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Thread: Open Carry on Public Federal Lands

  1. #1
    Regular Member cirrusly's Avatar
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    Open Carry on Public Federal Lands

    In the past weeks the Bundy Ranch Standoff has brought to the forefront the amount of land that the Feds actually own in the west: Specifically 84.5% of Nevada and 1/3 of the entire United States overall. Much of these lands are under the "authority" of the Department of the Interior, and several other federal departments of the US. The laws regarding open carry on National Parks is widely discussed.

    http://strangemaps.files.wordpress.c...s_the_west.jpg
    http://nationalatlas.gov/printable/i...edlands/NV.pdf

    But are there specific laws regarding OC for other types of Federal Lands including: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Department of Defense (Including Army Corp of Engineers), Department of Energy, Fish and Wildlife Services, Forest Services?

    I know that there are specific laws for:
    National Parks and National Forests: State Law Applies for Carry, Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, Section 512 of this law
    Department of Defense (including Army Corp of Engineers): No Carry

    But what about:
    Bureau of Indian Affairs ?
    Bureau of Reclamation ?
    Department of Energy ?
    Department of Defense land not specific to a military base ?

    These are prevalent and important questions considering how much land these federal agencies encompass.
    I want to keep our founding fathers' visions and rights for this country pure. I implore you to do the same.

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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    I don't think the
    Bureau of Reclamation actually owns lands other then what is nessecary for their facilities, dams, canals, etc and these are usually fenced.

    The army corps of engineers bans carry, but a federal district court in Idaho ruled the ban unconstitutional I don't know any more recent updates. The case was Morris v army corps of engineers. Practically speaking I don't know how the ban is enforced since the Dept of the army has no law enforcement resources of their own for recreation lands. I don't know of any publically open dept of energy land. The only DOE land I know if is the Hanford site, and getting caught there gun or no gun will get you in some big trouble....... I didn't even know the BIA owned land separate from indian reservations, and on indian jurisdiction they can ban carry but that's the tribal government and not the feds
    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

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    There are no specific federal regulations or laws regarding firearms on "Indian Land'. Also Tribal law does not apply to non-Indians. Generally criminal activity on "Indian Land" is under the jurisdiction of state law. (In many if not most states. Those that do not have such an agreement are subject to Federal law.)

    43 CFR 423
    §423.30 Weapons, firearms, explosives, and fireworks.
    (a) You may possess firearms, ammunition, bows and arrows, crossbows, or other projectile firing devices on Reclamation lands and waterbodies, provided the firearm, ammunition, or other projectile firing device is stowed, transported, and/or carried in compliance with applicable Federal, State, and local law, with the following exceptions:

    (1) You must not have a weapon in your possession when at or in a Reclamation facility.

    (2) You must comply with any prohibitions or regulations applicable to weapons in a special use area established by an authorized official under subpart E of this part 423.

    (b) You must not discharge or shoot a weapon unless you are:

    (1) Using a firearm or other projectile firing device lawfully for hunting or fishing as allowed under §423.32, or at an authorized shooting or archery range; and

    (2) In compliance with applicable Federal, State, and local law.

    (c) You must not use or possess explosives, or fireworks or pyrotechnics of any type, except as allowed by a permit issued pursuant to subpart D of this part 423, or in special use areas so designated by an authorized official under subpart E of this part 423.
    10 CFR 73
    §73.81 Criminal penalties.
    (a) Section 223 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, provides for criminal sanctions for willful violation of, attempted violation of, or conspiracy to violate, any regulation issued under sections 161b, 161i, or 161o of the Act. For purposes of section 223, all the regulations in part 73 are issued under one or more of sections 161b, 161i, or 161o, except for the sections listed in paragraph (b) of this section.

    (b) The regulations in part 73 that are not issued under sections 161b, 161i, or 161o for the purposes of section 223 are as follows: §§73.1, 73.2, 73.3, 73.4, 73.5, 73.6, 73.8, 73.25, 73.45, 73.75, 73.80, and 73.81.

    (c)(1) No person without authorization may carry, transport, or otherwise introduce or cause to be introduced any dangerous weapon, explosive, or other dangerous instrument or material likely to produce substantial injury or damage to persons or property into or upon a protected facility or installation. Willful violations of this provision are punishable by the criminal penalties set forth in sections 229b and 229c of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended.

