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Thread: Gun on Blue Ridge Parkway - no notice required

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    Newbie W.E.G.'s Avatar
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    full opinion at http://www.vawd.uscourts.gov/opinions/urbanski/mo.708po024gettier.pdf

    Gun On Parkway - Notice To Drivers
    May 12, 2008

    A driver who had two loaded firearms in his vehicle, which was pulled after defendant failed to completely stop at a stop sign, cannot avoid conviction for having a loaded weapon in a vehicle on the Blue Ridge Parkway by claiming there was no posted notice that such possession was illegal, a Roanoke U.S. District judge says.

    In U.S. v. Lofton, 233 F.3d 313 (4th Cir. 2000), the 4th Circuit decided a case very similar to this one. The defendant in Lofton argued, as defendant here does, that a national park was required to give notice of a prohibition against carrying weapons therein. The 4th Circuit rejected that argument.

    At the center of this case is defendant’s concern that he is a law abiding citizen who owns firearms and is allowed to carry them in his car on the highways of Virginia pursuant to the Second Amendment and a concealed weapons permit issued under Virginia law. He contends he should have the same right to possess loaded guns in his car when driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

    Defendant argues the Blue Ridge Parkway is, in one respect, a road much like other roads in Virginia, bearing traffic which many travelers user as a highway between, for example, U.S. Routes 460 and 220 in the Roanoke area. But the Blue Ridge Parkway is not just a highway. While the parkway is in one sense a road, it is also a national park dotted with hiking trails, scenic overlooks, campgrounds and other attractions used by countless visitors. As such, the parkway is subject to federal law and regulation just as any other national park. To protect the safety of park visitors, the Department of the Interior has issued regulations concerning weapons, traps and nets in national parks. Lofton controls this case and compels denial of defendant’s motion for judgment of acquittal.

    Defendant is convicted under 36 C.F.R. §§ 2.4(b) and 4.12.

    U.S. v. Gettier
    (Urbanski, J.) No. 7:08po0024, March 25, 2008; USDC at Roanoke, Va. VLW 008-3-124, 8 pp.

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    Campaign Veteran T Dubya's Avatar
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    I too have been on the Blue Ridge Parkway and been stopped.



    I was stopped for speeding going down a hill (not purposely) and the park ranger let me off. He unloaded my pistol then gave it back to me. He recomended I take the slide apart and store it because of the statute.

    It's hard to tell that the whole road is a national park, especially when you see houses along the way.
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    Is there a map that I can reference? I may or may not have driven here with no idea that it was a national park.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Holy crud, I didn't know the Blue Ridge Parkway was a national park!! How are we supposed to know that?? We gotta at least get CC in national parks before more LAC unknowingly violate the law and end up with federal convictions.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    If you have not already, you can comment on this rule and, we hope, get it changed.

    FROM VCDL:

    Respond to the DOI's request for input to its proposed rule by
    politely urging them to assimilate state firearms laws for ALL law-
    abiding gun owners where the National Park Service's sites and the
    National Wildlife Refuges are located.

    To send in your comments to the DOI, click here:

    http://tinyurl.com/5juwn3

    Copy and paste the following text into the "General Comments" box and
    then "Next Step" at the bottom to continue.

    Suggested "General Comments" text:

    --

    The proposed rule falls far short of what Senator Crapo's letter to
    DOI on December 14th, 2007 requested. The letter, signed by 51
    Senators, asked that National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges
    assimilate the host state's gun laws.

    The rule also falls far short of the Virginia Citizens Defense
    League's Petition for Rule Making sent to DOI and dated January 19,
    2008. Like Senator Crapo's letter, the Petition, representing over
    one million gun owners, requested that the gun laws for the host state
    be assimilated.

    The proposed rule needs to assimilate state law in a similar manner as
    National Forests do for the lawful carry of weapons for self-defense.
    That would make the rules for such carriage of self-defense weapons in
    National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges and National Forests the
    same and consistent with the laws of the state surrounding the parks
    and refuges.

