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Thread: Error on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy website?

  1. #1
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    Just wanted to pass this on. My 9-year-old son and I are planning a 3-5 day hiking trip along the Appalachian Trail possibly in Sept. this year. So being the logical and responsible father, I wanted to get all the info that I could before this undertaking. I went to http://www.appalachiantrail.orgbecause these are suppose to be the people that keep the trail up and maintain it, etc. Who would know more than these people, right? I found this on their website under permits, fees, regulations:

    "Can I carry a gun?

    ATC strongly discourages hikers from carrying firearms. In areas of the Trail corridor where hunting is legal, hikers may see hunters carrying firearms. On National Park Service lands outside national recreation areas, possession of firearms by private citizens is illegal. The prohibition applies on many other public lands as well. Where firearms are allowed, state laws on licenses, registration, and related matters govern." (emphasis added by me)

    Anyway, is this not error? I thought that we could carry concealed with CHP and picture ID. Someone help me out and I will email them and inform them POLITELY of their erroneous info. Here's the contact info from their website if you would like to do the same:





    Appalachian Trail Conservancy
    799 Washington Street
    P.O. Box 807
    Harpers Ferry, WV 25425-0807
    Phone: (304) 535-6331
    Fax: (304) 535-2667
    Get directions
    Ultimate A.T. Store
    Phone: (888) AT STORE / (888) 287-8673
    Fax: (304) 724-8386
    www.atctrailstore.org

    We also have avisitor centerin Harpers Ferry andregional officesalong the Trail.

    Frequently requested e-mail addresses:
    ATC membership: membership@appalachiantrail.org
    Trail and hiking questions: info@appalachiantrail.org
    Ultimate A.T. Store: sales@appalachiantrail.org
    Publications and advertising: journeys@appalachiantrail.org

    BTW, while hiking the 40-70 miles with my son, I will be carrying a Stainless Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 mag in my pack. Also a Walther P22 in a pouch on my LBE to help with the grocery bill while on the hike, (that's why we're waiting until Sept. to go. Squirrel season opens Sept. 1). I am undecided whether or not I will be carrying my Taurus2" hammerless in .357 mag. inmy ankle holster or not. I carry it everyday and without it I feel almost naked. I don't want to go out "over dressed", ya know.

    All of this just in case some Bad Guys have read the same website that I have and feel that hikers on the AT are "easy pickins"



  2. #2
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    If it is National Park Service land then the prohibition on firearms does apply.

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    Regular Member vt357's Avatar
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    longwatch wrote:
    If it is National Park Service land then the prohibition on firearms does apply.
    Bingo.

    http://www.nps.gov/appa/

    NPS Regulations

    In addition to the trail being managed by the NPS, much of the AT in Virginia goes through national parks as well.



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    vt357 wrote:
    longwatch wrote:
    If it is National Park Service land then the prohibition on firearms does apply.
    Bingo.

    http://www.nps.gov/appa/

    NPS Regulations

    In addition to the trail being managed by the NPS, much of the AT in Virginia goes through national parks as well.


    This is in West VA. though. The following was taken from the Big Bend National Park, where ever that is:

    Generally, firearms are prohibited in national parks. If you are transporting firearms, you must notify the ranger or gate attendant of this fact on your arrival and your firearm must be rendered "inoperable" before you enter the park. The National Park Service defines "inoperable" to mean unloaded, cased, broken down if possible, and out of sight. Individuals in possession of an operable firearm in a national park are subject to arrest. Again, rules in various state park systems vary, so inquiry should be made concerning the manner of legal firearms possession in each particular park system.

    So I wonder if States have the right to regulate?

    This is on the NRA website:

    Generally, firearms are prohibited in national parks. If you are transporting firearms, you must notify the ranger or gate attendant on your arrival, and your firearm must be rendered inoperable before you enter the park. The National Park Service defines inoperable to mean unloaded, cased, broken down if possible, and out of sight. Individuals in possession of an operable firearm in a national park are subject to arrest. Rules in various state park systems vary, so always inquire first.




  5. #5
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    I can easily imagine that if state law is more restrictive one could be prosecuted for it. As for the NPS rules they are uniform in the lower 48 so the rules you read do apply. The question I have is if the AT is under contiguous NPS control. Some places like the Thompson WMA in NOVA hunting is allowed as well as CCW.

