always what they seem.

    See discussion at:

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...ry-merged.html [with the example I posted at post 8 about the George Washington Memorial Parkway not all being in Virginia.]

    and

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...wolf-trap.html
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  6. #20
    Senior Member Array Gary Slider's Avatar
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    Just remember under Federal Law they have to have it posted. So just don't go anywhere they have signs. The law is very specific. If it is not posted they can not charge you.

    TITLE 18 CRIMES
    AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
    PART I CRIMES
    CHAPTER 44 FIREARMS
    Sec. 930. Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities
    (a) Except as provided in subsection (d), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be
    present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility (other than a Federal court
    facility), or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1
    year, or both.
    (b) Whoever, with intent that a firearm or other dangerous weapon be used in the commission
    of a crime, knowingly possesses or causes to be present such firearm or dangerous weapon in
    a Federal facility, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more
    than 5 years, or both.
    (c) A person who kills any person in the course of a violation of subsection (a) or (b), or in the
    course of an attack on a Federal facility involving the use of a firearm or other dangerous
    weapon, or attempts or conspires to do such an act, shall be punished as provided in sections
    1111, 1112, 1113, and 1117.
    (d) Subsection (a) shall not apply to (
    1) the lawful performance of official duties by an officer, agent, or employee of the
    United States, a State, or a political subdivision thereof, who is authorized by law to
    engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of any
    violation of law;
    (2) the possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon by a Federal official or a
    member of the Armed Forces if such possession is authorized by law; or
    (3) the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility
    incident to hunting or other lawful purposes.
    (e)
    (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be
    present a firearm in a Federal court facility, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under
    this title, imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
    (2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to conduct which is described in paragraph (1) or (2)
    of subsection (d).
    (f) Nothing in this section limits the power of a court of the United States to punish for
    contempt or to promulgate rules or orders regulating, restricting, or prohibiting the possession
    of weapons within any building housing such court or any of its proceedings, or upon any
    grounds appurtenant to such building.
    (g) As used in this section:
    (1) The term "Federal facility" means a building or part thereof owned or leased
    by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for
    the purpose of performing their official duties.
    (2) The term "dangerous weapon" means a weapon, device, instrument, material, or
    substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing
    death or serious bodily injury, except that such term does not include a pocket knife
    with a blade of less than 2 1/2 inches in length.
    (3) The term "Federal court facility" means the courtroom, judges' chambers, witness
    rooms, jury deliberation rooms, attorney conference rooms, prisoner holding cells,
    offices of the court clerks, the United States attorney, and the United States marshal,
    probation and parole offices, and adjoining corridors of any court of the United States.
    (h) Notice of the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) shall be posted conspicuously at
    each public entrance to each Federal facility, and notice of subsection (e) shall be posted
    conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal court facility, and no person shall
    be convicted of an offense under subsection (a) or (e) with respect to a Federal facility if
    such notice is not so posted at such facility, unless such person had actual notice of
    subsection (a) or (e), as the case may be.
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  7. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slider View Post
    Just remember under Federal Law they have to have it posted. So just don't go anywhere they have signs. The law is very specific. If it is not posted they can not charge you.
    ....
    If by "it' in "If it is not posted they can not charge you" you are absolutely right if you mean buildings (Post Offices excluded, as they come under another law).

    However, note there are still some traps for the unaware:

    g) As used in this section:
    (1) The term "Federal facility" means a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.
    So posting is required for conviction under this section in "Federal facilities" (i.e., a building) only.

    However, let's say you pull into a roadside stop from the northbound lanes of the George Washington Memorial Parkway just north of the Roosevelt Bridge an decide to walk across the short foot bridge to look at the river. You be in DC (on Roosevelt Island) and the last time I check there was no sign that you were entering DC. You'd be illegally carrying and there is no "Federal facility" requiring posting.

    There are other "parkways" (The Natchez Trace Parkway, the Blue Ridge Parkway, etc) as well as other parks that a located in more that one State and what might be legal in one part may not be in another part.

    So, use caution as there are still traps for the unwary.
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  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveH View Post
    If by "it' in "If it is not posted they can not charge you" you are absolutely right if you mean buildings (Post Offices excluded, as they come under another law).

    However, note there are still some traps for the unaware:



    So posting is required for conviction under this section in "Federal facilities" (i.e., a building) only.

    However, let's say you pull into a roadside stop from the northbound lanes of the George Washington Memorial Parkway just north of the Roosevelt Bridge an decide to walk across the short foot bridge to look at the river. You be in DC (on Roosevelt Island) and the last time I check there was no sign that you were entering DC. You'd be illegally carrying and there is no "Federal facility" requiring posting.

    There are other "parkways" (The Natchez Trace Parkway, the Blue Ridge Parkway, etc) as well as other parks that a located in more that one State and what might be legal in one part may not be in another part.

    So, use caution as there are still traps for the unwary.
    Are you saying the reciprocity laws between states already agreed to don't apply in these situations?
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  9. #23
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Let's also keep in mind that it's not just a matter of the official policy. How they interpret and enforce the policy is more important. For example, I was in a national park in Texas just a couple of weeks ago. Not only are they clamping down the speed limit from what would normally be 70mph anywhere else in Texas to 45mph and even 30mph over wide expanses of the Big Bend park, they also offered the wonderful service of a mandatory safety checkpoint. Thank goodness the federal government is so thoughtful to protect our "safety."

    They had more officers than I could count, including border patrol, and the radar signs/trailers. They were stopping every single car in both directions, and it was clear as day that their intent was to harass every car over every possible infraction they could come up with. When they stopped me, they were clearly disappointed they couldn't find any reason to stop and harass me further, until ooooh! lookey here! No seatbelts for passengers in the rear seats! My my my you should have seen the thrill that crucial find was for them!

