Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Carrying in Delaware River Water Gap nat'l rec area

    I'm planning to do a 3 day canoe/ camping trip down the Delaware in about a month. It's my understanding that since I have a valid LTCF and I'll be camping on the PA side of the river I should be in the clear to carry during the trip. I just wanted to double check here since I'm traveling through a national park and along the border of NJ. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Oh so close to the Delaware River!, New Jersey
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    Default Re: Carrying in Delaware River Water Gap nat'l rec area

    Two things....

    The state border does not divide in the Delaware river evenly from each side.

    I read either on this site or NJ gun forums that law enforcement may not stop at whereever the actual border is in the river, which could be a problem as well.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Carrying in Delaware River Water Gap nat'l rec area

    This is a grey area at best. With fishing there is a reciprocal agreement about both states sharing the waters. With other laws (especially firearm laws in NJ) you are on your own. At best always stay close to the Pa side. If you get hassled it will be a good defense for them to prove EXACTLY how far you were over an imaginary line down the middle of a river.

    But look carefully at a map. There was a section of NJ that was (still is?) part of Delaware (according to the map). Some people even said you could go hunting there with a De license.

    I didn't.
    Last edited by Delkal; July 23rd, 2018 at 10:43 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Carrying in Delaware River Water Gap nat'l rec area

    New Jersey Fish & Game and LEO can and will stop and search you and your watercraft anywhere on the river. I have personally had this experience. Their attitude is, if you disagree, tell it to the judge.

    So I never carry anythng on the boat that would be illegal in New Jersey.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Carrying in Delaware River Water Gap nat'l rec area

    You MUST be aware of the state boundary. If you float onto the NJ side, even though you do not touch land, you come under NJ statutes. Furthermore both states have patrol authority over the entire river expanse - shore to shore.



    There is actual law which is the result of a bilaterally ratified pact between the two states. I'll give the Pa statutes and reference to NJs verbatim statute:



    71 P.S. 1803 Line where Delaware is the boundary


    Whereas inconveniences and mischiefs have arisen, and hereafter may arise, from the incertainty of jurisdiction within and on the river Delaware. Therefore, to prevent the same, and in order that law and justice may in all cases hereafter be executed and take effect within and upon the said river, from shore to shore, in all parts and places thereof, where the same river is the boundary between the said states, the said commissioners do agree and establish, for and in behalf of their respective states, in manner following:

    1805

    Secondly. That each state shall enjoy and exercise a concurrent jurisdiction within and upon the water, and not upon the dry land, between the shores of said river, but in such sort, nevertheless, that every ship and other vessel, while riding at anchor before any city or town in either state, where she hath last laded or unladed, or where it is intended she shall first thereafter either lade or unlade, shall be considered exclusively within the jurisdiction of such state, and every vessel fastened to or aground on the shore of either state, shall in like manner be considered, exclusively, within the jurisdiction of such state, but that all capital and other offenses, trespasses or damages committed on said river, the judicial investigation and determination thereof shall be exclusively vested in the state, wherein the offender or person charged with such offense shall be first apprehended, arrested or prosecuted.
    verbatim in NJSA 52:28-23 to 25


    This pact was ratified in 1783 !!
    IANAL

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Carrying in Delaware River Water Gap nat'l rec area

    FOPA - you are transporting a weapon in a locked case via NY to PA. Keep it out of reach from your canoe seat. Don't admit you stopped and camped along the way!

    Note/ This is sarcasm with a hint of truth based on many other threads. It would be fun to argue in court though!
    Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Carrying in Delaware River Water Gap nat'l rec area

    Wow, glad I asked. As a PA resident with a valid LTCF, traveling PA border waters I really would've thought I'd be in the clear to carry unless I made port on the NJ side of the river. I guess I'll have to leave my right carry at home, I certainly don't want or need to be a test case in NJ courts. It's my first time traveling this river, I'll be canoeing from Milford to a Smithfield beach maybe a little further south. Thanks for the info guys.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Carrying in Delaware River Water Gap nat'l rec area

    Yes, leave your gun at home. On that part of the river, the main flow channel crisscrosses the PA/NJ border. There really is no way to float the whole stretch that you'll be on by staying "only on the PA side", except maybe during very high water elevations.
    "How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessnes."

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Carrying in Delaware River Water Gap nat'l rec area

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandcut View Post
    Yes, leave your gun at home. On that part of the river, the main flow channel crisscrosses the PA/NJ border. There really is no way to float the whole stretch that you'll be on by staying "only on the PA side", except maybe during very high water elevations.
    I’m sure if I’m walking along the shore I would be fine. I’m in my own state for god sake

    All this just pisses me off

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Carrying in Delaware River Water Gap nat'l rec area

    Quote Originally Posted by gdc View Post
    I’m sure if I’m walking along the shore I would be fine. I’m in my own state for god sake

    All this just pisses me off
    You can hunt in the rec area but the river is different.

    Boyhood friend, fishing w/ dad and brother. Dad starts engine in gear and is thrown over and struck. My friend helps him into the boat and motored to the closest landing, Worthington State Forest, PA boat reg, pa licenses and the state cops gave my teenage friend a bunch of static about landing on 'their' side of the river before calling for the EMT's...

    no guns were involved!

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