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Thread: Camping in Yosemite national Park and getting there

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    Camping in Yosemite national Park and getting there

    I'm taking the 17 Day road trip this summer to many national parks from Mount Rushmore to Yosemite. In Wisconsin where I live I have a CCW permit, that I know is not valid in California. I plan on camping at Yosemite national Park for three nights. Can my weapon be unloaded, in the locked container, in the trunk of my vehicle Without running in to a legal issue. Does FOPA cover me in this instance.

    Also according to FOPA because my vehicle has a trunk, am I still allowed to carry a firearm in a locked hard container with in vehicle itself or does FOPA require it to be in the trunk of the car as I am driving in states that do not honor my wisconsin permit.

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    Welcome to OCDO.

    Your WI concealed carry permission slip has no bearing on FOPA. FOPA addresses the transporting of a firearm from one state where it is legal to possess through states where it is illegal to possess to a destination state where it is legal to possess. FOPA can cover multi-day journeys so long as stops along the way are only incidental to completion of the journey from start state to destination state - gas, meals, bathroom breaks, overnight lodging.

    You describe your 17-day road trip as being in at least two parts - WI to Mt. Rushmore, and then Mt. Rushmore to Yosemite. If you stop off along the way to do sightseeing or visiting anybody your journey gets cut into even more sections. If that's the case, it must be legal for you to possess a firearm in each state where each journey begins and where each journey ends.

    The biggest problem is CA. Is it legal for you to possess your firearm there? If not, then there is no FOPA coverage for any time you are in CA. Also, the NPS policy is that concealed carry firearms are permitted in accordance with the laws of the state where the park is located. From what you have written CA does not recognize your WI permit so it will not be legal for you to carry in CA either inside or outside Yosemite.

    stay safe.
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    I will be making many stops during my trip, mt Rushmore, Devils Tower, Yellowstone, Arches, Grand Canyon, Vegas, some camping some overnights at hotels, the final destination is not Yosemit it is back home, I'll be in some states where my concealed carry permit I possess is honored and some states where it's not. My main question is in states where I am not permitted to carry concealed, or open carry, can my pistol be legally stored unloaded in a hard locked case in the trunk of my vehicle. I believe FOPA should cover me, but I'm not sure as I will be in California for 3 night camping in Yosemite. To be honest Id almost rather blow off Yosemite and go somewhere else other then California then have to take this whole trip unarmed. My final stop before home is Wyoming wher open carry is allowed. If I can't keep the gun in the trunk of my car unloaded and locked up, then I will have to decide weather to leave my pistol at home, or modify my itinerary. Thank you everyone for your help

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    Welcome, Phil, to OCDO and maybe someday to the Wisconsin forum.

    Yosemite is perhaps my spiritual home, though I was born and raised in San Jose. After I had enlisted during the VN Era draft, I was offered a job at the climbing school in Yosemite. Now I can't go back for fear of the changes and the people. When I used to play there, our NPS ranger friends grumbled about who had to wear the gun that day for drawing the short straw.

    As said, FOPA covers only incidental stops, the journey cannot be of multiple destinations.

    I have made a trip like yours, month long bicycling trips through the National and State Parks. I do not plan on interacting with policemen. My last such was in 1977 for speeding in my Porsche. I don't do that anymore.

    My wife and I are 76 and 66, respectively, and my 110# wife rode Moab just a few years ago.

    ETA after seeing a number of other NP related threads pop-up. Theodore Roosevelt NP in western North Dakota may be our favorite for desolation bicycle riding. When we were last there, off-season, there may have been two staff on duty. The fat one told me that I would have to go back the way I came if I encountered a buffalo-bison on the road. I laughed at his fatness, and told him that a 30 mile day in 100°F was quite enough and 60 miles was out of the question. The buffalo were all asleep when we passed.
    Last edited by Nightmare; 01-13-2015 at 08:59 AM.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil I View Post
    I will be making many stops during my trip, mt Rushmore, Devils Tower, Yellowstone, Arches, Grand Canyon, Vegas, some camping some overnights at hotels, the final destination is not Yosemit it is back home, I'll be in some states where my concealed carry permit I possess is honored and some states where it's not. My main question is in states where I am not permitted to carry concealed, or open carry, can my pistol be legally stored unloaded in a hard locked case in the trunk of my vehicle. I believe FOPA should cover me, but I'm not sure as I will be in California for 3 night camping in Yosemite. To be honest Id almost rather blow off Yosemite and go somewhere else other then California then have to take this whole trip unarmed. My final stop before home is Wyoming wher open carry is allowed. If I can't keep the gun in the trunk of my car unloaded and locked up, then I will have to decide weather to leave my pistol at home, or modify my itinerary. Thank you everyone for your help
    Let me make sure you understand how FOPA defines a journey, a starting place and a destination.

