Carry in National Parks Information

This is a discussion on Carry in National Parks Information within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I posted this on another forum and thought it would be good info to post here. Carry in National Parks will be legal on February ...

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    Senior Member Array Gary Slider's Avatar
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    Carry in National Parks Information

    I posted this on another forum and thought it would be good info to post here.

    Carry in National Parks will be legal on February 22, 2010. That is the date I was given. Some others are reporting Feb. 20, 2010.

    Carry in National Parks will follow the laws of the state the National Park is located. So if you can legally carry in the state the National Park is in you can carry in the National Park.

    Buildings in National Parks are off limits. The law is pasted below. It is buildings that have Federal Offices or that Federal Workers do their normal jobs. So Free Standing Restrooms and Picnic Shelters would not apply. The big thing is that Federal Law says that Federal Buildings must be posted. The law is pasted below so you should not have any problems knowing which buildings are off limits in National Parks as they will by federal law have to have a no guns sign.

    18 USC Sec. 930 01/03/2007

    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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    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    g(1) is the one that I have yet to see any clarification on. I asked a friend who manages the visitor centers in Zion Nat. Park about it and she said she hasnt heard anything about it yet...less than a month to go. I will keep up with her tho.

    Some people will tell you that carrying into park buildings is quite simple and clearcut...but I havent seen what they've decided for buildings that house: accommodations, restaurants, info desks, shops, visitor centers, and fed. administrative offices. There are lodgings and other buildings that house all these things. Lg numbers of federal employees work in all these buildings.

    They probably have come up with a policy by now, but I'd sure like to see it posted.
    Fortune favors the bold.

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    Senior Member Array Gary Slider's Avatar
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    (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.

    If federal employees work in the building then it is off limits. If there is a restaurant in a National Park and they are hired by the Park Service to work in them then it would be off limits. If one federal Employee works in that building then it is off limits.

    (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.

    But I go back to the law. They have to post it or make sure you are aware of the status of the building or you can not be charged with an offense. They will post them. If they don't they will have to tell every visitor to a National Park or they couldn't convict you. I am not saying they can't charge you. The Feds are great a charging people and telling them to spend their hard earned cash to defend themselves and it is very difficult to sue them for false arrest etc. It is very difficult to fight the government. Not saying it can't be done but never forget you can be arrested anytime and given your day in court. That is the American Way. That is what makes it very difficult to say yes you can or no you can't. The government makes the laws and then can tell us what it means. What they say it means might not be even close to what we believe it means.
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    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slider View Post
    (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.

    If federal employees work in the building then it is off limits. If there is a restaurant in a National Park and they are hired by the Park Service to work in them then it would be off limits. If one federal Employee works in that building then it is off limits.

    But I go back to the law. They have to post it or make sure you are aware of the status of the building or you can not be charged with an offense. They will post them. If they don't they will have to tell every visitor to a National Park or they couldn't convict you. I am not saying they can't charge you. The Feds are great a charging people and telling them to spend their hard earned cash to defend themselves and it is very difficult to sue them for false arrest etc. It is very difficult to fight the government. Not saying it can't be done but never forget you can be arrested anytime and given your day in court. That is the American Way. That is what makes it very difficult to say yes you can or no you can't. The government makes the laws and then can tell us what it means. What they say it means might not be even close to what we believe it means.

    I think you missed the point of my post. It's not about being arrested necessarily, but *being sure* about where you can carry.

    Let's say you have a room at the Awahnee Lodge in Yosemite. They also have restaurants and everything else I mentioned...including fed. administrative offices.

    Does this mean that you cannot bring your gun into your hotel room with you? Or for dinner?

    It may very well mean that...but it needs to be posted and made public online as well. Because this is the sort of thing that people need to know before they come to the park.

    As an ex-park ranger, I can tell you that you never, ever want to leave anything of value in your car. Not even in a lock box (most are easy to get into with the right tool). Not even out of sight. I cant tell you how many reports I had to write about stolen cameras, wallets, etc.

    "Oh, but I put it out of sight." Yeah, and they sat there and watched you do it. And they can be in and out of your car in about 3 minutes. We'd do one patrol of a parking lot, come back around again, and see a new car broken into. It's sad, but a reality.

    I think they need to clarify this particular point of the new law. Just IMO.
    Fortune favors the bold.

    Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.

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    Senior Member Array Gary Slider's Avatar
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    (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.

    The building will be posted or they would have to tell every visitor what buildings are off limits. If it is posted, no. If it is not then OK. But read the law. You can't carry a loaded or unloaded firearm even in a locked box in a suitcase into a federal building if it is posted. Posting it on line would not be enough notice in my opinion. They will have that info on their website or should have. Some places inside the National Park System are run by private contractors and the contractor owns the building. That would not be a federal building. But I go back to the law. They have to make sure people know and they have to post the building or tell everyone that they can not carry there. If not you can't be charged under the federal statute. Telling people won't work in my opinion and they will have to have them posted. I believe you will see the international sign for NO GUNS on all the doors going into any building in a National Park that they don't want firearms in. I see no other choice for them to meet the law.
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    (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.
    I believe this is going to be the key to the whole thing. In most places I am aware of, hotels, restaurant, gift shops and so on are not manned by federal employees. They are contractor hired and paid. Now any federal office in the building is of course off limits, since those employed there will be federal employees.