    Please change the wording of the rules as follows, which would make
    the regulation of carry commensurate with standards of the host state,
    while removing the nebulous and confusing wording about "similar
    lands." Existing poaching laws will serve to deter poaching in
    National Parks and Wildlife Refuges, just as they do on state land:

    "A person may possess, carry, and transport loaded, and operable
    firearms or other weapons within a national park area in the same
    manner, and to the same extent, that a person may lawfully possess,
    carry, and transport loaded and operable firearms or other weapons in
    the state in which the federal park, or that portion thereof, is
    located, provided that such possession, carrying and transporting
    otherwise complies with applicable federal and state law."

    And for National Wildlife Refuges:

    "A person may possess, carry, and transport loaded, and operable
    firearms or other weapons within a national wildlife refuge area in
    the same manner, and to the same extent, that a person may lawfully
    possess, carry, and transport loaded and operable firearms or other
    weapons in the state in which the federal wildlife refuge, or that
    portion thereof, is located, provided that such possession, carrying
    and transporting otherwise complies with applicable federal and state
    law."




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    Regular Member vt357's Avatar
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    Basically if it is a "Parkway" then having a loaded firearm is most likely prohibited. So that means the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Colonial Parkway in Williamsburg, and the George Washington Memorial Parkway outside DC are all "no-gos."

    I used to drive down the Colonial Parkway all the time. It is very pretty and can be a nice detour off of I-64 if traffic is bad. Once I found out that the pavement on that road is national park service property, I haven't been back since.

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    T Dubya wrote:
    I too have been on the Blue Ridge Parkway and been stopped.



    I was stopped for speeding going down a hill (not purposely) and the park ranger let me off. He unloaded my pistol then gave it back to me. He recomended I take the slide apart and store it because of the statute.

    It's hard to tell that the whole road is a national park, especially when you see houses along the way.
    As I understand it, the problem with traffic and law enforcement on the Parkway is jurisdictional. It is a National Park and the citation from the NPS is a Federal citation that will be answered to a Federal Magistrate.

    The local SOLs' jurisdiction is arguable and their evenhandedness is lacking. They pull many more tourists than local commuters that will use the Parkway for an expressway inspite of its 45 mph speed limit.

    The Parkway has been a fine place for me to drive my 911E and to ride my bicycles. My most recent bike ride on it was from Blowing Rock, up the PRP, 421/221 to Todd and Railroad Grade Road, lunch and back.

    Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will, with wits and guns and the truth. NRA *******



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    asforme wrote:
    Is there a map that I can reference? I may or may not have driven here with no idea that it was a national park.
    If you don't know if you have driven on the BRP then it is very likely that you haven't. It is clearly marked and with limited access so there is little chance that you are on it without knowing it.

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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    vt357 wrote:
    Basically if it is a "Parkway" then having a loaded firearm is most likely prohibited. So that means the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Colonial Parkway in Williamsburg, and the George Washington Memorial Parkway outside DC are all "no-gos."

    I used to drive down the Colonial Parkway all the time. It is very pretty and can be a nice detour off of I-64 if traffic is bad. Once I found out that the pavement on that road is national park service property, I haven't been back since.
    What about the notion of, what is it called, fair travel, safe travel... Where you can have a gun in your car if you are traveling "through" a state, without stops (gas excepted I would imagine), even though it is illegal to have one in that state. Another condition of this principle is that the place you are traveling to must also allow guns. If this is a real principle of law then why wouldn't it also apply to parkways as long as you didn't stop?

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    I think that there is more to 'safe travel' than that, like 'safe storage' as defined by the jurisdiction. Besides, if you don't stop or get stopped - who's to know? The stopping is the problem.

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    Regular Member streetdoc's Avatar
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    http://www.nps.gov/blri/faqs.htm

    What is the difference between National Forests and National Parks? The Parkway travels through four U.S. National Forests, the Jefferson and George Washington in Virginia, and the Pisgah and Nantahala in North Carolina. National Park areas under the Department of the Interior, have a primary responsibility to conserve all of the park resources for the enjoyment of visitors. National Forest areas under the Department of Agriculture, are multiple use areas where trees are planted and harvested and lots of recreational opportunities, including hunting, are allowed.

