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Thread: Can I travel across state lines and OC in National Parks where I am not a resident?

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    Can I travel across state lines and OC in National Parks where I am not a resident?

    Hello, I am Nathan and a first time poster. Made an account here to ask a few questions because this looks like a pretty knowledgeable community. So I guess I'll start off with my questions and then give a back story on why I am asking these questions. I apologize to the moderators if my story comes off as offtopic.

    1) Can I carry my firearm across state lines where I am not a resident? (Colorado, Wyoming, Montana,)
    2) If I can carry it over state lines am I only allowed to be transporting it if I was going to a range or something? Is being on a road trip enough reason to transport it legally?
    3) How would I go about transporting it? I assume unloaded in a case in the trunk not accessable to the driver with the ammo in a different case?
    4) If I go onto a national park can I open carry if I go camping in the backcountry?
    5) Do I need to have a permit to open carry?

    Basically can I transport my firearm over state lines for no other reason than being on a road trip and wanting to carry it in a park? And am I allowed to carry at all in states where I'm not a resident? Do I need any papers to carry it? Since basically I just walked into a store and bought it and left in under 15 minutes and its not registered or anything to me to even prove that I own it besides like a receipt I keep in my case.

    Backstory

    I am currently a resident of Arkansas and have been so for the last year. I bought my first handgun when I moved to Arkansas a few months ago, a .40 S&W M&P. I didn't need to register it or get a permit to even own it. I say that because my home state Maryland you need to get your handguns registered and get a permit to carry it around anywhere other than your house. Permits are also almost impossible to obtain back home from what I've been told.

    So me and my friend are planning a 2 week road trip this summer. We were going to go camping in the backcountry in some National Parks like Yellowstone and be a couple of miles away from the nearest road. This is my first time going camping seriously. My friend is experienced in camping and hiking. I am bringing Bear mace regardless as a first line of defensive if I was being charged or attacked. And obviously I love nature so I'm not going to go around just spraying bear mace for no reason at all.

    Now we are strongly considering going up to Glacier National Park in Montana. I looked up that park and it apparently has a lot more aggressive bear encounters and is apparently somewhat dangerous. The National Parks website for Glacier park says that Bear Mace does not always work and gives a complete list of what to do if you're being mauled to death by a bear. Which Yellowstone does not even really go into. So I think there is some merit to Glacier National Park being somewhat dangerous.

    I looked up on the National parks websites and apparently it is legal to open carry firearms in National Parks but it does not specify how to go about it.

    As last line of defense if Bear Mace did not work I would want to carry my firearm as a last resort only. I think I was told years ago by someone from Montana that it is illegal to use anything other than Mace on a bear. I do not know if that is true or not but honestly its better than being mauled to death by a bear. I understand that a .40 is more than likely not going to stop a bear unless you got lucky and maybe had 180g FMJs (Apparently hollows are bad for bears?) but I feel like it would would be much better than bear hands if bear mace failed.

    I do not know much about gun laws besides the very basics. That is why I am here.

    Bonus questions

    1) Is it even worth carrying a .40 or would a bear just laugh at me while I was being eaten alive.
    2) What rounds would be best? My .40 S&W M&P appears to be modded to fire .40 and 357 sig. Thats according to my clip it says .40 and 357 sig on it. But I should probably check I guess if I need to switch the barrel if I loaded 357 sig? (only have put about 100 rounds in it since I've had it and have never tried putting 357s in it) Its my first handgun and I'm still new to everything so I apologize for being a noob.


    Any help or advice or where to looks would be greatly appreciated!

    PS- If I can't carry it in Glacier Park then I probably skip over that park completely. Not worth going if I don't feel safe especially in early may when Bears would have cubs.

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    Regular Member The Truth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC2Ark View Post
    Hello, I am Nathan and a first time poster. Made an account here to ask a few questions because this looks like a pretty knowledgeable community. So I guess I'll start off with my questions and then give a back story on why I am asking these questions. I apologize to the moderators if my story comes off as offtopic.

    1) Can I carry my firearm across state lines where I am not a resident? (Colorado, Wyoming, Montana,)
    2) If I can carry it over state lines am I only allowed to be transporting it if I was going to a range or something? Is being on a road trip enough reason to transport it legally?
    3) How would I go about transporting it? I assume unloaded in a case in the trunk not accessable to the driver with the ammo in a different case?
    4) If I go onto a national park can I open carry if I go camping in the backcountry?
    5) Do I need to have a permit to open carry?

    Basically can I transport my firearm over state lines for no other reason than being on a road trip and wanting to carry it in a park? And am I allowed to carry at all in states where I'm not a resident? Do I need any papers to carry it? Since basically I just walked into a store and bought it and left in under 15 minutes and its not registered or anything to me to even prove that I own it besides like a receipt I keep in my case.

    Backstory

    I am currently a resident of Arkansas and have been so for the last year. I bought my first handgun when I moved to Arkansas a few months ago, a .40 S&W M&P. I didn't need to register it or get a permit to even own it. I say that because my home state Maryland you need to get your handguns registered and get a permit to carry it around anywhere other than your house. Permits are also almost impossible to obtain back home from what I've been told.

