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Thread: York County Parks in violation of preemption - EXISTING firearms ban

  1. #1
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    After learning that York County Parks already have an exisiting firearms ban in place, I sent the following e-mail to Amy Gullie, News Editor for the York Daily Record. Hopefully they will do a story and get enough attention to reverse the illegal limitations.


    Ms. Gulli,

    As you may be aware, Lancaster county recently considered enacting a ban on firearms in it's parks. This proposal was met with great resistance, and after also confirming that such regulation is reserved to the legislature and specifically barred for municipalities, the proposal was abandoned.

    I've recently learned that the York County Parks already have a similar (illegal) regulation in place. I became aware of it after a fellow PAFOA (Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association) member, who also holds a PA License to Carry Firearms, inquired about signs which stipulated "No fireworks, explosive devices, or weapons unless authorized". The Parks Director, Tom Brant, responded as follows:
    "Thanks for your inquiry about weapons within Park properties, including the Rail Trail. Basically, no weapons mean no weapons either concealed or non-concealed (except in approved hunting areas with a Park Hunting Permit). Therefore, Park rules prohibit concealed weapons. If you should need additional information, please contact the Parks' Chief Ranger, Gerald Ford, at 717-840-7229.
    Thank You.......Tom Brant, Parks Director (cc: Chief Ford)"
    The inquiring party then called Chief Ranger Ford, as suggested, and came away with the following:
    "He assured me that yes... the rules is no weapons of any kind, but that it was not law

    He compared it to K Mart having a no firearms sign posted or a homeowner asking you not to bring a firearm into his or her home.

    He said if a ranger saw a weapon then he would most likely tell me to leave the park.

    He also noted that if no one saw a weapon that there would be no reason for anyone to ask anyone to leave."
    Under state law, carrying a firearm openly while on foot is legal without a License to Carry Firearms. The only time a License to Carry Firearms is needed to "open carry" is in a city of the first class. Philadelphia is the only such city in PA. Further, the PA Supreme Court has ruled that the visible presence of a firearm, absent any reasonable articulable suspicion of a crime, it not sufficient grounds to even stop the party carrying the firearm and ask for identification (Commonwealth v. Hawkins, 1996).

    Of course, anyone who does possess a License to Carry Firearms is permitted to have the firearm concealed on their person. The Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act (Title 18 PA Crimes Code) states in ยง6120 that "No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this commonwealth." This means that since both open carry of a firearm and concealed carry of a firearm by licensed persons is legal under state law, York County has no authority to limit such activity. Any such rule, ordinance, etc., is a violation of Title 18, and as such, is null and unenforceable.

    Park officials and York county commissioners should take a lesson from Lancaster county and take measures to remedy these illegal regulations as soon as possible.

    Greg Rotz
    1508 Guilford Station Rd
    Chambersburg, PA 17202
    my direct e-mail

  2. #2
    Regular Member XD40coyote's Avatar
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    So anyone up for open carrying on the rail trail between New Freedom and Railroad? LOL

    Heck anyone up for OC anywhere in the area? I'd sure love to see OCers in the area, and I would join if we could do a group thing like an OC picnic or OC at a restaurant. There are oodles of gun owners around the area and plenty who have a concealed lisc as it is. So where are the OCers?

    I am not going to be the solo person testing the waters though, I don't have the gumption to deal with cops showing up, as I am sure may happen being with all the MD transplants and everyone else who doesn't know PA firearms laws. A ticket for disturbing the peace is not my thing. Power in #'s you know, or someone else with the iron guts to set the precident.

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    Do you think wearing my G 27 while riding my bicycle on the trail will make me look fat? :shock:

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    XD40coyote wrote:
    I'd sure love to see OCers in the area, and I would join if we could do a group thing like an OC picnic or OC at a restaurant. There are oodles of gun owners around the area and plenty who have a concealed lisc as it is. So where are the OCers?

    I am not going to be the solo person testing the waters though, I don't have the gumption to deal with cops showing up, as I am sure may happen being with all the MD transplants and everyone else who doesn't know PA firearms laws. A ticket for disturbing the peace is not my thing. Power in #'s you know, or someone else with the iron guts to set the precident.
    The idea of open carry is to do it routinely, nonchallantly, like a normal person - while there is nothing wrong with meeting for lunch or a meeting while OCing, joining together in some sort of spontaneous "OC march" in an area you believe is unacostomed to OC is not the way to go -this is likley to arouse immediate citizen and police interest far more than a person going about his business.

