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Thread: Indiana County Parks and Trails Commission

  1. #1
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    I was looking for a good bicycle trail in the area, and came across this page on the Parks and Trails commission's website. The "good trail" in the area is one managed by Parks and Trails.

    http://www.indianacountyparks.org/faqs/regs.html

    • Firearms are prohibited, except in areas designated for hunting.

    I haven't read the UFA completely in the last few weeks, but I'm pretty sure county parks are prohibited from posting against carry, yes?

    If I'm not mistaken, how should I go about getting this taken care of?

  2. #2
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    You have four choices:

    • Write to the County Commissioners and Parks Department and complain,
    • Attend the next County Commissioners meeting and complain,
    • Do both, or
    • Do nothing.

    Back on June 22nd I went with Plan A. Here's what I wrote:

    Sunday, June 22, 2008



    The Honorable Rodney Ruddock

    County Commissioner Chairman

    825 Philadelphia Street

    Indiana, Pennsylvania 15701



    Re: Indiana County Parks & Trails Rules and Regulations Ordinance



    Dear Commissioner Ruddock:



    As you are aware, the Commonwealth’s Uniform Firearms Act (1995) reads as follows:



    18 [/i]Pa.[/i] C.S. [/i]§6120. Limitation on the Regulation of Firearms and Ammunition.[/i]

    [/i]

    (a) General rule. 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.[/i]



    Your undated Indiana County parks ordinance, however, does just that. Perhaps it was not corrected when the Uniform Firearms Act came into being? Perhaps it was overlooked when you last updated the ordinance. In any event, it outlaws the lawful carrying for firearms for self-defense, specifically:



    • Section VI (Recreational Activities), Subsection F (Hunting Trapping and Firearms) states: “Hunt, trap, carry, bring into, and/or discharge any type of gun, pistol, revolver, air gun, bow and arrow, sling shot or any other weapon in any park except in those specific areas designated for such purposes, nor shall any person shoot into any park from beyond any park boundaries.”[/i]



    • Subsection H (Contraband) further states, in part: “…Any weapon or object carried or used by any person is violation of these rules shall be subject to seizure by the appropriate authority or its agents and disposed of according to law.”[/i]

    [/i]


    What does this mean? Well, the parts of the county ordinance prohibiting the carrying of firearms are unenforceable, are null and void since they’ve exceeded the authority of the county commission, and are in violation of state law. County government may indeed regulate the discharge of firearms, but not the carrying of same. Should a deputy sheriff, park police or other police officer “enforce” such ordinance, wrongful arrest and abuse of office charges could be laid on the officer, and civil rights violations be filed against the police officer, the police department and Indiana County – not an inexpensive proposition for any defendant.



    As stated, I am assuming this is just an oversight on your part and will be readily rectified. According to State Police figures, Indiana County has approximately 5,600 residents licensed to carry firearms concealed (and “open carry” requires no license at all). How many residents already carry in county parks? I do know, should I visit a county park, I would be carrying for personal protection purposes.



    Trusting this matter will be attended to in an expeditious manner, I remain,



    Most Sincerely Yours,



    Henry J. Statkowski



    cc: Mr. Ed Patterson, Parks Director

    Indiana County Parks & Trails

    1128 Blue Spruce Road

    Indiana, PA 15701



  3. #3
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    Did you get any response?

  4. #4
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    Not yet. but it's been less than a month. These things, sometimes, take time.

    Of course, if no response is forthcoming there will be a follow-up letter.

    It's your turn. Write, call, visit, do something. Be part of the solution.

  5. #5
    Regular Member jahwarrior72's Avatar
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    hey, thanks for the idea, stat! i wrote an email, and left a voicemail to my local county commissioner, concerning this sign in McDade park:





    hopefully, i'll hear back within the month.
    Givin' up the tactical advantage since 2008.

    Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

  6. #6
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    Demand they take down their illegal signs!

    Get a photo of yourself OCing next to the sign and email it to them and get it in nthe press.

  7. #7
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    jahwarrior72 wrote:
    hey, thanks for the idea, stat! i wrote an email, and left a voicemail to my local county commissioner, concerning this sign in McDade park:

    [amazing pic here]

    hopefully, i'll hear back within the month.
    You may want to actually write a letter too, as letters seem to carry more weight than emails.

  8. #8
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    Send any postal correspondence via Certified Mail with Return Receipt. It will cost ~$5, and will prove the letter was received. Very handy when they try the "we never got it" line.

  9. #9
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    No response to initial letter, so a follow-up went out today.
    Tuesday, July 22, 2008



    The Honorable Rodney Ruddock

    County Commissioner Chairman

    825 Philadelphia Street

    Indiana, Pennsylvania 15701



    Re: Indiana County Parks & Trails Rules and Regulations Ordinance







    Dear Commissioner Ruddock:



    A month ago, on June 22nd, I wrote to you and asked that the Indiana County Parks & Recreation Ordinance be corrected to comply with state law.



    To date I have received neither an acknowledgement of my request nor a response of any kind.



    A copy of my original letter is enclosed.



    Your attention to this matter would be appreciated.



    Respectfully yours,



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