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Thread: LEO chat on National Forest OC

  1. #1
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    LEO chat on National Forest OC

    To clear the void of confusion online, I just had a 10 minute phone conversation with the LEO Captain of George Washington National Forest. Here is the summary of our conversation:
    - CHP holders may CCW
    - You can OC during hunting seasons; however, you will need a hunting license on you to OC
    - HOWEVER, you WILL be prosecuted if you "hunt" with a 1911, snub nose revolver, etc. You can only hunt with authorized weapons for the season, per the code, or you'll be charged with a weapons violation.
    - You CANNOT claim "I'm hunting feral hog/coyotes" during the off season, as the firearms OC clause is only during hunting season.
    - Because these are federal lands, all rules apply across state boarders to other NFs.
    - He went off the 2013 Virginia Hunting book for federal Wilderness Areas/National Forests. While VA is an OC state, it falls back to federal law on these lands being protected wildlife areas.
    -He said don't even walk into a Ranger station or building CCWing on NF land, as these builders are federal, and are like walking into a federal courthouse/military base/post office, etc.

    Sad news for hikers like myself, that wanted to OC on NF/NP land for personal defensive reasons.

  2. #2
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Absolute never break rule #1....Never ask a cop for legal advice!

    While he's right about most things he's not as far as weapons.
    In Virginia, as long as the NF is in a county that allows handgun hunting, for big game it has to be .23 caliber and X ft pounds of energy. For small game there are no restrictions.

    The type of gun, 1911, snub nose.....is irrelevant.

    What's his name?
    Last edited by peter nap; 01-28-2013 at 12:15 PM.

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    540-265-5100. Hit 0, ask the operator to talk to the Captain. Forgot his name, he's some guy from TN that got transferred here. Believe me, I tried every argument to OC with a pistol year round, regardless of size, type, and caliber.

    When it comes down to it, rule #1 is irrelevant, because it's the LEO's interpretation of the law when they see you OCing. Unless you have lawyers at the ready to change his view, he'll be pressing charges under his interpretation of the NF code.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adenosine View Post
    540-265-5100. Hit 0, ask the operator to talk to the Captain. Forgot his name, he's some guy from TN that got transferred here. Believe me, I tried every argument to OC with a pistol year round, regardless of size, type, and caliber.

    When it comes down to it, rule #1 is irrelevant, because it's the LEO's interpretation of the law when they see you OCing. Unless you have lawyers at the ready to change his view, he'll be pressing charges under his interpretation of the NF code.
    I'll straighten him out and remind him he's in Virginia.

    If you feel that way about rule 1, better buy a sling shot because none of them want you to carry anything more powerful.
    While he can ticket you for a nonexistent law, it's our place to shorten his career.
    Last edited by peter nap; 01-28-2013 at 12:33 PM.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Just to give you a hint at where you should look for eth law....is at the law itself. To hell with whT the LEO says.

    http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/hunting...ns/general.asp


    • Pistols, revolvers, and muzzleloading pistols may be used for small game, except where prohibited by local ordinances.
    • Pistols and revolvers are lawful for deer and bear hunting only in those counties where hunting deer and bear with rifles is lawful. Cartridges used must be .23 caliber or larger and have a manufacturer's rating of 350 footpounds muzzle energy or more.


    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+29.1-519
    29.1-519. Guns, pistols, revolvers, etc., which may be used; penalty.
    A. All wild birds and wild animals may be hunted with the following weapons unless shooting is expressly prohibited:
    1. A shotgun or muzzleloading shotgun not larger than 10 gauge;
    2. An automatic-loading or hand-operated repeating shotgun capable of holding not more than three shells the magazine of which has been cut off or plugged with a one-piece filler incapable of removal through the loading end, so as to reduce the capacity of the gun to not more than three shells at one time in the magazine and chamber combined, unless otherwise allowed by Board regulations;
    3. A rifle, a muzzleloading rifle, or an air rifle;
    4. A bow and arrow;
    5. [Expired.]
    6. A crossbow, which is a type of bow and arrow, in accordance with the provisions of 29.1-306.1.
    B. A pistol, muzzle-loading pistol or revolver may be used to hunt nuisance species of birds and animals.
    C. In the counties west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and counties east of the Blue Ridge where rifles of a caliber larger than .22 caliber may be used for hunting wild birds and animals, game birds and animals may be hunted with pistols or revolvers firing cartridges rated in manufacturers' tables at 350 foot pounds of energy or greater and under the same restrictions and conditions as apply to rifles, provided that no cartridge shall be used with a bullet of less than .23 caliber. In no event shall pistols or revolvers firing cartridges rated in manufacturers' tables at 350 foot pounds of energy or greater be used if rifles of a caliber larger than .22 caliber are not authorized for hunting purposes.
    D. The use of muzzle-loading pistols and .22 caliber rimfire handguns is permitted for hunting small game where .22 caliber rifles are permitted.
    E. The hunting of wild birds and wild animals with fully automatic firearms, defined as a machine gun in 18.2-288, is prohibited.
    F. The hunting of wild birds or wild animals with (i) weapons other than those authorized by this section or (ii) weapons that have been prohibited by this section shall be punishable as a Class 3 misdemeanor.
    (Code 1950, 29-140; 1962, c. 469; 1964, c. 441; 1974, cc. 108, 302; 1977, c. 377; 1983, c. 166; 1987, c. 488; 1988, c. 162; 1989, c. 421; 1993, c. 684; 1998, c. 144; 2002, c. 157; 2005, c. 8; 2007, c. 643.)
    Last edited by peter nap; 01-28-2013 at 12:49 PM.

