Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Red face Can't get a straight answer on self protection

    My first post. Hello. Let me introduce myself. I am thebigHHHRRRNNT! I can't seem to find an answer to my question that is both consistent and solid. That question is basically: Can I carry a rifle or a shotgun while backpacking/camping on state forest land (no parks.. I don't like parks.. I don't like trails.. I don't like "facilities") I do a lot of hiking and trekking through secluded areas putting my field guides to use. I also do "primitive camping".. I like to park somewhere and scale a mountain and find a place to hunker down. It's my escape. I DO NOT HUNT. Never have shot an animal. However, I would be willing to blast an aggressive bear in the face (if shouting and a rainmaker shot doesn't do the trick).

    I would like to have mr. 30-06 slung across my back or mr. remmy M31 12 gauge leaning against the tree. Even if it wasn't an animal, what if someone sees a vehicle parked on some secluded dirt road and decides to see "what the action is" back there in the woods (I sometimes just park and walk out into the woods a couple hundred yards to get my fix of nature).

    As a matter of fact, that was my plan last night. I wanted to park and just get go back in the woods a little ways so I could be the first one to hit the hot spots on a popular native stream. Just so happened that about a tenth of a mile from where I planned to park, a big black bear bumbled across the road lookin' none to afraid. I was even able to have a staring contest with him after he parked his rear 10 feet off the road.. i cheated in the contest by yelling and honking the horn but he still won. I DON'T LIKE THAT.

    Sorry for such a long post, especially as my first post but I appreciate any input on the matter. And if the info I seek for my exact position is available on this site, I apologize for not finding it in the 2 hours I searches

    Thought I should add a bit of detail about the part where people concern me: Certainly, I am not looking to shoo away some person that comes back to where I am camping. In my area, a lot of people flock-to from other places and criminal activity rises around certain times (season-openers, holidays, etc).. I have had a few strange encounters and am pretty sure I was about to be robbed. That's just as scary as the many "friendly" black bears I've encountered.
    Last edited by thebigHHHRRRNNT!; April 22nd, 2010 at 04:24 AM. Reason: For Clarification

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    south western PA, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: Can't get a straight answer on self protection

    Instead of just asking and "trusting" what someone on a forum "may or may not" know about your specific question as ALWAYS go to the source FIRST, in this case its the DCNR.

    Getting bad advice on a forum (which you may selectively apply) and getting issued a citation is not going to make a very good legal defense in court.

    Besides, people have got to start learning how to do basic research for information themselves.

    Write DCNR a letter or an email them FIRST - Post their reply
    here is the DCNR web site


    http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry...sts/index.aspx

    After you ask DCNR, now you will have a copy of something that you could use in court and or show a DCNR employee you may find in the field.


    The answer is also located on the PAFOA, HB 1845 when we helped get the law changed in the last session about your specfic question.

    welcome to the forums BTW
    Learn how to really SUPPORT the 2nd Amendment cause Go To http://www.foac-pac.org/

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can't get a straight answer on self protection

    You're probably fine as far as the gun laws are concerned. I suspect that you may find that carrying as you suggest could be considered illegal hunting, particularly if the gun you are carrying is commonly used for hunting. Not many of us carry a 30-06 for self defense. As previously suggested, go to the source (DCNR).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can't get a straight answer on self protection

    donm pretty much nailed it.

    you are fine from a "gun law" standpoint. however, there is a clause in the "game laws" that says carrying a gun is considered prima facie evidence of hunting. so, if you are not legal to be hunting at that time with that gun, you could be charged with illegal hunting.

    you may or may not win in court, but even if you do win, it would cost you money and time.

    if you are carrying a gun that is obviously for self-defense, i would think you have nothing to worry about. if carrying a gun that is generally considered a hunting gun, you might.
    F*S=k

  5. #5
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    Lock Haven, Pennsylvania
    (Clinton County)
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    Default Re: Can't get a straight answer on self protection

    laws...so many god damn laws...how about if they catch you in the act of hunting they arrest you. If not fuck off. Where is the reset button for this country?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can't get a straight answer on self protection

    WhiteFeather, I don't say this harshly or in a rude way, but do you take the time to thoroughly read posts? Obviously I have researched the subject matter myself (searching this website a couple hours). It's pretty easy to find the DCNR website (which I've found over and over). LAWS LAWS POLICIES fine print LAWS. They leave an awful lot of grey! For example, compare DCNR's "Primitive Camping" guidelines to a sign you encounter posted in state forests. The one I read the other day didn't say I have to burry my poop and not to poop blah blah distance from streams and such.

    Also, emailing DCNR resulted in some links to some pages on their website.. the ones I questioned in the first place. That's why I asked here and am willing to hear anyone's input because surely somebody knows/has experience here. Visiting the DCNR's district office resulted in "I'm not sure about that one blah blah ask game commission this and go ask the police that"

    I should probably just give up and get a sportsman's permit.. or hunting license and be hunting those coyote.. yeah man.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can't get a straight answer on self protection

    Personally I would save my money and not get the sportsmans permit, get a License To Carry Firearms, Buy a good .44 magnum revolver and a comfortable holster. Search for "State Parks" in this forum and read away. Loaded Long arms are considered evidence of hunting. You can find out about this on the PAGC website. I think you would have more to fear from 2 legged predators than bears as they usually get hunted pretty hard in PA

  8. #8
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    Cool Re: Can't get a straight answer on self protection

    I really would love to be licensed to carry. However, I don't feel it's even worth it to apply. Too many instances would have me turned down. "Because I am the Devil".

    Even if I were to obtain a license to carry, It wouldn't be any more advantageous than a simple sportsman's permit. I never have unnerving experiences lest they happen in wilds. Like my experiences today. Geesh.. don't even really wanna talk about that one.. but anyhow I started chattin' with this one guy and he claimed that you don't need a sportsman's permit for open carry. I was like "ehhhhhh, cool then. yah". I should just go to the state police and ask my questions to trooper.. but then they would wanna scheme something up to sink my ship the rest of the way.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can't get a straight answer on self protection

    I'm assuming this fellow didn't tell you that you can't Open Carry unless you walk from your home to your destination?

    Can't legally transport a handgun in a vehicle with the intent to exit said vehicle at your destination and OC from that point on. Without a LTCF you can only transport a handgun (in a vehicle) to a few specific places. (A shooting range, or a gunsmith for example)

    Welcome to the forum, btw.
    PITTSBURGH PAFOA Group Shoot! THIS SATURDAY, Aug 17th - Click here for info

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can't get a straight answer on self protection

    I'm going to ignore the "under the bridge" smell and comment on the merits:

    Walking through woods with a rifle or shotgun looks like hunting to me, and to anyone else, too. A rifle is good for shooting critters at distances measured in scores of yards, very few of which count as "self-defense". If you're afraid of outlaws and bears, bring a .44 magnum handgun.

    Yes, you could transport an unloaded rifle or shotgun in a vehicle without an LTCF, whereas you couldn't drive with any handgun (loaded or not) to your nature reverie without an LTCF, which is not in the list of exceptions. So get an LTCF.

    If you know you can't get an LTCF, I have to wonder if you're eligible to own a rifle or shotgun.
    Attorney Phil Kline, AKA gunlawyer001@gmail.com
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