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Thread: Forests, Parks, Wildlife Refuges, and Cemeteries

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    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    Post Outdoors/Wilderness Carry Status

    Disclaimer: The following is provided for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and I do not advocate that anyone does anything. The information is provided without warranty or guarantee of accuracy. If you want to truly understand a law, consult an attorney.

    I have researched and compiled into a single place the current administrative laws that pertain to the possession, transportation, and carrying of handguns in Virginia State Forests, Parks, and Wildlife Management Areas; and National Forests, Parks, Wildlife Refuges, and Cemeteries located within Virginia. I have grouped these various places together into a single category because sometimes the lines between each is blurred either by regulatory hodgepodge or when some are located within, adjacent to, or near others. Corrections, additional information, and updates are welcome. I will edit this post to include such.


    Please note that, with a few minor exceptions, statutory laws such as those within VA Title 18.2 or USC Title 18 are not cited here, but they still apply within any of these places. The focus of this page is on administrative laws as they pertain to the possession, transportation, and carrying of handguns within the aforementioned areas.



    Virginia State Forests

    Managed and regulated by the Virginia Department of Forestry


    Virginia State Forest Preliminary Summary:
    Open Carry: OK, during hunting season.
    Concealed Carry: OK with a valid permit issued pursuant to
    18.2-308
    Unloaded and cased: OK

    4VAC10-30-170. Explosives, Fires, etc.
    No person shall bring into or have in any forest any explosive or explosive substance. This regulation shall not apply to the lawful carrying of firearms and firearms ammunition.

    Pending Amendment - Requirements for Carrying Handguns in State Forests ** UPDATE ** The law was amended to allow the lawful carrying of firearms and ammunition.

    Note: State Parks are located within three State Forests.


    __________________________________________________ _________________________


    Virginia State Parks

    Managed and regulated by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
    Virginia State Park Preliminary Summary:
    Open Carry: OK

    Concealed Carry: OK with a valid permit issued pursuant to
    18.2-308
    Unloaded and cased: OK


    4VAC5-30-200. Firearms.

    --repealed--

    Fmr. Attorney General of Virginia, Robert F. McDonnell opinion that:
    "[T]he Department of Conservation and Recreation has only such authority to restrict the open carrying of firearms which is expressly provided by law."

    Note: State Parks are located within three State Forests.


    __________________________________________________ _________________________

    Virginia Wildlife Management Areas
    Managed and regulated by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries


    Virginia Wildlife Management Areas Preliminary Summary:
    Open Carry: OK
    during lawful hunting seasons, when not in a vehicle.
    Open Carry in portions of the Hog Island WMA: NO, except while lawfully hunting with a special permit.
    Concealed Carry: OK with a valid permit issued pursuant to
    18.2-308
    Concealed Carry in portions of Hog Island WMA: NO, except while lawfully hunting with a special permit.
    Unloaded and cased: OK
    Unloaded and cased in portions of Hog Island WMA: OK

    4VAC15-40-60. Hunting with dogs or possession of weapons in certain locations during closed season.
    A. Department-owned lands west of the Blue Ridge Mountains and national forest lands statewide. It shall be unlawful to have in possession a bow, crossbow, or any firearm that is not unloaded and cased or dismantled on all national forest lands statewide and on department-owned lands and on other lands managed by the department under cooperative agreement located in counties west of the Blue Ridge Mountains except during the period when it is lawful to take bear, deer, grouse, pheasant, quail, rabbit, raccoon, squirrel, turkey, or waterfowl on these lands.

    B. Department-owned lands east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It shall be unlawful to have in possession a bow, crossbow, or any firearm that is not unloaded and cased or dismantled on department-owned lands and on other lands managed by the department under cooperative agreement located in the counties east of the Blue Ridge Mountains except during the period when it is lawful to take bear, deer, grouse, pheasant, quail, rabbit, raccoon, squirrel, turkey, waterfowl or migratory gamebirds on these lands.