    Journey 1 you leave WI headed to your destination of Mt. Rushmore, You will probably make a few incidental stops along the way, but will not turn off to do any sightseeing or visiting along the way. You arrive at your destination of Mt. Rushmore.

    Journey 2 you leave Mt. Rushmore to get to your destination of Devil's Tower. See above regarding incidental stops.

    Journrey 3 you leave Devil's Tower to go to your destination of Yellowstone. See above again.

    Journey 4 you leave Yellowstone to go to your destinatio of Arches. See above again.

    Journey 5 you depart Arches to go to your destination of the Grand Canyon. See above again. (It's getting repititious, but hold on.)

    Journey 6 you depart the Grand Canyon to go to your destination of Vegas. While in Vegas you decide to visit Hoover Dam. That sightseeing trip to and from the dam becomes Journey 7.

    Back in Vegas after Journey 7 you decide to go to Tahoe. That is considered Journey 8. If you go from Vegas (in NV where it is legal for you to possess your firearm) to your destination on the western side of Lake Tahoe you have crossed into CA where it may not be legal to possess your firearm. If it is not legal to possess in CA you get no protection under FOPA.

    Journey 9 is your return to your destination of WI without making any but intermediary stops.

    Read about the folks who fly from A to B via a connecting flight in NJ or NY, and why they are encouraged to 1) check their baggage straight through from A to b and why if their baggage for any reason is taken off the plane in NJ/NY they are encouraged not to claim it but let the airline(s) sort it out when you get to B and file a claim for missing baggage. (The gun community is working on this but right now picking up the baggage with the firearm inside at the NJ/NY airport to take it to the connecting flight causes you to lose FOPA protection.)

    Hope you see how FOPA looks at journeys and destinations.

    stay safe.
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    The only place I'm really concerned about is California and they are an absolute bitch, all of their state I will be traveling in either honors my CCW permit or allowes open carry. So if I decide not to go to Yosemite in California I'm clear with bringing my gun on the trip. If I do decide to go to Yosemite I'll probably be much safer leaving the gun at home. At 67 years old I don't feel like getting involved in the California penal system.

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    Is your firearm have a capacity of 10 rounds or fewer? I believe CA prohibits normal capacity magazines.

    Take a lock box with you and you'll be fine, from my reading of info on handgunlaw.us:

    HANDGUNS
    California Penal Code section 25400 does not prevent a citizen of the United States over 18 years of age who
    is not lawfully prohibited from firearm possession, and who resides or is temporarily in California, from
    transporting by motor vehicle any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the
    person provided the firearm is unloaded and stored in a locked container.
    The term "locked container" means a secure container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key
    lock, combination lock, or similar locking device. This includes the trunk of a motor vehicle, but does not
    include the utility or glove compartment. For more information, refer to California Penal Code Section
    25610.

    and:

    2. and when the firearm is carried by the person to or from any motor vehicle for any lawful purpose,
    the firearm must be contained in a locked container while being physically carried. (Penal Code §
    16850)

    and:

    Any person over the age of 18 who is not prohibited from possessing firearms, and if otherwise
    lawful, may keep and carry a firearm or have a firearm loaded at his or her place of residence,
    temporary residence, campsite, or on private property owned or lawfully possessed by the person.
    (Penal Code §§ 12026, 12031(h) and (l).) Any person engaged in any lawful business (including
    nonprofit organizations) or any officer, employee, or agent authorized for lawful purposes connected
    with the business may possess a loaded firearm within the place of business if that person is
    over 18 years of age and not otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms. (Penal Code §§ 12026,
    12031(h).)
    NOTE: A person’s place of business, residence, temporary residence, campsite, or private property
    may be located in areas where possession of handguns or other firearms, whether loaded or
    unloaded, is otherwise prohibited. Such areas include, but are not limited to, state, federal, or private
    game reserves or refuges, federal and state parks, and other public lands. Questions regarding the
    applicability of such laws should be directed to your sheriff or chief of police, federal or state fish and game
    officers, or federal or state park rangers.

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    Thanks Mikeyb that clears up a lot for me, unloaded and cased and I'll be fine, I should even be able to carry the hard case in the passenger compartment of the car as the hard case is locked and requires entering numbers on a number pad. I'll just make sure it is unloaded. I will take my bodyguard 380 it has a 6 round Capacity so I'll be just fine there. I'll just bring 3 clips. Thank you all for your input. Any further comments is and Will be appreciated.

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    Welcome from just down the road in Tomahawk. I drive OTR to California, and carry a firearm with me every trip. I have a lockable gun safe bolted down in my sleeper. I've been by all those places but never visited as I get to other California destinations such as Oakland, Vernon, LA, Belle Gardens, and such. Not exactly tourist destinations.

