There are NFS restrictions?
Hiker sexually assaulted and stabbed..Story Here.
At least the NPS has decided that forest lands can be dangerous and the carrying of weapons has an unfortunate justification..If we can just get this right extended to NFS land now..
There are NFS restrictions?
Yes, for some reason Dept of Agriculture National Forests defer to the laws of their relative state v.s having any standardized rules governing firearms. And it seems the majority of states do not allow open carry in National Forests. Virgina is where I live and oddly, you can OC in State Parks, State Forests and State Wildernesses but not in National Forests. Makes sense huh...
Cite? Virginia is the only state I'm aware of with this odd restriction. Even if there are some others, it's certainly not the majority of states.And it seems the majority of states do not allow open carry in National Forests. Virgina is where I live and oddly, you can OC in State Parks, State Forests and State Wildernesses but not in National Forests. Makes sense huh...
And by the way, NPS is the same as USFS: the rules for both are the same as the surrounding state (except for the federal law that applies to "federal facilities").
Last edited by KBCraig; 06-13-2012 at 08:51 PM.
As for the law: Here ya go!
Game: In General.
Hunting with dogs or possession of weapons in certain locations during closed season.
The proposal is to (i) include crossbow in the list of weapons in subsections A, B, D, F, and H, (ii) remove the word gun and replace it with firearm throughout the subsections of the regulation, (iii) prohibit possession or transportation of a loaded firearm or loaded crossbow in or on any vehicle at any time on national forest and Department owned lands, (iv) add language to the definition of a loaded muzzleloading firearm to include a primer or battery, and (v) define a loaded crossbow.
It's also backed up here on page 4 for Jefferson National Forest: NFS REGS
There is a "big game" hunting season exception in the law, but according to more than one NFS Law Enforcement Ranger I spoke with...you better be hunting.
Last edited by Miss Black Rifle Disease; 06-13-2012 at 11:06 PM.
You posted a Virginia wildlife regulation; your NFS Regs link is faulty.
Until the NPS was forced to change via the Credit Card Reform Act of 2009, they banned all guns on all NPS properties that weren't "broken down, unloaded, and securely cased". Since that change was forced on them, they're exactly like USFS when it comes to guns.
The USFS has always assimilated the laws of the surrounding state when it comes to firearms, with the exception of (usually) banning loaded firearms in campgrounds, and establishing special rules based on specific local conditions (like banning steel-core ammo in rocky areas where there is a high fire danger from sparks).
Again, I ask for any cite to other states that ban carry in national forests. Even if there are some besides Virginia, it's far from a majority.
Last edited by KBCraig; 06-14-2012 at 03:20 AM.
4VAC15-40-60. Game: In General. Hunting with dogs or possession of weapons in certain locations during closed season.
A. Department-owned lands west of the Blue Ridge Mountains and national forest lands statewide. It shall be unlawful to have in possession a bow, crossbow, or a gun any firearm which is not unloaded and cased or dismantled on all national forest lands statewide and on department-owned lands and on other lands managed by the department under cooperative agreement located in counties west of the Blue Ridge Mountains except during the period when it is lawful to take bear, deer, grouse, pheasant, quail, rabbit, raccoon, squirrel, turkey, or waterfowl on these lands.
Last edited by Miss Black Rifle Disease; 06-14-2012 at 11:54 AM.
16 USC Sec. 1a-7b 01/03/2012 (112-90)
TITLE 16 - CONSERVATION
CHAPTER 1 - NATIONAL PARKS, MILITARY PARKS, MONUMENTS, AND SEASHORES
SUBCHAPTER I - NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
Sec. 1a-7b. Protecting Americans from violent crime
(8) The Federal laws should make it clear that the second
amendment rights of an individual at a unit of the National Park
System or the National Wildlife Refuge System should not be
(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.
(Pub. L. 111-24, title V, Sec. 512, May 22, 2009, 123 Stat. 1764.)
However, there is no mention of the National Forest Service, per se, but one would expect that - by extension - the same Congressional ruling would apply. Pax...
Last edited by Gil223; 06-14-2012 at 01:02 PM.
This sounds wrong because it absolutely makes zero sense. But it's unfortunately correct. My guess is the state wants something to prosecute on if a Marijuana cultivator or Bootlegger is arrested and those charges don't stick, but that is only my assumption. I can't think of any other rationale behind it.
Last edited by Miss Black Rifle Disease; 06-14-2012 at 01:30 PM.
Perhaps I didn't make my point clearly. Under federal law, USFS and NPS are the same so far as guns go; both assimilate the laws of the surrounding state. The Army Corps of Engineers do not, although there's a bill pending to make ACOE and all other recreational federal land the same as USFS and NPS.
When I asked for a cite, I was asking for the source of your claim that "the majority of states do not allow open carry in National Forests."
I already knew Virginia had their own restriction; I said so. You don't need to cite Virginia law since no one has disagreed about it.
Last edited by Miss Black Rifle Disease; 06-14-2012 at 06:45 PM.
Sounds like a VA law that needs ammendment. WA has a lot of little "vehicle" problem with unlicensed OC, but, there are a lot of little exemptions too...some of them read "when carring for self defence".
Game laws are a pain, they assume anyone with a gun is a poacher, and like firearms laws, they need exemptions.