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Thread: Visiting Philadelphia from Virginia

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    My wife and I are spending New Years Eve weekend in Philadelphia, and we are trying to plan fun things to see and places to visit. We both have concealed carry licenses in Virginia, and Pennsylvania has reciprocity with Virginia, so we are good on that score. However, I have a few questions that I have not yet been able to resolve. If any Philadelphia locals could help with answers, that would be great.

    1) In Virginia, we have a perverse law that concealed carry permits are not valid in restaurants that serve alcohol for consumption on premises (we don't have "bars" in Virginia). Only open carry is legal in such establishments in Virginia. This is a goofy law and it will probably be eliminated this year, but that's the law as it is for now. Does Pennsylvania have a similar law, or is concealed carry in restaurants/bars permitted? Are there any other peculiar restrictions of Pennsylvania concealed carry (aside from the obvious: Federal buildings, courthouses, and schools).

    2) Are there metal detectors at the various museums and historical sites in Philadelphia? Are any of them in Federal buildings?

    I want to avoid any unpleasant surprises, so any information along this line would be greatly appreciated.


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    Regular Member jahwarrior72's Avatar
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    bblackmoor wrote:
    My wife and I are spending New Years Eve weekend in Philadelphia, and we are trying to plan fun things to see and places to visit. We both have concealed carry licenses in Virginia, and Pennsylvania has reciprocity with Virginia, so we are good on that score. However, I have a few questions that I have not yet been able to resolve. If any Philadelphia locals could help with answers, that would be great.

    1) In Virginia, we have a perverse law that concealed carry permits are not valid in restaurants that serve alcohol for consumption on premises (we don't have "bars" in Virginia). Only open carry is legal in such establishments in Virginia. This is a goofy law and it will probably be eliminated this year, but that's the law as it is for now. Does Pennsylvania have a similar law, or is concealed carry in restaurants/bars permitted? Are there any other peculiar restrictions of Pennsylvania concealed carry (aside from the obvious: Federal buildings, courthouses, and schools).

    2) Are there metal detectors at the various museums and historical sites in Philadelphia? Are any of them in Federal buildings?

    I want to avoid any unpleasant surprises, so any information along this line would be greatly appreciated.
    1. you can carry, openly or concealed, in any bar or restaurant in PA, and may concume alcohol while carrying;, in factthere is no law making it illegal to be drunk and armed. as far as prohibited locations, you pretty much nailed them.

    2. as of February, you may carry into National Parks, and Historic sites, as long as you remain outside. you may not enter buildings located on national sites. so, if you need a bathroom, you're outta luck.

    carrying while using public transportation is fine.

    museums may or may not be public property, as libraries are. you'd need to use your Google muscles to find out, depending on what museum you're visiting. if their publicly funded/owned/managed, you may carry, openly or concealed; state preemption forbids local governments/municipalities are forbidden to bar legal carrying on public property.

    if they're privately owned, they may have their own policies in regards to being armed. there is some debate whether or not signs have any legal weight behind them; some say no, others say ignoring a sign could be considered willful trespass. in the case of posted businesses, i'd carry concealed, to avoid any hassles.
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    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    jahwarrior72 wrote
    2. as of February, you may carry into National Parks, and Historic sites, as long as you remain outside. you may not enter buildings located on national sites. so, if you need a bathroom, you're outta luck.
    I'm pretty sure that public, stand-alone, bathroom facilities are not covered by 18 USC § 930

    <snip>
    (g) As used in this section: (1) The term “Federal facility” means a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.
    <snip>

    Note: that's duties, not doodies.

    Edit to add: If there is a full or part-time bathroom attendant regularly present, then perhaps it would be considered a "Federal facility." I don't think the bathroom cleaning crew coming in occasionally to perform their official duties constitutes "regularly present." Further, they may not even be "Federal employees." I've been a "Federal contractor" for many years and have never been considered a "Federal employee" for any purpose.

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    Thanks for the advice and information. The trip went smoothly and we had a great time. I carried the whole time, except for the day we spent doing the rounds of the downtown attractions: the Constitution center, the liberty bell, Independence Hall, and the Benjamin Franklin exhibitions. I left the pistol locked in the car while we were seeing those sights.

    I took a photo of people being forced to open their coats for the Wackenhut security guards at the liberty bell building, because I thought that was really funny, but the guards saw me and made me delete that photo because of "security" and "terrorism". Ah, well. Let freedom ring, eh?

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    National Park rule goes into effect Feb 22, just so you don't walk in on Feb 1 and get into trouble.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    The Wackenhut "guard" didn't make you delete the pic becasue of any "terrorism" or "security" related policy. Museums and Federal Park attractions have no prohobitions against photographic staff, displays or other sightseers...

    He just didn't want you posting that pic on some "crazy freedom-loving website", and exposing our government, and their growing Private Army for the invasive, rights-stomping Constitution-shredders they are...

    Id LOVE to have a set of those "covert camera glasses" with the little digital pinhole camera in the frames for moments like that. These fascists need to be exposed. The very idea that some rent-a-cop would be doing invasive searches on people who wanted to see the Liberty Bell is just TOO ironic to pass up...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggressionand this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    bblackmoor wrote:
    I took a photo of people being forced to open their coats for the Wackenhut security guards at the liberty bell building, because I thought that was really funny, but the guards saw me and made me delete that photo because of "security" and "terrorism". Ah, well. Let freedom ring, eh?
    Carrying a camera in public is like open carrying a gun. Lots of idiots in uniforms like to talk out of their asses and think they have authority to make you put the camera away, delete photos, or sieze your camera. It's all BS.

    I was once almost arrested for taking photos in public. At the time I didn't know what legal ground I stood on, so I put up with it. But after that I did some checking.

    Now if some ******* in a tax-funded clown costume tells me to delete a photo, I am a little more prepared to tell him to pound sand if it comes to that.

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    Campaign Veteran ComradeV's Avatar
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    So did the OP actually open carry in Philadelphia or did he CC?

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    Concealed, in deference to my wife, who prefers vacations to be as drama-free as possible.


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