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Thread: carrying in US National Parks

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    Does this : http://www.nraila.org/News/Read/News....aspx?ID=11895

    Allow residents of Tennessee to carry firearms in the Smoky Mountains National Park as well? I'm aware that

    under 39-17-1311(a)It is an offense for any person to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, with the intent to go armed, any weapon prohibited by § 39-17-1302(a), not used solely for instructional, display or sanctioned ceremonial purposes, in or on the grounds of any public park, playground, civic center or other building facility, area or property owned, used or operated by any municipal, county or state government, or instrumentality thereof, for recreational purposes.

    will prohibit the carry of firearms on public recreation areas and state parks--but what about the US National Park here? Are we now allowed to carry in the Smoky Mountains?

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    The wayI read it we are out of luck in Tennessee.

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    My first reaction was to agree with steamnsteel. Since park carry is illegal in TN it would still be illegal per state law.

    But...39-17-1311 does only address parks owned by municipal, county or state governments, NOT the federal government.

    I'm still hopefully with the changes in the state legislature park carry is one of the laws we can change which would make this moot. But if that doesn't happen or until then I'm really not sure.
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    DOI’s move will restore the rights of law-abiding gun owners who wish to transport and carry firearms for lawful purposes on most DOI lands, and

    will make federal law consistent with the state law in which these public lands are located



    This part doesn't sound good for us

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    Look at the final rule again. The initial proposal conditioned carry on "similar state lands" but the final proposal does not. They changed this based on feedback given during the rule-making process. If you are licensed to carry by the State of Tennessee (including reciprocity), you are good to go in national parks in Tennessee even if TN law doesn't allow carry in its parks.

    Why? The final language deleted the "similar to" requirement because it would be very difficult for federal authorities to determine what "similar lands" were. Parks, vs. grasslands, vs. wilderness, etc. could all be regulated differently.

    The final rule seems to say -- and if you think I'm wrong, please correct me -- that if you are legal authorized to carry in the state (not necessarily on lands, parks, etc.), you can carry in a national park in that state.

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    After reading the final ruling a little bit (Which can be read here) I agree with SA-TX.

    It basically says if you are authorized to carry in the state that the national park is in, then you can carry in the national park. If a state had a specific law that prohibited carry in a national park then you could not carry in the national park.

    As SA-TX said the language about "similar state lands" was removed to remove possible confusion in some states (just like TN).

    Surely this has to help our cause on carry in state and local parks now, I mean if the federal government trust us to carry in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, it doesn't make must sense for TN not trust us at Paris Landing State Park.
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    We'll have to do some checking to get clarification concerning OC.

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    Everything I've read in the ruling only allows concealed carry.
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    But if it's supposed to be consistent with state law, wouldn't you still be able to oc

    since you can oc with a ccp?

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    marine77 wrote:
    But if it's supposed to be consistent with state law, wouldn't you still be able to oc

    since you can oc with a ccp?
    It is not consistent with state law in that regard.

    In the original version the consistent with state law had to do with if carry was allowed in state parks...the actually wording was "similar lands" but that part was removed from the final version.

    Hey...CC is better than not at all!!
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    Very True!!!

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    Will this also applyfor National Forests and WMA's? These are Federal Lands as well.

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    steamnsteel wrote:
    Will this also applyfor National Forests and WMA's? These are Federal Lands as well.
    No. This is a rule change for the National Park System, which is part of the Dept. of Interior. National Forests are part of the Dept. of Agriculture, and they already conform to state law.

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    But in Tennessee you can only carry rim fire legally unless it is big game season, or amI completely missing something here?

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    steamnsteel wrote:
    Will this also applyfor National Forests and WMA's? These are Federal Lands as well.

    As stated above it does not cover National Forrest.

    But it does appear to allow carry in a National Wildlife Refuge(as well as National Parks)
    See pages 24 & 25 of the Final ruling
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    Gonna read it again......... Okay I have it in my thick flu stuffed head now.



    Fallguy,I really appreciate all of your informative posts on this board and others.

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    Hey, guys. Been visiting here off and on for over a year, but never bothered registering since I subscribe to the concealed carry mindset. Anyways, I've been studying the law about carrying in parks, and while I'm no lawyer, I'm not so sure it applies to us.

    This was taken from Mitchie's - http://www.michie.com/tennessee/lpex...-h.htm&cp=

    "(a) It is an offense for any person to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, with the intent to go armed, any weapon prohibited by § 39-17-1302(a), not used solely for instructional, display or sanctioned ceremonial purposes, in or on the grounds of any public park, playground, civic center or other building facility, area or property owned, used or operated by any municipal, county or state government, or instrumentality thereof, for recreational purposes."

    And weapons that are prohibited by § 39-17-1302(a):

    "
    39-17-1302. Prohibited weapons. —
    (a) A person commits an offense who intentionally or knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs or sells:
    (1) An explosive or an explosive weapon;
    (2) A device principally designed, made or adapted for delivering or shooting an explosive weapon;
    (3) A machine gun;
    (4) A short-barrel rifle or shotgun;
    (5) A firearm silencer;
    (6) Hoax device;
    (7) A switchblade knife or knuckles; or
    (8) Any other implement for infliction of serious bodily injury or death that has no common lawful purpose."

    Maybe I'm missing it, but I don't see anything about it being illegal to carry a handgun. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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    I agree with you...nothing in 39-17-1311 mentions handguns. But there are two AG opinions that say different. 07-148 and 08-26

    I still hope with the new legislature we won't have to worry about come July 1, 2009 though.
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    but once the changes are official with the DOI regarding carry in US National Parks--nothing in Tennessee law should prohibit anyone from carrying in any US national park--not even the Smoky Mountains, or for example--into the Big South Fork, or even the Stones River National battlefield--correct?

