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Thread: Culpeper National Cemetery posted...

  1. #1
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    OK, this is a new one for me.

    On my commute home I go past the enterance for Culpeper National Cemetery. Today I noticed a newbright blue sign just inside the enterance, so being a nosy kind of guy I stopped to look. Here is what I saw:



    18 USC 930 is, of course, the Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilitiescode.

    First of all, I had no idea that National Cemeteries in general were owned/operated/maintained/whatever by the Federal Government. I thought that ours was something the Town or County had done. But from my quick Googling, and the discovery of the Vetran's Administration site linked above, I'll grant that this is actual federal property. OK, fair enough. But here's the kicker: There's no "Federal employees regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties" on site at Culpeper National Cemetery.

    Is this a fight worth fighting, and more importantly, a fight that can be won?



  2. #2
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    My initial answer would be that is it Federal Property owned by the VA. So no carry.
    Carry On.

    Ed

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    And the fact they cited the code (instead of just posting the sign) ads validity (like they have been questioned about it before)
    Carry On.

    Ed

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    Which was my initial answer too, until I actually read the USC.

    "Federal Facility" is strictly defined in the code, and this particular property does not seem to meet the definition based on the fact that there are no federal employees "regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties".

    But is it worth fighting?


    ETA: The USC also says the property has to be posted, and that, along with the general appearance of the sign led me to believe it was a federal product. I've seen the same ghostbusters picture with the gun and knife onother federal buildings.

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    livitup wrote:

    But is it worth fighting?
    Absolutely. Every bit of gun control is worth fighting to get rid of. You just need to find someone who has the time and money and is willing to take a risk.

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    livitup wrote:
    Federal Facility" is strictly defined in the code, and this particular property does not seem to meet the definition based on the fact that there are no federal employees "regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties".
    The cemetery has onsite staff, correct? The Culpeper National Cemetery is a Department of Veteran Affairs Cemetery - wouldn't the staff be Vet Admin federal employees that are "regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties"?

    http://www.cem.va.gov/CEMs/nchp/culpeper.asp
    http://www.cem.va.gov/pdf/is1sept2908.pdf


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    Regular_Joe wrote:
    livitup wrote:
    Federal Facility" is strictly defined in the code, and this particular property does not seem to meet the definition based on the fact that there are no federal employees "regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties".
    The cemetery has onsite staff, correct? The Culpeper National Cemetery is a Department of Veteran Affairs Cemetery - wouldn't the staff be Vet Admin federal employees that are "regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties"?

    http://www.cem.va.gov/CEMs/nchp/culpeper.asp
    http://www.cem.va.gov/pdf/is1sept2908.pdf



    To be honest, when I first started all this, I thought the cemetery did not have on-site staff. The cemetery is actually in two parts, the original part, and then an "addition" which is located about 300 feet from the closest edge of the main cemetery. There is a public road which goes between the two sections.



    The original cemetery is in blue, the new in orange, the sign is the yellow star, and the road you can see goes right through the middle. There's houses and light industrial between them as well.

    I'll freely admit that I have never been in the "old" cemetery, but it looks like that is staffed by someone (at least there's a local phone number to call) so no-go. But does the seperation of the two parts of the cemetery make the new one a seperate facility? If so, then the argument could be made, because I've been in that part several times and never seen any employees, nor are there any buildings for the employees to occupy.

    If this whole thing is splitting hairs too much, what about some place like Staunton National Cemeterywhich has neither on-site staff, nor on-site buildings. If that cemetery were posted with the same sign, would it be legal?



    ETA: This whole situation just blows, anyway.Why should federal buildings/spaces/areas/etc. be treated any differently than private property? Sure, ban employees from posession if you want, and post "no guns" signs if you want and haul off the tresspassers. But a year in prison for carryinga gun into a cemetery (when it's totall legal on the other side of the fence) is lunacy. </rant>

    EATA: It's late, I can't sleep, and I'm spinning my wheels on this one. 18 USC 930, section (d)(3) lets you off the hook for the carrying charge in case of "the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes."

    Could not one argue that carrying a concealed handgun for the purposes of self defense, while in the posession of a court issued concealed handgun permit is a lawful purpose?

  8. #8
    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    livitup wrote:
    Which was my initial answer too, until I actually read the USC.

    "Federal Facility" is strictly defined in the code, and this particular property does not seem to meet the definition based on the fact that there are no federal employees "regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties".

