National Park Carry Law - Page 4

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 DaveH Check out Maine. See discussion at Proposal targets gun ban for parks - Bangor Daily News Maine thinks they can and ...

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Thread: National Park Carry Law

  1. #46
    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveH View Post
    Check out Maine. See discussion at Proposal targets gun ban for parks - Bangor Daily News

    Maine thinks they can and NPS has said the could. However, I don't know if they did or no.

    BTW -- it gets even trickier. Acadia NSP and the St. Croix Island International Historic Site are clearly covered as belonging to NPS, however, the Appalachian Trail is administered by the NPS with only those parts actually in National Parks (about 900 of the 2000+ miles)and on a very limit set if right-away bought by the NPS considered NPS land. Much of it passes through State and Local Land and NFS land. The laws and rules of those owners control. See the discussion at Hunting and the A.T. - Appalachian Trail Conservancy
    Wow, here we go again huh. They can take something fairly simple and really botch it up in a hurry.

    OK, I'll make the AT issue even worse. In NC the bulk of the AT is on what we refer to as Gamelands. The Gamelands fall under the authority of the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission. The NCWRC limits carry outside of certain hunting seasons to a .22 pistol. And most Gamelands are actually private property that is leased the the NCWRC for hunting purposes. Think timber and power company land. I've spent some time on the AT in NC so I'm aware of how quirky the land issue is.

    So what it is starting to sound like is a state can come in and ban carry in NP's if it through the legislature. Still curious if a ban pre carry law passing would effect the NPS carry. The plot thickens I guess.
    I prefer to live dangerously free than safely caged!

    "Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun. And you might meet 'em both if you show up here not welcome son." Josh Thompson "Way Out Here"


  2. #47
    Senior Member Array swinokur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefjason View Post
    My issue was with the part I quoted. I saw what you put, started to change my answer and decided not to. I did add the questions that follow.

    "Or am I misreading something and there is a relevant issue in your state? Does anyone know of a state that limits carry in all parks. Can state law even supersede federal law in this instance? I really think that this is being made a bigger deal than it really is. You are allowed to carry normally as in any other part of the state under the new law."


    If you don't know of one it just seems to confuse an already thoroughly confusing subject. If you do know of one it would be great to know the specific parks we would have issues in.

    You said you agreed with me, and in part you did. But the quote I pulled out runs counter to agreeing with me. I'm not trying to be a jerk, I may have been a little cranky with my last answer. If there is some state out there that has an exception to this NPS rule change I would like to know so I can pass that along if I need to. That's the main issue I would like to figure out.
    I believe Maine is trying to do exactly that. There is a bill in their legislature that amends state law to say that NPS carry in Maine is prohibited. i don't have the specificsof what park they are attempting to do this in.

  3. #48
    Senior Member Array swinokur's Avatar
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    More info on Acadia National Park proposed ban on carry.

    NRA-ILA :: Maine: Committee Reconsiders Park Carry Prohibition

    The way i read it is if state law prohibits carry in a national park, then carry is not allowed.

    Apparently an amendment is afoot to allow permit holders and LEO to carry. All others prohibited.

  4. #49
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    Good article on subject

    Fed, state rules blur issue of guns in national parks - Local - fresnobee.com


    Fed, state rules blur issue of guns in national parks
    Posted at 12:07 PM on Monday, Mar. 22, 2010
    By Mark Grossi / The Fresno Bee

    Federal law now allows visitors to carry guns in national parks, but you can’t just slip a loaded pistol into your backpack and take a hike.

    Pay attention, because this is a little complicated.

    You will need a concealed weapons permit to carry the loaded gun in the backpack. But you don’t need any kind of permit if you just want to stash your loaded weapon in the tent.

    At the same time, unless you feel your life is being threatened, don’t shoot the gun at all.

    What’s going on? Guns in national parks are now under both state and federal restrictions, and the result can be confusing.

    State law generally applies to the way guns are carried and how a concealed weapons permit is enforced. California’s odd exemptions to the concealed weapons rule include sleeping in a tent, which is considered your temporary home.

    Federal restrictions aim at a bigger picture. They do not allow guns in many federal buildings, such as park visitor centers. They also forbid hunting, target shooting or even firing a gun.

    “The fact is, you still can’t use a weapon in the park,” said Steve Shackelton, former chief ranger of Yosemite National Park. “I don’t think we’ll see much of a difference with this law in Yosemite.”

    Still, officials across the country now must make sense of differing state gun laws in each national park as the tourist season approaches, said Shackelton, who is now associate director for visitor and resource protection for the National Park Service in Washington, D.C.

    Supporters of the new federal law said it makes national parks consistent with policy over vast federal acreage in national forests where carrying a gun is legal. They say carrying a gun is a right protected by the Second Amendment.

    But passage of the law disappointed rangers associations and the National Parks and Conservation Association, a parks advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. They tenaciously opposed the law for years, fearing an increase in wildlife poaching and danger to visitors.

    The opponents ask: Will someone get hurt if a nervous camper fires a gun to scare away a bear?

