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Thread: National Park Service whines new law allows Open Carry of weapons

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    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    Imagine, Open Carry inside Yellowstone National Park, starting next year!

    Officials say a law signed by President Obama in May will allow gun owners to openly carry firearms in Grand Teton and the Wyoming portions of Yellowstone when the law goes into effect in February.

    Several National Park Service employees and legal experts who interpreted the legislation say it extends to all, not just those with concealed weapons permits.

    While federal officials are trying to figure out the nuances of the law to develop guidance for park rangers, one said there appears to be little question that toting firearms openly will be allowed, depending on the law of the state in which the park is located. Since Wyoming does not require a permit to openly carry weapons, visitors would be able to pack heat in plain view of the public while in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

    The interpretation raises the possibility that those who tread the shores of Jenny Lake and the boardwalks of Old Faithful could brandish rifles and sidearms. For conservation groups and rangers, the specter looms of backcountry travelers arming themselves for self-defense and poachers wandering the woods with impunity.

    Bryan Faehner, associate director for park uses with the National Parks Conservation Association, said he’s concerned.

    “Having a firearm gives some people a false sense of security,” Faehner said. “That’s not to say that all firearm owners are like that, but there are going to be some people who push the envelope.”


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    I visited Grand Teton NP and Yellowstone NP last month as part of an eleven park tour. I also stopped for lunch at JH and rode the new tramway.

    In Yellowstone NP we tented at Lewis Lake Campground. While there we met and chatted with the young Ranger in charge - and noticed that he was armed. It is good to know that soon I will be able to arm myself against the same threat that NPS Rangers arm themselves.

    Some of the first NPS Rangers with whom I was acquainted were my friends working at Yosemite NP while I rock climbed. I recall the humorous stories that they told of deciding who had to wear _the_ gun that was so foreign to our experiences during the Sixties.

    Times have changed and so have the people visiting the National Parks. The Second Amendment that "shall not be infringed" is more vital now in the Age of Aquarius than we hippies ever dreamed during our salad days.
    Email the editor editor@jhnewsandguide.com

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    the specter looms of backcountry travelers arming themselves for self-defense
    Oh heaven forbid!

    Great story though.

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    Is there a citation for this news story or whatever it is?

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    Regular Member Huck's Avatar
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    Repeater wrote:
    “Having a firearm gives some people a false sense of security,” Faehner said. “That’s not to say that all firearm owners are like that, but there are going to be some people who push the envelope.”
    No, thinking that if the law says that no guns are allowed that you're safe is a false sense of security. What "envelope" is this guy talking about? OCing?

    And of course, there's the "poaching" snivil. Like every gun owner who brings a gun into a National Parkis going to poach. Hell,most poaching's probably done by the park rangers.

    Here's what'll happen. The crime and poachingin National parks will not go up. Just like everyplacewhere folks aint denied their rights guarenteed by theSecond Ammendment.
    "You can teach 'em, but you cant learn 'em."

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    ecocks wrote:
    Is there a citation for this news story or whatever it is?
    http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/article.php?art_id=5202

    Some of our correspondents think themselves newsmen.

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    Regular Member Huck's Avatar
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    However, Skaggs said some rules do differ in the park compared to the rest of the state.

    They cannot use it or display it in a threatening manner, and they cannot discharge it unless their personal safety is in question,” she said.
    Different? We cant do that anywhere else in Wyoming either! And when else would be shoot unless we're in danger?

    And this gal has a college degree?





    "You can teach 'em, but you cant learn 'em."

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    I really wish some of these folks were smart enough to get a dictionary and look up the definition of the word "brandishing".

    They make themselves look even stupider than they already are when they can't even use the language properly.

    TFred


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    Regular Member XD40coyote's Avatar
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    Maybe she is refering to a holster with threatening words written on it? LOL

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    They can blame the Brady Bunch for this.

    If the Brady bunch had not successfully gotten an injuction stoppingBush's Executive Order to allow CC by permit holders to carry in NP and NWP, we may have been restricted to CC only in these areas.

    So then along comes Congress that sends a bill to the WH, that Obama signed into law, that will make it legal to carry our sidearms in what ever mode that is legal persuant to state law in which the park units are located. It's a much better deal for LAC carriers than the Bush Ex Order.