    C. Certain counties. Except as otherwise provided in 4VAC15-40-70, it shall be unlawful to have either a shotgun or a rifle in one's possession when accompanied by a dog in the daytime in the fields, forests or waters of the counties of Augusta, Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren, and in the counties east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, except Patrick, at any time except the periods prescribed by law to hunt game birds and animals.

    D. Shooting ranges and authorized activities. The provisions of this section shall not prohibit the conduct of any activities authorized by the board or the establishment and operation of archery and shooting ranges on the lands described in subsections A, B and C of this section.The use of firearms, crossbows, and bows in such ranges during the closed season period will be restricted to the area within the established range boundaries. Such weapons shall be required to be unloaded and cased or dismantled in all areas other than the range boundaries. The use of firearms, crossbows, or bows during the closed hunting period in such ranges shall be restricted to target shooting only and no birds or animals shall be molested.

    E. <removed as it only applies to dogs and training dogs>

    F. It shall be unlawful to possess or transport any loaded firearm, or loaded crossbow in or on any vehicle at any time on national forest lands or department-owned lands.

    G. The provisions of this section shall not prohibit the possession, transport and use of loaded firearms by employees of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries while engaged in the performance of their authorized and official duties, nor shall it prohibit possession and transport of loaded concealed handguns where the individual possesses a concealed handgun permit as defined in 18.2-308 of the Code of Virginia.

    H. <removed as it only contains definitions which are not pertinent to this thread/post>



    4VAC15-40-120. Hog Island Wildlife Management Area; possession of loaded gun prohibited; exception.
    It shall be unlawful to have in possession at any time a gun which is not unloaded and cased or dismantled on that portion of the Hog Island Wildlife Management Area bordering on the James River and lying north of the Surry Nuclear Power Plant, except while hunting deer or waterfowl in conformity with a special permit issued by the department.


    __________________________________________________ _________________________

    National Forests in Virginia
    Managed and regulated by the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture and Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries pursuant to 36 CFR 241.1. Cooperation in Wildlife Protection and 36 CFR 241.2. Cooperation in Wildlife Management.


    National Forests in Virginia Preliminary Summary:
    Open Carry: OK during lawful hunting seasons, when not in a vehicle.
    Concealed Carry: OK with a valid permit issued pursuant to
    18.2-308
    Unloaded and cased: OK


    36 CFR Part 261-Prohibitions. Subpart A. General Prohibitions. Section 261.8. Fish and Wildlife.
    The following are prohibited to the extent Federal or State law is violated:
    (a) Hunting, trapping, fishing, catching, molesting, killing or having in possession any kind of wild animal, bird, or fish, or taking the eggs of any such bird.
    (b) Possessing a firearm or other implement designed to discharge a missile capable of destroying animal life.
    (c) Possessing equipment which could be used for hunting, fishing, or trapping.
    (d) Possessing a dog not on a leash or otherwise confined.
    (e) Curtail the free movement of any animal or plant life into or out of a cave, except as authorized to protect a cave resource.


    36 CFR Part 261-Prohibitions. Subpart B. Prohibitions in Areas Designated by Order. Section 261.57. National Forest Wilderness.
    When provided by an order, the following are prohibited:
    (a) Entering or being in the area.
    (b) Possessing camping or pack-outfitting equipment, as specified in the order.
    (c)
    Possessing a firearm or firework.
    (d) Possessing any non-burnable food or beverage containers, including deposit bottles, except for non-burnable containers designed and intended for repeated use.
    (e) Grazing.
    (f) Storing equipment, personal property or supplies.
    (g) Disposing of debris, garbage, or other waste.
    (h) Possessing or using a wagon, cart or other vehicle.


    4VAC15-40-60. Hunting with dogs or possession of weapons in certain locations during closed season.
    A. Department-owned lands west of the Blue Ridge Mountains and national forest lands statewide. It shall be unlawful to have in possession a bow, crossbow, or any firearm that is not unloaded and cased or dismantled on all national forest lands statewide and on department-owned lands and on other lands managed by the department under cooperative agreement located in counties west of the Blue Ridge Mountains except during the period when it is lawful to take bear, deer, grouse, pheasant, quail, rabbit, raccoon, squirrel, turkey, or waterfowl on these lands.

