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Thread: Gotcha at Willamette VA National Cemetary

  1. #1
    Regular Member CitizenJohn's Avatar
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    Gotcha at Willamette VA National Cemetary

    Don't let this gotcha get ya: As I drove into the Willamette VA National Cemetery in Portland, I was immediately confronted with a firearms prohibited on premises sign with the reference USC, Title 18. Well, there isn't anyplace close where I could park my car and lock my gun up (I'm a CHL holder) in order to walk onto the premises unarmed. Besides, the cemetery is 270 acres. So, I left and will have to plan my visit another day and go unarmed. I researched the USC and sho-nuff ... no firearms for the average citizen just packing for personal security.

    ADDENDUM TO ORIGINAL POST (ABOVE)
    18 USC 930 (USC TITLE 18, PART 1, CHAPTER 44, SECTION 930) – “Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities” describes the prohibition of firearms in the cemetery buildings (except for LEO’s, military personnel, etc). and has some ambiguous language concerning [lawful carry for lawful purposes by other persons]. Ambiguities are decided by judges and juries and recorded as case law. I don’t know of any case law that would support regular citizens’ lawful carry in a federal facility.
    Excerpts follows:

    §930: Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities (see end note 1)
    (a) Except as provided in subsection (d) [exemption for LEO’s, etc.], whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility (other than a Federal court facility) [restricted elsewhere], or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.
    (g) As used in this section:
    (1) The term ‘‘Federal facility’’ means a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.
    (2) The term ‘‘dangerous weapon’’ means a weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, except that such term does not include a pocket knife with a blade of less than 21⁄2 inches in length.

    The language that we’re interested in is contained in the CFR (as revised 7-1-13) pursuant to the USC:

    38 CFR 1.218 (CFR TITLE 38, CHAPTER 1, PART 1, SECTION 1.218) – “Security and Law Enforcement at VA Facilities” describes the prohibition of firearms anywhere on the cemetery property (except for LEO’s, military personnel, etc.).
    Excerpts follows:

    §1.218: Security and law enforcement at VA facilities (see end note 1)
    (a) Authority and rules of conduct.
    Pursuant to 38 U.S.C. §901 [authority to prescribe rules], the following rules and regulations apply at all property under the charge and control of VA (and not under the charge and control of the General Services Administration) and to all persons entering in or on such property. The head of the facility is charged with the responsibility for the enforcement of these rules and regulations and shall cause these rules and regulations to be posted in a conspicuous place on the property.
    (13) Weapons and explosives. No person while on property shall carry firearms, other dangerous or deadly weapons, or explosives, either openly or concealed, except for official purposes. (see end note 2)
    (b) Schedule of offenses and penalties.
    Conduct in violation of the rules and regulations set forth in paragraph (a) of this section subjects an offender to arrest and removal from the premises. Whomever shall be found guilty of violating these rules and regulations while on any property under the charge and control of VA is subject to a fine as stated in the schedule set forth herein or, if appropriate, the payment of fixed sum in lieu of appearance (forfeiture of collateral) as may be provided for in rules of the United States District Court. Violations included in the schedule of offenses and penalties may also subject an offender to a term of imprisonment of not more than six months, as may be determined appropriate by a magistrate or judge of the United States District Court:
    (37) Possession of firearms, carried either openly or concealed, whether loaded or unloaded (except by Federal or State law enforcement officers on official
    business), $500.

    END NOTES:
    1. The Willamette National Cemetery is a VA National Cemetery as listed with the National Cemetery Administration.
    2. There are of course provisions in this section that exempts LEO’s, Honor Guards, etc. but not the regular citizen, OC or CC.

    --END--
    Last edited by CitizenJohn; 09-27-2013 at 05:42 PM.

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    Interesting. Do you happen to have the exact code that prohibits firearms?

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    they must think you are going to shoot at the residents?

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    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    Durn cemetery metal detectors...

    So what's the penalty for carrying in a cemetery, as per USC 18, if caught? Can you claim bereft and verklempt and heavy sunglasses you didn't see the sign? Find an alternate back entrance?
    Last edited by Maverick9; 09-25-2013 at 07:27 PM.

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    Regular Member Lord Sega's Avatar
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    LINK 18 USC § 930 - Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities
    ... snip ...
    (g) As used in this section:
    (1) The term “Federal facility” means a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.


    I can't find anything about land/property except for IN a Fed building.

    Also, I remember that (Feb of 2008 ???) you can carry in Federal parks & forests (if still ok under state laws), but still not in Fed buildings (i.e. visitor's center at Crater Lake Na't Park).
    (Anyone have the reference to Na't park carry ok'ed?)

    Did the Fed Postal property ever get cleared up, parking lot on or off limits?

    IANAL, opinion follows:
    I would think that carry on the land of Willamette VA National Cemetery should be ok, just not in any Fed buildings, but I can't prove it.

    Sorry I don't have data / references and a quick google-fu can't find anything solid on this.
    Last edited by Lord Sega; 09-27-2013 at 12:54 AM.
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    Ive never read anything in regards to blocking firearms from locations considered open to the public(outside at least)

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    Re: Gotcha at Willamette VA National Cemetary

    Have you checked with the Army Corp?

    Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk 2

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    Regular Member CitizenJohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigtoe416 View Post
    Interesting. Do you happen to have the exact code that prohibits firearms?
    See addendum to original post.

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    Regular Member CitizenJohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpguy View Post
    Have you checked with the Army Corp?

    Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk 2
    See addendum on original post.

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    Regular Member CitizenJohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45 Fan View Post
    Ive never read anything in regards to blocking firearms from locations considered open to the public(outside at least)
    See addendum on original post.

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    Regular Member CitizenJohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Sega View Post
    LINK 18 USC § 930 - Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities
    ... snip ...
    (g) As used in this section:
    (1) The term “Federal facility” means a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.


    I can't find anything about land/property except for IN a Fed building.

    Also, I remember that (Feb of 2008 ???) you can carry in Federal parks & forests (if still ok under state laws), but still not in Fed buildings (i.e. visitor's center at Crater Lake Na't Park).
    (Anyone have the reference to Na't park carry ok'ed?)

    Did the Fed Postal property ever get cleared up, parking lot on or off limits?

    IANAL, opinion follows:
    I would think that carry on the land of Willamette VA National Cemetery should be ok, just not in any Fed buildings, but I can't prove it.

    Sorry I don't have data / references and a quick google-fu can't find anything solid on this.
    See Addendum on original post re. the National Cemetery issue. Re. the Postal property (parking lot OK vs. in the building not OK issue): Check out this link for some interesting info - http://smartgunlaws.org/extreme-dist...e-parking-lot/
    Don't fail to read the final paragraph though. Go figure!

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    Regular Member CitizenJohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick9 View Post
    Durn cemetery metal detectors...

    So what's the penalty for carrying in a cemetery, as per USC 18, if caught? Can you claim bereft and verklempt and heavy sunglasses you didn't see the sign? Find an alternate back entrance?
    See Addendum to original post.

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    Regular Member CitizenJohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigtoe416 View Post
    Interesting. Do you happen to have the exact code that prohibits firearms?
    See Addendum to original post.

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    Re: Gotcha at Willamette VA National Cemetary

    Quote Originally Posted by CitizenJohn View Post
    See addendum on original post.
    Jesh, I'm not having a good day. I totally missed that. Lol. Sorry.

    Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk 2

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    18 USC 930 is irrelevant, since cemeteries aren't "federal facilities" (as noted above).

    Of the 146 national cemeteries, 130 are operated by the VA, and the VA has a published rule in the CFR prohibiting carry on all VA property. Yes, it's unconstitutional, but good luck with that.

    Two more are under the control of the Army, and 14 are national parks. Only the latter are 100% legally "go" for carry.

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    Regular Member nilla's Avatar
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    Va hospital

    the huge 18 USC § 930 billboard caught my eye at the VA hospital today. it makes sense to me now, but i didnt figure it ahead of time like i do when i'm headed out to the post office to mail off a letter

    so ... federal facilities are 'no' on guns but parking lots are ok? so what about a parking garage? that to me blurrs the line between parking lot and federal facility .... and there's a 3 level parking garage at the VA hospital
    Last edited by nilla; 10-01-2013 at 01:43 AM. Reason: spellign

  17. #17
    Regular Member nilla's Avatar
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    blade

    (2) The term ‘‘dangerous weapon’’ means a weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, except that such term does not include a pocket knife with a blade of less than 21⁄2 inches in length.

    no one said anything to me about my CRKT and i didn't breathe a word to the cafeteria staff with their large kitchen cutlery, nor to the nurses and surgeons with their scalpels and sterilized stainless-steel poky things.

    brings up the question: what makes it a 'weapon' instead of a 'tool'?

  18. #18
    Regular Member CitizenJohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    18 USC 930 is irrelevant, since cemeteries aren't "federal facilities" (as noted above).

    Of the 146 national cemeteries, 130 are operated by the VA, and the VA has a published rule in the CFR prohibiting carry on all VA property. Yes, it's unconstitutional, but good luck with that.

    Two more are under the control of the Army, and 14 are national parks. Only the latter are 100% legally "go" for carry.
    I would argue that the buildings on the VA Cemetary are federal facilities in accordance with the 18 USC 930 definition of a federal facility.

    I would agree that the VA Administration overreached the USC provisions when they crafted the CFR. I believe that the USPS did the same thing. Apparently, nobody has [successfully] challenged the ovrereaches as they are both still on the books prohibiting firearms on their property.

    If the buildings located on the "National Parks" you mentioned meet the definition contained in USC 930 for a federal facility, then you cannot OC/CC there either (ref. your "100%" comment).
    Last edited by CitizenJohn; 10-01-2013 at 07:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    18 USC 930 is irrelevant, since cemeteries aren't "federal facilities" (as noted above).

    Of the 146 national cemeteries, 130 are operated by the VA, and the VA has a published rule in the CFR prohibiting carry on all VA property. Yes, it's unconstitutional, but good luck with that.

    Two more are under the control of the Army, and 14 are national parks. Only the latter are 100% legally "go" for carry.
    Well, the VA has failed to notify reasonable people that carry is prohibited on the property when they post a sign with improper references to 18 USC 930. I doubt any conviction would stand.

    That is unless they are trying to tell folks that carry in the building only is unlawful.

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