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Thread: My first legal carry in a National Park.

  1. #1
    Regular Member
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    Apr 2007
    Tucson, Arizona, USA

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    Cross-posted from the Arizona Forum.

    So, I switched from day shift to swing shift today. (Well, actually yesterday now. 23 Feb.) Having awoken early due to still working out a new sleep pattern, and the weather being crisp and clear, I decided that I should go for a bicycle ride, and that I should do my common route from myhouse to Saguaro Park East, the loop of thePark, and back home. To celebrate/test the change of thelaws regulating firearms in National Parks, I decided toarm myself for my ride. (Outside of Parks, I do this normally anyway, as mentioned in this forum in the past.)

    As it was a brisk 45 deg. F at 1030 hrs., I wore my road riding attire of cycling shorts, insulated, wind-resistant tights (basic black), long-sleeved optic-yellow cycling jersey and light-weight optic-yellow cycling jacket. I donned my Blackhawk instructor-style belt to support my Taurus 1911 in a Serpa holster on my right side, and a double magazine-holster on my left side. The jacket was tucked neatly behind the pistol butt-holster and the magazine holder.

    I rode to the park entrance, with a short stop just prior to tuck my voice recorder into my jersey collar zipper under the jacket, and to pull my park pass and ID out of my jerseypocket. As I rode up to the entry control hut, I looked down and realized that instead of my military ID and Park pass, I had my military ID and driver licence. D'oh!! And I had no cash on my person.

    Taking a chance, I rode up to the kiosk (had to wait for the two vehicles in front of me). I asked the Ranger working if they could look up passes by name, but apparently they don't have that capability. Oops. However, after scrutinizing my ID's, and noting the local address on my D.L., he said he'd let me through if I would bring my card or entry fee the next day (today, now). I readily agreed, and thanked him profusely.He thanked me for my military service (I still find that somewhat embarassing after 19+ years...), I thanked him for his service to keep our Parks accesible, and pedaled merrily into the 8 mile Park loop. Not a word was said about firearms or anything other than road safety, he mentioned the heavy traffic that day and that the previous days rains had left some sand and gravel in the several washes that cross the road and they hadn't been able to finish cleaningit up yet. After entering the loop, I paused, turned the recorder off and returned it to my pocket.

    I rode the loop, passing numerous cars and pedestrians and cyclists.Said "Good Morning" to everyone I met. No panics,no shouting, no hysteria anywhere. Midway through the ride it warmed up enough to take my outer jacket off, roll it up and tie it around my waist, tuckedbehind the firearm and magazines.Passed out of the Park, waved at the Ranger and reiterated my promise to return with my pass. Got home with no incidents. 20 hilly miles, 1 hr. 20 min.

    For the record, the S.P.E. manager (Top Ranger) is my immediate next door neighbor. I have never discussed firearm carry (in or out of Parks)with him, but he and his British wifehave seen me come and go from the house (and we've had conversation while doing so) whilearmed O.C., and he's been armed in uniform while going/returning from his duty day. I consider us to be casual friends who will keep an eye on each others houses when we go on vacation, and loan each other tools and share the occasional social drink. Some day I'll have to work the subject into conversation and find out how they feel about it, but I'm fairly sanguine about the possible outcomes.

    All in all a very good day.

    Edit: No promotion of brand names is intended or implied. I receive no compensation for mention of any brand or company.

  2. #2
    Regular Member SsevenN's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    Farmington, New Mexico, USA

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    Great post! I can't wait to get out there and do the same thing, except hike instead on bike.

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