    I used to break my gun down, unload mags down to rounds with mags outside the safe. Lately I have not even been unloading the firearm, only locking it in the safe. My sleeper is my home and no one is getting in there without a search warrant, and I don't intend to give them reasonable cause to do so. I've often wondered if my tooled leather belt with Sig Sauer on it might be reasonable cause!!??!!

    Anyway, I'm not saying any of this is right, correct, or legal, only what I have done. The bigger issue as I saw it was what happens if I actually had to use my firearm in the state of Kalifornia? I suspect that would not go over too well, might be an option of being dead, or a permanent resident? I sleep in some less than desireable places, in order to meet delivery appointments, and or miss rush hour traffic. So far, no problem, but I tend to stay close to my truck and not do a lot of "exploring". The Border Parrol checkpoints (50-100 miles FROM THE border) was what always concerned me most.

    I'd like to do a trip like that some day, actually seeing something other than the Interstate. Message me if you'd like to get together over coffee, I can give you some off big road shortcuts and some out of the way sites if you are interested. Plus, I like to meet new people.

    Doug
    Last edited by Wstar425; 02-02-2015 at 01:26 PM.

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    I reread quickly your posts and two things came to mind, one important and one maybe trivial.

    Trivial: You actually have a CCL, not a CCW in Wisconsin. If you look at it is says Concealed Carry License. Not sure if that makes any real difference to the conversation. I understand the permission slip comment is tongue in cheek making fun of our privilege to bear arms. And I agree! I consider open carry to be exercising your Right, concealed to be exercising a privilege. But, just me, not looking to get into an argument, and anyone can feel free to disagree.

    Secondly, and possibly of more importance: I seemed to gather that you intend to both conceal and open carry as needed/required across various states. I believe your Wisconsin CCL is NOT accepted in Minnesota for either one of those endeavors. You need a MN permit for either, and they do not recognize the WI CCL.

    I've done some research as you have in what is required to make a cross country trip with a firearm on your person, not withstanding that CA, NY, MA, NJ, as well as maybe a few others are big problems. It quickly became apparent that it was going to be complicated, if not impossible to do it legally. Besides that, if you are from Wisconsin, and you travel with a friend from Minnesota, the laws in each state might possibly be different for the two of you. Insanity at its finest!

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    Your correct CCL

    Your right says CCL, and I will carry concealed whenever possible. As far as going through Minnesota I know they suck so it will be unloaded and stored in a hard lockable case(push button for combo opening) and steel cabled to my passenger seat, oh and a blanket covering, hahahah. Federal laws will permit me carrying it that way as my first day arrival destination will be South Dakota, where my CCL is honored. I'm really thinking of totally eliminating California for my itinerary. There are other places to go other then Yosemite that are just is interesting to me and not in California. Screw them. I'm thinking that I'll stay in Vegas for one extra day, then go to the petrified Forest I've always wanted to see that to. Then another stop in Utah before heading to Wyoming to visit my nephew. So by eliminating California form my itinerary my major concerns are gone. Every other state I will travel through is a simple work around.

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    I think my two favorite states for scenery are western Montana and Utah. Keep in mind that I am looking at this mostly from the Interstate. but I have been on a few good motorcycle roads over the years for reasons we won't talk about. California has some beautiful, beautiful, beautiful scenery, but there are so many people there that it is just crazy trying to move around sometimes. Avoid 1-15 between Vegas and CA northbound on Fridays and southbound on Sundays unless you are out of Vegas by 10:00 am or so. One big happy gridlock for 250 miles with bad weather, an accident, or some schmuck stepping on the brakes. It doesn't take much! Think the northbound 51 deer hunting opening Friday night times about 500 gazillion! Haha

    US 395 in Ca between Bishop and Mojave is one of my favorite roads, on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevadas.

    Lots of cool places to see in Utah east of I-15 and off of I-70. I-70 is a pretty desolate stretch over to Vail anyway. Provo Canyon and the area around Spanish Fork are gorgeous. The Mormons picked a great place to settle down, or maybe run out of steam?

    There is a lot of desolate areas out west, foreign to the used to green eyes of a Wisconsin boy! 50 shades of grey takes on a whole new meaning in Wyoming. The only part of Wyoming worth seeing is the NW corner, and it gets worse the farther south and east you go. I might be a little biased due to getting caught in a snowstorm in that godforsaken place every week, both ways, 50 weeks a year. I've seen snow EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR including JULY AND AUGUST out west. Avoid ELk Mountain like the plague!!

    The Cascade Range in Western Wash and Oregon are very beautiful as well. US 2 west of Wenatchee up over Stevens Pass is gorgeous, not so much if it is snowing unless you are on skis I suppose.

