National Parks and Off Limit Areas - Must Be Posted?

This is a discussion on National Parks and Off Limit Areas - Must Be Posted? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Looking at federal law I came up with this. It looks to me like all buildings in National Parks will not be off limits unless ...

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Thread: National Parks and Off Limit Areas - Must Be Posted?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Gary Slider's Avatar
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    National Parks and Off Limit Areas - Must Be Posted?

    Looking at federal law I came up with this. It looks to me like all buildings in National Parks will not be off limits unless posted. The Park Office would be off limits as that is a Federal Office Building. But restaurants, Inns, Bathrooms etc would not be off limits unless posted. Look at (3)(h) that states they must be posted. But read the whole thing. We have to get something from the feds on this as it is their law and we must follow the laws as written.
    You can see the law for yourself at Donate to the Legal Information Institute

    TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 44 > § 930

    § 930. Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities
    How Current is This?
    (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 21/2 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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    INAL but my interpretation of (d)(3) “the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes” would allow carry since personal defense is a lawful purpose.

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    And my interpretation of (d)(3) is the same. Several lawyers agree. Do YOU have the money and time to be the test case? Only time will tell us(and the outcome from someone who is prosecuted). Stay concealed!!!

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    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msgt/ret View Post
    INAL but my interpretation of (d)(3) “the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes” would allow carry since personal defense is a lawful purpose.
    I think one could make a pretty good argument that self defense is only happening when you are responding to a threat.

    With the new National Park rules that should go into effect in January, I had not thought about this. Thanks for bringing it up.

    (g) (3) 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.
    Park rangers are federal employees and a visitor center is certainly a building where they regularly work. I suppose that would make a visitor center off limits.

    We are going to have to see how this one plays out and if they add the necessary singe.

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    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    The weasel words in §930(h) are
    [...] unless such person had actual notice of subsection (a) or (e), as the case may be.
    There is no definition of 'actual notice'. In this case, I am guessing, 'actual notice' will be given by posting §930(a) at the park entrances, or even printing it on the back of your admission receipt. Worse yet, if you are a permit holder, I will bet your permit paperwork included acknowledgment of the federal statutes, which means you acknowledged having been given 'actual notice' when you signed your permit application.

    This is not to say I think it ought to be interpreted that way, just that it could be. And I also agree that self-defense is all the §930(d)(3) justification one should need to ignore the whole thing, but I don't want to be the test case for that, either...
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

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    Quote Originally Posted by nutz4utwo View Post
    I think one could make a pretty good argument that self defense is only happening when you are responding to a threat.

    With the new National Park rules that should go into effect in January, I had not thought about this. Thanks for bringing it up.



    Park rangers are federal employees and a visitor center is certainly a building where they regularly work. I suppose that would make a visitor center off limits.

    We are going to have to see how this one plays out and if they add the necessary singe.
    ...but what about restrooms? Is this where they regularly work or have duty?
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    I have a problem ... and have had for several years ... with phrasing and I think we (that's the 'us' we) need to be careful what words we use so that 'they' (that's the other 'we') may learn something. The phrasing of the mentioned legislation is a prime example.
    "firearms and other dangerous weapons."
    There is nothing dangerous about firearms. Well designed? Well built? Perhaps.
    Even a poorly designed, badly built piece of cr__ that may be far less than 'user friendly' will just lay there until some one dangerous, a dangerous PERSON picks it up
    Dave McGowan

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    National Parks?

    Stay armed...but don't become a test case, understand the law completely...stay safe!
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    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Agreed. Once we get official layman's terms and definitions from a lawyer (Come on NRA let us know what the heck is going on) better safe than sorry. Don't carry unless there is blue sky above you, or you are in your personal mode of transportation.
    Sticks

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    I think a lot of these issues will come up and be resolved as this moves forward. I'm not particularly concerned about the issue of using a outhouse or bathroom, but I'd guess that the visitor centers, rangers stations, etc. will be off limits. This is how the forest service does it now and its not particularly onerous. The forest service weapons posting signs show a picture of a gun and of a typical folding knife. I think I have accidentally violated the knife part a few times - locked the gun in a safe in the car then forgot that I had a folder in my pocket.
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    Senior Member Array elkhunter's Avatar
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    First let me say "Welcome to the forum" to Dave.

    It was just over a year ago when we (my family & me) were invited to go up to RMNP (Rocky Mountain National Park) with another family to the Alluvial Fan. We enjoy doing things like this with this particular family and our kids play well together, but I told my wife that it is gonna really suck to have to leave my gun at home to do this.
    She then went on the RMNP website to research the regulations specific to the park, and she found a page that stated that weapons for personal protection were allowed, (or something to that affect, I can't, at this time remember the exact verbiage.) I could hardly believe it, so I printed the page (with time & date stamp) and folded it into my pocket, kept my Kimber in my holster and we went to enjoy a beautiful afternoon picnic in the park with our friends.
    I saw no signs posted like I had seen on previous trips into the park stating that firearms were forbidden or needed to be declared to park rangers.
    I haven't been back because I prefer to visit less crowded mountains than RMNP anyhow.
    It’s so much easier now days, to "Love and honor" my wife, when she is armed, and shoots a better group than I do. (Till death do us part, eh?)

    “The way you get shot by a concealed weapons permit holder is, you point a gun at him,” the Sheriff said.

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    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elkhunter View Post
    I haven't been back because I prefer to visit less crowded mountains than RMNP anyhow.
    That is why I still have the family property on Gore Pass. My back yard is Route National Forrest to the south, and an isolated section (mile x mile) of BLM land to the East. No public access to that except through the National Forrest, and that is miles and miles of hiking to get to it.

    I lived in Estes Park for 3 years. Parents still summer up there. I'd rather have my teeth pulled than go up there by choice in the summer on a weekend.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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