    B. Department-owned lands east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It shall be unlawful to have in possession a bow, crossbow, or any firearm that is not unloaded and cased or dismantled on department-owned lands and on other lands managed by the department under cooperative agreement located in the counties east of the Blue Ridge Mountains except during the period when it is lawful to take bear, deer, grouse, pheasant, quail, rabbit, raccoon, squirrel, turkey, waterfowl or migratory gamebirds on these lands.

    C. Certain counties. Except as otherwise provided in 4VAC15-40-70, it shall be unlawful to have either a shotgun or a rifle in one's possession when accompanied by a dog in the daytime in the fields, forests or waters of the counties of Augusta, Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren, and in the counties east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, except Patrick, at any time except the periods prescribed by law to hunt game birds and animals.

    D. Shooting ranges and authorized activities. The provisions of this section shall not prohibit the conduct of any activities authorized by the board or the establishment and operation of archery and shooting ranges on the lands described in subsections A, B and C of this section.The use of firearms, crossbows, and bows in such ranges during the closed season period will be restricted to the area within the established range boundaries. Such weapons shall be required to be unloaded and cased or dismantled in all areas other than the range boundaries. The use of firearms, crossbows, or bows during the closed hunting period in such ranges shall be restricted to target shooting only and no birds or animals shall be molested.

    E. <removed as it only applies to dogs and training dogs>

    F. It shall be unlawful to possess or transport any loaded firearm, or loaded crossbow in or on any vehicle at any time on national forest lands or department-owned lands.

    G. The provisions of this section shall not prohibit the possession, transport and use of loaded firearms by employees of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries while engaged in the performance of their authorized and official duties, nor shall it prohibit possession and transport of loaded concealed handguns where the individual possesses a concealed handgun permit as defined in 18.2-308 of the Code of Virginia.

    H. <removed as it only contains definitions which are not pertinent to this thread/post>


    __________________________________________________ _________________________


    National Parks in Virginia
    Managed and regulated by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior


    National Parks in Virginia Preliminary Summary:
    Open Carry: OK* (*note: NPS regulations stipulate concealed carry, however that does not appear to be consistent with the Credit CARD Act of 2009 and Virginia State law. Until NPS rules are corrected, you may want to refrain from OC.)
    Concealed Carry: OK with a valid permit issued pursuant to
    18.2-308; or, without a permit, only in a secured container or compartment in a vehicle or vessel.
    Unloaded and cased: OK pursuant to 36CFR2.4

    Credit CARD Act of 2009
    SEC. 512. PROTECTING AMERICANS FROM VIOLENT CRIME.

    (a) Congressional Findings.--Congress finds the following:
    (1) The Second Amendment to the Constitution provides that
    ``the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be
    infringed''.
    (2) Section 2.4(a)(1) of title 36, Code of Federal
    Regulations, provides that ``except as otherwise provided in
    this section and parts 7 (special regulations) and 13 (Alaska
    regulations), the following are prohibited: (i) Possessing a
    weapon, trap or net (ii) Carrying a weapon, trap or net (iii)
    Using a weapon, trap or net''.
    (3) Section 27.42 of title 50, Code of Federal Regulations,
    provides that, except in special circumstances, citizens of the
    United States may not ``possess, use, or transport firearms on
    national wildlife refuges'' of the United States Fish and
    Wildlife Service.
    (4) The regulations described in paragraphs (2) and (3)
    prevent individuals complying with Federal and State laws from
    exercising the second amendment rights of the individuals while
    at units of--
    (A) the National Park System; and
    (B) the National Wildlife Refuge System.
    (5) The existence of different laws relating to the
    transportation and possession of firearms at different units of
    the National Park System and the National Wildlife Refuge
    System entrapped law-abiding gun owners while at units of the
    National Park System and the National Wildlife Refuge System.
    (6) Although the Bush administration issued new regulations
    relating to the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens
    in units of the National Park System and National Wildlife
    Refuge System that went into effect on January 9, 2009--
    (A) on March 19, 2009, the United States District
    Court for the District of Columbia granted a
    preliminary injunction with respect to the
    implementation and enforcement of the new regulations;
    and
    (B) the new regulations--
    (i) are under review by the administration;
    and
    (ii) may be altered.
    (7) Congress needs to weigh in on the new regulations to
    ensure that unelected bureaucrats and judges cannot again
    override the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens on
    83,600,000 acres of National Park System land and 90,790,000
    acres of land under the jurisdiction of the United States Fish
    and Wildlife Service.
    (8) The Federal laws should make it clear that the second
    amendment rights of an individual at a unit of the National
    Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System should not
    be infringed.
    (b) Protecting the Right of Individuals To Bear arms in Units of
    the National Park System and the National Wildlife Refuge System.--The
    Secretary of the Interior shall not promulgate or enforce any
    regulation that prohibits an individual from possessing a firearm
    including an assembled or functional firearm in any unit of the
    National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System if--
    (1) the individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from
    possessing the firearm; and
    (2) the possession of the firearm is in compliance with the
    law of the State in which the unit of the National Park System
    or the National Wildlife Refuge System is located.


