Thread: OC at the RMNP
Decided that we needed to get out of town and enjoy some nature. So, the wife and piled the kids in the minivan and headed up to Estes and into the Rocky Mountain National Park. I was dressed in jeans/tshirt with my S&W 642 in a SERPA holster carried cross-draw.
We stopped at one of the scenic viewpoints to look around and take a couple of pictures. Had a couple of long looks but not a word was said. I just smiled the whole time and did my best to be friendly and disarming (so to say). I did notice an asian family (guessing Japanese) taking a family-1 picture so I stopped, smiled, and to offered to take the picture of the whole family. They noticed I was carrying after they handed me the camera but didn't react much until after the picture was done. Even then, all they did was to stare for an extra few moments and chat quickly amongst each other.
We drove up to the Alpine Visitor Center and had lunch in the parking lot. Lots of people walking by, a couple of nods but mostly absolutely not noticed. The kids wanted to go in the visitor's center to do the junior ranger program (which they do at every park we visit), so I locked the gun in the car and entered the visitor center wearing an empty holster. Very prominently posted as are all the visitor centers. I did check out the bathrooms and noticed something of interest. The bathrooms are accessible from both inside the visitor center and from outside as well. They are NOT posted from the outside and there are not postings going from the bathroom into the visitor center. Seems someone could possibly use the bathroom and inadvertently wander into the visitor center without ever seeing a posted sign. All the other restrooms (more latrines than restrooms) along the road are not posted as far as I could tell.
We finished up in the visitor center and walked over to the Trail Ridge Store which is a privately owned gift shop and food vendor there. I ran back over to the car before loading up and going in. This building is not posted at all and there were no rangers in the building. Carried there with no problems.
The rest of the day was spent hiking one of the trails, climbing some big rocks with the kids. We did stumble upon a huge herd of elk along the side of the road and parked to get out and take some pictures. Again, I did my best to be friendly and outgoing and it was a non-issue with no comments and just a few second looks. Saw a lot more elk and then on the way out, we came upon a line of cars that were stopped. We pulled off and noticed that there was a bear up on the hill a few hundred yards from the road. We watched and snapped a few pictures. I chatted up a few other people who were watching the bear and then we left.
All in all a great day with carrying being the non-issue it should be.
"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good" - George Washington
"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest." - Mahatma Gandhi
As always, insert standard IANAL disclaimer here.
So is an NPS port-a-potty a federal building?
There's gotta be a joke in there somewhere about it being appropriate or something...
When seconds count, the police are mere minutes away...
They'll never take your "hunting rifle", they'll call it a "sniper rifle" first.
Zero failures comes at infinite cost.
I have OC'd up at RMNP and no one said a word. In fact, prior to OC'ing I called the park office and asked them about OC'ing. Their response was it's legal and they have to allow it. The only places you cannot carry will have the gun in the red circle and slash through it. Bathrooms are ok as long as they are not within buildings that have the no guns sign.
Carrying in the great outdoors like that is one of the few instances where I consider my .50 Desert Eagle the practical choice for a sidearm. Its as likely I may have to fend off a bear or cougar attack as being accosted by an armed thug (statistically neither high, but due to location the types of threats change).
I know that they changed the carry in National Parks rules (one of the few positive things I actually credit Obama's administration for). How does it work now, as per state law the park is in, or OC only & no CC? Not an area I've brushed up on since changes as I haven't been up there much lately.
Just be careful when a park spans multiple states with different laws. So much for full faith and credit, but I'd rather not have federal carry laws.
The park carry provision is in line with President Obama's view on gun control... It's a state issue, not a federal issue. The current law says "follow the state's law. Sounds consistent to me.