OC on the Blue Ridge Parkway

This is a discussion on OC on the Blue Ridge Parkway within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I took the family up on the parkway today to hike the Price Lake loop trail just south of Blowing Rock, NC. I OC'd during ...

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Thread: OC on the Blue Ridge Parkway

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    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    OC on the Blue Ridge Parkway

    I took the family up on the parkway today to hike the Price Lake loop trail just south of Blowing Rock, NC. I OC'd during the hike and driving around the parkway. I passed 2 LE rangers on 2 occasions while hiking, they were the same guys. The first time I am not sure if they noticed or not. They were in a hurry, working the banks checking fishing licenses. The second time we met was at my van. They were talking to a couple who were from out of state but did not have a fishing license. Both rangers noticed that I was carrying, per my wife, but neither said a word about it. No issue with other hikers either. In and out of a couple of gas stations and a MC-D's. I heard someone comment on the "guy with a pistol on his hip", but nothing negative. I would have loved to talk to him about OC, but we were headed out the door.

    If anyone is in that area, just be a bit careful. Grandfather Mtn and the state worked out a deal to make some of the private Grandfather Mtn property into a state park. So if you hike the trails that wind from the parkway and into the state park you can't carry. State park rules apply once you cross the state park boundary. I need to find a good map to figure it all out. It looked like the Tanawha trail was the worst for going back and forth from Nat park to State park.
    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"

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    Member Array JLUSAF's Avatar
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    sounds like it went well. the blue ridge parkway is beautiful.
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    Thumbs up Good heads-up

    Quote Originally Posted by chiefjason View Post
    ....

    If anyone is in that area, just be a bit careful. Grandfather Mtn and the state worked out a deal to make some of the private Grandfather Mtn property into a state park. So if you hike the trails that wind from the parkway and into the state park you can't carry. State park rules apply once you cross the state park boundary. I need to find a good map to figure it all out. It looked like the Tanawha trail was the worst for going back and forth from Nat park to State park.
    ....
    Sounds like a good outing.

    Glad you are aware of and warning others of the "gun-traps" that lie in such an outing.

    As I have posted before there are a lot of traps out there for the unaware -- which are not posted.

    This Grandfather Mtn private property, abutting a state park abutting a National Park -- without clear delineation is another good example.

    Thanks for the heads-up.
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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Thanks for keeping the DC Forum informed on this issue, there are a quite a few members close to that area.

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    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveH View Post
    Sounds like a good outing.

    Glad you are aware of and warning others of the "gun-traps" that lie in such an outing.

    As I have posted before there are a lot of traps out there for the unaware -- which are not posted.

    This Grandfather Mtn private property, abutting a state park abutting a National Park -- without clear delineation is another good example.

    Thanks for the heads-up.
    Yeah, it's a mine field around there. For a few others from the parkway in NC. We have Mt Mitchell state park that is off a spur road from the parkway too. Then there are the Gamelands issues. Currently, outside of designated hunting seasons, you cannot carry a pistol larger than .22 cal with a barrel larger than 7.5". So I tend to take a .22 as well in case my normal carry piece is not allowed. And any trail that goes more than a couple hundred yards from the parkway may be crossing onto lands that are not park owned. The parkway itself is quite narrow. Except for specific areas that the park owns, like price lake, craggy gardens, and others. it's a lot of work to stay legal, but better than the complete ban!
    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"

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    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    I thought the N.P. had to follow the State Park rule for carrying in that state.
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    Senior Member Array digitalexplr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supertac45 View Post
    I thought the N.P. had to follow the State Park rule for carrying in that state.
    Me too!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supertac45 View Post
    I thought the N.P. had to follow the State Park rule for carrying in that state.
    Same here.

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    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supertac45 View Post
    I thought the N.P. had to follow the State Park rule for carrying in that state.
    Nope. That was the original NPS rule change. The legislation only applies to NPS and does not connect the rules in state parks with Nat parks. You still cannot carry in NC state parks, but you can carry on NPS land. Parkway page for firearms in NC and VA.

    Blue Ridge Parkway - New Firearms Regulations (U.S. National Park Service)

    You are subject to the general state laws of the state you are in. In NC firearms are prohibited through the park system not the CC laws, IIRC.
    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"

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    Distinguished Member Array Brady's Avatar
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    The park lands can pre-empt state law?
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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    State parks and National parks are two totally separate entities. They have no affiliations to each other. The laws in NC refer to STATE parks not NATIONAL.

