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Thread: Are guns REALLY illegal on the DC Mall?

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    The DC Mall complex is a Federal Park. According to the National Park Service website:
    Officially established in 1965, National Malland Memorial Parks actually protectssome of the older parkland in the National Park System.Areas withinthis premier parkprovide visitors with ample opportunities to commemorate presidential legacies; honor the courage and sacrifice of war veterans; and celebrate the United States commitment to freedom and equality.
    So if the Mall, particularly the Park around the Washington Monument where the 2A march was held earlier in April, are Federal Parkland, then under the wording of the new law regarding carry on Federal Parkland, carry SHOULD be legal there:
    Title 36 - Parks, Forests, and Public Property

    Chapter 1 - National Park Service, DOI

    Part 2 - Resource Protection, Public Use, and Recreation

    2.4 Weapons traps and nets. (new paragraph (h))

    (h) Notwithstanding any other provision in this Chapter, a person may possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national park area in accordance with the laws of the state in which the national park area, or that portion thereof, is located, except as otherwise prohibited by applicable federal law."
    Let me explain. The new law states that carry in a Federal Park is legal as long as the person carrying is legally permitted to carry in that STATE.

    DC is NOT a state.
    It is a City. It is, in fact, a Federal District. Therefore, since DC is not a state, and is not part of a state, it has NO state law. Since there are no state laws that regulate DC, there can be, by extension, no state laws that regulate firearms in DC.

    Under our system of law in the USA, any action not specifically prohibited by law, code, or statute is LEGAL.

    Without State Laws that prohibit carry in DC, Carry on Federal Parkland located in DC should be, under the letter of the Federal Law, legal.

    Let me reiterate that for the hard of thinking.

    The new Federal law allowing carry in Federal Parklands defers to State Laws.

    DC is NOT a State, and therefore NO STATE LAWS exist in DC.

    The Federal law makes no mention of local, municipal, County, or City laws, ordinances, codes, or regulations. It ONLY mentions STATE laws.

    One more time, for the "hard-of-thinking"...

    DC is NOT a state. Without the existence of the legal entity of a State, there can be no "State laws".

    And as we all know, under the US system of law, in the absence of a prohibitive law, an activity is, de facto, LEGAL.

    So who wants to be the "test case"?...
    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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    Interesting argument.

    As a matter of practicality, how does one get there with the gun?

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Under the Firearms Owners Protection Act (FOPA), you may transport a firearm from your residence to ANY other location where it is legal to possess, if it is properly unloaded and secured in your vehicle. Under FOPA, I can take my firearms to PA or WV, and still travel through MD or DC, as long as I don't stop in those gun-grabbing locales, and as long as my firearm is properly secured and unloaded...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firearm...Protection_Act

    So you could unload your gun, put it in the trunk in a locked box. drive to the Washington Monument Park parking lot, then put your gun on. Technically. Under the "letter of the law".

    Because, you see, there are no STATE laws in DC to prohibit doing that in a Federal Park, because DC ISN'T a STATE, and therefore doesn't HAVE any state laws...

    But I imagine such activity would NOT be met with glee or acceptance by US Park Police, DC Metro, or any of the other dozen LEA's who participate in the convoluted web of jurisdictional authority in Washington DC.

    I'm just saying, that the way the Fed.Park law is written, in conjunction with FOPA, it COULD be done legally, but you'd have a hell of a time convincing the local LEO's, and the DC Courts that your actions were legal, REGARDLESS of the facts of the wording of the laws.

    DC LEA's and courts have never let the TRUTH or the Law get in the way of an illegal arrest and imprisonment if it might make a good headline in the Washington Post and the Brady Campaign's newsletter.

    We need to realize that large parts of the governments of DC and MD are organized criminal enterprises. Someone needs to file suits under the RICO statutes and get these insane, racketeering criminals out of the "halls of government" of those two locations and into the "gray-bar hotel" where they belong...


    But then again IANAL...