    36 CFR Part 2. Resource Protection, Public Use and Recreation. Section 2.4. Weapons, traps, and nets.
    (a)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section and parts 7 (special regulations) and 13 (Alaska regulations), the following are prohibited:

    (i) Possessing a weapon, trap or net

    (ii) Carrying a weapon, trap or net

    (iii) Using a weapon, trap or net

    (2) Weapons, traps or nets may be carried, possessed or used:

    (i) At designated times and locations in park areas where:

    (A) The taking of wildlife is authorized by law in accordance with 2.2 of this chapter;

    (B) The taking of fish is authorized by law in accordance with 2.3 of this part.

    (ii) When used for target practice at designated times and at facilities or locations designed and constructed specifically for this purpose and designated pursuant to special regulations.

    (iii) Within a residential dwelling. For purposes of this subparagraph only, the term "residential dwelling" means a fixed housing structure which is either the principal residence of its occupants, or is occupied on a regular and recurring basis by its occupants as an alternate residence or vacation home.

    (3) Traps, nets and unloaded weapons may be possessed within a temporary lodging or mechanical mode of conveyance when such implements are rendered temporarily inoperable or are packed, cased or stored in a manner that will prevent their ready use.

    (b) Carrying or possessing a loaded weapon in a motor vehicle, vessel or other mode of transportation is prohibited, except that carrying or possessing a loaded weapon in a vessel is allowed when such vessel is not being propelled by machinery and is used as a shooting platform in accordance with Federal and State law.

    (c) The use of a weapon, trap or net in a manner that endangers persons or property is prohibited.

    (d) The superintendent may issue a permit to carry or possess a weapon, trap or net under the following circumstances:

    (1) When necessary to support research activities conducted in accordance with 2.5.

    (2) To carry firearms for persons in charge of pack trains or saddle horses for emergency use.

    (3) For employees, agents or cooperating officials in the performance of their official duties.

    (4) To provide access to otherwise inaccessible lands or waters contiguous to a park area when other means of access are otherwise impracticable or impossible.

    Violation of the terms and conditions of a permit issued pursuant to this paragraph is prohibited and may result in the suspension or revocation of the permit.

    (e) Authorized Federal, State and local law enforcement officers may carry firearms in the performance of their official duties.

    (f) The carrying or possessing of a weapon, trap or net in violation of applicable Federal and State laws is prohibited.

    (g) The regulations contained in this section apply, regardless of land ownership, on all lands and waters within a park area that are under the legislative jurisdiction of the United States.

    (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.


    __________________________________________________ _________________________


    National Wildlife Refuges in Virginia
    Managed and regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Virginia Marine Resources Commission, and Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy.