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    The guy is nuts. National forest land follows the state law in the state it is within. If OC is not prohibited in the state it is not prohibited in the NF. Doesn't matter if a 1911 snub or AK variant. doesn't matter if hunting season is open or not. doesn't matter if you have a hunting license or not.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carracer View Post
    The guy is nuts. National forest land follows the state law in the state it is within. If OC is not prohibited in the state it is not prohibited in the NF. Doesn't matter if a 1911 snub or AK variant. doesn't matter if hunting season is open or not. doesn't matter if you have a hunting license or not.
    Actually OC is only permitted during hunting season. CC with a permit is permitted year around.

    The rules are the same as WMA's and are part of a multi state agreement with the National Forest.
    National Parks are different and as you said, follow the rules of the state they're in.
    Last edited by peter nap; 01-28-2013 at 12:54 PM.

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    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    Actually OC is only permitted during hunting season. CC with a permit is permitted year around.

    The rules are the same as WMA's and are part of a multi state agreement with the National Forest.
    National Parks are different and as you said, follow the rules of the state they're in.
    From the back of the VCDL Carry Info Card:

    National Forests, and lands owned or managed by DGIF: OC prohibited except where hunting is allowed (4VAC15-40-60).
    Last edited by 2a4all; 01-28-2013 at 12:59 PM.
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

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    Regular Member Uber_Olafsun's Avatar
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    LEO chat on National Forest OC

    The park thing still confuses the hell out of me. State vs national etc. I thought you could carry on national but not go into any of the buildings that staff was occupying.

    The irony of having the most rules on property that is owned by the group that shouldn't be able to make the rules.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uber_Olafsun View Post
    The park thing still confuses the hell out of me. State vs national etc. I thought you could carry on national but not go into any of the buildings that staff was occupying.
    You can. The OP was talking about National Forest which is different than a National Park.
    State Parks are now OC Friendly also.

  11. #11
    Regular Member Numenor's Avatar
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    This is the biggest pet-peeve I have with VA law currently. The entire setup of laws regarding Parks, Forests, WMAs, etc needs to be completely re-written and simplified (ie: OC/CC, your pick, is legal year round). As with the OP, I also wish to OC while hiking as CC gets annoying... it's really irritating having to look up each area's laws all the time.

    EDIT: This is what we have to deal with atm --

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...and-Cemeteries
    Last edited by Numenor; 01-28-2013 at 02:49 PM.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adenosine View Post
    540-265-5100. Hit 0, ask the operator to talk to the Captain. Forgot his name, he's some guy from TN that got transferred here. Believe me, I tried every argument to OC with a pistol year round, regardless of size, type, and caliber.

    When it comes down to it, rule #1 is irrelevant, because it's the LEO's interpretation of the law when they see you OCing. Unless you have lawyers at the ready to change his view, he'll be pressing charges under his interpretation of the NF code.
    I would urge you to carefully reconsider your position on the bold text above. If you carry this idea to its logical conclusion, then there is no reason to have any laws beyond whatever the local law enforcement establishment might wish to impose upon their local peasants. We are a nation that is governed by the rule of law. Yes, sometimes those charged with enforcing the law get it wrong. We as sovereign citizens are charged with making sure those errors are corrected.

    TFred

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    ^ and I agree. The Captain was citing the Virginia 2013 hunting and fishing in WMA/NF booklet that the state issues that you can find down at your local Walmart on the counter of the outdoor rec counter. I think he really had no clear grasp of the law, other than what the Virginian Hunting and Fishing booklet for this year was telling him. While I'm with you 100% on what you said, my point is you will probably end up in hand cuffs, weapon seized, and in court, because the LEO has no clear clue of the true law, and I am not willing to be the guinea pig to intentionally seek out a ranger emptying out a camp grounds trash can, just so I can challenge their interpretation of the law to set the record strait so we have some form of case study when it goes to court.