  5. #5
    Regular Member XD40coyote's Avatar
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    Well since I haven't seen it in this area but possibly once ( do all LEOs in plain clothes put their badge on their belt near their gun? - if so my question might be answered " yes it was an ordinary guy OCing" asI saw no badge there, but I did not see the rest of his body- front or other side, and yes I kick myself for not asking him if he was LEO or OCer), I am not going to be the sacrificial animal. IfI could find 1 or 2 others willing to casually go out to test it then maybe I'd join the 2nd time. I have no idea how local LEO's would act/react here if someone calls about "a couple of people with guns". I already had a hysterical idiot call the police on me over a partial deer skull I had in my yard that they obviously saw from the parking lot next door- from when I lived in Shrewsbury. 2 other timesI have met the local police, all 3 times they showed being very nice, but I have no way of knowing how they would be about OC. I read so many stories on here about heckling by police that are negative. Unfortunatly I never tested OC in my yard when I lived there, heckI didn't even know about OC or even CC then. Had I done that in full veiw of the insurance company customers next door, the waters would have been tested for my own private property at least.



    BTW my XD would make me look fat on the rail trail, cuz I already am fat!

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    Let me know if or when anything takes place. I routinely cc while walking or biking the rail trail between new freedom and glen rock. Living on 616 near railroad the trail is a rock throw from my mailbox. I prefer to cc only becase of my children and any other curious minded children passer byers. I think it would be good for business actually to see some oc ers walking the trail. It would ad some doubt to anyone that was on the trail with bad intentions. The trail is usually pretty empty and my wife for one is affraid to walk it alone with the kids. I wonder what the marylanders will think? lol.

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    Regular Member XD40coyote's Avatar
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    Welcome to the board species0113, and glad to finally see someone from my "area" on here. If clarification can be made about the parks rules vs state laws, I'd be up to OC with you one day on the trail while you walk with wife and kids. BTW have you OC'd at all in town? Like Shrewsbury or New Freedom?

    As to the trail being creepy, I can see that, lots of spots that can't be seen from any road, such as across from Summit Grove and down to the MD line.

    Maryland people? Well count me in as 1 MDer who won't be freaked out by OC. My parents count as #2 and #3, but they would not be joining in, but are OK about it. I mean it's not likeI don't talk their ears off about CC and OC all the time! LOL

    When Freedom Armory has their next FL permit day, I will be there, asI want one of these toCC in PA. I am either paranoid, or I am genuinely feeling a "change" in the area( however, Baltimore city it is not...). There were all those robberies in Dec I heard about, and last week someone told me about a purse snatching in the walmart parking lot. When I lived in Shrewsbury the worst that happened was kids throwing cans and setting off a few fireworks at 2 am LOL. I also would feel 20 times safer the next time I trap a season in PA, if I could cc on the trapline. I'd OC but I don't want the game warden going by and seeing me and giving me a bunch of garbage. Of course he would probably give me crap about CC and act like FL permits aren't valid even though they are.

    BTW if you can, try and get your wife to get a cc permit then maybe she will have the confidence to walk the trail with the kids. If she is gun shy, maybeI could work on her LOL- always good for another women to relax a woman who is unsure about guns.

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    XD40coyote wrote
    ( do all LEOs in plain clothes put their badge on their belt near their gun? - if so my question might be answered " yes it was an ordinary guy OCing" asI saw no badge there, but I did not see the rest of his body- front or other side, and yes I kick myself for not asking him if he was LEO or OCer)
    Most will

  9. #9
    Regular Member XD40coyote's Avatar
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    Any update on this? Ever get a reply from the York county parks people? I know it says right on the rail trail signs " no weapons", drove by the other day and slowed down and looked.

    Warm weather is around the corner, sure would like to see some OC here and there around the area.

  10. #10
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    I never received a response from the newspaper, and just haven't gotten around to writing to the Parks People themselves. I have been in York county parks, but have not had occasion to return since this issue came to light. If I do, I will proceed as usual, OCing if the weather and my dress permit. Right now, I'm directing most of my attention to another LTCF revocation here in PA.

    This post sums up the response to the individual who initially inquired about the signs.

    I also contacted Mike S. and Kim Stolfer about the matter, but neither seemed real interested in making it an issue, presumably because no citizen has actually had an 'incident' over the matter (yet).

    I do have contact info for the Parks Director and Chief Ranger if someone closer to the area would like to follow-up on this further.

  11. #11
    Regular Member XD40coyote's Avatar
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    Maybe you could OC on the rail trail in New Freedom or thereabouts, let me know if/when, I could come and meet you as I haven't ever talked in person with any OCers before. Not sure I am ready to OC in that area myself though.

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    You should come up to Palmyra this coming Saturday. We're having an OC outing. We have 44 confirmed and about 20 more tentative.

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    deleted by springfield45 I didn't read the prior post in it's entirety ...

    ~Springfield45


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