    The Brady Bunch shot themselves in the foot with their legal wrangling.

    That's what happens when you let idiots go to lawschool.

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    Task Force 16 wrote:
    SNIP That's what happens when you let idiots go to lawschool.
    Why? What happens at a chool about laws?
    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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    Regular Member Brad_Krause's Avatar
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    A ranger for the National Park Service told me: Only concealed self-defense pistols will be allowed. Any gun that could be used for hunting large game (such as a .44 Magnum) or any rifle will be grounds for arrest.

    Until there is a formal procedure in place, this may be a sticky situation.

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    Good news and a giant step towards increased awareness by the public.

    Of course, this assumes the state the park is in allows OC. Glad I live in Idaho, that means the choice is mine.

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    Brad_Krause wrote:
    A ranger for the National Park Service told me: Only concealed self-defense pistols will be allowed. Any gun that could be used for hunting large game (such as a .44 Magnum) or any rifle will be grounds for arrest.

    Until there is a formal procedure in place, this may be a sticky situation.
    So, there is a law limiting the caliber size of a handgun where you are?

    Hmmm, I know a few folks that have taken wild hog with a .357 magnum revolver... does that qualify under the "gun ... [taking] large game?"

    And if I as a CCL, carry in a NP/NWP what do I do, stop at the ranger station to 'declare' my weapon :what:

    Well, this is progress.
    cheers - okboomer
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    Huck wrote:
    And this gal has a college degree?
    I recall no evidence of either, that 'Cory Hatch' is distaff or a graduate. I hope that everyone is writing good pro-gun letters to the editor.

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    Regular Member The Wolfhound's Avatar
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    Virginia is an open carry friendly state, I wonder what this bodes for Shenandoah National Park. Heh, heh, heh....... Stand by for more whining when our "betters" figure this one out.
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    Task Force 16 wrote:
    They can blame the Brady Bunch for this.

    If the Brady bunch had not successfully gotten an injuction stoppingBush's Executive Order to allow CC by permit holders to carry in NP and NWP, we may have been restricted to CC only in these areas.

    So then along comes Congress that sends a bill to the WH, that Obama signed into law, that will make it legal to carry our sidearms in what ever mode that is legal persuant to state law in which the park units are located. It's a much better deal for LAC carriers than the Bush Ex Order.

    The Brady Bunch shot themselves in the foot with their legal wrangling.

    That's what happens when you let idiots go to lawschool.
    Perhaps we should encourage these sorts of idiots more often then? :P

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    'Useful fools' have been effective advancing other agendas.

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    This is OUTSTANDING ! The way it should be - OPEN or CONCEALED CARRY of handguns, rifles, and shotguns in NATIONAL PARKS in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho except in FEDERAL BUILDINGS. Now we need to change this, who paid for the federal buildings - we the taxpayers - why should we not be allowed to carry in FEDERAL BUILDINGS - there is NO reason why - therefore we should be able to carry (open or concealed) in FEDERAL BUILDINGS except for Commies, Nazis, and Fascist people and thinking who think we should not. We need to change this - we will change this. No Agency should be able to make rules and regulations that infringe upon People Rights - the U.S. Constitution hence the Bill of Rights hence the Second Amendment, nor should Congress be able to pass laws to do so either.

    http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/article.php?art_id=5202&CFID=12868952&CFTO KEN=ad5dbde48858166d-7CB79455-1D09-2FD4-73590E7CFFED35E1

    Officials say a law signed by President Obama in May will allow gun owners to openly carry firearms in Grand Teton and the Wyoming portions of Yellowstone when the law goes into effect in February.

    Several National Park Service employees and legal experts who interpreted the legislation say it extends to all, not just those with concealed weapons permits. When U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., attached a rider to a credit card reform bill earlier this year, almost all reports indicated it applied to concealed weapons only.

    While federal officials are trying to figure out the nuances of the law to develop guidance for park rangers, one said there appears to be little question that toting firearms openly will be allowed, depending on the law of the state in which the park is located. Since Wyoming does not require a permit to openly carry weapons, visitors would be able to pack heat in plain view of the public while in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

    The interpretation raises the possibility that those who tread the shores of Jenny Lake and the boardwalks of Old Faithful could brandish rifles and sidearms. For conservation groups and rangers, the specter looms of backcountry travelers arming themselves for self-defense and poachers wandering the woods with impunity.