    It's like two different retail stores. Both may sell similar items but are controlled by two different companies and individual company policies only apply within each store not both.

    Carry in NC National Parks is now legal as long as you follow the NC firearms laws.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brady View Post
    The park lands can pre-empt state law?
    Not really.

    A Little background (with lots of details missing) on how a single individual got a grass-roots Pro-RKBA movement rolling leading up to where we are now:

    Back in 03, the owner of (now defunct) ourcivilrights.org stated the ball rolling w/ VCDL.

    In '04 efforts began in PA (headed up by the Johnstown Rifle & Pistol Club) and VCDL put pressure on the Virginia Congressional delegation about the National Parks -- to which many responded positively. In Dec '04 VCDL filed a Petition for Rule Making to amend CFR 36, Regulation 2.4 and the number of co-petitioners starts to grow.

    By Feb 05, there were 40 co-petitioner organizations of state and national significance, representing over 1 million citizens. In '05 Utah gets significantly involved.

    Fast forward through lots of back-and-forth and a lot of grass-roots folk putting a lot of pressure on their elective representatives in Washington to 01/31/07 when the petition is arbitrarily and capriciously denied.

    On 02/06/08, After review of the response and lack thereof to the FOIA, and with the support of 47+ Senators in the US Senate, VCDL and dozens of co-petitioning organizations file a new petition for rule making to amend CFR36 regulation 2.4. This petition answers items raised in the NPS denial of VCDL's petition in 2007.

    Again, a lot of back-and-forth and individuals like you & I making call, writing letters & emails, etc, a lot of Pro-RKBA groups joining in, and a few more US Senators joining the Pro-RKBA side.

    On 12/05/08, DOI issues news release announcing the final rule for National Parks & Wildlife Refuge weapons regulation amendments. See: FR Doc E8-29249.

    On 01/07/09, the Brady Campaign & the National Parks Conservation Association have sued DOI proclaiming unlawful acts in promulgating the final weapons regulations.

    On 4/19/09 District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly overturned the rule change.

    Lots more of back and forth, calls, email, letters, newspaper pitches, etc.

    On 5/20/09, The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that included an amendment to repeal the gun ban on National Park Service (NPS) land and wildlife refuges.

    This amendment , sponsored by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) was attached to a credit card industry reform and an amendment that simply allows for state and local laws -- instead of unelected bureaucrats and anti gun activist judges -- to govern firearm possession on these lands. This was in spite of the anti-gun leadership in both the House and Senate going berserk and fighting to keep the Coburn amendment from being attached to the underlying bill. (An example of the sparks were flying on the floor of the House of Representatives today was anti-gun Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) whined that a "very good" credit card bill had been "hijacked" by the Coburn amendment. To which, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) pointed out that gun control is the policy of tyrants, as evidenced by the British attempt to confiscate firearms at Lexington and Concord in 1775.)

    (Unlike some of the earlier administrative Rules and proposals, there was not a direct link to what the State requires in State Parks)

    States can pass laws (as the anti-gun forces in Maine are trying to do at this point) that do restrict carry on Federal property, all parks (Federal, State & Local), etc. However, lacking that, the the existing laws for carry in each State control carry in the NPS.

    So, the fight is still on. Join your local Pro-gun forces to keep the antis from getting laws passes as they are now trying to do in Maine.

    See: http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...al-rights.html

    BTW: you might also want to read: http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...carry-law.html
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    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brady View Post
    The park lands can pre-empt state law?
    In simpler terms. The national park land, that is in NC, is required to abide by the firearms laws of NC. Just change the state and you get the idea. So, not preempting state law, they are extending state law onto the national park where firearms are concerned.

    A different spin is that the national parks where preempting state law on firearms previously by not allowing them in states that allowed CC or OC. And now they are not allowed to.
    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"

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefjason View Post
    In simpler terms. The national park land, that is in NC, is required to abide by the firearms laws of NC. Just change the state and you get the idea. So, not preempting state law, they are extending state law onto the national park where firearms are concerned.