    (2) As used in this section:

    (i) “Protected facility or installation” means any production or utilization facility, high-level waste storage or disposal facility, independent spent fuel storage installation, uranium enrichment, uranium conversion, or nuclear fuel fabrication facility, but does not include those portions of such facilities that are not required under §73.75(b) of this part to be identified by notices posted at their pedestrian and vehicle entrances, and does not include facilities described in §73.75(c) of this part.

    (ii) “Without authorization” means not authorized as part of one's official duties to carry the weapon, explosive, or other instrument or material;

    (iii) “Dangerous weapon” includes any firearm, as defined in either 18 U.S.C. 921 or 26 U.S.C. 5845, or dangerous weapon, as defined in 18 U.S.C. 930;

    (iv) “Explosive” means any explosive as defined in 18 U.S.C. 844(j).

    (3) An item, such as a dangerous weapon, explosive, or other dangerous instrument or material, is considered to have been carried, transported, or otherwise introduced or caused to be introduced into or upon a protected facility or installation for purposes of paragraph (c)(1) of this section once the item has traveled past a notice posted pursuant to §73.75 of this part at a vehicle or pedestrian entrance to the protected facility, or once the item has entered the protected facility or installation at a location that is not a vehicle or pedestrian entrance to the facility, whether such entry is accomplished through, over, under, or around a fence, wall, floor, roof, or other structural barrier enclosing the protected facility or installation or by any other means.

    (4) For all protected facilities or installations that do not possess special nuclear material, byproduct material, or source material as of the effective date of this rule, this provision shall take effect upon receipt of such material at the applicable facility or installation.
    DOD: I find nothing relevant with a quick search.
    Last edited by notalawyer; 04-22-2014 at 09:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by notalawyer View Post
    There are no specific federal regulations or laws regarding firearms on "Indian Land'. Also Tribal law does not apply to non-Indians. Generally criminal activity on "Indian Land" is under the jurisdiction of state law. (In many if not most states. Those that do not have such an agreement are subject to Federal law.)

    43 CFR 423


    10 CFR 73


    DOD: I find nothing relevant with a quick search.
    The last time I OCd it was an experiment. I was the OC guy while my buddy recorded what happened. After his report I haven't OCed since. I might add this was right after the WAC gun show. I haven't open carried since. That was in January of 2010.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    The army corps of engineers bans carry, but a federal district court in Idaho ruled the ban unconstitutional I don't know any more recent updates. The case was Morris v army corps of engineers.
    Morris v. Corps of Engineers has been settled?
    The last I had heard Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill had only issued a preliminary injunction against the Corps and the actual trial had yet to take place.
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 04-24-2014 at 10:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noname762 View Post
    The last time I OCd it was an experiment. I was the OC guy while my buddy recorded what happened. After his report I haven't OCed since. I might add this was right after the WAC gun show. I haven't open carried since. That was in January of 2010.
    Care to elaborate?

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    Regular Member F350's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    I don't think the
    Bureau of Reclamation actually owns lands other then what is nessecary for their facilities, dams, canals, etc and these are usually fenced.
    I have a map program that identifies all government owned land (state and federal) and yes Bureau of Reclamation does "own" quite a bit of land in Colorado and Wyoming (haven't looek at other states).

    Not only is carrying of firearms legal recreational shooting/hunting is legal anywhere that is not posted, except Corps of Nerds lands.
    Last edited by F350; 04-25-2014 at 02:30 AM.

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    As an avid outdoorsman, I spent a good deal of time researching carry laws with respect to various types of federal lands here in Colorado. What I discovered is that the law regarding carry on federal land that's not National Forest or National Park is fairly murky, and almost certainly violates the spirit, intent, and letter of the Second Amendment.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Regular Member F350's Avatar
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    When we first moved to Grand Junction I heard there were a couple public shooting ranges (1 handgun 1 rifle) by the airport. I went looking for them and was sitting in the middle of the parking lot observing how people behaved at the handgun range when a BLM Ranger pulled in, he made a wide swing so he could pull up drivers side to drivers side and rolled down his window. He said he couldn't help noticing my Missouri license plate (# GLOCK9) and asked if I was visiting or moving to Colorado etc and we talked a bit.

    I told him it was a nice looking range but I use to shoot IPSC and asked if there was somewhere out there I could go and practice some run & gun style shooting. He waved his arm out at the expanse of desert and said "If you can't find some place out there that suits ya, I don't know what to tell ya". He just asked that I remove any shot up targets and asked that I not shoot glass because it is impossible to get it all.

