August 4th, 2006 11:45 AM
Procedure for entering a National Park (TN)
Okay, I've searched and searched, yet can't find what I'm looking for.
I'm going to the Smokies today for some camping/hiking. Anyways, I've reviewed the Tennessee laws for carry, but I'm unclear about one thing. When I enter the park, I have to disarm (lock my pistol in a box and whatnot). Do I need to check it or notify the ranger at the park entrance? Can I have ammo in the same locked box or must it be seperate?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
August 4th, 2006 12:00 PM
You could call the ranger station. They should be listed in the registry Locally or on the national listing (through the operator).
I hope this helps. I did this when I went to SD and it worked great.
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the rights of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. 2nd Amendment.
For Those Who FOUGHT For It FREEDOM Has a Flavor the Protected WILL NEVER KNOW.
August 4th, 2006 12:17 PM
You are legal with your gun locked in a container, with ammo in a separate location. No need to notify anyone, just remain legal in this configuration and you're good to go.
You may get differing opinions, but I just did a trip that involved three National Parks and two military installations, so I know first hand how to stay clear of any violations. My advice applies to National Parks; National and State forests operate differently so you'll need to dig a bit more for info on those places.
Calling someone ahead of time doesn't mean you'll get straight and accurate info, I assure you. And, declaring it at the entrance booth will earn you a blank stare from a college kid that's just working there for the summer and has little knowledge about what to do beyond taking your money and handing you a brochure/map. For a National Park visit, just secure things as I recommend above and enjoy your visit!
Last edited by JimmyC4; August 4th, 2006 at 12:24 PM.
August 4th, 2006 01:45 PM
Thanks for the info guys, I'm heading out for a weekend of hiking. :)
August 4th, 2006 02:21 PM
I called Big Bend National Park a few years back, to inquire about the legalities of carrying. I got a very rude response.
I would really like to go hiking there, but I’m not going to go off hiking into the woods along the Mexican border without being properly armed.
Blessed be the Lord my rock who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1
Si vis pacem, para bellum
August 4th, 2006 03:18 PM
"But JT, that's why the Army is there.... to protect you!!!"
Man I live a long way from the border and I woouldn't go hiking up here without my carry! Geez!
The Gunsite Blog
ITFT / Quick Kill Review
"It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon." - Justice Scalia, SCOTUS - DC v Heller - 26 JUN 2008
August 4th, 2006 03:57 PM
I should probably know this but I am not that smart
Where does it say in the federal law that I can not have a concealed handgun in a national park or on a military base?
If it is not in the US Constitution then the Federal Government should not be doing it.
"Carrying a gun is a social responsibility."
August 4th, 2006 04:42 PM
Timmy Jimmy, Google is your friend.
Go to this NRA source and scroll down...you'll find the park info:
Regarding military installations, at the gate you'll see a prominent posting that no firearms are permitted beyond that point...trust me, it will be there. You then declare it and take it from there...generally the procedure is that you store the firearm in their armory while you are on the installation.
If you want to see the actual text of the law(s), you'll need to dig deeper.
August 4th, 2006 09:33 PM
Gray area on military installations; under 18 USC 930(d)(3) you could go hunting and / or claim personal defense is a “lawful purpose”. Best is to check with LE of the facility you would like to gain access before actually taking your firearms with you.
On NPS turf; unless you can get the “head honch” on a park to sign off a permit under 36 CFR 2.4(d)(4), it’s a no can do.
On USDA Forest Service turf; you can carry as long as you are within:
36 CFR 261.8(b); 36 CFR 261.10(d); 36 CFR 261.57(c); and 36 CFR 261.58(m)
DOI Bureau of Land Management turf; governed by 43 CFR 8365.1-7(c) and 43 CFR 8365.2-5(a)
DOI Bureau of Reclamation turf; gaverned by 43 CFR 423.6 and 43 CFR 423.30
Disclaimer - I am in no way giving legal advice, just some facts I’ve come to learn over the years.
Last edited by cagueits; August 4th, 2006 at 10:17 PM.
August 5th, 2006 01:20 AM
There's no "gray area" about entering a military installation with a firearm--if you arrive at a military installation with a firearm, be sure it is unloaded and secured in a locked container, separate from ammunition, and tell the security personnel at the gate that you have it; they will tell you how to proceed.
August 5th, 2006 11:40 AM
one caution on what cagueits noted for National Forests:
If you are going to be on the Tennessee side of the line in the forest (instead of NC), it is illegal to carry in a national forest under Tennessee state law:
(Page 1 under National Forests, first paragraph).
Have a great trip!
P.S. I hope this isn't too late!
August 5th, 2006 03:44 PM
Well, some instalations do not man their gates during certain hours, therefore having no one to declare the fact that you do have a firearm. Also, not all installations have the required postings as per 18 USC 930(h) (trust me, they don't all have them at their gates); so the gray area does exist, and the law is clear:
"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."
Am I endorsing you go into a military instalation with a firearm? No. Just presenting the facts.
A good website to look at is Quantico's Shooting Club (they have the SOP down as far as what to do when bringing firearms on base - since the base has a civilian town in the middle of it and has to allow civilians passage through the main gate). The website:
A good rule of thumb would be to stop at a manned post and let them know you have it and you want to know how to proceed. Make sure that you are in compliance with the law at the moment you arrive to the gate.
Again, I'm not giving legal advice.
PS - Timmy Jimmy; don't go packing on a base now that you know the law or the "Yankees" "will stick it to ya" if they catch you. Just joking ;)
August 5th, 2006 03:59 PM
Thanks for clearing that up falcon1; 36 CFR 261.1 "State Law":
"State law means the law of any State in whose exterior boundaries an act or omission occurs regardless of whether State law is otherwise applicable."
Once again, not giving legal advice here.
August 5th, 2006 05:50 PM
There are exceptions. I have driven on Rte 172 through Camp LeJeune (Rte 172 runs about 12 miles through the base) many times on the way down to our beach house. Many times with weapons fully exposed in the gunracks in my truck and with my P229 in a shoulder holster. All the guard asks is, "are you driving through?" and all I say is "yes", and I am waved through. If he tells me I need to secure my weapons I will, or drive around the base if told to.
Originally Posted by JimmyC
"You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone." - Al Capone
The second amendment is the reset button of our Constitution.
August 5th, 2006 06:27 PM
For a laugh, check this out:
Note in particular the date when the page was last updated.
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