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Thread: carrying a rifle in the north cascades national park

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    carrying a rifle in the north cascades national park

    I know this isn't technically an OC question, but I've always been able to find good information here, so thought I'd ask.

    I know that we can now have firearms in national parks as long as they are legally carried, but I unfortunately don't have a handgun; all I have is an AR15 and a .22 rifle. I'm going camping with my son next weekend, and while I'm not looking for a fight, I wouldn't want to happen upon a bear in our camp without an argument at hand.

    Any reason I can't pack it in my backpack, legally? I'm not even 100% sure it will fit with our other gear, but I wanted to figure out the legality first.

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    Activist Member golddigger14s's Avatar
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    I've done a lot of outdoor activities, and never felt a need for a gun for four legged creatures. I only care about the sketchy two legged types.
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    First beware of the "don't mention long guns" crowd. Second, nothing illegal about carrying your long gun out in the woods. I know you can carry how you want when out on state/county land. I'm fairly certain that the laws concerning carry in National Parks were just firearm related and not handgun/long gun specific so it shouldn't be a problem there either. However I'm not an expert on laws for that. Do be aware that even if it's perfectly legal, don't be surprised to get a visit from the rangers if some lefty visiting the park feels threatened by your evil black rifle that randomly jumps out and kills people with a million rounds per second rate of fire shooting heat seeking, high explosive, bunker buster rounds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by golddigger14s View Post
    I've done a lot of outdoor activities, and never felt a need for a gun for four legged creatures. I only care about the sketchy two legged types.
    Definitely a fair point. I'm not expecting to need it, but it would be nice to have around is all. In fact I'm certain that just like most of life, if I go without one, I'm almost certainly not going to regret it, but I'd like to, ya know? Besides, it'd be nice to teach the son about exercising our rights (assuming this is among them, hence the question )

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    Quote Originally Posted by sirpuma View Post
    First beware of the "don't mention long guns" crowd. Second, nothing illegal about carrying your long gun out in the woods. I know you can carry how you want when out on state/county land. I'm fairly certain that the laws concerning carry in National Parks were just firearm related and not handgun/long gun specific so it shouldn't be a problem there either. However I'm not an expert on laws for that. Do be aware that even if it's perfectly legal, don't be surprised to get a visit from the rangers if some lefty visiting the park feels threatened by your evil black rifle that randomly jumps out and kills people with a million rounds per second rate of fire shooting heat seeking, high explosive, bunker buster rounds.


    Yeah, not planning on advertising it or anything, it'd just be nice to have near at hand is all.

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    I would actually be more worried about the game warden accusing you of poaching than anything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thewise1 View Post
    Definitely a fair point. I'm not expecting to need it, but it would be nice to have around is all. In fact I'm certain that just like most of life, if I go without one, I'm almost certainly not going to regret it, but I'd like to, ya know? Besides, it'd be nice to teach the son about exercising our rights (assuming this is among them, hence the question )
    I'd have to agree with golddigger on the part about not really worrying about the four-legged critters. If anything, according to the recent studies on bear attacks, you have a higher chance of survival with bear spray than you do with a gun. The logic/reasoning makes sense too. So, I carry spray for bears and my handgun for the "hikers" near Granite Falls.Anyhow, I noticed that the federal buildings issue hasn't been brought up, so I should point that out. Don't go strolling into the visitor center with the EBR (evil black rifle). lol Have fun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by larrybob View Post
    I would actually be more worried about the game warden accusing you of poaching than anything else.
    Dang. I didn't think of that angle. Definitely not out there for that...just doing an overnight backpacking trip with my son, who's 6, and pretty much more excited about this than he's ever been about anything.

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by larrybob View Post
    I would actually be more worried about the game warden accusing you of poaching than anything else.
    Merely possessing a long gun is not prima facie evidence of poaching; however, getting caught sticking the barrel out of the window of a vehicle, "checking out" wildlife with a scope, or having meat in camp will definitely lead to problems...
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManInBlack View Post
    Merely possessing a long gun is not prima facie evidence of poaching; however, getting caught sticking the barrel out of the window of a vehicle, "checking out" wildlife with a scope, or having meat in camp will definitely lead to problems...
    wow never thought of it like that.

