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Thread: State Forest OC?

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    Regular Member Sig229's Avatar
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    I know the laws regarding state parks and such, but what about OC in a state FOREST?

    Does this include OC of rifles in NON hunting season?

    Im asking because this spring I want to take a long rage hiking and camping trip, I want to carry a pistol and my AR while back in the mountains.

    What do you folks think?
    "Let your gun be your constant companion during your walks" ~Thomas Jefferson

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Sig229 wrote:
    I know the laws regarding state parks and such, but what about OC in a state FOREST?

    Does this include OC of rifles in NON hunting season?

    Im asking because this spring I want to take a long rage hiking and camping trip, I want to carry a pistol and my AR while back in the mountains.

    What do you folks think?
    Not that you might not get a good answer here, but the PaFAO might give you a faster and more specific answer.
    http://www.pafoa.org/

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    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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    Regular Member Sig229's Avatar
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    Thanks, I just posted the thread at pafoa. I didn't realize I had already had an account with them for a year. lol


    "Let your gun be your constant companion during your walks" ~Thomas Jefferson

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    Sig229 you are good to go in state forest, my glock goes all over those Mtns with me. Long arms are ok as a lot of people target shoot, plink in the forest. Which ones are you thinking of visiting? And wecome to pafoa stick around its as good as this forum. Be safe Mtn Jack

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    as posted above, OC in a state forest in PA is fine. and there is nothing actually illegal about carrying an AR in a state forest either.

    however, be aware that there is a section of the game law that says carrying a gun in the woods can be considered prima facie evidence of hunting.

    from: http://law.onecle.com/pennsylvania/g...3.001.000.html

    Sec. 2301. Prima facie evidence of hunting.

    (a) General rule. - For the purpose of this title, any one of the following acts shall constitute prima facie evidence of hunting:

    (1) Possession of any firearm, bow and arrow, raptor, trap or other device of any description usable for the purpose of hunting or taking game or wildlife.

    (2) Possession of the carcass or any part or parts of any game or wildlife.

    (3) Pursuing game or wildlife in any manner prohibited by this title or commission regulation.
    so, a game commission officer or other LEO could mess up your day claiming you were illegally hunting...and then it would have to be sorted out in court.

    having said that, i OC a glock in state forests all the time and carry a slung AR in state forests once in awhile. i have never had any issues...but, i have also never run into any LEOs while carrying the slung AR.

    personally, i would not worry about OCing a handgun at all (unless it was something like a scoped .44mag that most people would call a hunting gun rather than a self defense gun), but you might want to just be prepared for some possible BS hassling if you carry the AR openly.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Sig229 wrote:
    Im asking because this spring I want to take a long rage hiking and camping trip, I want to carry a pistol and my AR while back in the mountains.
    Yeah, in a PA state forest, you should be OK.

    But you say that you're going on a long-range hiking trip, so it sounds like you're doing the Appalachian Trail. Is that what you've got planned? Because if that is the case, it's sort of a gray area...

    With the new National Park Service Concealed Carry law going into effect at the end of February, the AT is most likely covered under this, and so CC of a handgun or carry of other firearms is probably OK.

    HOWEVER, large parts of the AT also coincide with Federal Parks, State Parks, and other "protected" or "prohobited" lands, so it's difficult to say who would claim tru jurisdiction in any given part of the AT...

    As for carrying an AR, I'd leave it at home if I were on a long-range camping trip in PA. A good handgun should be sufficient for any personal-protection situation you'd find yourself in, and you don't have to worry about running afoul of the rather convoluted PA Hunting laws. Plus a handgun would be a LOT lighter and easier to lug around on a long-range hiking trip. The firearm is lighter and smaller, and so it the ammunition.