    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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    So, is there parking at the Mall? Or, do you have to park in the city where guns are all but illegal, and then carry it to the Mall?

    If so, then, when you stop and park, that is not a legal place to carry, so the federal transportation law would not apply. Then, there is the problem of getting the gun from where you parked to the Mall without breaking a law.

    Maybe you could have a designated driver, who is unarmed, drive several OCer's right up to the mall, they jump out and load, and the DD parks the car, joining them unarmed at the Mall.

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    I'm interested to see how this turns out.
    HOOAH?

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    Taurus PT1911 .45 ACP. Carried in condition 1, with a total of 25 rounds.

    Vice President of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, ECU Chapter

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    Maybe DC falls under the same jurisdictional category as a territory, such as Porto Rico, Guam, Samoa. Territories may not be states but they do have their own governments and laws.

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    What if you borded the metro on the VA side at Falls Church or elsewhere, rode into Fed Triangle/Smithsonian/L'Enfant plaza, and rode back out the same way. I think those fall under NP borders

    http://www.wmata.com/rail/maps/map.cfm

    http://tinyurl.com/2b76rfs

    Here is a better image, note the location of the two metro stops within green park land....

    http://wikitravel.org/upload/shared/...strict_map.png



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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Metro has already ruled on this...

    It is perfectly legal to ride the Metro OC or CC (if you have a VA CHP). But the second you cross into DC on the Metro, you are in the jurisdiction of the City of Washington DC, and DC laws apply. The Metro is administered as part of the DC government, and is NOT part of the NPS, so that would not work...

    Like I said, IANAL, and I think that regardless of the LETTER of the law, I think the legal system in DC would try to find SOME way to disallow this, even though they aren't a State.

    Territories are a whole different story. Territories have their own governments, and although they are not "states", they nave a certain level of autonomy with regards to legal jurisdiction.

    DC's local government, although they seem to believe they are autonomous, are actually subject to Federal oversight. Regardless of what Mr. Fenty and Ms. Holmes-Norton might believe, DC is NOT a STATE. And since the FedPark gun law only stipulates that you must abide by the law of the STATE in which a Federal Park lies (and makes NO mention of "districts", cities, or municipalities) the LETTER of the law does not allow for restrictions made on carry imposed by local governments.

    But then again, as we've seen in Martinsburg WV, and in Maryland, the practice of local governments passing and enforcing laws that are flatly illlegal is something that often stands--even when tried in court--because the Courts are often in collusion with these criminal governments against the People.

    But IANAL, and I'm too broke to volunteer to be a "test case". I'm just pointing out the exact wording of the law.

    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 buster81's Avatar
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    Task Force 16 wrote:
    Maybe DC falls under the same jurisdictional category as a territory, such as Porto Rico, Guam, Samoa. Territories may not be states but they do have their own governments and laws.
    Perhaps Puerto Rico will not be a territory for long...

    http://beforeitsnews.com/news/37267/...o_HR_2499.html

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    Doesn't DC still have a registration scheme to own a gun in D.C.? Couldn't one be arrested for violating this provision??

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    Dreamer wrote:
    And as we all know, under the US system of law, in the absence of a prohibitive law, an activity is, de facto, LEGAL.

    So who wants to be the "test case"?...
    PM kwikrnu - he might make the drive from TN to be the test case. He seemingly has the cajones for such legal challenges.

    He will suethe DC Metro PD after they unlawfully arrest him.
    Carry on!

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    Ruger wrote:
    Dreamer wrote:
    And as we all know, under the US system of law, in the absence of a prohibitive law, an activity is, de facto, LEGAL.

    So who wants to be the "test case"?...
    PM kwikrnu - he might make the drive from TN to be the test case. He seemingly has the cajones for such legal challenges.

    He will suethe DC Metro PD after they unlawfully arrest him.
    +1

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    Campaign Veteran ak56's Avatar
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    Task Force 16 wrote:
    Maybe DC falls under the same jurisdictional category as a territory, such as Porto Rico, Guam, Samoa. Territories may not be states but they do have their own governments and laws.