    This sounds like something the VCDL needs to go after, as clearly there is still this giant void of disinformation between us, and the WMA/NF/NP rangers. Those that OC, do so, at your own risk.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adenosine View Post
    ^ and I agree. The Captain was citing the Virginia 2013 hunting and fishing in WMA/NF booklet that the state issues that you can find down at your local Walmart on the counter of the outdoor rec counter. I think he really had no clear grasp of the law, other than what the Virginian Hunting and Fishing booklet for this year was telling him. While I'm with you 100% on what you said, my point is you will probably end up in hand cuffs, weapon seized, and in court, because the LEO has no clear clue of the true law, and I am not willing to be the guinea pig to intentionally seek out a ranger emptying out a camp grounds trash can, just so I can challenge their interpretation of the law to set the record strait so we have some form of case study when it goes to court.

    This sounds like something the VCDL needs to go after, as clearly there is still this giant void of disinformation between us, and the WMA/NF/NP rangers. Those that OC, do so, at your own risk.
    Been OCing in the National Forest for nearly 50 years.
    But there's no need to argue about it. Most here know the law and don't let an idiot in an office have a chilling effect on what we do.....Some get a permit and some don't carry.

    You pays your money and you makes your choice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    Been OCing in the National Forest for nearly 50 years.
    But there's no need to argue about it. Most here know the law and don't let an idiot in an office have a chilling effect on what we do.....Some get a permit and some don't carry.

    You pays your money and you makes your choice!
    I read the law you posted, and I thank you for such. If you haven't already, but I'll inform the Captain what would be hunting with an unlawful firearm as he thinks it is limited to just long rifles. However, my understanding still is OCing a pistol has to be during a hunting season, correct? As when I brought up the feral hog/dog argument, he stated OC is only during proper hunting seasons.

    Trust me, I live 3 minutes from the forest, and use it about twice a week. I currently CC in the forest, but would much rather OC.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adenosine View Post
    I read the law you posted, and I thank you for such. If you haven't already, but I'll inform the Captain what would be hunting with an unlawful firearm as he thinks it is limited to just long rifles. However, my understanding still is OCing a pistol has to be during a hunting season, correct? As when I brought up the feral hog/dog argument, he stated OC is only during proper hunting seasons.

    Trust me, I live 3 minutes from the forest, and use it about twice a week. I currently CC in the forest, but would much rather OC.
    The only real issue with what he told you is the type of weapons that can be used (And there is some wiggling at the District office about him telling you that).

    They have start stop dates for the hunting seasons. The last date is sometime in March I think.

    It gets even more confusing if you're using one of the National Park Owned trails (Where you can OC all year) that goes through the National Forest.

    This is being worked on and we may be able to get the National Forest and WMA's in line some day. It's not a simple problem.

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    Roger that, thank you. This picture is becoming more clear to me now, and probably others as well I hope. And just for the record, are you saying OC is legal in NPs, like Shenandoah? So in all reality, you could climb Old Rag with a NFA registered belt-fed MG42, with a 100 round ammo belt coming out of it that is slung over your shoulder, if you really wanted to, and the Park Rangers would just wave and smile at you?? (extreme example, but just making a point if there is any wiggle room.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adenosine View Post
    Roger that, thank you. This picture is becoming more clear to me now, and probably others as well I hope. And just for the record, are you saying OC is legal in NPs, like Shenandoah? So in all reality, you could climb Old Rag with a NFA registered belt-fed MG42, with a 100 round ammo belt coming out of it that is slung over your shoulder, if you really wanted to, and the Park Rangers would just wave and smile at you?? (extreme example, but just making a point if there is any wiggle room.
    Extreme or not, yes you could just so long as you don't brandish it. That gets a little sticky when carrying a long gun. Slung is fine. In your hand could be considered brandishing....but yes, if you can carry it anywhere in the Commonwealth, you can carry it in the National or State Parks.

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    Regular Member riverrat10k's Avatar
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    Numenor dug up the old post started by virginiatuck two years ago. Thought we had that one stickied. I would like it to be.

    These conflicting and confusing laws regarding walking in the woods has always been a pet peeve of mine.
    Try taking a canoe trip through the Shenandoah Rivers "staircase" section near Harpers Ferry. You have three states to worry about, used to have to worry (maybe still do) in the National Park at Harpers Ferry (may be a National Historic Site, different rules?), plus I believe, an adjacent Wildlife Management Area or National Forest.

    Madness!
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    Regular Member Geoffrey Griffith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adenosine View Post
    Roger that, thank you. This picture is becoming more clear to me now, and probably others as well I hope. And just for the record, are you saying OC is legal in NPs, like Shenandoah? So in all reality, you could climb Old Rag with a NFA registered belt-fed MG42, with a 100 round ammo belt coming out of it that is slung over your shoulder, if you really wanted to, and the Park Rangers would just wave and smile at you?? (extreme example, but just making a point if there is any wiggle room.
    I OC'ed Old Rag in October 2012 last walked right up to the rangers to check in had a nice chat non of which Gun related even though they clearly noticed and moved on. Nic ehike even if it was freezing that day.
    Last edited by Geoffrey Griffith; 02-02-2013 at 10:10 PM.
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