Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Carry inside Natl Parks

    So the law changed in Feb...I know that. It now...loosely quoted...says

    subject to applicable federal, state, and local firearms laws
    .


    But...can a state create a law to say you Can't OC in a National Park?

    Maine is doing just that

    Perhaps prompted into action by the Coburn Amendment (legalizing gun carry in National Parks if legal under state law), State officials across the United States, apparently feeling the same way about gun carry rights as Ranger Emerich, have been identifying and repealing state laws restricting gun carry in state and federal parks and forests. This process sometimes takes place via notice and comment rulemaking by state agencies, or legislative action by state legislatures.

    The one outlier appears to be Maine, where the legislature voted to ban open carry in Acadia National Park. But according to the National Parks Traveler, the Maine effort was sharply scaled back from its initial goal to ban on all gun carry "in Acadia, along the Appalachian Trail, and at St. Croix Island International Historic Site," to merely banning open carry in Acadia National Park.

    Maine Open Carry Association founder, Shane Belanger, sees the glass as 5/6's full. "We can still carry in all three of these locations which anti-gun rights forces tried to make into victim disarmament zones," he explained.

    Belanger, a math minded, pre-med student at the University of Southern Maine, thinks of gun rights policy matters in two dimensions as a matrix of locations to carry multiplied by the two ways to carry a handgun, open or concealed. Belanger reasons that the bill originally would have banned both concealed and open carry in 3 locations, hence 6 right to carry options would have been criminalized. But in the end, only 1 of the 6 options was taken away from Maine citizens and visitors - and that was open carry in Acadia National park, effective July 12, 2010.

    But are gun owners happy with this result? Apparently not.

    Mr. Belanger is organizing an open carry picnic in Acadia National Park on Sunday, July 11th, and expects to have one of Maine's pro-gun legislators attend and speak at the picnic to help energize an effort to re-legalize open carry in Acadia National Park next year. "We'll be back," said Bellanger.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Carry inside Natl Parks

    There are already states that prohibit carrying in any sort of park - so, yes they can.
    RIP: SFN, 1861, twoeggsup, Lambo, jamesjo, JayBell, 32 Magnum, Pro2A, mrwildroot, dregan, Frenchy, Fragger, ungawa, Mtn Jack, Grapeshot.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Carry inside Natl Parks

    i CC'd at valley forge the other day, i didn't even notice the no firearms sign on the door at the visitors center.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Carry inside Natl Parks

    Quote Originally Posted by knight0334 View Post
    There are already states that prohibit carrying in any sort of park - so, yes they can.
    How can they if it's federally owned property? I understand about state's rights and all, but that is assuming the property is theirs... in this case, it isn't.. That would kinda be like me having a house, and you telling me I can't put wallpaper in it.. wouldn't it?
    III%

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Carry inside Natl Parks

    Quote Originally Posted by bogey1 View Post
    i CC'd at valley forge the other day, i didn't even notice the no firearms sign on the door at the visitors center.

    Thank you for walking back to your vehicle and not going into the welcome center illegally carrying a weapon.
    NRA Training Counselor, Chief Range Safety Officer, NRA Benefactor Member



  6. #6
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    Default Re: Carry inside Natl Parks

    Quote Originally Posted by Dannytheman View Post
    Thank you for walking back to your vehicle and not going into the welcome center illegally carrying a weapon.
    The law requires signage to be posted in order for the prohibition to be in force, and also requires the building to be staffed by Federal employees. Not ALL "buildings" on NP lands are no-carry zones. Apparently the Visitor's Center at Gettysburg is ok to carry in as well.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Carry inside Natl Parks

    Quote Originally Posted by Dannytheman View Post
    Thank you for walking back to your vehicle and not going into the welcome center illegally carrying a weapon.
    oh i walked back to my truck, after i got my daily pass to the air field..

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Carry inside Natl Parks

    Quote Originally Posted by gnbrotz View Post
    The law requires signage to be posted in order for the prohibition to be in force, and also requires the building to be staffed by Federal employees. Not ALL "buildings" on NP lands are no-carry zones. Apparently the Visitor's Center at Gettysburg is ok to carry in as well.
    Valley Forge has the signage on all populated buildings(Welcome center and Chapel doors. (Nothing on the cabins though.)
    NRA Training Counselor, Chief Range Safety Officer, NRA Benefactor Member



  9. #9
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    Default Re: Carry inside Natl Parks

    Quote Originally Posted by NikeBauer21 View Post
    How can they if it's federally owned property? I understand about state's rights and all, but that is assuming the property is theirs... in this case, it isn't.. That would kinda be like me having a house, and you telling me I can't put wallpaper in it.. wouldn't it?
    That was my thinking also.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Carry inside Natl Parks

    Quote Originally Posted by NikeBauer21 View Post
    How can they if it's federally owned property? I understand about state's rights and all, but that is assuming the property is theirs... in this case, it isn't.. That would kinda be like me having a house, and you telling me I can't put wallpaper in it.. wouldn't it?
    Quote Originally Posted by mrjam2jab View Post
    That was my thinking also.
    I too was wondering about the jurisdictional issues. I'm aware that some Federal properties can optionally adopt state law (like MV laws) but I would think that state's cannot unilaterally promulgate laws for Federal property. ie, they require some sort of Federal enabling legislation.


    I think the 'trick' here is that the state law would not be the actual charge for violation but instead the charge would be the DOI regulation [36 CFR 2.4].

    The state, by ostensibly disallowing carry in National Parks, has nullified the Coburn exemption and thus allows the DOI to enforce its existing CFR regulation.

    The Coburn Amendment [16 USC 1a-7b] did not repeal the DOIs prosciption for firearm carry in NPs and NWRS, it simply prohibited its enforcement:

    (b) Protecting the Right of Individuals To Bear arms in Units of the
    National Park System and the National Wildlife Refuge System.--The
    Secretary of the Interior shall not promulgate or enforce any regulation
    that prohibits an individual from possessing a firearm including an
    assembled or functional firearm in any unit of the National Park System
    or the National Wildlife Refuge System if--
    (1) the individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from
    possessing the firearm; and
    (2) the possession of the firearm is in compliance with the
    law of the State in which the unit of the National Park System
    or the National Wildlife Refuge System is located.
    IANAL

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