    Title 36 - Parks, Forests, and Public Property

    Chapter 1 - National Park Service, DOI

    PART 1—GENERAL PROVISIONS

    §1.4What terms do I need to know?

    State means a State, territory, or possession of the United States.

    State law means the applicable and nonconflicting laws, statutes, regulations, ordinances, infractions and codes of the State(s) and political subdivision(s) within whose exterior boundaries a park area or a portion thereof is located.
    No right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded, by the common law than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law. Union Pacific Rail Co. vs Botsford as quoted in Terry v Ohio.


    Talk to your cats about catnip - before it's too late.

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    There goes someone spoiling all the fun with facts again. :P:P:P:P

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    ak56 wrote:
    Task Force 16 wrote:
    Maybe DC falls under the same jurisdictional category as a territory, such as Porto Rico, Guam, Samoa. Territories may not be states but they do have their own governments and laws.

    Title 36 - Parks, Forests, and Public Property

    Chapter 1 - National Park Service, DOI

    PART 1—GENERAL PROVISIONS

    §1.4What terms do I need to know?

    State means a State, territory, or possession of the United States.

    State law means the applicable and nonconflicting laws, statutes, regulations, ordinances, infractions and codes of the State(s) and political subdivision(s) within whose exterior boundaries a park area or a portion thereof is located.
    So, with DCs carry ban (except for the political elite) guns in Ntaional Parks within the DC area is a no go.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    ak56 wrote
    Title 36 - Parks, Forests, and Public Property

    Chapter 1 - National Park Service, DOI

    PART 1—GENERAL PROVISIONS

    §1.4What terms do I need to know?

    State means a State, territory, or possession of the United States.

    State law means the applicable and nonconflicting laws, statutes, regulations, ordinances, infractions and codes of the State(s) and political subdivision(s) within whose exterior boundaries a park area or a portion thereof is located.
    Interesting try...

    BUT:
    DC is NOT a State.
    DC is not a Territory.
    DC is not a "Possession of the US".
    DC is not a Political subdivision" of a larger body.

    Washington is a Federal District. That's what the "D" in "Washington D.C." stands for.

    Words have meaning folks. The Law works the way it does because words have meaning,and lawyers know how to use those meanings--in all their subtle contexts--to achieve their ends.

    If the Federal Code means to cover a specific issue in the District of Columbia, it needs to specifiy that it is specifically addressing the District of Columbia, because in the legal hierarchy of political subdivisions here in the US, Washington DC is a unique entity, and holds a unique status as to exactly what sort of political entity it is.

    And it is NOT a State, Territory, Possession, or Political Subdivision of a larger unit.

    DC is a politically autonomous city--the only one of it's kind in the entire USA.

    Look it 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 aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    OK. The fun is back on!

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    "Notwithstanding any other provision in this Chapter, a person may possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national park area in accordance with the laws of the state in which the national park area, or that portion thereof, is located, except as otherwise prohibited by applicable federal law."

    The problem is "except as otherwise prohibited by applicable federal law". DC will argue that congress gave them the authority to legislate in areas of DC through "applicable federal law", hence their prohibition on firearms is a valid extension of that federal law.

    See the District of Columbia Home Rule Act of 1973 (http://www.abfa.com/ogc/hract.htm)



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    DC local laws, although authorized by federal law, are not federal law. That logic could be used to call all legislation passed by Congress and being part of the Constitution since its passage was authorized by the Constitution.

    Nice argument, but I think it fails in court.

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    As you said, federal law authorizes DC law. If you read the acts of congress that give power to DC, they do so in order to reduce burden on congress to regulate DC. Congress delegated it's federal law making authority to DC, hence DC law has the power of federal law in the areas in which DC can legislate.

    The US Constitution differs from congressional acts in a number of ways here. The Constitution is not a set of laws nor is it law making body.

    The Constitution gives Congress the general police powers for DC, and Congress delegated most of that power to the DC Council. Laws passed by the DC Council are not federal laws but have the power of federal law and are valid within the constraints established by Congress so long as they are constitutional.

