While visiting Loon Lake Recreation Area a few weeks ago, I noticed that the BLM pamphlet & information card handed out (and I think the signs, too) at the site stated that Bow and Arrows, Firearms, and Fireworks are prohibited at the site. I quitely hid my handgun in the trunk, but didn't think they could ban firearms from BLM parks. I researched, and found they do not have that power.
Wednesday, I sent the following Email to the Coos Bay BLM Office:
Subject: BLM Authority to ban Firearms?
Date: Wednesday, July 09, 2008 10:15:37 AM
I noticed in the brochure from the BLM Coos Bay District that Firearms are prohibited in the Loon Lake Recreation Area.
After an exhaustive search of the US Code and the Code of Federal Regulations, I cannot find anything that authorizes any office of the Bureau of Land Management to prohibit possession of firearms. The only law in the Code of Federal Regulations I can find that is applicable is 36 CFR 261.8, which states:
Code of Federal Regulations
Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property
§ 261.8 Fish and wildlife.
The following are prohibited to the extent Federal or State law is violated:
(a) Hunting, trapping, fishing, catching, molesting, killing or having in possession any kind of wild animal, bird, or fish, or taking the eggs of any such bird.
(b) Possessing a firearm or other implement designed to discharge a missile capable of destroying animal life.
(c) Possessing equipment which could be used for hunting, fishing, or trapping.
(d) Possessing a dog not on a leash or otherwise confined.
(e) Curtail the free movement of any animal or plant life into or out of a cave, except as authorized to protect a cave resource.
[42 FR 2957, Jan. 14, 1977, as amended at 46 FR 33520, June 30, 1981; 59 FR 31152, June 17, 1994]
This clearly states that firearms are only prohibited if possession is in violation of another State or Federal law. Since possession of a firearm in the area is not prohibited by any Federal or State Law, the BLM does not have any authority to prohibit guns in any area by anyone not already prohibited from having one.
Can your office please provide the specific law in USC or CFR that gives BLM the power to ban firearms? If not, I would like your district to change the pamplets and signs that are illegally attempting to ban firearms from BLM sites in your district where they are otherwise legal to carry.
Thank you in advance for your reply.
I just received the following today (highlighting is mine):
Subject: BLM Authority to ban Firearms
Date: Friday, July 11, 2008 8:03:31 AM
Thank you for letting us know about the information in our Loon Lake brochure, regarding the use of firearms. Federal Regulations do not prohibit the possession of firearms at Loon Lake or any other BLM campground. The regulations do prohibit the "Discharge or use of firearms, other weapons, or fireworks." The Federal Regulation governing this is: Title 43 Code of Federal Regulations (43 CFR) 8365.2-5(1) governing "Public health, safety and comfort" on developed recreation sites. We will be reprinting our brochures and will clarify the information regarding firearms. If you have any further questions, feel free to give me a call at 541-751-4241. Again, thank you for bringing this to our attention.
Loon Lake Park Manager
Coos Bay BLM District
See, We can get positive things done if we try!
make sure to send a thank you letter
I think I'll send a thank you letter. I didn't think ANY ONE in the government could work that fast! It takes me longer going through the ROE in Iraq
So you can have them... but what about discharge them, say, in a rock quarry?
There is no quarry at Loon Lake.
CharlesAFerg wrote:There is a rule about discharging, but it restricts it in the developed areas of the recreation area.So you can have them... but what about discharge them, say, in a rock quarry?
Here it is:
So no, you cannot (unless otherwise authorized) discharge a firearm in the developed area (campsites or recreation area).[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 43, Volume 2]
[Revised as of October 1, 2004]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
TITLE 43--PUBLIC LANDS: INTERIOR
CHAPTER II--BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
PART 8360_VISITOR SERVICES--Table of Contents
Subpart 8365_Rules of Conduct
Sec. 8365.2-5 Public health, safety and comfort.
On developed recreation sites and areas, unless otherwise
authorized, no person shall:
(a) Discharge or use firearms, other weapons, or fireworks; or
(b) Bring an animal, except a Seeing Eye or Hearing Ear dog, to a