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Thread: Open Carry in State Parks..

  1. #1
    Regular Member asubae's Avatar
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    Question Open Carry in State Parks..

    Open Carried with my buddy at South Mountain today in Phoenix. Since we went for the sole purpose of physical activity, we hiked a few miles on a trail. Virtually no problems. Our trail was off the beaten path and pretty lengthy into the wilderness, too. Great exercise.

    The information we could find pertaining to Open Carry (or carrying at all) among the City of Phoenix government website, forums, and internet seemed a bit convoluted. Originally, we had wanted to hike up Camelback, however there was signage at the beginning of the trail out of the parking lot prohibiting [all] firearms. As Phoenicians ourselves, we were highly confused.

    So, here's the conundrum.

    Retrieved from the City of Phoenix .gov Website, page 3:
    Carrying a firearm inside any AZ State Park is building is restricted per ARS 13-3102. Carrying
    a firearm outdoors in a State Park is permissible; however, a Park Ranger may make a
    reasonable request to remove a firearm if he or she believes that the person carrying the firearm
    poses a danger or threat to others lawfully present. All other prohibitions against discharging
    firearms apply.

    ARS 13-3108 prohibits cities and counties from banning firearms in parks. Therefore, depending
    on your age, you may carry open or concealed in local parks. All other prohibitions against
    discharging firearms apply.
    Here's a link to the actual written referenced statute, ARS 13-3108(D):
    D. A political subdivision of this state shall not enact any rule or ordinance that relates to firearms and is more prohibitive than or that has a penalty that is greater than any state law penalty. A political subdivision's rule or ordinance that relates to firearms and that is inconsistent with or more restrictive than state law, whether enacted before or after July 29, 2010, is null and void.
    Upon my trip to Camelback mountain in Phoenix, it was POSTED: Firearms are prohibited by symbol and verbiage on the sign. However, about 18 minutes away still in Phoenix, going to South Mountain, this was the signage posted as of 6:30AM, 6/24/14. You can tell the sign was intentionally modified to remove the prohibition on firearms symbol with matching subdued tape. Using our knowledge of the law, information provided by the city, and seeing the obviously modified signage to [seemingly] permit firearms, we decided to go ahead and open carry anyway. For the record, the same sign appeared at Camelback, just with a written bullet stating firearms are prohibited and the second from the top decal wasn't taped over.

    Granted, South Mountain is a bit more "rural" than Camelback, they are both state parks and the City of Phoenix contradicts itself in its government information by citing the law which claims state preemption, and then proceeds to keep the sign at Camelback prohibiting firearms when the law and their government website states otherwise.

    We decided to obey the signage at Camelback and go hiking at South Mountain instead.. but I suppose my main question is, What gives?! Why would they say it's "okay" in one area and not the other? Ideas, comments, and discussion is welcome. I will also contact the Park Ranger service and see if I can't divulge any further information.
    Last edited by asubae; 06-24-2014 at 11:56 PM.

  2. #2
    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asubae View Post
    Open Carried with my buddy at South Mountain today in Phoenix. Since we went for the sole purpose of physical activity, we hiked a few miles on a trail. Virtually no problems. Our trail was off the beaten path and pretty lengthy into the wilderness, too. Great exercise.

    The information we could find pertaining to Open Carry (or carrying at all) among the City of Phoenix government website, forums, and internet seemed a bit convoluted. Originally, we had wanted to hike up Camelback, however there was signage at the beginning of the trail out of the parking lot prohibiting [all] firearms. As Phoenicians ourselves, we were highly confused.

    So, here's the conundrum.

    Retrieved from the City of Phoenix .gov Website, page 3:

    Here's a link to the actual written referenced statute, ARS 13-3108(D):

    Upon my trip to Camelback mountain in Phoenix, it was POSTED: Firearms are prohibited by symbol and verbiage on the sign. However, about 18 minutes away still in Phoenix, going to South Mountain, this was the signage posted as of 6:30AM, 6/24/14. You can tell the sign was intentionally modified to remove the prohibition on firearms symbol with matching subdued tape. Using our knowledge of the law, information provided by the city, and seeing the obviously modified signage to [seemingly] permit firearms, we decided to go ahead and open carry anyway. For the record, the same sign appeared at Camelback, just with a written bullet stating firearms are prohibited and the second from the top decal wasn't taped over.

    Granted, South Mountain is a bit more "rural" than Camelback, they are both state parks and the City of Phoenix contradicts itself in its government information by citing the law which claims state preemption, and then proceeds to keep the sign at Camelback prohibiting firearms when the law and their government website states otherwise.

    We decided to obey the signage at Camelback and go hiking at South Mountain instead.. but I suppose my main question is, What gives?! Why would they say it's "okay" in one area and not the other? Ideas, comments, and discussion is welcome. I will also contact the Park Ranger service and see if I can't divulge any further information.
    It's pretty simple: the initial signage you saw is not backed by law. It could be that some anti-gun person tore off the tape, or it could be that no one in authority is aware of or has acted on removing or obscuring the offending language.

    The city of Phoenix's code artfully (some would say slickly) worded website citation probably (and I would say intentionally) discourages the non-careful reader from bringing a firearm along, even though the prohibition applies only to buildings. The rest of the website cite is just an intentionally ominously appearing statement of law: "You can't do illegal things here!" No sh!# Sherlock!

    Report the initial sign as being in conflict with AZ's preemption law, and follow up as necessary.
    Last edited by BB62; 06-25-2014 at 09:39 AM.

  3. #3
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    The Camelback sign appears to clearly be in error. I would report it and ignore it.

  4. #4
    Regular Member asubae's Avatar
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    Will Follow Up

    Hello All,

    I will email the park ranger service and update ASAP with relevant links to official statements on the City's stance on this matter.

    Thanks very much for you time.

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