    IMHO general firearms possession on the DC Mall is prohibited.

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    centsi wrote:
    As you said, federal law authorizes DC law. If you read the acts of congress that give power to DC, they do so in order to reduce burden on congress to regulate DC. Congress delegated it's federal law making authority to DC, hence DC law has the power of federal law in the areas in which DC can legislate.

    The US Constitution differs from congressional acts in a number of ways here. The Constitution is not a set of laws nor is it law making body.

    The Constitution gives Congress the general police powers for DC, and Congress delegated most of that power to the DC Council. Laws passed by the DC Council are not federal laws but have the power of federal law and are valid within the constraints established by Congress so long as they are constitutional.

    IMHO general firearms possession on the DC Mall is prohibited.
    Can you cite the portion of the laws giving DC home rule that make its laws carry the force of federal law? I don't believe that is the fact of the matter. It would be an interesting legal argument in court, but I don't think it is fact.

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    Is it the OPs contention that DC's municipal laws do not apply on federal property within the District?

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    It is the Ops proposition that the wording of the new FedPark gun carry laws might not apply in Fed Parks in the District of Columbia, because they specifically say that people must follow the "laws of the state wherein the Federal Park is located". Since DC is not a state, there are NO state laws to prohibit firearms there, only municipal codes, which are NOT listed as a legal construct under which carry in FedPark may be regulated...

    I don't recommend anyone try to carry in a FedPark in DC--you would probably be jacked by about a dozen different LEA's who might legitimately claim jurisdiction, regardless of what the law actually says.

    But the fact remains that the law says that when you are in a FedPark, you must follow the firearms laws of the STATE wherein the FedPark is located. The Mall is not located in a state. It is in a Federal District, and there is no mention of that specific kind of political entity in the law. The Federal District that is the District of Columbia is a unique sort of political entity in the US--NO OTHER Federal District exists here. But is is NOT a State, it is NOT a Territory, it is NOT a Protectorate, and it is NOT a Possession. It is a unique entity, with VERY specific rights, functions, and limitations.

    And since the laws of "Federal Districts" are not enumerated as "controlling entities" in the FedPark carry law, I think a very strong argument could be made that carry there is legal.

    There are NO federal laws prohibiting carrying a firearm on Federal Parkland. The only Federal law regulating firearms on Federal Parkland are the prohibitions on carry inside any building on Federal Parkland. So you couldn't carry your Glock up the elevator in the Washington Monument, but there is no Federal law that says you can't do it on the Parkland around the Monument. DC law is NOT state law.

    Don't they teach that in school any more? DC is NOT a state. How much more clearly can I put it? And absent a "state", a "state law" cannot exist.

    The tricky part is getting to Federal Parkland in DC without stepping on DC-controlled terra firma. FOPA protects you when transporting a firearm through DC from two jurisdictions where you may legally possess, but if you stop on DC property, you are not legal. Federal Parks are NOT DC property, and they are NOT under the legal jurisdiction of DC's government or Metro LEA's...

    This is not convoluted thinking. I'm just pointing out that the wording of the FedPark carry law is VERY specific, and it appears that they simply forgot, when they wrote it, that technically, the carry ban in DC would not apply to FedParks in DC, because DC is not a state, and therefore there are no state laws to prohibit such activities in such parks...

    Words have meaning folks. This one is pretty straightforward.

    But like I said, the tricky part is getting TO said Federal Parkland without running afoul of the municipal laws...


    “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.” — Samuel Adams

    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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    eye95 wrote:
    Can you cite the portion of the laws giving DC home rule that make its laws carry the force of federal law? I don't believe that is the fact of the matter. It would be an interesting legal argument in court, but I don't think it is fact.
    No, I cannot find a section of law that says that anything that the DC Council does carries the force of federal law. I'm not saying that you don't have an argument, but I think that DC would use my argument to defend their law as an extension of federal law, and that a court would probably agree with them.

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