    But is it worth fighting?


    ETA: The USC also says the property has to be posted, and that, along with the general appearance of the sign led me to believe it was a federal product. I've seen the same ghostbusters picture with the gun and knife onother federal buildings.
    I've said this before, but I'll say it again. I'm not an attorney and I don't offer legal advice.

    It doesn't seem to meet the definition based on the fact that it's not a building from which the sign prohibits firearms and weapons.

    18 USC 930 prohibits firearms and dangerous weapons in 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.

    So any such buildings on the property would fall under the purview of 18 USC 930, but the grounds themselves would not. Neither would any Federal facility that does not comply with subsection (h) of 18 USC 930.

    Subsection (h) mandates:
    (h) Notice of the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) shall be posted conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal facility, and notice of subsection (e) shall be posted conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal court facility, and no person shall be convicted of an offense under subsection (a) or (e) with respect to a Federal facility if such notice is not so posted at such facility, unless such person had actual notice of subsection (a) or (e), as the case may be.


    With that, there must be a sign at each public entrance to each Federal facility (not just the property on which the facility sits) that displays subsection (a), (what is prohibited), and subsection (b), (the penalty for violating (a)). Perhaps the subsections do not need to be reproduced verbatim, but summarized. Short of that, no person shall be convicted of an offense under subsection (a).

    It appears to me that the sign you have pictured here, on the driveway of the cemetery, does not satisfy the requirements of subsection (h).

    Again, I'm not an attorney and I don't offer legal advice.

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    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    That sign really puts a pinch on the old 21 gun salute.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
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    I would think it's a national park.

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    18 USC 930 would not seem to apply to the grounds because "[t]he 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." 18 USC 930(g)(1).

    Why does'nt sombody who is really interested in this call the people that run the place and ask them to remove the sign - let's run this one up the flag pole till soebody salutes and takes teh sign down.



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    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    If it is not inside a building USC 18930 does not apply.

    US Code Title 18

    Paragraph 930

    Section (g)
    Subsection (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.

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    OK, I think I'll write a letter, since it will be easier to make the "building" part of the issue clear in writing. I'll try to get it off on Monday. I'll let you know what happens.

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    livitup wrote:
    OK, I think I'll write a letter,
    why not first call around and figure out who is in charge and who put the sign up first.

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    Gun free zones get people killed! This is good for their business.

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    Mike wrote:
    livitup wrote:
    OK, I think I'll write a letter,
    why not first call around and figure out who is in charge and who put the sign up first.
    Why bother? They are making up rules that do not apply outside of buildings.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Thundar wrote:
    Why bother? They are making up rules that do not apply outside of buildings.
    Luke 23: Forgive them, for they know not what they do.
    Carry On.

    Ed

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  18. #18
    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    10mm wrote:
    Gun free zones get people killed! This is good for their business.
    Is that what you call graveyard humor?
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Decoligny wrote:
    If it is not inside a building USC 18930 does not apply.

    US Code Title 18

    Paragraph 930

    Section (g)
    Subsection (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.
    There may be some other section of federal law that applies to it. Post office signs only cite 18 USC 930 and say that carry is prohibited in the buildings and parking lots. If 18 USC 930 were the only applicable law parking lots would be OK, but there is a post office-specific part of the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) that prohibits firearms anywhere on post office property.

    The problem is that federal law has become so expansive that it can be tough to determine what is OK and what is not. A major contributor to this is that federal agencies are free to publish their own regulations (outside the legislative process), and these regulations have the full force of criminal law behind them.

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    hirundo82 wrote:
    Decoligny wrote:
    If it is not inside a building USC 18930 does not apply.

    US Code Title 18

    Paragraph 930

    Section (g)
    Subsection (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.
    There may be some other section of federal law that applies to it. Post office signs only cite 18 USC 930 and say that carry is prohibited in the buildings and parking lots. If 18 USC 930 were the only applicable law parking lots would be OK, but there is a post office-specific part of the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) that prohibits firearms anywhere on post office property.