    Map:

    http://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisi.../blrimap-2.pdf

    Its crazy, all of rthe land to the side of the road belongs to the National Forest and priviate citizensbut the roadway belongs to and is managed by the NPS under their regulations.
    'Till the last landings made, and we stand unafraid, on a shore not mortal has seen,
    'Till the last bugle call, sounds taps for us all,
    It's Semper Fidelis, MARINE!

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    Newbie W.E.G.'s Avatar
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    Part of the George Washington Parkway near DC is actually IN Washington DC, even though the road is entirely on the Western side of the Potomac River.

    An unmarked quarter-mile or so in the area between Roaches Run and Francis Scott Key Bridge.



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    Neplusultra wrote:
    vt357 wrote:
    Basically if it is a "Parkway" then having a loaded firearm is most likely prohibited. So that means the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Colonial Parkway in Williamsburg, and the George Washington Memorial Parkway outside DC are all "no-gos."

    I used to drive down the Colonial Parkway all the time. It is very pretty and can be a nice detour off of I-64 if traffic is bad. Once I found out that the pavement on that road is national park service property, I haven't been back since.
    What about the notion of, what is it called, fair travel, safe travel... Where you can have a gun in your car if you are traveling "through" a state, without stops (gas excepted I would imagine), even though it is illegal to have one in that state. Another condition of this principle is that the place you are traveling to must also allow guns. If this is a real principle of law then why wouldn't it also apply to parkways as long as you didn't stop?
    The key is that the guns are loaded. You can travel along the Parkway with unloaded guns in your trunk which is the Federal Standard for travel.

    Code of Federal Regulations

    Title 18 > Part I > Chapter 44 > § 926a

    § 926A. Interstate transportation of firearms

    Release date: 2005-08-03
    Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.
    It doesn't say anything about not stopping so I am not sure where that comes from.

    If anyone knows different please let us know.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    streetdoc wrote:

    http://www.nps.gov/blri/faqs.htm

    What is the difference between National Forests and National Parks? The Parkway travels through four U.S. National Forests, the Jefferson and George Washington in Virginia, and the Pisgah and Nantahala in North Carolina. National Park areas under the Department of the Interior, have a primary responsibility to conserve all of the park resources for the enjoyment of visitors. National Forest areas under the Department of Agriculture, are multiple use areas where trees are planted and harvested and lots of recreational opportunities, including hunting, are allowed.

    Map:

    http://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisi.../blrimap-2.pdf

    Its crazy, all of rthe land to the side of the road belongs to the National Forest and priviate citizensbut the roadway belongs to and is managed by the NPS under their regulations.
    Oh, that makes it easy. If you are armed and get pulled over, just pull Wwwaaaayyy over off the pavement. If an issue of your gun comes up, point out that you aren't in the national park you're in the national forest and are legal
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    W.E.G. wrote:
    Part of the George Washington Parkway near DC is actually IN Washington DC, even though the road is entirely on the Western side of the Potomac River.

    An unmarked quarter-mile or so in the area between Roaches Run and Francis Scott Key Bridge.

    WHAT? Can I get a reference?
    -Unrequited

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    The center or X is the US Capital, the river is the Potomac River.

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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    unrequited wrote:
    ...SNIP
    WHAT? Can I get a reference?
    The Potomac is not a Virginia river. Everything below the High tide line is in either Maryland or DC. The GW Parkway crosses two almost unnoticed bridges in the area between Rosslyn and the Pentagon. The roadway between those bridges is basically an island that is part of DC.

    This has caused a lot of people trouble for a long time all along the river.

    If you wade out into the river to fish from the Virginia shore, you either need a river license or a Maryland or DC license depending on where you are on the river.

    imagine you are somewhere in Virginia along the lower Potomac lawfully carrying a weapon. You decide to wade out a few yards in the river, or perhaps you are hiking and hop over to a small island a few feet from shore. BANG, you are in Maryland and your possession of the weapon falls under Maryland law.