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    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    I believe this is going to be the key to the whole thing. In most places I am aware of, hotels, restaurant, gift shops and so on are not manned by federal employees. They are contractor hired and paid. Now any federal office in the building is of course off limits, since those employed there will be federal employees.
    I did say that there were indeed such buildings that combined both. I gave the Awahnee in Yosemite as an example.
    Fortune favors the bold.

    Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.

    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

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    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slider View Post
    (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.

    The building will be posted or they would have to tell every visitor what buildings are off limits. If it is posted, no. If it is not then OK. But read the law. You can't carry a loaded or unloaded firearm even in a locked box in a suitcase into a federal building if it is posted. Posting it on line would not be enough notice in my opinion. They will have that info on their website or should have. Some places inside the National Park System are run by private contractors and the contractor owns the building. That would not be a federal building. But I go back to the law. They have to make sure people know and they have to post the building or tell everyone that they can not carry there. If not you can't be charged under the federal statute. Telling people won't work in my opinion and they will have to have them posted. I believe you will see the international sign for NO GUNS on all the doors going into any building in a National Park that they don't want firearms in. I see no other choice for them to meet the law.

    Well I cant disagree with you Gary, altho by 'telling people' I did mean on their Web sites, official publications, posted on doors, etc.

    And again...I think specifically they need to point it out for people who have plans to 'stay' in some park accommodations. Fed employees may have offices in contractor-owned facilities. In Zion, they have a few visitor centers...and at least one was built and is owned privately. It has offices for fed employees and rangers man the info desk, while contractors run the other facilities.

    Like I said...it would be a very poor visitor experience to arrive, armed, and then have to leave it vulnerable (and myself) in my vehicle. One thing that would also stink is going up to a visitor center...and visitors do not distinguish between private and fed. buildings....see the sign on the door, and have to either leave or again...allow thieves to see you put your gun back in your car.
    Fortune favors the bold.

    Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.

    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9MMare View Post
    I did say that there were indeed such buildings that combined both. I gave the Awahnee in Yosemite as an example.
    I understand. Those buildings should have the portions that are off limits posted. For example, in VA you can not CC in an establishment that serves alcohol for consumption. Many hotels have dining rooms. The fact that you cannot CC in that part of the building does not make the entire building off limits. Another example would be a mall that has a post office in it. The post office would be off limits for carry, but not the rest of the mall. Any building that has a joint tenant agreement should have the restricted portions of it posted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    I understand. Those buildings should have the portions that are off limits posted. For example, in VA you can not CC in an establishment that serves alcohol for consumption. Many hotels have dining rooms. The fact that you cannot CC in that part of the building does not make the entire building off limits. Another example would be a mall that has a post office in it. The post office would be off limits for carry, but not the rest of the mall. Any building that has a joint tenant agreement should have the restricted portions of it posted.
    I dont believe that the federal law works like that. At the moment, *I believe* that it's all or nothing.
    Fortune favors the bold.

    Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.

    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

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    Senior Member Array Gary Slider's Avatar
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    9MMare,

    There are government offices in private buildings that are rented by the federal government. Like recruiting offices in a strip mall or even inside a mall. The whole mall is not off limits but only the part of the building that is rented by the government agency. It would be the same in all privately owned buildings where the government leases or rents one small space in it. Only that space would be off limits not the whole building.
    Now if the government owns the building and leases or rents a part of it to a private company to run a shop or restaurant the whole building would be off limits as the government owns the whole building but lets a private enterprise use part of it. IT all boils down to who owns the building.

    Again the law states that: (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.
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    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Just for a quick example, how about the privately-run & owned Zion VC, where rangers have an info desk as you walk in, a few fed offices, yet the rest of the building is all privately-run? That info desk has fed employees manning it and you really cant access the rest of the building without going past it.

    Like I said....it's more a public relations thing...they WILL decide and they WILL post. You can bring it back to the law all you want, correctly so, but it still needs to be messaged appropriately to the public.

    The visitor experience that is also important. As the ex-ranger, I cant help but see this angle and the issues it will cause.
    Fortune favors the bold.

    Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.

    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

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    Buildings in National Parks are off limits. The law is pasted below. It is buildings that have Federal Offices or that Federal Workers do their normal jobs. So Free Standing Restrooms and Picnic Shelters would not apply.
    Maybe.

    (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.
    IT all boils down to who owns the building.
    Seems to me that staff hired specifically to keep the restrooms clean do, indeed, perform their official duties in the restrooms. Thus, it should be off-limits to carry into restrooms, there. At least, unless there is some other text in the statute that clearly exempts such places.
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    Senior Member Array Gary Slider's Avatar
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    If they post the restroom with no gun signs then you can't carry there. But by law they have to have it posted or they can not charge you. I don't think they will post free standing restrooms.
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    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Yeah but dont they usually close the restroom while they're cleaning? If not, they can.
    Fortune favors the bold.

    Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.

    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

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