    The problem is that federal law has become so expansive that it can be tough to determine what is OK and what is not. A major contributor to this is that federal agencies are free to publish their own regulations (outside the legislative process), and these regulations have the full force of criminal law behind them.
    You're right, the cemetery is owned by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Title 38 CFR Sec. 1.218 Security and law enforcement at VA facilities.
    (a) Authority and rules of conduct. Pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 901, the
    following rules and regulations apply at all property under the charge
    and control of VA (and not under the charge and control of the General
    Services Administration) and to all persons entering in or on such
    property. The head of the facility is charged with the responsibility
    for the enforcement of these rules and regulations and shall cause
    these rules and regulations to be posted in a conspicuous place on the
    property.
    <snip>
    (13) Weapons and explosives. No person while on property shall carry
    firearms, other dangerous or deadly weapons, or explosives, either
    openly or concealed, except for official purposes.
    <snip>
    (b) Schedule of offenses and penalties. Conduct in violation of the
    rules and regulations set forth in paragraph (a) of this section
    subjects an offender to arrest and removal from the premises. Whomever
    shall be found guilty of violating these rules and regulations while on
    any property under the charge and control of VA is subject to a fine as
    stated in the schedule set forth herein or, if appropriate, the payment
    of fixed sum in lieu of appearance (forfeiture of collateral) as may be
    provided for in rules of the United States District Court. Violations
    included in the schedule of offenses and penalties may also subject an
    offender to a term of imprisonment of not more than six months, as may
    be determined appropriate by a magistrate or judge of the United States
    District Court:
    <snip>
    (37) Possession of firearms, carried either openly or concealed,
    whether loaded or unloaded (except by Federal or State law enforcement
    officers on official business, $500.
    (38) Introduction or possession of explosives, or explosive devices
    which fire a projectile, ammunition, or combustibles, $500.
    (39) Possession of knives which exceed a blade length of 3 inches;
    switchblade knives; any of the variety of hatchets, clubs and hand-held
    weapons; or brass knuckles, $300.
    <snip>


    Title 38 USC § 901. Authority to prescribe rules for conduct and penalties for violations
    (a)
    (1) The Secretary shall prescribe regulations to provide for the maintenance of law and order and the protection of persons and property on Department property.
    (2) In this chapter, the term “Department property” means land and buildings that are under the jurisdiction of the Department and are not under control of the Administrator of General Services.

    (b) Regulations under subsection (a) shall include—
    (1) rules for conduct on Department property; and
    (2) the penalties, within the limits specified in subsection (c), for violations of such rules.

    (c) Whoever violates any rule prescribed by regulation under subsection (b)(1) shall be fined in accordance with title 18 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both. The Secretary may prescribe by regulation a maximum fine less than that which would otherwise apply under the preceding sentence or a maximum term of imprisonment of a shorter period than that which would otherwise apply under the preceding sentence, or both. Any such regulation shall apply notwithstanding any provision of title 18 or any other law to the contrary.

    (d) The rules prescribed under subsection (a), together with the penalties for violations of such rules, shall be posted conspicuously on property to which they apply.

    (e) The Secretary shall consult with the Attorney General before prescribing regulations under this section.




    So the sign is wrong, but it is also right.


  21. #21
    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Are you official if you are attending a funeral?

    Do they define official?

    Is this even a problem?

    Maybe SCOTUS can fix this one day.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

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    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    paramedic70002 wrote:
    Are you official if you are attending a funeral?

    Do they define official?

    Is this even a problem?

    Maybe SCOTUS can fix this one day.
    "(except by Federal or State law enforcement
    officers on official business, $500.)"

  23. #23
    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    I think that means we must carry our antique replicas then.

    Why?....

    What is the definition of firearm?

    Not in the regulation, but the regulation refers to 18 US Code, which makes it clear that an antique firearm or replica thereof is not a firearm.

    Cap and Ball open carry of a Navy 1851 replica anyone?


    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Activist Member Wolf_shadow's Avatar
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    Thundar wrote:
    I think that means we must carry our antique replicas then.

    Why?....

    What is the definition of firearm?

    Not in the regulation, but the regulation refers to 18 US Code, which makes it clear that an antique firearm or replica thereof is not a firearm.

    Cap and Ball open carry of a Navy 1851 replica anyone?

    Would it be open carry in a 1860 army holster.


    Yes I carry a Bible and a Gun, your point.
    Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos (meaning: "A defence of liberty against tyrants")
    Benjamin Franklin said, "A government that does not trust it's citizens with guns is a government that should not be trusted."



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    Wolf_shadow wrote:
    Would it be open carry in a 1860 army holster.

    Most people would wonder why you're carrying around your car's lug wrench and jack extension. A previous car of mine's lug wrench and jack extension came in a pouch that looked very similar to that holster.
    ---

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