    National Wildlife Refuges in Virginia Preliminary Summary:
    Open Carry in Va DGIF areas:
    OK during lawful hunting seasons, when not in a vehicle
    Open Carry in areas not managed by the VaDGIF: OK* (*note: FWS regulations stipulate concealed carry, however that does not appear to be consistent with the Credit CARD Act of 2009 or Virginia State law. Until FWS rules are corrected, you may want to refrain from OC)
    Concealed Carry in Va DGIF areas: OK with a valid permit issued pursuant to
    18.2-308
    Concealed Carry in areas not managed by the Va DGIF: OK with a valid permit issued pursuant to 18.2-308; or, without a permit, only in a secured container or compartment in a vehicle or vessel.
    Unloaded and cased: OK pursuant to 50CFR27.42


    50 CFR Part 27. Prohibited Acts. Subpart D. Disturbing Violations: With Weapons. Section 27.42. Firearms.
    Only the following persons may possess, use, or transport firearms on national wildlife refuges in accordance with this section and applicable Federal and State law:

    (a) Persons using firearms for public hunting under the provisions of 50 CFR part 32.

    (b) Persons carrying unloaded firearms, that are dismantled or cased, in vehicles and boats over routes of travel designated under the provision of subchapter C.

    (c) Persons authorized to use firearms for the taking of specimens of wildlife for scientific purposes.

    (d) Persons authorized by special regulations or permits to possess or use firearms for the protection of property, for field trials, and other special purposes.

    (e) Notwithstanding any other provision in this Chapter, persons may possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national wildlife refuge in accordance with the laws of the state in which the wildlife refuge, or that portion thereof, is located, except as otherwise prohibited by applicable Federal law.
    50 CFR Part 32. Hunting and Fishing. Subpart B. Refuge-Specific Regulations for Hunting and Fishing. Section 32.66. Virginia
    <snip>
    3. Firearm hunt information:
    <snip>
    iii. You may use any firearm allowed by State law in designated areas of the refuge. We restrict other areas of the refuge to shotgun and muzzleloading firearms only. We restrict shotgun ammunition to slugs, 00 buckshot, or 000 buckshot. You must unload and either case or disassemble firearms ( see 27.42(b) of this chapter) in vehicles.
    <snip>


    * <virginiatuck> Note, it appears as though 50 CFR 32.66 applies only to those hunting, but it is included here for reference and/or discussion.


    The aforementioned MRC and DMME of Virginia have several regulations that pertain to National Wildlife Refuges, however I was not able to find any Virginia regulations that prohibited the transportation, possession, or carrying of firearms. The regulations for these agencies can be found under Title 4 of the Virginia Administrative Code.


    __________________________________________________ _________________________


    National Cemeteries
    Managed and regulated by either U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, or U.S. Department of the Army


    National Cemeteries in Virginia, Managed by the VA, Preliminary Summary:
    Open Carry: NO
    Concealed Carry: NO

    Unloaded and cased: NO

    National Cemeteries in Virginia, Managed by the NPS, Preliminary Summary:
    Open Carry: OK* (*note: NPS regulations stipulate concealed carry, however that does not appear to be consistent with the Credit CARD Act of 2009 and Virginia State law. Until NPS rules are corrected, you may want to refrain from OC.)
    Concealed Carry: OK with a valid permit issued pursuant to
    18.2-308; or, without a permit, only in a secured container or compartment in a vehicle or vessel
    Unloaded and cased: OK pursuant to 36CFR2.4

    National Cemeteries in Virginia, Managed by the Dept. of the Army, Preliminary Summary:
    Open Carry: UNKNOWN
    Concealed Carry: UNKNOWN

    Unloaded and cased: UNKNOWN


    38 CFR Part 1. General Provisions. Section 1.218. Security and Law Enforcement at VA Facilities.
    (a) Authority and rules of conduct. Pursuant to 38 USC 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.

    <snip>


    * <virginiatuck> NPS regulations have been provided above and will not be reproduced here. I did not find any NPS regulations specifically regarding National Cemeteries, so I presume those already provided will apply the same. Also, with respect to the one of the two cemeteries maintained by the Department of the Army that is located within Virginia (Arlington National Cemetery), I ask for help finding the correct source to cite regarding firearms policies at the ANC *

