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Thread: Park Ranger Says That Open Carry is Legal on the Buffalo National River

  1. #1
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    A friend and I recently went on a multi-day camping/canoe trip on the Buffalo River National River in Arkansas (an awesome experience, by the way). Before we left, I emailed the National Park Service regarding the carrying of weapons on the river. While they did not respond in time for my trip, I thought that this email might be of interest on this board. Ranger Buschkowsky seems to be pretty cool with open carry and up-to-speed on the gun laws. My original email is at the bottom.

    [line]

    fromLee_Buschkowsky@nps.govto***************@gmail.com
    dateSat, May 29, 2010 at 5:44 PMsubjectFw: From NPS.gov: Firearms/Air Guns on the National Rivermailed-bynps.gov
    hide details May 29 (4 days ago)

    Mr. **********:

    You are correct for open carry on a handgun while on a "journey" and and
    for a concealed handgun with a valid concealed weapon permit in Buffalo
    National River. The open carry in Arkansas pertains to a "weapon" which the
    state defines as a handgun, knife, or club. Since we are also a designated
    Wildlife Management Area by the State of Arkansas, State regulations are
    place that cover the possession of handguns and long guns in the park. With
    an open carry handgun while on a "journey", as long as the person
    possessing the weapon is keeping it holstered at all times, that person
    should not face any possession in a WMA charge such as hunting out of
    season. Since long guns are not classified as a weapon under the State open
    carry on a "journey" law, they cannot be open-carried in a WMA as they are
    guns associated with hunting and the "journey" does not apply to these
    guns. You can possess these weapons during an applicable hunting season
    with a valid hunting license and in a place not closed for hunting (such as
    within 150 yards of a developed area for safety reasons). Any discharge of
    a weapon, including a pellet gun or any gun for that matter, in the park is
    prohibited under 36 CFR 2.4 except for hunting during a hunting season
    using the appropriate caliber allowed while carrying a valid hunting
    license and not violating any other 36 CFR or state law. Long guns in
    vehicles in WMA's are ok as long as you don't aim it out the window, even
    if just looking through a scope, as this constitutes the act of road
    hunting.

    In a nutshell, open carry handgun ok as long as it stays in the holster;
    concealed carry handgun ok as long as person has valid concealed weapon
    permit recognized by Arkansas; open carry long gun not permited outside a
    hunting season. No displaying and discharge of a firearm in the park except
    for legal hunting.

    Hope this helps. Call me if you need clarification on anything.

    Lee Buschkowsky
    Upper District Ranger
    Buffalo National River
    (870) 446-5145

    ----- Forwarded by Lee Buschkowsky/BUFF/NPS on 05/29/2010 05:20 PM -----

    Joyce
    Umbach/BUFF/NPS
    To
    05/28/2010 01:14 Lee Buschkowsky/BUFF/NPS@NPS
    PM cc

    Subject
    Fw: From NPS.gov: Firearms/Air Guns
    on the National River


    Joyce Umbach
    Park Ranger
    Buffalo National River
    Tyler Bend Visitor Center
    170 Ranger Road
    St. Joe, AR 72675
    870-439-2502
    ----- Forwarded by Joyce Umbach/BUFF/NPS on 05/28/2010 01:13 PM -----

    ***********@
    gmail.com
    To
    05/27/2010 11:49 buff_information@nps.gov
    PM cc

    Subject
    From NPS.gov: Firearms/Air Guns on
    the National River


    Email submitted from: ***************@gmail.com at /buff/contacts.htm



    Greetings,
    My friend and I are planning a multi-day canoe/camping trip on the Buffalo
    River National River. I am inquiring as to the laws/rules/regulations
    regarding the carrying of firearms and/or air guns while on the National
    River.


    My understanding of the recent change in federal law (per an amendment to
    the Credit Card Accountability Act) is that firearms may now be carried in
    lands under the control of the National Park Service persuant to state law.