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    Campaign Veteran OlGutshotWilly's Avatar
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    Do your research and get a really good bear spray. They are not all created equal.

    Here are a couple of good places to start:
    https://store.udap.com/merchant.mvc?...tegory_Code=BS
    http://counterassault.com/html/bearquestions.html

    The .22 will only make them madder after you've "tickled" them with it
    But take it for all the other reasons you have discussed. Enjoy your trip in the North Cascades with your 6 year old. He should really enjoy his time with you and vice versa!
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    The current NPS rule is that one can carry firearms in National Parks in accordance with the laws of the state in which the park is located - know the laws of your state. Excepted/restricted is carrying in any facility (building) where NPS employees regularly work - note must have clear signage to this effect. Private vendors, leased facilities may set their own rules.
    http://www.nps.gov/mora/parkmgmt/upl...PublicFAQs.pdf

    Long gun carry is off topic for OCDO (see rule #14 Forum Rules). Insofar as NPS regulations are concerned, OC or or packed long guns are not restricted. It is most important to know your own state laws regarding carrying, transporting and possession of long guns as that will ultimately be the deciding factor.

    This thread will be kept open if it does not stray from the narrow confines of legality and does not enter into "but it's my right" or otherwise expanding the discussion beyond the OP's original question(s). Expect the thread to be closed otherwise. Remember the theme/purpose of OCDO is to defend and promote the right to openly carry properly holstered handguns as we go about our normal, everyday business and that alone - period, exclamation point.
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    Regular Member jt59's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thewise1 View Post
    Dang. I didn't think of that angle. Definitely not out there for that...just doing an overnight backpacking trip with my son, who's 6, and pretty much more excited about this than he's ever been about anything.
    Don't worry about this, what you are proposing is legal.

    You may also consider taking your handgun, OC on your trip and teach your son some safety skills.

    You indicated your trip was in a National Park. More specific info is here....

    http://home.nps.gov/news/release.htm?id=962

    ...other standard considerations on backpacking trips and bears....keep all your food in a separate bag and hang it in an appropriate tree some distance from your campsite....no food in the tent, no worries.
    Last edited by jt59; 05-08-2012 at 09:50 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OlGutshotWilly View Post
    The .22 will only make them madder after you've "tickled" them with it
    Probably the same with the .223 as well.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    This thread will be kept open if it does not stray from the narrow confines of legality and does not enter into "but it's my right"
    Lol...
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jt59 View Post
    --snip--
    You may also consider taking your handgun, OC on your trip and teach your son some safety skills.
    The OP indicates he does not own a hand gun.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    OP: Are you actually going into the NCNP? or are you going to be in one of the National recreational areas that are around the park?

    Personally, I would not pack a long gun into the park proper. Bear spray, yes, ok...but bears have never been a problem for me in the 40+ years of wandering that park. A hand gun, always, but not for bears.

    The NCNP is a wilderness park and actually driving into the park proper is highly restricted (Cascade Pass trailhead) If you are going into one of the recreational areas, I would make sure I had a hunting license and something (that the weapon was appropreate for) was open season. I would expect you to get hasseled if there was nothing open....The National Recreational areas are open to hunting, in season.

    There is a reason I have never had any problems with game wardens and other officers, I am very careful what and when I do something with long guns when I am in the wilderness areas... I would discourage carry of a long gun...really. Just to keep the hassel to a minimum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    The NCNP is a wilderness park and actually driving into the park proper is highly restricted (Cascade Pass trailhead) If you are going into one of the recreational areas, I would make sure I had a hunting license and something (that the weapon was appropreate for) was open season. I would expect you to get hasseled if there was nothing open....The National Recreational areas are open to hunting, in season.

    There is a reason I have never had any problems with game wardens and other officers, I am very careful what and when I do something with long guns when I am in the wilderness areas... I would discourage carry of a long gun...really. Just to keep the hassel to a minimum.

    I always carry long guns when I visit national forests, parks, etc. I have encountered many federal rangers and state conservation officers, both when no big game was in season, and when no game was open that my weapon(s) was appropriate for. It's simply not against the law, and, at least in the [relatively] free states, possessing a loaded long gun in the field is not prima facie evidence of poaching.
    Last edited by ManInBlack; 05-08-2012 at 01:31 PM.
    Total ignorance: an Obama supporter's stock in trade
    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    All the talk about Overthrowing Big Government, Revolution, etc., it's just another one of those nostalgic ideas that individuals have idealized.
    O RLY?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...and_rebellions
    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    Books are overrated; and so is history.