    __________________________________________________ _________________________


    * Added Virginia Wildlife Management Areas 07JUN2010@18:07
    * Added preliminary summaries (OC, CC, and UaC) 07JUN2010@20:13
    * Adjusted the summaries 07JUN2010@21:00
    * Corrected a typo... replaced NPS with FWS under the National Wildlife Refuge section 08JUN2010@00:17
    * Added note about State Parks being located within three State Forests. 08JUN2010@00:30
    * Added links to information regarding designated hunting areas and hunting seasons 09JUN2010@21:20
    * Corrected open carry information for areas in National Wildlife Refuges that are managed by the Va DGIF 09JUN2010@21:20
    * Corrected a typo (18.2-309 was listed instead of 18.2-308 for NPS. 10JUN2010@12:25
    * Corrected formatting errors after migration to vBulletin. 29JUN2010@16:28EDT
    * Updated some concealed carry statuses post July 1 law changes. 09JUL2010@19:11EDT
    * Added Hog Island WMA restriction. 09JUL2010@19:23EDT
    * Updated State Forest carry status to remove the "designated recreation area" restrictions and posted updated law 4VAC10-30-170. 07JUL2011
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 04-07-2013 at 07:12 AM. Reason: Updated State Park carry status - 4/13

  2. #2
    Regular Member riverrat10k's Avatar
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    Thanks, V-tuck. It does help, but does not make it any simpler!
    Remember Peter Nap and Skidmark. Do them proud. Be active. Be well informed. ALL rights matter.

    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when you may have to back up your acts with your life."

    --Robert A. Heinlein

    Hey NSA! *&$# you. Record this--- MOLON LABE!

  3. #3
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Thanks!
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

  4. #4
    Regular Member gis's Avatar
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    I always get dizzy when I see a post like this. Unfortunately my brain is allergic to a lot fo legaleeze.

    Could someone please summarize for each of the places listed above which mode of carry is allowed: open/no permit, open with permit, concealed with permit, LEOSA/218 concealed, or anything else?

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    A bottom line summary/conclusion (w/o the legal terms) for each category would be most beneficial.

    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.

  6. #6
    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    Grapeshot wrote:
    A bottom line summary/conclusion (w/o the legal terms) for each category would be most beneficial.

    Yata hey
    Yes, that would be very nice. :? My conclusion is that it will take a lot longer to finish that than it did to compile this list of sources.

    In 30 minutes, I have been unable to even figure out what "any portion of a forest assigned to the Department of Forestry, for administration as a recreational area" really means; nor have I been able to find clear examples on the DoF web site.

    Additionally, I have found this:
    "State Parks are located within three State Forests. The parks provide additional recreational opportunities such as camping and swimming."

    Could there be cases where a DoF forest, contains within it a State Park administered by the DCR, and within that are areas assigned to the DoF for administration as a recreational area? Also, for those State Parks within State Forests, is it lawful for a CHP holder to transport their firearm through the State Forest in order to get to the State Park where they may carry concealed?

    In other words, I've got a lot of homework ahead of me.

  7. #7
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Had no idea this morass was out there regarding state forests vs state parks.

    It not only is a problem staying legal it has got to be a problem on the enforcement level too.

    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
    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    Grapeshot wrote:
    Had no idea this morass was out there regarding state forests vs state parks.

    It not only is a problem staying legal it has got to be a problem on the enforcement level too.

    Yata hey
    You're not kidding. However, I'd bet that any Game Warden worth his/her salt will simply cite any would-be offender, and let the court sort it out. Trying to concoct a defense based on the existing law would be difficult. I'd also wager that any jury, even one composed of hunters, would be blown away by the absurd complexity of these regulations, and since the members likely have their own notions of what's OK or not OK, an offender would be convicted/acquitted based onsuch beliefs, not the law or evidence.

    It ain't just the big, bad wolf that's lurking in them woods...

    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

    Member VCDL, NRA

  9. #9
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    2a4all wrote:
    Grapeshot wrote:
    Had no idea this morass was out there regarding state forests vs state parks.

    It not only is a problem staying legal it has got to be a problem on the enforcement level too.

    Yata hey
    You're not kidding. However, I'd bet that any Game Warden worth his/her salt will simply cite any would-be offender, and let the court sort it out. Trying to concoct a defense based on the existing law would be difficult. I'd also wager that any jury, even one composed of hunters, would be blown away by the absurd complexity of these regulations, and since the members likely have their own notions of what's OK or not OK, an offender would be convicted/acquitted based onsuch beliefs, not the law or evidence.

