Dear Mr. Heath,
This responds to your e-mail inquiry about the recent Federal firearms law, now codified at 16 USC 1a-7b, and its impact at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, located in Virginia.
Federal Law 16 USC 1a-7b generally allows individuals to possess firearms in a Unit of the National Park System, if such possession is also in compliance with other Federal laws as well as the laws of the State in which the park unit is located.
In that regard, 18 U.S.C. 930 is another Federal law, and it generally prohibits firearms within a Federal facility. Further, the term Federal facility is defined at 18 USC 930(g)(1) as 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." The Park Service in consultation with our Solicitor's Office, has determined that the entire Filene Center, which also includes the amphitheater areas located inside its ticketed entrances, qualifies as a Federal facility under 18 USC 930(g)(1). To alert the public, appropriate signage has been posted conspicuously at each public entrance to the Filene Center.
As to your question regarding firearms at private restaurants at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, it is the Park Service's policy to defer to its concessioners to decide for itself whether to prohibit firearms, as long as such authority is also authorized under State law such as at Va. Code Ann. 18.2-308(O). In the event that a restaurant concessioner in our park decides to prohibit firearms, appropriate signage will be posted conspicuously by the concessioner at each public entrance to the restaurant.
Thank you for your interest in Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.
Duane Erwin, Chief Ranger
Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
1551 Trap Road, Vienna, Virginia 22182-1643
Office # (703) 255-1822, Fax # (703) 255-4009