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    Good news. There appears to be a way to carry, albeit tedious and thin. This is from www.nps.gov

    (a)(1) Except as otherwise provided in
    this section and parts 7 (special regulations)
    and 13 (Alaska regulations), the
    following are prohibited:
    (i) Possessing a weapon, trap or net
    (ii) Carrying a weapon, trap or net
    (iii) Using a weapon, trap or net
    (2) Weapons, traps or nets may be
    carried, possessed or used:
    (i) At designated times and locations
    in park areas where:
    (A) The taking of wildlife is authorized
    by law in accordance with § 2.2 of
    this chapter;
    (B) The taking of fish is authorized
    by law in accordance with § 2.3 of this
    part.
    (ii) When used for target practice at
    designated times and at facilities or locations
    designed and constructed specifically
    for this purpose and designated
    pursuant to special regulations.
    (iii) Within a residential dwelling.
    For purposes of this subparagraph
    only, the term ‘‘residential dwelling’’
    means a fixed housing structure which
    is either the principal residence of its
    occupants, or is occupied on a regular
    and recurring basis by its occupants as
    VerDate 11<MAY>2000 17:49 Jul 17, 2001 Jkt 194130 PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 8010 Sfmt 8010 Y:\SGML\194130T.XXX pfrm12 PsN: 194130T
    20
    36 CFR Ch. I (7–§ 2.5 1–01 Edition)
    an alternate residence or vacation
    home.
    (3) Traps, nets and unloaded weapons
    may be possessed within a temporary
    lodging or mechanical mode of conveyance
    when such implements are rendered
    temporarily inoperable or are
    packed, cased or stored in a manner
    that will prevent their ready use.
    (b) Carrying or possessing a loaded
    weapon in a motor vehicle, vessel or
    other mode of transportation is prohibited,
    except that carrying or possessing
    a loaded weapon in a vessel is allowed
    when such vessel is not being propelled
    by machinery and is used as a shooting
    platform in accordance with Federal
    and State law.
    (c) The use of a weapon, trap or net
    in a manner that endangers persons or
    property is prohibited.


    (d) The superintendent may issue a
    permit to carry or possess a weapon,
    trap or net under the following circumstances:
    (1) When necessary to support research
    activities conducted in accordance
    with § 2.5.
    (2) To carry firearms for persons in
    charge of pack trains or saddle horses
    for emergency use.
    (3) For employees, agents or cooperating
    officials in the performance of
    their official duties.
    (4) To provide access to otherwise inaccessible
    lands or waters contiguous
    to a park area when other means of access
    are otherwise impracticable or impossible.
    Violation of the terms and conditions
    of a permit issued pursuant to this
    paragraph is prohibited and may result
    in the suspension or revocation of the
    permit.


    So, it appears that if I am walking the AT and parts of it go through NPS land, I need to obtain a permit from the superintendent of that area. I have looked and the hike that I will be making will not encroach on NPS land, so this is one battle that I wont have to fightjust so I canexcercise my second amendment right, but it may be helpful to someone else.

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    Here is the reply that I received from the Shenandoah Deputy Chief Ranger:

    Thank you for your email requesting information regarding firearms in
    Shenandoah National Park. 36 CFR § 2.4 prohibits possessing, carrying, or
    using a firearm in a national park. The superintendent is authorized to
    issue permits but only in specific circumstances: research activities, for
    persons leading a pack train, employees in the performance of their duties
    and to provide access to otherwise inaccessible lands. It would appear
    from your request that none of these conditions would apply to your
    situation.

    You are correct in the assessment that your valid Virginia permit to carry
    a concealed firearm does not carry over to federal land. Shenandoah Nation
    Park, being a federal reservation, is subject to federal law and would
    supersede state law.

    To meet the requirements of the regulation, you would need to make sure
    that your firearm is unloaded and stored in a manor what would keep the
    firearm from being readily accessible. When travelling trough the park,
    placing the unloaded weapon in the trunk would accomplish this. A backpack
    would not.

    If you have further questions, please call me at the number below.

    Ed W Clark
    Deputy Chief Ranger
    Shenandoah National Park
    3655 US Hwy 211 E
    Luray, Virginia 22835
    540-999-3402 (phone)
    540-999-3236 (fax)



    and my response to his reply:

    Mr. Clark,

    to provide access to otherwise inaccessible lands.


    Would this not be a legitimate reason? If I am on the AT with a lawful
    firearm, and I have to cross NPS land to continue my progress on the trail,
    then could I not get a permit to cross the NPS land with the firearm to
    continue on the trail? My vehicle is not readily accessible. What do thru
    hikers do? Are they required to give up Second Amendment rights for the
    priviledge to hike through the AT? Surely there is some provision in the
    law for this.

    Ya know, like I said before, I don't even have to cross NPS land on my hike but it has turned into a real issue now that they are telling me that there is no way that I can exercise my constitutional rights. Maybe it's moot, but it really bothers me.

  8. #8
    Regular Member zoom6zoom's Avatar
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    You've got to remember that "may issue" is bureaocrat speak for "F U"

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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    FYI Big Bend National Park is in Texas.