    So me and my friend are planning a 2 week road trip this summer. We were going to go camping in the backcountry in some National Parks like Yellowstone and be a couple of miles away from the nearest road. This is my first time going camping seriously. My friend is experienced in camping and hiking. I am bringing Bear mace regardless as a first line of defensive if I was being charged or attacked. And obviously I love nature so I'm not going to go around just spraying bear mace for no reason at all.

    Now we are strongly considering going up to Glacier National Park in Montana. I looked up that park and it apparently has a lot more aggressive bear encounters and is apparently somewhat dangerous. The National Parks website for Glacier park says that Bear Mace does not always work and gives a complete list of what to do if you're being mauled to death by a bear. Which Yellowstone does not even really go into. So I think there is some merit to Glacier National Park being somewhat dangerous.

    I looked up on the National parks websites and apparently it is legal to open carry firearms in National Parks but it does not specify how to go about it.

    As last line of defense if Bear Mace did not work I would want to carry my firearm as a last resort only. I think I was told years ago by someone from Montana that it is illegal to use anything other than Mace on a bear. I do not know if that is true or not but honestly its better than being mauled to death by a bear. I understand that a .40 is more than likely not going to stop a bear unless you got lucky and maybe had 180g FMJs (Apparently hollows are bad for bears?) but I feel like it would would be much better than bear hands if bear mace failed.

    I do not know much about gun laws besides the very basics. That is why I am here.

    Bonus questions

    1) Is it even worth carrying a .40 or would a bear just laugh at me while I was being eaten alive.
    2) What rounds would be best? My .40 S&W M&P appears to be modded to fire .40 and 357 sig. Thats according to my clip it says .40 and 357 sig on it. But I should probably check I guess if I need to switch the barrel if I loaded 357 sig? (only have put about 100 rounds in it since I've had it and have never tried putting 357s in it) Its my first handgun and I'm still new to everything so I apologize for being a noob.


    Any help or advice or where to looks would be greatly appreciated!

    PS- If I can't carry it in Glacier Park then I probably skip over that park completely. Not worth going if I don't feel safe especially in early may when Bears would have cubs.
    Colorado: http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...+vehicle+carry

    Wyoming: http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...+carry+vehicle

    Montana: http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...+vehicle+carry

    Bonus question 1) Depends on how accurately and how rapidly you can fire. A .40 is better than nothing. Some may suggest a strong bear spray.

    Bonus question 2) .357 Sig is a 9mm bullet. .40 S&W is 10mm. .357 Sig is a necked down .40 S&W brass. Think about it. Also, the search function is very helpful. I found everything above by simply searching for "*insert state here* vehicle carry" and reading the first state specific relevant thread.
    Last edited by The Truth; 03-31-2015 at 09:30 PM.
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    Rules in National Parks = NPS follows the law of the state in which the Nat'l Park is located.

    Amendment on guns in national parks

    Gun rights advocates in the Senate, led by Tom Coburn (R-Okla) added an unrelated rider to the bill to prevent the Secretary of the Interior from enforcing any regulation that would prohibit an individual from possessing a firearm in any unit of the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Senate passed the amendment 67-29.



    This amendment overturns a Reagan-era policy prohibiting firearms from being carried in national parks. The George W. Bush administration had attempted to implement a similar policy through the rulemaking process just before leaving office, but the change was struck down by a federal judge. The provision has been heavily criticized by environmentalists, anti-gun groups, and park supporters, including the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, but it was heavily applauded by gun rights groups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DC2Ark View Post
    1) Can I carry my firearm across state lines where I am not a resident? (Colorado, Wyoming, Montana,)
    2) If I can carry it over state lines am I only allowed to be transporting it if I was going to a range or something? Is being on a road trip enough reason to transport it legally?
    3) How would I go about transporting it? I assume unloaded in a case in the trunk not accessable to the driver with the ammo in a different case?
    4) If I go onto a national park can I open carry if I go camping in the backcountry?
    5) Do I need to have a permit to open carry?
    I can answer for Colorado, as that's the one I'm most familiar with (I live here).

    1. Yes, but not in the city and county of Denver, unless you have a recognized concealed handgun permit from your home state (CO does not recognize - nor issue - non-resident permits).
    2. You are not limited to certain destinations/origins. However, bear in mind that if the gun is in your car, it must either be unloaded or a handgun carried for self-defense reasons (this is true even in Denver). (CRS 18-12-105)
    2a. If you are "open" carrying in your car, and passing through Denver at any point. Either don't stop until you're out of Denver, or leave the gun locked in you car. Technically, it doesn't have to be locked by state law unless you're on a school parking lot, but it's a good idea when leaving it unattended, anyway. (CRS 18-12-105)
    3. Long guns must be unloaded if in a car (CRS 33-6-125), but there is no mention of anything other than that. For this law, the term "unloaded" refers specifically to the chamber of the weapon.
    4. Yes. As noted in above posts, the NPS defaults to state law, which permits open carry anywhere outside of federal buildings, public buildings with electronic screening devices, and the city/county of Denver. (CRS 18-12-214, Denver Ordinance, Sec 23-130)
    5. Hell no! Despite was some might believe. There are a (very) few LEOs that think you do. And they tend to rely on misinformation with the citizenry to believe this, but no OC permit is required.