    Well well well, this gave them justification to run my driver's license and insurance and hang on to me for a few more precious minutes of tyrannical joy! While I waited, I could see them stop other drivers. They looked like they were in a fit of panic desperate to find a reason to harass every single car, which they were already being pretty successful at. They had a whole string of cars they'd pulled out of the line of stopped traffic for further harassment. I saw one of the officers check a driver's registration and inspection stickers three times, almost as if he just couldn't believe he couldn't find something to harass this driver over.

    Now, you might want to ask yourself if these are the kind of "good cops" you're going to feel safe handing over your CHL to so they'll be put on notice you have a great big gun in your car while they're having a near panic attack they can't harass you over a seat belt violation. Despite their official policy, if they find a gun on you in a national park, I suspect you are in for some serious harassment.

  10. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jem102 View Post
    Are you saying the reciprocity laws between states already agreed to don't apply in these situations?
    No. Not at all.

    However, one State might have a reciprocity agreement with your State and another not -- e.g., the island in the GW Parkway that is just inside DC (which has no reciprocity w/ anyone).

    Or maybe you take a short walk on the C&O Canal in WVa and put a foot in Maryland, as another example.

    I don't count on them having "everything" posted.
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  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveH View Post
    No. Not at all.

    However, one State might have a reciprocity agreement with your State and another not -- e.g., the island in the GW Parkway that is just inside DC (which has no reciprocity w/ anyone).

    Or maybe you take a short walk on the C&O Canal in WVa and put a foot in Maryland, as another example.

    I don't count on them having "everything" posted.
    Also IIRC it depends on state law. If the state you are in doesn't allow guns in parks then no go in NPS also.
    I carry a bible and a gun. Your Point?

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  12. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireman836 View Post
    Also IIRC it depends on state law. If the state you are in doesn't allow guns in parks then no go in NPS also.
    Yup.

    “Protecting the Right of Individuals To Bear arms in Units of the National Park System and the National Wildlife Refuge System—The Secretary of the Interior shall not promulgate or enforce any regulation that prohibits an individual from possessing a firearm including an assembled or functional firearm in any unit of the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System if—(1) the individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the firearm; and (2) the possession of the firearm is in compliance with the law of the State in which the unit of the National Park System or the
    National Wildlife Refuge System is located.”
    My point is that in many National Parks or the National Wildlife Refuges it is not alway clear what State you are in, as you walk around.

    For another example look at Park Map Viewer. The yellow line is the State line. Note that the AT runs right along the State line for a few miles. We have a joke that goes:

    Q: How many time do you cross the NC/TN line hiking the AT.

    A: It depends on how wide apart you place your feet.
    Last edited by DaveH; March 29th, 2010 at 06:34 PM. Reason: spacing in quote
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    Veni, Vidi, Velcro

  13. #27
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    I was in Capulin National Monument in northeastern New Mexico today. There was a new "no firearms" sign on the door of the visitor center that was not posted last November, no such sign at the restroom building at the upper parking lot. The park staff appeared to be cognizant of the current law.

    This is a very small monument, but has a cool little path around the rim of a volcanic cinder cone.

  14. #28
    Senior Member Array Gary Slider's Avatar
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    There are no Signs that says No Guns In DC. DC is not run by the Feds. The feds have no laws against firearms in DC. But DC does. You can't carry in National Parks in DC Unless you have a permit valid in DC.

    But if a park has an area that is off limits they are considering it a federal building. The lawn in their own words is "Considered a Federal Building. IT has to have signs. Can they arrest you. YES. Can they take your gun. YES If they arrest you. But if there are no signs they have to throw the case out. The Law is very specific on this.

    Now I will tell you this. Police Officers arrest people everyday and take them to the station knowing that it will not hold up. They do it because they make them take the ride and cost them time. This can happen anywhere. Will it happen in some NP's. You bet. But I guarantee you this. Most will not blink an eye at someone carrying legally. It doesn't matter where you are at or what profession you are talking about. There are always a few that give the rest a bad rep. That goes for all professions.
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  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireman836 View Post
    Also IIRC it depends on state law. If the state you are in doesn't allow guns in parks then no go in NPS also.
    Actually, no. NC does not allow park carry. But the GSMNP does. State park carry has no bearing on the NPS. OR vice versa. I cannot carry in state parks administered by the state of NC. But I most certainly can carry in the GSMNP or BRPW.

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Laws & Policies (U.S. National Park Service)

    A change in federal law effective February 22, allows people who can legally possess firearms under federal, state/commonwealth (North Carolina or Virginia), and local laws to possess those firearms in the Blue Ridge Parkway. The new law (Sec. 512 of P.L. 111-24) was passed by Congress and signed last May by the President.

    Blue Ridge Parkway - New Firearms Regulations (U.S. National Park Service)
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  16. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefjason View Post
    Actually, no. NC does not allow park carry. But the GSMNP does. State park carry has no bearing on the NPS. OR vice versa. I cannot carry in state parks administered by the state of NC. But I most certainly can carry in the GSMNP or BRPW.

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Laws & Policies (U.S. National Park Service)

    A change in federal law effective February 22, allows people who can legally possess firearms under federal, state/commonwealth (North Carolina or Virginia), and local laws to possess those firearms in the Blue Ridge Parkway. The new law (Sec. 512 of P.L. 111-24) was passed by Congress and signed last May by the President.

    Blue Ridge Parkway - New Firearms Regulations (U.S. National Park Service)
    So, as TN has reciprocity with VA and NC I am "good to go" on the Blue Ridge and in the GSMNP.
    All I really have to do is follow posted signs as to where/where not to carry and be sure to notify upon approach of official with proper ID (not necessary in TN but required in NC).
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