    The regulations are uniform (except Alaska) for all National Parks (Teddy Roosevelt is spinning in his grave). You can obtain a permit as outlined above. I had one for conducting a search for a downed plane in Guadeloupe Mountain National Park. The restrictions on the permit were fairly draconian. Basically if I if I fired the weapon, and could not PROVE actual and immediate self defense justification I could have been prosecuted. The burden of proof rests with the permit holder.

    Be careful on the AT. There have been many recent incidents of attacks and car break ins involving folks using the trail. All committed by two legged animals.

    Regards
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    Hawkflyer wrote:
    FYI Big Bend National Park is in Texas.

    The regulations are uniform (except Alaska) for all National Parks (Teddy Roosevelt is spinning in his grave). You can obtain a permit as outlined above. I had one for conducting a search for a downed plane in Guadeloupe Mountain National Park. The restrictions on the permit were fairly draconian. Basically if I if I fired the weapon, and could not PROVE actual and immediate self defense justification I could have been prosecuted. The burden of proof rests with the permit holder.

    Be careful on the AT. There have been many recent incidents of attacks and car break ins involving folks using the trail. All committed by two legged animals.

    Regards
    Thanks for the heads-up. Rest assured, I will be protected. I gues that answers the question about going out over-dressed. I'll make sure that I carry the .357 also.

  11. #11
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    Hawkflyer wrote:
    FYI Big Bend National Park is in Texas.

    The regulations are uniform (except Alaska) for all National Parks (Teddy Roosevelt is spinning in his grave). You can obtain a permit as outlined above. I had one for conducting a search for a downed plane in Guadeloupe Mountain National Park. The restrictions on the permit were fairly draconian. Basically if I if I fired the weapon, and could not PROVE actual and immediate self defense justification I could have been prosecuted. The burden of proof rests with the permit holder.

    Be careful on the AT. There have been many recent incidents of attacks and car break ins involving folks using the trail. All committed by two legged animals.

    Regards
    Thanks for the heads-up. Rest assured, I will be protected. I gues that answers the question about going out over-dressed. I'll make sure that I carry the .357 also.

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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    LW, Yes the entire AT falls under NPS. Though I find this odd since many parts go through state parks and public streets.

    http://www.nps.gov/appa/index.htm
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    VAopencarry wrote:
    LW, Yes the entire AT falls under NPS. Though I find this odd since many parts go through state parks and public streets.

    http://www.nps.gov/appa/index.htm
    See, that's where I have my problem. There has to be something going on with the laws because the AT Conservancy webpage states:

    Hunting is allowed on or near most of the Appalachian Trail. Hunting has been a traditional use of the land along many sections of the Trail, both on public and private lands, and fishing and hunting groups are among the biggest supporters of protection of public lands.





    Type of A.T. Land
    Hunting
    No Hunting

    National forest lands and recreation areas
    1,000+ miles


    State forest and gameland units
    250+ miles


    National and state park lands

    900 miles

    Total approximate mileage
    1,250+ miles
    900 miles

    So if the AT is entirely on NPS Land, and it is, then why can I hunt on the AT during legal hunting season except when passing through Shanendoah, etc? My head hurts. . .

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    I don't think the AT is all NPS land. The G. Richard Thompson WMA and Sky Meadows State Park are 2 areas that I know allow gun carry of one type or other and the AT passes through both of them.

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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    It is not all NPS land but seems to somehow fall under their control in some form.

    from appalachiantrail.org "Is a unit of the National Park Service." The more I think about it I believe I have seen NPS Rangers on parts of the AT that were not on NPS land.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

  16. #16
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    We have got to get the NPS carry ban dropped, this whole subject is too confusing.


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    longwatch wrote:
    We have got to get the NPS carry ban dropped, this whole subject is too confusing.
    Amen to that.

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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    Well we could buy them out and change the rules.

    IF WE DIDN"T ALREADY OWN MOST OF THE LAND ALREADY!!!

    Regards
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    Hawkflyer wrote:
    Well we could buy them out and change the rules.

    IF WE DIDN"T ALREADY OWN MOST OF THE LAND ALREADY!!!

    Regards
    Speaking of which, here's the sad story of how SNP came to be:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/frazier2.html

    Reading this really angers me. A bunch of hoiti-toiti types decided to screw a bunch of country folk out of their family homes in order to gentrify it by force. It's a prett park and all, but came at a high expensefor some people. And the new "owners" won't even let you properly defend yourself to boot.

    Near the trailhead for the Devil's Staircase trail, there is an old cemetary, and in the cemetary is a plaque. I took a photo of it, it's a little hard to read here:


    [img]file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Test/My%20Documents/My%20Pictures/DSCF0255a.JPG[/img]

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