    “If, in Wyoming, it says you can walk down the street with a firearm strapped to your waist, it’s legal [in Grand Teton and Yellowstone],” said Phil Selleck, chief of regulations and special park uses for the Park Service. He made his comments in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C., after being asked to explain the new legislation.

    “If the state law doesn’t require a permit, then a permit is not required,” Selleck said.

    At Grand Teton National Park headquarters in Moose, spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said it’s a common misconception that the new guns in parks law only applies to concealed weapons. During the Bush administration, gun advocates pushed a repeal of the firearm prohibition in national parks, succeeding only in obtaining an administrative rule allowing some permitted concealed weapons.

    That concealed-weapons rule was overturned in court. Coburn’s rider was much more lenient, although it has not been reported as such.

    “Everyone assumed that it’s the concealed weapons permit holders that will able allowed to carry,” Skaggs said. “It’s broader than that now.”

    Kent Spence, a trial lawyer and partner at the Spence Law Firm, agreed with the interpretation that most park visitors will be allowed to openly carry weapons.

    “As long as they don’t have any legal problems pending, there’s no reason why they can’t come into Wyoming and into the park as long as it’s in plain view,” he said.

    Spence supports the new law.

    “I’ve always felt a little uncomfortable in bear country in a national park not being able to carry a gun while camping,” he said. “I still think that the best line of defense is pepper spray, but if that’s not working, it’s nice to know that you have a bear gun with you.”

    Skaggs said Grand Teton law enforcement officers will be ready when the law goes into effect Feb. 22.

    “We’re prepared to implement the laws that are passed by Congress and signed into law by the president,” she said. “Our understanding is, the state regulations for an ordinary citizen in the state of Wyoming will apply to national parklands.”

    However, Skaggs said some rules do differ in the park compared to the rest of the state.

    “They cannot use it or display it in a threatening manner, and they cannot discharge it unless their personal safety is in question,” she said.

    Spence said what’s good in Wyoming should be good in Yellowstone.

    “I think the law is good because, why should it be any different just because we crossed the boundary into a national park when we’re still in Wyoming?” he said.

    Bryan Faehner, associate director for park uses with the National Parks Conservation Association, said he’s concerned.

    “We, all along, have felt that the [1983 Reagan administration] regulation that is still in place is working just fine,” he said. “Parks are some of the safest places in the country.

    “[With the new law] people could be walking around possibly carrying a rifle,” Faehner said. “That changes the dynamics of the park experience.”

    In addition to the potential for an increase in violent crimes in parks, Faehner said he’s worried about what the new gun law means for wildlife.

    “It’s going to be very interesting to see how it all plays out in terms of poaching,” he said. “I think there are individuals who could be getting a lot closer to wildlife.”

    “Having a firearm gives some people a false sense of security,” Faehner said. “That’s not to say that all firearm owners are like that, but there are going to be some people who push the envelope.”

    Louise Lasley, public lands director for the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, said her organization also opposes the change.

    “The Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance has, since this proposal was first initiated, been concerned for human safety and wildlife protection and how to resolve jurisdictional complexity in places like Yellowstone,” she said.

    Coburn attached the rider to a credit card reform bill earlier this year. The law will allow people, including those with concealed weapons permits, to carry weapons in parks provided the state in which the park resides recognizes the permit. The law also applies to the National Wildlife Refuge System.

    States such as Massachusetts and New York have stricter gun laws that require permits for the sale and possession of firearms. Park rules in those states would mimic state laws.

    With the new law, people in national parks will not be allowed to carry weapons, concealed or otherwise, in federal buildings.

    Selleck said the law could be tricky to observe in parks that cross state lines such as Yellowstone – which covers parts of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana – and Death Valley, which is in Nevada and California. Each state might have a different law regarding firearms and those would be reflected in park regulations.

    “If you’re in Yellowstone, you have to know whether you’re standing in Wyoming, Idaho or Montana,” he said. “Please, please, please, if you’re going to travel with a firearm, know the laws. Know what you should be doing and what you can’t do. That way you won’t be disappointed.”