    There are actually signs posted at entry points to areas that are heavily used by hikers and mountain bikers stating recreational shooting is prohibited, so any land not so posted is open for shooting.

    My wife and I were in Wyoming several years ago and I stopped in a BLM office to get maps of BLM lands and was talking to a BLM guy about camping etc and asked if there was any problem with firearms on the BLM lands. He laughed and said "This is Wyoming; everybody carries guns here, in fact you'd be flat out stupid not to have a gun if you plan on camping in the remote areas".

    I really don't think there is any murkiness about being able to carry guns on BLM land.

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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    Morris v. Corps of Engineers has been settled?
    The last I had heard Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill had only issued a preliminary injunction against the Corps and the actual trial had yet to take place.
    Actually you are correct, 'twas only an injunction
    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    Actually you are correct, 'twas only an injunction
    Dammit, you got my hopes up fer nuthin? I hope it rains on you today.

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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    Dammit, you got my hopes up fer nuthin? I hope it rains on you today.
    I live in the greater seattle area, rain is fine by me....
    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

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    Regular Member Elm Creek Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    I live in the greater seattle area, rain is fine by me....
    My wife and I were responsible for a nearly week-long drought in Seattle a few years back when we vacationed there. The locals kept looking up at the bright thing that moved through the sky during the day like they hadn't seen it before. On the last day of our sojourn, it did drizzle all day long.

    Actually, according to the National Weather Service, it actually rains more in Chicago than it does in Seattle. It just rains more often in Seattle. Still thinking about buying a boat from Sam Devlin in Tumwater, WA.
    "If the truth hurts, it should." - Dad

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    Regular Member cirrusly's Avatar
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    Do same firearm laws apply to "National Monuments" as National Forests / Parks?

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014...l-monument-nm/
    I want to keep our founding fathers' visions and rights for this country pure. I implore you to do the same.

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    Regular Member DaveT319's Avatar
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    I know it's not part of the topic, but I'm astounded by how much of the western states are still public lands, and how little all the others are, according to the map in the OP. And it sure doesn't seem like it in California after having lived there, where all the land in the valleys are farms, and then you have all the urban portions. Makes me question the accuracy of the map a bit. Amazing if true though.

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    Regular Member F350's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveT319 View Post
    I know it's not part of the topic, but I'm astounded by how much of the western states are still public lands, and how little all the others are, according to the map in the OP. And it sure doesn't seem like it in California after having lived there, where all the land in the valleys are farms, and then you have all the urban portions. Makes me question the accuracy of the map a bit. Amazing if true though.
    I live in western Colorado, once you hit the mountains west of Denver, the federal government is BY FAR the major "property owner". Within a 1-2 hour drive I have access to several million acres of public land, from the top of the world's largest flat top mountain heavily forested with over 300 lakes and elk, mule deer, black bear, moose and mountain lion; to highland desert and red rock canyons in the Dominguez-Escalante NCA.

    Here is a Colorado Parks and Wildlife map, all the colored area is public land.

    http://ndis-flex.nrel.colostate.edu/HuntingAtlas/

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cirrusly View Post
    Do same firearm laws apply to "National Monuments" as National Forests / Parks?
    What little research I did on it a while ago said that National Monuments can be administered by various government agencies, and the laws will depend on which agency is administering the monument in question. Some are administered by the National Park Service, in which case, state possession laws apply.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Regular Member F350's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    What little research I did on it a while ago said that National Monuments can be administered by various government agencies, and the laws will depend on which agency is administering the monument in question. Some are administered by the National Park Service, in which case, state possession laws apply.
    I do believe all National Monuments are "in the National Parks inventory". I have a the Colorado National Monument almost in my backyard and there is a move to try and change it to a National Park so much has been in the paper lately. I have talked to a National Park Ranger while OCing.


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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F350 View Post
    I do believe all National Monuments are "in the National Parks inventory"...
    According to Wikipedia: "National monuments can be managed by one of several federal agencies: the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, or Bureau of Land Management. Historically, some national monuments were managed by the War Department.[3] National monuments can also be privately managed."

    So I did some checking, here are the ones managed by the USFS, for example: http://www.fs.fed.us/news/2012/relea...onuments.shtml

    Now you may be on to something, though. I don't know what it means to be in the "National Parks inventory." That may make it their rules no matter who is doing the daily "management."
    Last edited by MAC702; 05-28-2014 at 07:10 PM.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Regular Member F350's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    According to Wikipedia: "National monuments can be managed by one of several federal agencies: the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, or Bureau of Land Management. Historically, some national monuments were managed by the War Department.[3] National monuments can also be privately managed."