    Anyway, I would say CA should really be on your list if you are travelling that far and gonna be that close. Personally, I would not spend too much time in Vegas, especially if you are really into the wonders of the park system. That place is really just a great big way to get into a lot of trouble. The best way to see it is in your rear view mirror. (Think Sodom and Gomorrah) There is so much in California you could probably spend a lifetime there and not see half of what is worth seeing. How you deal with that and the firearm issue is a concern. If you can not speed to badly, drink and drive at the same time, keep your nose clean, and pretty much behave yourself I would probably break the gun down, unload mags to under 10, keep them separate, gun locked in your box, and just go about my business. You can pretty much get lost in the people, just don't do anything stupid to stick out and I think you would be fine. Don't call me for bail money tho......

    Looking forward to a trip report. You're gonna need more than 17 days!!!!

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    Going to avoide California

    I don't like all the fruits n nuts in that state. But I go there occasionally to visit my daughter and grandchildren in Frisco. I'm going to Wyoming cause my nephew lives in Torrington and I'm out that way and didn't stop buy for dinner, I'd hurt too many feelings. Got to limit it to thoes days as want to be back home for fathers day and my sons wedding 6 days latter. And my stops pretty much covers my "bucket list". So wiping California out of my itinerary. I'd rather go places where I don't have to worry about the hassle. There are hundreds of great national parks to see. Oh and BTW in in Vegas to sin anyway, Hahahahaha

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    Torrington, oops on me, that is just about as Far East and almost as far south as you can be and still be in Wyoming.

    Run US 20 across Nebraska all the time through Lusk, Wyo. There are some neat limestone structures up by Crawford, tho I don't think I would go out of my way too far to see them. Sounds like you've been out there enough to know your way around.

    What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas......

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    Nope

    Never been west of Minneapolis other then to fly to San Francisco or Colorado skiing.

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    Not poring over a map but you could come into Ca from Vegas, get to Yosemite from the SE and not be in CA much and avoid all big cities, where you are most likely to encounter problems. Depending on your definition of problems........ Run north on 95 out of Vegas to US 6 west. Run that over to Benton and catch 120 west to Lee Vining and then into the park on 120. Most of those towns are smaller than Minocqua and you would feel pretty much at home as long as you are an old hippie!! I think there are some other roads like 266 or maybe 264 that might be shorter. 120 is closed in the winter I think? I've been on 395, 6 and cut up to Winnemucca quite a bit going up to Twin Falls, ID but I've never been on 120. No trucks I think? That would limit your exposure in CA to the least miles I believe, or flip it around if traveling the other way.

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    That is Big Oak Flat Road and Tioga Pass as I recall, and north of there is Donner Pass. Don't miss the Priest Grade road.
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    That was my planed route to Yosemite national Park

    To drive up Nevada via thoes routes and cross over to Yosemite , thank you Rand McNally 2015. I've done a lot of thinking and planning and reading and routing options about this adventure. But a sit down over coffee and eggs with you, having traveled my proposed routes would be great. I even found a website that gives me accurate driving distances from one town to another, so I could actually figure driving times from point A to point B. The only thing it doesn't give me at that website is elevation changes and I know driving through mountains is slower than on the planes. but still debating mentally if I want to travel at all in California. It all will depend on how fast my finger is !!! Why u ask ?. Well if I do go to Yosemite I'll only do it if I can camp in the park and for that you have to be fast. Camp sights fill up in minutes if not seconds from when then become available and thats Feburary 17th at 7am PST for camping there after June 1st. If I can be fast enough and get a camp sight, I'll go if not ill eliminate that from my itinerary. Hotels around there are few and far between and expensive.

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    Got ya!
    I have not been west of 395, but there is not much at that point. Small towns, always made me kinda think I was stuck in the 70s going thru there. I don't think the passes will slow you down much in a car or pickup, in July. It could snow, but probably pretty thin chance and melt quickly. I'm sure as you say going into the park is even more remote, and less hospitable. I'd like to go there some day, but probably won't. No kind of reverse last second bid like on EBay for bidding on campsites?

    I'd meet you for breakfast or lunch sometime. We'll have to make that happen.

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    Ok going to Yosemite coming booked

    I found a camp sight in the parks web sight run by the government also it is close th the Big Oak Flat entrance and they had 3 sights left. Hell at the entrance is close enough for me so booked 2 night and paid for them. With my senior discount came to $33 for the two nights. So I'll be traveling up 95 to get there and limit my road travel in California. And added a 2nd night in Vegas. So other then when I have a two day trip to get to a location and not sure how much I can do in miles, All other capping or hotels are booked.

    Call me and we will get together, I PM you my phone a bit ago.

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    Thanks for advice

    I'm going to take my Bodyguard 380, 6 shot clip so I'll be fine there. But I'll bring the 3 clips I have. All fit well in the small gun safe I have and will attach to the passenger seat base with a steel cable. I'm looking forward to a great trip of 17 days starting in June.

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