    “We don’t know what will happen,” said Bryan Faehner of the Parks and Conservation Association. “That’s why we fought this law tooth and nail.”

    Though Shackelton does not expect problems, he said there may be incidents that will require rangers to take action. For example, he warned hunters not to use the sighting scopes on their rifles to admire deer or other animals in the distance.

    “We don’t know if the rifle is loaded or not,” Shackelton said. “So we will seize it. If you want to look at the wildlife, take the scope off the rifle or bring binoculars.”

    Rangers and other federal officials will focus on educating visitors about rules and safety, Shackelton said. Many visitors won’t carry guns anyway, he said.

    Officials at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks say their adjoining parks are surrounded by the Inyo, Sierra and Sequoia national forests, all of which allow firearms within their boundaries. They said people probably have safely passed through the parks for years with firearms on the way to the surrounding forests.

    “People who are carrying guns know how to properly handle them,” said spokeswoman Adrienne Freeman.

    But there will be challenges in observing some state laws, especially in places such as Yellowstone, which includes parts of three states — Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

    Montana recognizes concealed weapons permits from more than 40 states. Wyoming recognizes fewer than 25 states. A visitor may own a permit from a state that is legal in Montana, but the same permit may not be legal in Wyoming.

    California doesn’t allow concealed weapons permits from any other state.

    That’s not the knock on California’s law, though. The law is just confusing, said Mike Stollenwerk, co-founder of OpenCarry.org, an Internet-based group supporting the right to carry holstered handguns.

    Without a concealed weapons permit, it is illegal to carry a loaded firearm on the body in urban public places, according to the California law.

    But it is legal to carry the loaded weapon if you are in the act of hunting or fishing. It is also legal to have the loaded firearm in a person’s residence, motel room, campsite, business or on private property.

    Another point of contention: A loaded firearm can be carried openly in an unincorporated area without a concealed weapons permit, unless the area forbids firing weapons. Yosemite officials say the park qualifies as an unincorporated area with a gun-firing ban.

    But Stollenwerk said he is not so sure Yosemite or any other national park can qualify for the gun-firing ban under state laws. He said California’s law could be interpreted to apply only to local jurisdictions, such as counties, not the federal government.

    “It’s not easy to understand California’s laws,” Stollenwerk said. “It would be much simpler to just allow open carry of loaded firearms in all of California.”
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  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefjason View Post
    "Or am I misreading something and there is a relevant issue in your state? Does anyone know of a state that limits carry in all parks. Can state law even supersede federal law in this instance?
    As it has been posted, Maine is attempting to ban firearms in all parks. If they did, it would not be superseding Federal law. Federal law does not state that firearms MUST be allowed in National Parks. Federal law states that the National Parks must conform to state laws.

  6. #51
    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLT View Post
    As it has been posted, Maine is attempting to ban firearms in all parks. If they did, it would not be superseding Federal law. Federal law does not state that firearms MUST be allowed in National Parks. Federal law states that the National Parks must conform to state laws.
    Gotcha. Thanks for the responses guys. And my apologies for the cranky response earlier Navy.
    I prefer to live dangerously free than safely caged!

    "Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun. And you might meet 'em both if you show up here not welcome son." Josh Thompson "Way Out Here"

  7. #52
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatGonzo View Post
    I'm glad you survived such horrific trauma. Hopefully you were not scarred for life! I lived in West Texas for several years and I am glad to see that sort of law enforcement presence on the border. It is where it is needed most. (For those who don't know, Big Bend is locatedon the TX/Mex border)
    They have a permanent border patrol checkpoint just north of the Big Bend park. It's manned by federal border patrol agents, and their purpose is clearly apparent. It's to stop illegal immigration and drug smuggling for north bound travelers only. When you're stopped, they ask exclusively about citizenship, while their drug dog stands by closely, not registration, seat belts, speeding, and insurance. Their scope is limited to federal, not state law enforcement.

    What they're doing inside the national park is not that. We were traveling with a foreign exchange student, and with her Armenian descent, she could easily be mistaken for a Mexican national. There were no questions related to citizenship asked at the initial stop or during the more extended stop.

    The national parks have had checkpoints at their entrances upheld for the purpose of preventing poaching in the national parks. I doubt that federal checkpoints for state law enforcement within the park will withstand a legal test. It's an unconstitutional abuse of power, and given that they are focusing intense scrutiny on state law enforcement, it's certainly relevant to this discussion. If they're willing to go to this level of intrusiveness to ensure our safety against violation of state seat belt laws, my suggestion here is for everyone to think carefully about their potential reaction if they come across a gun at one of these checkpoints.

    There are very law enforcement Rangers and Border Patrol Agents in these parks and they are very spread out (or all busy harassing dldeuce ).
    Yeah, while the Mexican nationals were making an absolute joke out of our "secure" border across the three foot deep Rio Grande at Boquillas Mexico, inside the park, all of the federal park ranger police force including the border patrol were busy harassing Americans, yes including dldeuce, over seat belts at a gestapo like checkpoint. "Viva Le Mexico" they shouted as they rode horseback across the border, laughing wildly at our "busy" park ranger police and border patrol!

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