    So I did some checking, here are the ones managed by the USFS, for example: http://www.fs.fed.us/news/2012/relea...onuments.shtml

    Now you may be on to something, though. I don't know what it means to be in the "National Parks inventory." That may make it their rules no matter who is doing the daily "management."
    That could be, though I have never been to a National Monument that didn't have a bunch of people running around in Smokey the Bear hats.

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    Regular Member Logan 5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cirrusly View Post
    Bureau of Indian Affairs
    Up to the tribe council.

    Quote Originally Posted by cirrusly View Post
    Bureau of Land Management
    OC & CC is legal on BLM lands, but not in BLM facilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by cirrusly View Post
    Bureau of Reclamation
    BoR has only facilities (that I know of) aside from project sites. In general no OC or CC.

    Quote Originally Posted by cirrusly View Post
    Department of Energy
    Up to the site manager. Generally facilities are no OC, CC only with a state CC permit and project sites are upto the project manager.

    Quote Originally Posted by cirrusly View Post
    Fish and Wildlife Services
    Up to the facility manager, however facilities are generally no OC and CC only with a state CC permit and lands/refuge sites are upto the refuge manager. In every refuge I have been to OC & CC both long gun and hand gun have not been a problem. In fact every refuge I have been to hunting was permitted, though heavily restricted.

    Quote Originally Posted by cirrusly View Post
    Forest Services?
    Facilities are no OC, CC only with a state CC permit, though this is upto the district & regional rangers. Out in the forest, I don't think they really care. Usually. Sometimes you get some really weird people there, but for the most part so long as you ain't shooting at them or at USFS structure/equipment/signs, they don't care.

    Quote Originally Posted by cirrusly View Post
    Department of Defense land not specific to a military base ?
    Up to the site manager.
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logan 5 View Post
    ...OC & CC is legal on BLM lands, but not in BLM facilities...
    I don't know about all the others, but this one has some caveats.

    For example, near me is Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, managed by the BLM.

    Their rule there is that you can otherwise carry in accordance with state laws, but it can not be loaded. They have approached OC'ers in the past to ask them to unload their sidearms. They have been polite about it, but they have enforced it occasionally.

    http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/lvfo/...oting_and.html
    Last edited by MAC702; 05-30-2014 at 11:07 AM.
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  23. #23
    Regular Member cirrusly's Avatar
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    Did some more digging and National Monuments including: Colorado National Monument, and Montezuma Castle National Monument follow the "Credit CARD Act of 2009" provisions for carry. However, because these monuments are managed by NPS there is still the lingering question: Is carry permissible because of NPS management of the monument, or because National Monuments inherently fall within the category of National Park and Wildlife system?

    http://www.nps.gov/colm/parkmgmt/fir...egulations.htm
    http://www.nps.gov/moca/parkmgmt/cha...rms-policy.htm


    Also, how can BLM blindly ban loaded carry in a certain area? Is it simply because BLM has been given the authority to "regulate the land" and does not fall under the Credit CARD Act of 2009 statutes?

    http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/lvfo/...oting_and.html
    I want to keep our founding fathers' visions and rights for this country pure. I implore you to do the same.

  24. #24
    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cirrusly View Post
    ...Also, how can BLM blindly ban loaded carry in a certain area? Is it simply because BLM has been given the authority to "regulate the land" and does not fall under the Credit CARD Act of 2009 statutes?...
    The CARD Act only affected lands managed by National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System. Fortunately for us in Southern NV and Northern AZ, that included the NPS's Lake Mead National Recreation Area, but it does not include the BLM's Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area west of Las Vegas. A lot of people missed out on lands managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers, too, which is a lot of public land that has no need of being a secure area.
    Last edited by MAC702; 05-30-2014 at 08:34 PM.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Here in WA as of 2014, our state controls all firearms at state level, no local can enforce laws stricter than state. So we can OC or CC in state parks and native lands. If my memory serves me correct, Indian lands are technically colonies of the US federal government and are enforces as such but I also believe that they made a clause saying that the states are allowed to use the 10th amendment for laws. Which I assume means you can OC/CC on native lands. I have OC on native lands and no one has said anything to me but I also didn't encounter native police either. So I am not sure but I believe it ultimately follows your local laws.

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