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Thread: National Forest Question?

  1. #1
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    I understand that the National Forests in VA follow state law. Does that mean I can open carry in a national forest like the majority of the state or do I have to follow the VA laws regarding state parks and keep it concealed?

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    I would also like to know

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    National forests are federally held public lands, but are regulated by state law. Here is a clip from the Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) which enforceshunting, trapping, fishing regulations.

    http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/hunting...ationalforests

    Regulations Specific to National Forest and Game Department Lands
    It shall be unlawful to have in possession a bow or gun which is not unloaded and cased or dismantled on all National Forest lands statewide, or on Departmentowned lands and on lands managed by the Department under cooperative agreement in counties west of the Blue Ridge Mountains except during the period when it is lawful to take bear, deer, grouse, pheasant, quail, rabbit, raccoon, squirrel, turkey or waterfowl on these lands; and on Department-owned lands and on lands managed by the Department under cooperative agreement in counties east of the Blue Ridge Mountains except during the period when it is lawful to take bear, deer, grouse, pheasant, quail, rabbit, raccoon, squirrel, turkey, waterfowl or migratory game birds on these lands.

    Except as provided by special concealed handgun permit, it shall be unlawful to possess or transport a loaded gun in or on any vehicle at any time on National Forest lands or Department-owned lands. "Loaded gun" is defined as a firearm in which ammunition is chambered or loaded in the magazine or clip, when such magazine or clip is found engaged or partially engaged in a firearm. The definition of a loaded muzzleloading gun will include a gun which is capped or has a charged pan.

    The word "possession" shall include, but not be limited to, having any bow or firearm in or on one's person, vehicle or conveyance.

    *********************************************

    We would have to do some more research here on the actual code, but it would appear the "concealed carry exception" is out of step with the state open carry pre-emption.

    Hope that helps...



  4. #4
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    Armed wrote:
    National forests are federally held public lands, but are regulated by state law. Here is a clip from the Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) which enforceshunting, trapping, fishing regulations.

    http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/hunting...ationalforests

    Regulations Specific to National Forest and Game Department Lands
    It shall be unlawful to have in possession a bow or gun which is not unloaded and cased or dismantled on all National Forest lands statewide, or on Departmentowned lands and on lands managed by the Department under cooperative agreement in counties west of the Blue Ridge Mountains except during the period when it is lawful to take bear, deer, grouse, pheasant, quail, rabbit, raccoon, squirrel, turkey or waterfowl on these lands; and on Department-owned lands and on lands managed by the Department under cooperative agreement in counties east of the Blue Ridge Mountains except during the period when it is lawful to take bear, deer, grouse, pheasant, quail, rabbit, raccoon, squirrel, turkey, waterfowl or migratory game birds on these lands.

    Except as provided by special concealed handgun permit, it shall be unlawful to possess or transport a loaded gun in or on any vehicle at any time on National Forest lands or Department-owned lands. "Loaded gun" is defined as a firearm in which ammunition is chambered or loaded in the magazine or clip, when such magazine or clip is found engaged or partially engaged in a firearm. The definition of a loaded muzzleloading gun will include a gun which is capped or has a charged pan.

    The word "possession" shall include, but not be limited to, having any bow or firearm in or on one's person, vehicle or conveyance.

    *********************************************

    We would have to do some more research here on the actual code, but it would appear the "concealed carry exception" is out of step with the state open carry pre-emption.

    Hope that helps...

    And do do not confuse this with the National Park issue which I do not believe has been resolved yet.. For those that do not know the Blue Ridge Pkwy/Sky Line Dr. and the Colonial Pkwy are part of the National Park system administered by NPS - weapons are not allowed.
    http://home.nps.gov/applications/npspolicy/search.cfm

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Grapeshot wrote:
    And do do not confuse this with the National Park issue which I do not believe has been resolved yet.. For those that do not know the Blue Ridge Pkwy/Sky Line Dr. and the Colonial Pkwy are part of the National Park system administered by NPS - weapons are not allowed.
    http://home.nps.gov/applications/npspolicy/search.cfm

    Yata hey
    Good point, Grapeshot - Thanks! I can tell you from personal experience those boundary lines between National Forest and National Park are often somewhere between damn fuzzy and non-existent!

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    I am certain that I will be only in the National Forest. I will be using some of the designated ATV trails. I bought the thing about 5 years ago and have only used it for work around the property. I found out about the designated trails and figured why not give it a shot. I guess that I will just CC to make things easy....I don't want to attempt the Federal Court tango on my dime that's for sure.

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    Toad wrote:
    I am certain that I will be only in the National Forest. I will be using some of the designated ATV trails. I bought the thing about 5 years ago and have only used it for work around the property. I found out about the designated trails and figured why not give it a shot. I guess that I will just CC to make things easy....I don't want to attempt the Federal Court tango on my dime that's for sure.
    Well, look at the bright side.. it's not deer or turkey season yet, so the odds of running into a game warden (excuse me... conservation police officer), is rather slim. Most other outdoorsy people, not counting the tree-hugging hippy types - probably won't care.

    Another plus about the game wardens. They deal with armed people all the time, in a routine fashion. They view people in the woods with guns as 'normal'... as opposed to many urban police departments that have a much stronger tendency to view an armed man walking down the street as something suspicious or 'wrong'.

    What national forest area are you going to?



  8. #8
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Remind me to tell you the story of two game wardens checking our bag limits only to discover that I was OCing a sidearm and I wasn't the only one!

    Maybe over dinner -gotta go crash now - bye.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    I am going to the Taskers Gap trails in George Washington / Jefferson NF area. I only have the flier on it and a kitchen pass. First time I am doing something without the better half in five years. I haven’t been on any "trails" for about 11 years so I am looking forward to it.


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    Hmm... I'm not familiar with that particular area - but sounds like fun! Have a good time - be safe!

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    sorry- double post.

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