    It ain't just the big, bad wolf that's lurking in them woods...
    Can you say "nullification?"

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

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  10. #10
    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    I have left one area out of the list... Virginia Wildlife Management Areas, owned and regulated by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. I've added it to the list, though I believe the only one that applies is 4VAC15-40-60; the same state regulation that applies to National Forests.

    Before I move on to summaries, I'd like to complete the first phase, of getting all of the various types of lands and areas and applicable code together here. Can anyone think of any other type of area within Virginia that would fit into the same category as forests, parks, wildlife refuges/management areas, and cemeteries? Are there state cemeteries? Are there any state cemeteries that may be situated in, around, or near any of the places already mentioned? Should they be included here, if any, anyway? What else???



  11. #11
    Activist Member Wolf_shadow's Avatar
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    Virginia Department of Veterans Services. I don't know if they have any regs about firearms, if so should come under pre-emption unless they operate for US Veterans Administration.

    http://www.dvs.virginia.gov/statebenefits.htm

    Virginia Veterans Cemeteries
    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."



  12. #12
    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    Wolf_shadow wrote:
    Virginia Department of Veterans Services. I don't know if they have any regs about firearms, if so should come under pre-emption unless they operate for US Veterans Administration.

    http://www.dvs.virginia.gov/statebenefits.htm

    Virginia Veterans Cemeteries
    Thanks. If I find anything, I'll work on incorporating it into the list.



    By the way everyone, I've added some preliminary summaries. Let me know if any should be changed; or if they're difficult to understand.





  13. #13
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    virginiatuck wrote:
    or if they're difficult to understand.
    No no, not in the least.
    This is pretty ridiculous.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

  14. #14
    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    t33j wrote:
    virginiatuck wrote:
    or if they're difficult to understand.
    No no, not in the least.
    This is pretty ridiculous.
    Yeah...LoL. The smiley having a seizure is very appropriate. Anyone who reads this stuff might find it hard to believe that Virginia is considered by OCDO to be a "Gold Star" OC state.

    I'm sure the argument from the DoF, DCR, and DGIF would be that these regulations are helpful in enforcing hunting (poaching) regulations and preventing accidental injury or death resulting from hunters wandering into recreational areas. I can see it from that perspective, but there's still got to be a better way.

  15. #15
    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    Wolf_shadow wrote:
    Virginia Department of Veterans Services. I don't know if they have any regs about firearms, if so should come under pre-emption unless they operate for US Veterans Administration.

    http://www.dvs.virginia.gov/statebenefits.htm

    Virginia Veterans Cemeteries
    I've decided not to include these cemeteries in the same category. None of these are located within or so close to a state or national park/forest/management-area/refuge that there would be any confusion as to whether one was entering a cemetery independent of any park/forest/management-area/refuge. I have not been able to find any administrative code for the Virginia Department of Veterans Services either. There are several references to it in Title 2 of the Code of Virginia, and a couple other statutory titles; other than that there aren't any regs.

    For those same two reasons, I may also remove the Arlington National Cemetery from the list. However, I'm still curious where the regs are for that one.

  16. #16
    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    My post just got a little more complicated. Some portions, if not all of, National Wildlife Refuges are managed under a cooperative agreement by the VA DGIF, which I had already noted; but my summary for open carry did not account for this. As such, I've added two open carry categories for NWRs: one for areas managed by the VA DGIF and one for the rest of the NWR.

    Also, what's someone else's take on "areas designated for hunting" and "during lawful hunting seasons"?

    Several of these laws simply use those terms or something close to that. They do not use the phrase "while hunting." On its face, that would seem to mean that the regulation does not apply to anyone during those times or in those places &lt;period&gt;.

    Would you take that to mean that you don't have to be actually hunting in order to be excepted from those regulations? And, if you are carrying *any* firearm in parks, forests, and WMAs could it be assumed that you *are* hunting and subject to the state-wide or area-specific hunting regulations (e.g. licensing, seasons, dawn to dusk, not on Sundays, etc...)?