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    Regular Member Superlite27's Avatar
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    Death Valley, which is in Nevada and California. Each state might have a different law regarding firearms and those would be reflected in park regulations.

    So how does this work? I can legally carry in Nevada. I can't in California.

    It's a National Park within both states. Is there a dividing line in the park thatI can't cross? It's all one park, right?

    So, if I enter the park in Nevada, I'm legal. As I travel westward, I will encounter where the border of California used to be. It is now a "National" park.

    Are they going to put up a fence with gun buster signs? It then becomes divided into state sections.....effectively NO LONGER a"National" park. It is now a "state" park.

    I can carry in the entire park, correct? Or can I?

    I'm going to write some e-mails.

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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Superlite27 wrote:
    Death Valley, which is in Nevada and California. Each state might have a different law regarding firearms and those would be reflected in park regulations.

    So how does this work? I can legally carry in Nevada. I can't in California.

    It's a National Park within both states. Is there a dividing line in the park thatI can't cross? It's all one park, right?

    So, if I enter the park in Nevada, I'm legal. As I travel westward, I will encounter where the border of California used to be. It is now a "National" park.

    Are they going to put up a fence with gun buster signs? It then becomes divided into state sections.....effectively NO LONGER a"National" park. It is now a "state" park.

    I can carry in the entire park, correct? Or can I?

    I'm going to write some e-mails.
    1. It would depend on the state parks laws for that state which that portion of the national park resides in. Both stateshappen to allow carry in state parks. For the case of Nevada and California, both states are OC states. California allows loaded OC in rural (un-incorporated)areas only, but Nevada allows any kind of OCjust about anywhere. Both states allow OCwithout a permit/license provided you follow their individual firearms laws (i.e. no mags that hold more than 10 round in California, etc.)

    2. None that will be obvious or marked. Yes, its all still one park.

    3. The border still exists and the border will probablyNOT be marked in the mass majority of areas.

    4. No on the signs, and no, it will still be a national park with separate legal jurisdictions for each stateand county if it doesn't fall under federal jurisdiction.

    5. Yes, depending on what you carry and how.

    6. Good luck. Know the laws before you go. http://www.handgunlaw.us/

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    I've been traversing a National Park 'open 'heeled' for the past 5 years. I know I'm not the only one... OC or CC, Fed law or no Fed law. It's the only way in or out of here. (County Road) This CC only stuff is nuts. What... the animals will cower in fear like the 'sheeple' do?

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    So, Agents of the Federal Government can enforce California state law in California? Do they get extra training on California state law if they transfer from a Federal National Park job in Wyoming to one in California?

    Or can they detain you and call for California Highway Patrol or local county sheriffs to pick you up on a local violation?

    I say let's work on a National Open and Conceal Carry Law. What makes Retired Law Enforcement, for example,MORE privileged than non-retired, non-Federal law Enforcement United States Citizens? The answer is 18 USC 926b and 926c.

    Needs to be amended so it says Concealed Handgun Permit holders can carry as long as they have a valid permit from one of the states.

    Keep chipping away at the infringements people!

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    XD Owner wrote:
    Needs to be amended so it says Concealed Handgun Permit holders can carry as long as they have a valid permit from one of the states.

    Keep chipping away at the infringements people!
    Like permitted CCW. the NRA sinecure?

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

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    XD Owner wrote:
    I say let's work on a National Open and Conceal Carry Law. What makes Retired Law Enforcement, for example,MORE privileged than non-retired, non-Federal law Enforcement United States Citizens?
    I say let's repeal the law for LEOs and let the states work it out. Asking for federal gun legislation is like asking Dr. Kevorkian for medical advice.

    About this business of "what about a park that straddles state lines?", well, what about it? There is a state line. If you cross it, you must obey the laws of the state you are in. If you can't figure out what state you're in, you got no business out in the woods. It's no different than being in any other rural area where there are no signs indicating the state line.

    Agents of the federal government enforcing state law? Nothing new there, either. They are LEOs, they need to learn the laws that apply to their jurisdiction. If that includes state firearms codes, than stop whining, do your job, and learn it.

    I have a feeling that there will be a few encounters in which they have to be set straight, just like so many small town PDs have had to learn about new gun laws.

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