    As I understand it, Arkansas law permits the open carriage of long guns for
    any legal purpose, but prohibits the carrying of a handgun without a
    state-issued concealed handgun license, unless, among other exemptions, one
    is upon a "journey." "Journey" has, in state court decisions, had various
    definitions, including a trip "which takes one beyond the circle of his
    friends and acquaintances," "is beyond the scope of his daily routine," and
    "which detains him for an entire day."


    Under the definitions listed above, it would seem that a multiple-day
    canoe-trip through multiple counties in another state, such as on the
    Buffalo National River, would meet the criteria for a "journey."


    My questions are as follows:
    1) Are handguns permitted along the Buffalo National River, without a
    state-issued concealed handgun license, persuant to federal law and the
    "journey" provision of Arkansas state law?
    2) As federal and state law is silent on the matter, is there any National
    Parks Service rule or regulation which prohibits the open or concealed
    carry of a pneumatic rifle or pistol (air gun), firing a .177 caliber
    projectile? If so, please cite the relevant rule or regulation.


    Thank you for your time,
    ******** **********
    Total ignorance: an Obama supporter's stock in trade
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  2. #2
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    Huh... That's not what they are telling the residents of Arkansas! Check out this story:

    http://www.examiner.com/x-33857-Fort...rk-in-Arkansas

    I contacted the National Park earlier this year to organize an open carry hike on the park trails. Here is a quote in the email:

    "If your group would interfere with other visitors enjoyment of the park, then you would need a permit…The other problem I see is that Buffalo National River is a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) with Arkansas Game and Fish.The Game and Fish regulations prohibit the possession of a weapon on a WMA when there is no open season."

    Arkansas Carry, a gun rights group in Arkansas dedicated to passing open carry in Arkansas, currently has an Attorney General opinion request filed by legislators to determine if the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is able to make "handgun carry laws" in the state of Arkansas.

    I also wrote this article and posted it on the Arkansas Tourism facebook page... it kinda made some people mad, but they sat up and took notice! Maybe it helped...

    http://www.examiner.com/x-33857-Fort...me-to-Arkansas



    Thanks for the post; I can do something with this!



  3. #3
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    Yes, run with this Arky! You are doing a great job!
    BTW let's have another meat.

  4. #4
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    PistolPackingMama wrote:
    Yes, run with this Arky! You are doing a great job!
    BTW let's have another meat.
    OOPS. I posted under the wrong name and it should be meet not meat.
    Don't confuse me with the facts, I have my emotions!

    I guess that's the difference between no crime and "stopping" a crime in progress. I prefer no crime.

  5. #5
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    Here's an article about the email from the NPS about open carry at Buffalo National River park...

    Is open carry now legal in Buffalo River National Park?

  6. #6
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    "Arkansas has the most archaic, vague and restrictive gun laws in Arkansas, and now you must interpret them."



    I just don't think many people know this.

    Good article.

    Don't confuse me with the facts, I have my emotions!

    I guess that's the difference between no crime and "stopping" a crime in progress. I prefer no crime.

  7. #7
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    Packer fan wrote:
    "Arkansas has the most archaic, vague and restrictive gun laws in Arkansas, and now you must interpret them."



    I just don't think many people know this.

    Good article.
    Really good article except for that poorly worded sentence. :?

    Would have been way ahead to say "Arkansas has archaic, vague and restrictive gun laws that are difficult to interpret."

    Yata hey
    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.

  8. #8
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    Thanks, Grapeshot for the proofreading! Edited.

  9. #9
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    Arkyhog wrote:
    Thanks, Grapeshot for the proofreading! Edited.
    Critiquing from an armchair is easy.

    What you do is work and appreciated.

    Yata hey
    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.

  10. #10
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    Thanks again, Grapeshot.

    Here is some news which came out today from the Attorney General's office; it pertains to this thread, but I will start another thread in this forum about it, too.

    Attorney General opinion in opposition of right to keep and bear arms

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