  17. #17
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    virginiatuck wrote:
    My post just got a little more complicated. Some portions, if not all of, National Wildlife Refuges are managed under a cooperative agreement by the VA DGIF, which I had already noted; but my summary for open carry did not account for this. As such, I've added two open carry categories for NWRs: one for areas managed by the VA DGIF and one for the rest of the NWR.

    Also, what's someone else's take on "areas designated for hunting" and "during lawful hunting seasons"?

    Several of these laws simply use those terms or something close to that. They do not use the phrase "while hunting." On its face, that would seem to mean that the regulation does not apply to anyone during those times or in those places &lt;period&gt;.

    Would you take that to mean that you don't have to be actually hunting in order to be excepted from those regulations? And, if you are carrying *any* firearm in parks, forests, and WMAs could it be assumed that you *are* hunting and subject to the state-wide or area-specific hunting regulations (e.g. licensing, seasons, dawn to dusk, not on Sundays, etc...)?
    For the most part, hunting season is hunting season. You don't have to be hunting unless there is a case and unload clause when not hunting.

    At one time, some places wanted you to have a hunting license or you'd be ticked for hunting without one. Now that DGIF officers are real cops, they have to follow the law and not much of that goes on.

    Off season if you are not one of the special class, you should never carry... I have heard of some people who accidentally had their gun fall in their pack while gathering their stuff and no one knew.

    I thought sure there would be some special gun detector built into the trees.

  18. #18
    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    peter nap wrote:
    I thought sure there would be some special gun detector built into the trees.
    Yeah, they could pick you up on a wildlife camera and dispatch the conservation officers to your location.


    Anyway... would you concur with the summaries that have been provided above?



  19. #19
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    virginiatuck wrote:
    peter nap wrote:
    I thought sure there would be some special gun detector built into the trees.
    Yeah, they could pick you up on a wildlife camera and dispatch the conservation officers to your location.


    Anyway... would you concur with the summaries that have been provided above?

    Absolutely!
    You've done a great job.

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    Does all this go out the window July first? Sorry for the ingnorance.

  21. #21
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    halljt3 wrote:
    Does all this go out the window July first? Sorry for the ingnorance.
    Nah. The big change for parks was Feb 22nd of this year.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

  22. #22
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    halljt3 wrote:
    Does all this go out the window July first? Sorry for the ingnorance.
    No!
    It may never go out of the window.:X

  23. #23
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    peter nap wrote:
    halljt3 wrote:
    Does all this go out the window July first? Sorry for the ingnorance.
    No!
    It may never go out of the window.:X
    I'm hoping it goes down the toilet.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

  24. #24
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    t33j wrote:
    peter nap wrote:
    halljt3 wrote:
    Does all this go out the window July first? Sorry for the ingnorance.
    No!
    It may never go out of the window.:X
    I'm hoping it goes down the toilet.
    Bob's gonna take care of it in his secret plan....(Don't get me started:X)

  25. #25
    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    peter nap wrote:
    halljt3 wrote:
    Does all this go out the window July first? Sorry for the ingnorance.
    No!
    It may never go out of the window.:X
    HA! Yeah, nobody better tell me I just did all that work for nothing!

    Administrative laws have not changed at this time. There is a proposed amendment to the State Forest rules working through the DoF right now. That's linked in the OP. Other than that, there aren't any public plans to change the administrative laws of the DCR, DGIF, or the VA.

    What might also change, if someone gets a bug up their @55 about it, are NPS and FWS rules that stipulate concealed carry only. I believe that to be in violation of Federal and State law. The FWS may get away with it, though, because they have cooperative agreements with the DGIF.

    I'm curious, halljt3, what you thought was going to change on 01 JULY. Care to share?

    edit: oh, I suppose one or two of the "Concealed carry:" summaries will change in that a permit will not be required in *all* cases; however, that is a minor change. Still, if the administrative law specifically authorizes concealed carry only with a permit, then you will *not* be allowed to carry concealed in a secured compartment in your vehicle unless you have a permit.

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