    Do you REALLY want to lug a rifle around for a few weeks on your vacation? Wouldn't it be a lot easier (and more efficient) to have a pistol on your hip, and 50 or 100 rounds of handgun ammo in your packs? That would be WAY more "luggable" than an AR and several mags of .223, and a LOT easier to explain as a "self defense tool" to a overzealous Park Ranger or Game Warden...
    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 aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Regular Member Sig229's Avatar
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    Dreamer wrote:
    Sig229 wrote:
    Im asking because this spring I want to take a long rage hiking and camping trip, I want to carry a pistol and my AR while back in the mountains.
    Yeah, in a PA state forest, you should be OK.

    But you say that you're going on a long-range hiking trip, so it sounds like you're doing the Appalachian Trail. Is that what you've got planned? Because if that is the case, it's sort of a gray area...

    With the new National Park Service Concealed Carry law going into effect at the end of February, the AT is most likely covered under this, and so CC of a handgun or carry of other firearms is probably OK.

    HOWEVER, large parts of the AT also coincide with Federal Parks, State Parks, and other "protected" or "prohobited" lands, so it's difficult to say who would claim tru jurisdiction in any given part of the AT...

    As for carrying an AR, I'd leave it at home if I were on a long-range camping trip in PA. A good handgun should be sufficient for any personal-protection situation you'd find yourself in, and you don't have to worry about running afoul of the rather convoluted PA Hunting laws. Plus a handgun would be a LOT lighter and easier to lug around on a long-range hiking trip. The firearm is lighter and smaller, and so it the ammunition.

    Do you REALLY want to lug a rifle around for a few weeks on your vacation? Wouldn't it be a lot easier (and more efficient) to have a pistol on your hip, and 50 or 100 rounds of handgun ammo in your packs? That would be WAY more "luggable" than an AR and several mags of .223, and a LOT easier to explain as a "self defense tool" to a overzealous Park Ranger or Game Warden...
    Thanks for your reply.
    No, its not on the Appalachian Trail. I already hiked about 1/4th of that.

    As far as hiking/camping with my AR. Well, when I lived in Colorado and Wyoming, I would take my AR with me anytime I went into the mountains. Out there its really no law to worry about in the BLM lands.

    But, I am very comfortable "lugging" an AR with mags and ammo through difficult terrain.

    And the only way to stay comfortable, is to keep doing it.

    It sounds like PA may give me trouble if a game warden sees me.

    So, I will check into West Virginia.

    The last thing I need is a hassle from a PA police officer with an ego.
    The funny thing is, i have never hunted in my life, and dont really want to.

    It would be a damn shame to get charged with poaching or something.
    "Let your gun be your constant companion during your walks" ~Thomas Jefferson

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Sig229 wrote:
    It sounds like PA may give me trouble if a game warden sees me.

    So, I will check into West Virginia.
    I grew up in WV, and I'll tell you one thing, PA's hunting laws concerning carry regulation in the woods are actually SIMPLE and CLEAR compared to WV's hunting/carry laws.

    If you're a "local boy" and the game wardens/Sheriff's Deputies know you in WV, and see you whouldering a rifle in the woods in the "off season", they'll probably just assume you're out plinking targets or groundhogs.

    But if they don't know you, you'd better have a REALLY good reason to be packing a long gun, and if you ALSO have a sidearm, you'd better damn sure have a permit that is recognized in WV...

    I remember hunting with my dad in the '70's and '80s, and having to leave my .22 rifle at home when we went squirrel hunting during the overlap period of Deer season, because I didn't have a license with deer tags, and under the WV law back then, you couldn't carry ANY rifle during Deer Season unless you had deer tags on your license...

    The laws in WV are so confusing and convoluted that even the WV DNR is trying to get them changed and simplified, because the DNR officers can't even make heads or tails of some of he firearms carry issues...

    Call the AG, and the DNR's Attorney office in whatever state you go to. DO NOT call the State Police in whatever state you go to though--most of them either can't (because they don't know) or won't (because they don't care) give you a straight answer.

    State AG's and Sheriffs are probably your best bet. They seem to actually know and practice the law as it it written in most states.

    Or better yet, find private land to camp on, an get written permission to be on it from the owner. Private land is still actually viewed as sovereign in WV with regards to most firearms laws...

    Good luck. It's a minefield out there...
    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 aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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