    After all, the national parks here in the state are controlled by the DOI, not the state of Tennessee.

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    Yeah, I found his interpretation after I posted. At first I was pretty ticked off, but after thinking about it for a while and rereading his 2nd statement, I do believe he came to a logical conclusion. Assuming the precedent he cites in the 2nd paragraph on page 2 means what I think it means, courts have decided that the statutes are all one piece and shouldn't be read in sections. If I weren't biased towards the 2nd Amendment, there's a good chance I would have said the same thing.

    The only possible loopholes that I can see are:

    1. In the first paragraph (continued) on the 2nd page, he says that the legislature intended for it to be read as a whole. However, unless this law was passed after 2004 (when the precedent was set), the legislature couldn't have known whether or not the statute would be read as a whole or in parts.

    2. In the 2nd paragraph, page 3, he states that the items listed as prohibited are not used in the course of hunting. I know that somewhere out there is someone who hunts and is able to afford a silencer and uses it to prevent hearing loss. Finding someone who does this (preferably more than one) would prove his interpretation wrong and possible open the statute up to looser interpretations.

    3. It all depends on the definition of public parks - whether or not that's considered to be all-encompassing or if it only applies to state and local lands. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the word public - Webster's defines it as:

    1. of, belonging to, or concerning the people as a whole; of or by the community at large
    2. for the use or benefit of all, especially supported by government funds
    - I seriously doubt this we're going to be allowed to.

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    BOHICA wrote:
    Yeah, I found his interpretation after I posted. At first I was pretty ticked off, but after thinking about it for a while and rereading his 2nd statement, I do believe he came to a logical conclusion. Assuming the precedent he cites in the 2nd paragraph on page 2 means what I think it means, courts have decided that the statutes are all one piece and shouldn't be read in sections. If I weren't biased towards the 2nd Amendment, there's a good chance I would have said the same thing.

    The only possible loopholes that I can see are:

    1. In the first paragraph (continued) on the 2nd page, he says that the legislature intended for it to be read as a whole. However, unless this law was passed after 2004 (when the precedent was set), the legislature couldn't have known whether or not the statute would be read as a whole or in parts.

    2. In the 2nd paragraph, page 3, he states that the items listed as prohibited are not used in the course of hunting. I know that somewhere out there is someone who hunts and is able to afford a silencer and uses it to prevent hearing loss. Finding someone who does this (preferably more than one) would prove his interpretation wrong and possible open the statute up to looser interpretations.

    3. It all depends on the definition of public parks - whether or not that's considered to be all-encompassing or if it only applies to state and local lands. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the word public - Webster's defines it as:
    1. of, belonging to, or concerning the people as a whole; of or by the community at large
    2. for the use or benefit of all, especially supported by government funds
    - I seriously doubt this we're going to be allowed to.
    Here is the thing though--

    The US National Parks are public lands yes--but under the governance of the US Dept. of the Interior. Which means the state has no control over the park.

    I would not think local/state law enforcement would even have jurisdiction to conduct a traffic stop within the boundary of a national park, or federal reservation...It would be similar I think to having the North Carolina highway patrol conducting patrols on Ft. Bragg and doing traffic stops...I just don't think you will see it--although I could be wrong...

    The Smoky Mountains are controlled by the DOI--which agreed to change the rules.

    39-17-1302 (a) only covers STATE parks, or parks and recreation areas which are controlled by STATE, municipal, county or city governments....which the Smoky mountains definitely are not controlled by any of these--they are federally controlled lands. At least this is how it reads to me.

    Tomorrow I will contact my State Senator and will ask him to check into this issue to see if the changes by the DOI will allow Tennesseans to carry into national parks here with a permit. I think this would be a good thing for others to do as well.

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    Tomorrow I will contact my State Senator and will ask him to check into this issue to see if the changes by the DOI will allow Tennesseans to carry into national parks here with a permit. I think this would be a good thing for others to do as well.
    I agree that it appears that Tn Statutes apply to State, County, and City/Municipalities, and not Fed land.

    The bigger question is whither we cna carry OC with permit onNat Parks, since that seems to be in compliance with Tn law.

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    You're forgetting that the DOI chose to conform to state laws. Check the 5th page on http://www.doi.gov/issues/Final%20Rule.pdf . The first paragraph under section 1 on that page states that the "...rule amends regulations to allow individuals to carry...firearms in federal park units and refuges to the extent that they could lawfully do so under non-conflicting state law." See the rest of the section for further references.

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    BOHICA wrote:
    You're forgetting that the DOI chose to conform to state laws. Check the 5th page on http://www.doi.gov/issues/Final%20Rule.pdf . The first paragraph under section 1 on that page states that the "...rule amends regulations to allow individuals to carry...firearms in federal park units and refuges to the extent that they could lawfully do so under non-conflicting state law." See the rest of the section for further references.
    And where is the prohibition in Tennessee law preventing us from carrying firearms onto FEDERAL Lands?

    The only prohibition in Tn. Laws found in 39-17-1302(a) is that which prevents us from carrying into STATE or MUNICIPAL parks....Federal rules are what prevented carrying into National parks, not state--the state has no authority on federal lands...

    WATE news out of Knoxville just reported that Concealed carry will be legal in all national parks as of Jan 1.

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    When it talks about non-conflicting state law, I believe it means as long as the state doesn't have a law that specifically prohibits carry in National Parks. NOT if the state has a law that prohibits carry in state parks. But if a state did have a law that prevented carry in National Parks, then the final ruling means you could not carry in a National Park in that state. FWIW that is the same opinion the admin of Handgunlaw.us has after I spoke with him.

    So IMO, although IANAL, I think we will be able to carry in National Parks in TN when the rule goes into effect.

    Also you will only be able to Conceal Carry, it specifically says that.
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    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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