    Regards
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    Founder's Club Member Skeptic's Avatar
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    I still fail to understand the rationale behind and authority for the firearms prohibition on federal property, other than a hatred of liberty.

    There are some so-called constitutional "scholars" that claim that the second amendment does not apply to the states because it was never "incorporated" to the states after the civil war. But even that argument has no weight in the case of what is clearly federal jurisdiction.


    Maybe the history I learned in schools was faulty, but I could have sworn we kicked out the king, and were supposed to have a government bound by the constitution.

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    Campaign Veteran roscoe13's Avatar
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    Skeptic wrote:
    I still fail to understand the rationale behind and authority for the firearms prohibition on federal property, other than a hatred of liberty.

    There are some so-called constitutional "scholars" that claim that the second amendment does not apply to the states because it was never "incorporated" to the states after the civil war. But even that argument has no weight in the case of what is clearly federal jurisdiction.


    Maybe the history I learned in schools was faulty, but I could have sworn we kicked out the king, and were supposed to have a government bound by the constitution.
    Unfortunately, the way it's supposed to be, and the way it is are VASTLY different...
    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." - George Washington

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    Regular Member Bubba Ron's Avatar
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    vt357 wrote:
    Basically if it is a "Parkway" then having a loaded firearm is most likely prohibited.
    Sorry, I can't buy that...I travel on both Lynnhaven Parkway and Ferrell Parkway in Virginia Beach while carrying all the time - neither one of them is a national park.

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    Campaign Veteran Dutch Uncle's Avatar
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    Neplusultra wrote:
    vt357 wrote: What about the notion of, what is it called, fair travel, safe travel... Where you can have a gun in your car if you are traveling "through" a state, without stops (gas excepted I would imagine), even though it is illegal to have one in that state.
    I think what you are referring to is the "Peaceable Journey" law, a federal law which allows you to carry a firearm, UNLOADED, and stored in the trunk or under lock and key while driving directly through states which don't allow their own citizens to own or carry arms (or should I say "keep and bear arms"?). This applies to driving through some of the socialist states like MD and NJ, or other occupied territories where the Bill of Rights isn't fully observed. Unfortunately it doesn't apply to driving on or through federal territory with a LOADED gun.

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    vt357 wrote:
    Basically if it is a "Parkway" then having a loaded firearm is most likely prohibited.* So that means the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Colonial Parkway in Williamsburg, and the George Washington Memorial Parkway outside DC are all "no-gos."*

    I used to drive down the Colonial Parkway all the time.* It is very pretty and can be a nice detour off of I-64 if traffic is bad.* Once I found out that the pavement on that road is national park service property, I haven't been back since.
    The majority of Parkways are actually locally or state owned.

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    nitrovic wrote:
    vt357 wrote:
    Basically if it is a "Parkway" then having a loaded firearm is most likely prohibited. So that means the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Colonial Parkway in Williamsburg, and the George Washington Memorial Parkway outside DC are all "no-gos."

    I used to drive down the Colonial Parkway all the time. It is very pretty and can be a nice detour off of I-64 if traffic is bad. Once I found out that the pavement on that road is national park service property, I haven't been back since.
    The majority of Parkways are actually locally or state owned.
    Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?

    Couldn't help it.

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    Skeptic wrote:
    I still fail to understand the rationale behind and authority for the firearms prohibition on federal property, other than a hatred of liberty.

    There are some so-called constitutional "scholars" that claim that the second amendment does not apply to the states because it was never "incorporated" to the states after the civil war. But even that argument has no weight in the case of what is clearly federal jurisdiction.


    Maybe the history I learned in schools was faulty, but I could have sworn we kicked out the king, and were supposed to have a government bound by the constitution.
    I've thought the very same thing myself. Rightsdocumented by the Constitution being negated in Federal buildings and on Federal property is total B.S.

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    PT111 wrote:
    Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?

    Couldn't help it.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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