    A different spin is that the national parks where preempting state law on firearms previously by not allowing them in states that allowed CC or OC. And now they are not allowed to.
    Concise and precise brevity -- well done!
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    Veni, Vidi, Velcro

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    Update re: force of State Law

    Quote Originally Posted by Brady View Post
    The park lands can pre-empt state law?
    Updated: Effort In Maine To Restrict Guns From National Park Units Falls Short of Goal | National Parks Traveler

    By Kurt Repanshek
    April 7, 2010

    A concerted effort in Maine to draw the line on national park visitors arming themselves has fallen short of the original goal. But the measure Governor John Baldacci signed this week will at least outlaw open carry in Acadia National Park.

    Among the groups seeking a complete ban on visitors carrying weapons in all national park units in Maine was the Friends of Acadia, a non-profit park advocacy group that never saw the wisdom in the weapons legislation that U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, deftly wielded through Congress by attaching the rule change to a popular credit card bill.

    While the initial intent behind the senator's amendment was to allow the carrying of concealed weapons in national parks -- if the surrounding state's laws provided for concealed carry by permitted gun owners -- the measure wound up allowing open carry as well. For years the Park Service had allowed legally licensed weapons owners to bring their firearms through parks, as long as they were broken down and out of reach. Many Second Amendment supporters railed against that provision, and the National Rifle Association helped Sen. Coburn rewrite the rules.

    At Friends of Acadia, officials never saw a need for a rules change.

    "The previous rules were working perfectly fine here in Acadia, and I think that for, especially for the rangers, the new firearms laws present a challenge," Stephanie Clement, conservation director for the friends group, told the Traveler back in February. The old rule, she went on, made it easier for rangers to spot possible poachers; anyone carrying a firearm could be stopped. Under the rule change, it would no longer be that simple, she said.

    "Really, it was a very effective anti-poaching tool. It was an opportunity for a point of contact, so that point of contact will be gone," said Ms. Clement.

    The effort to stop the rule change from impacting the units of the National Park System in Maine resulted in legislation that, as initially drafted, would have banned visitors from carrying firearms in Acadia, along the Appalachian Trail, and at St. Croix Island International Historic Site. However, by the time the measure reached Gov. Baldacci's desk, it had been rewritten to apply only to Acadia, and in that park concealed carry, but not open carry, would be allowed if a firearm owner was properly licensed.

    Still, Ms. Clement said Wednesday that the final version was better than opening the park to open carry of firearms.

    "While it's not ideal that concealed weapons will be allowed in the park under the new legislation, we're pleased with the outcome for several reasons: One, the bill maintains the park rangers' ability to deter opportunistic poaching because they can contact visitors who are openly carrying firearms. The bill also still allows hunters to travel through the park as long as their firearms are unloaded, broken down and stored or not easily accessible," said Ms. Clement.

    "Two, The bill is intended to protect public safety by preventing people who have not had firearms safety training from legally carrying weapons in the park. Those with concealed weapons permits in Maine have to demonstrate that they have received firearms safety training within five years, but other gun owners have not been required to go through such training," she continued. "Three, for those visitors to Acadia who may be concerned about their safety in the proximity of loaded firearms in the park, this bill regulates the possession of firearms in a way that should help reassure them.

    "Ultimately, passage of this legislation is important because Acadia National Park is a safe, family-oriented destination without need for loaded firearms. The Maine Legislature confirmed this, using the provisions of the federal legislation to specify what firearms regulations they believed should apply to Acadia National Park."

    At the National Parks Conservation Association, officials saw the finalized legislation as a step in the right direction and better than no change to the federal rule change.

    "We applaud Maine state Senators Dennis Damon and Stan Gerzovsky for seeking stronger legislation that would have prohibited firearms in Acadia National Park," said Alexander Brash, NPCA's Northeast regional director. "Though Maine's proposed legislation falls short of providing the same level of safeguards that were in effect for wildlife and visitors at all national parks before February of this year when Congress made effective a new law that NPCA adamantly opposed, Maine's legislation is an important step back in the right direction.

    "NPCA hopes that regulations similar to those created in the Reagan era, which simply required gun owners to keep their firearms unloaded and stored, will be re-enacted by Congress once again for the entire National Park System in the near future."

    The measure will take effect three months after the Maine Legislature adjourns it's current session, so it should be effect in mid-July.
    Μολὼν λαβέ

    I'm just one root in a grassroots organization. No one should assume that I speak for the VCDL.

    I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.

    Veni, Vidi, Velcro

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