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    Regular Member xxx.jakk.xxx's Avatar
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    OCing your rifle is fine. As long as the rifle does not enter the vehicle loaded then you're not breaking any laws. I wouldn't worry about being accused of being a poacher. I've carried handguns, shotguns and rifles while hiking through National Parks and DNR land. Just keep it slung and walk around like normal and you'll be fine. Also, you're not alone in worrying about the 4 legged buggers. I carry my guns in the woods just in case the bear or cougar decides it wants a snack.
    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Psalms 23:4

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    Quote Originally Posted by xxx.jakk.xxx View Post
    Also, you're not alone in worrying about the 4 legged buggers. I carry my guns in the woods just in case the bear or cougar decides it wants a snack.
    I think the reason so many of us are mentioning to not worry so much about bears is that statistically it's an astronomically low danger. In fact, you're ~13000x more likely to be the victim of a murder than you are to be killed by a bear. You'd be a lot better off carrying bear spray (at least based on the numbers of bear attack survivals with spray vs guns) and a bigger first aid kit or more clothes/water/food. And you'd probably still be carrying less weight. Just sayin'. But hey, it's a free country, do what makes you feel comfortable, not what makes you more safe from bears.

    Related link, from a hunter dude who lives on Kodiak Island (probably one of the highest densities of brown bears in the world...and the biggest): Bearanoia will destroy ya
    Last edited by skiingislife725; 05-09-2012 at 11:31 AM.

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    I spent a lot of time hiking in the NOCA complex last summer (my girlfriend is a dispatcher there) and we had one encounter with a black bear. They really aren't a threat if you behave appropriately. At no time did I feel unsafe or threatened when the bear crossed the trail in front of us. We just stopped, the bear looked at us, then it tore ass down the hill. We know of the difference between feeling safe and being safe, so if a firearm makes you feel safe that's fine, but remember that situational awareness, knowing how to prevent an encounter, and knowing how to react in an encounter will keep you safer.

    Personally, I'd worry more about two-legged predators that are out there running illegal operations like the marijuana plantation that was busted in 2008.
    http://www.nps.gov/noca/parknews/maj...ation-area.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by k.rollin View Post
    Personally, I'd worry more about two-legged predators that are out there running illegal operations like the marijuana plantation that was busted in 2008.
    http://www.nps.gov/noca/parknews/maj...ation-area.htm
    Yeah, those gosh-darned, predatory marijuana farmers!
    Total ignorance: an Obama supporter's stock in trade
    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    All the talk about Overthrowing Big Government, Revolution, etc., it's just another one of those nostalgic ideas that individuals have idealized.
    O RLY?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...and_rebellions
    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    Books are overrated; and so is history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManInBlack View Post
    Yeah, those gosh-darned, predatory marijuana farmers!
    You don't believe that someone involved in a large scale illegal drug operation would be willing to threaten your life if you were to stumble across their operation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    The current NPS rule is that one can carry firearms in National Parks in accordance with the laws of the state in which the park is located - know the laws of your state. Excepted/restricted is carrying in any facility (building) where NPS employees regularly work - note must have clear signage to this effect. Private vendors, leased facilities may set their own rules.
    http://www.nps.gov/mora/parkmgmt/upl...PublicFAQs.pdf

    Long gun carry is off topic for OCDO (see rule #14 Forum Rules). Insofar as NPS regulations are concerned, OC or or packed long guns are not restricted. It is most important to know your own state laws regarding carrying, transporting and possession of long guns as that will ultimately be the deciding factor.

    This thread will be kept open if it does not stray from the narrow confines of legality and does not enter into "but it's my right" or otherwise expanding the discussion beyond the OP's original question(s). Expect the thread to be closed otherwise. Remember the theme/purpose of OCDO is to defend and promote the right to openly carry properly holstered handguns as we go about our normal, everyday business and that alone - period, exclamation point.
    Understood, and appreciated - I don't know of any other forum on the internets that sticks with the legality vs factpinion as well as OCDO, so it immediately came to mind when I wondered about the legality.

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