    Hope that helps. I imagine Wyoming and several other states will have similar arrangements, but check out handgunlaw.us for details in each state.
    Last edited by jackrockblc; 04-01-2015 at 05:01 PM.

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    Personal bear experience from both Yellowstone and Glacier (as everyone has covered the guns part).

    Yellowstone's NE corner and E part of the park is where most bear activity is. Have seen 2 grizzlies there. The week after we left the park there were two incidents, I think only 1 death. Yellowstone has so many visitors, depending upon your camping area, bears will probably stay away. I'd be more concerned with buffalo and elk running everywhere.

    Glacier has more bears, but I think more in the northern half (St. Mary/Going to the Sun Road and above). Two years ago our campground had an unexpected visitor. He stuck his head into someone's occupied tent. No injuries, just frightened campers. In the morning, after the ranger notified everyone, we saw 3-4 trucks leaving with still-intact tents in the back of the vehicle. Saw a griz above in the rocks by Many Glacier, and another by the river east of Many Glacier. No threats, just bears off in the distance doing bear stuff. We were in a vehicle anyway.

    Also had one griz (young one) come darting across the road in broad daylight, and started munching on flowers/weeds on the side of the road. Paid no attention to the vehicles. Occasionally a bear keeps visiting a campground because campers are idiots. Practice good camping etiquette.

    As a recent visitor of the NPS, I've read the handful of stories of bear attacks over the past five years or so, in the areas we visit, and in Alaska. Bear spray can work. So can a gun in the right caliber (9mm won't do much). The correct ammo will also help, as grizzly bears have a really thick skull. A traditional JHP won't penetrate deep enough in a headshot (if lucky enough). Hard-cast flat nose is what I've seen recommended.

    Glacier also has serious weather, so watch out for lightning. We were hiking back from Hidden Lake at the top of Logan Pass when a storm came in. A ranger came up and was telling everyone to get down the mountain. A month earlier three people were hit by lightning on one trail.
    Last edited by mikeyb; 04-06-2015 at 05:04 PM.

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    LOL I camped in Banff NP, Alberta inside an electrically fenced and gated campground - and still saw no bears even though the wires were lighted, a la Stalag-17. Zoophobia and agrizoophobia have an older provenance than hoplophobia and are just as irrational. I was first on the scene when a deer slashed a child in a state park.

    I walked the John Muir Trail in 1966 and sheltered from a lightning storm on Glen Pass, Kings Canyon NP, in a gully, with our hardware buzzing and sparking as the lightning struck the edges of the gully. I saw no bears on the JMT.
    Last edited by Nightmare; 04-06-2015 at 06:09 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC2Ark View Post
    2) What rounds would be best? My .40 S&W M&P appears to be modded to fire .40 and 357 sig. Thats according to my clip it says .40 and 357 sig on it. But I should probably check I guess if I need to switch the barrel if I loaded 357 sig? (only have put about 100 rounds in it since I've had it and have never tried putting 357s in it) Its my first handgun and I'm still new to everything so I apologize for being a noob.
    I believe it is the magazine that is capable of either .357 or .40 ammo, not the gun. As an example, one of my guns uses 7.65x19; the same magazine is used in a later version of the same gun chambered in 9x19.

    Since the .357 barrel is actually grooved about .045" smaller than the .40, you would likely end up with a badly pooched out casing and a real heavy BB exiting the muzzle. It probably would not be disastrous unless it was a life or death scenario. I personally know of 9mm being used on bear, but that was also at a range of less that 5'. No thanks.


    PS- If I can't carry it in Glacier Park then I probably skip over that park completely. Not worth going if I don't feel safe especially in early may when Bears would have cubs.
    Bear offspring stay with mama year round for up to 2 years. It's just that in spring, they are hungry and the pickings are slim. Keep your head on a swivel, make noise, keep a retreat path open.
    Last edited by bc.cruiser; 04-08-2015 at 03:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    LOL I camped in Banff NP, Alberta inside an electrically fenced and gated campground - and still saw no bears even though the wires were lighted, a la Stalag-17. Zoophobia and agrizoophobia have an older provenance than hoplophobia and are just as irrational. I was first on the scene when a deer slashed a child in a state park.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bc.cruiser View Post

    Bear offspring stay with mama year round for up to 2 years. It's just that in spring, they are hungry and the pickings are slim. Keep your head on a swivel, make noise, keep a retreat path open.
    with the lack of snowpack this year, food should be plentiful in the spring. early growth, etc. late summer/fall, when water starts to get scarce, will be a different issue.

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