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Thread: Wilderness Backpacking with shotgun. California National Park.

  1. #1
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    Wilderness Backpacking with shotgun. California National Park.

    A few of us will be going on a backpacking adventure in the wild of a national park here. It is my desire to bring my 18.5inch Remington 500 shotgun in my pack with only the buttstock showing. 4 rounds on the shoulder strap only.

    I wish to get clarification on what my research and get feedback from other carrying hikers.

    Can you provide feedback?

    My current understanding:
    • Shotguns 18inch or longer can be concealed as long as they are unloaded (anywhere in California and the law used in national parks in California)
    • Ammo on the shoulder strap is not loaded (People vs. Clark)
    • Weapons not allowed in federal buildings, loaded or otherwise
    • A loaded weapon in a tent or on a camp site is allowed as it is considered ‘temporary dwelling’
    • Firing upon a bear is legal when attacked IE charging you & you feel your life is threatened
    • The carrying of a loaded shotgun concealed or exposed is only allowed in the period leading up to a threatening movement and shortly after. Once rangers come on the scene the weapon should be unloaded.
    • No permit is required to carry a shotgun into a national park for the purpose of self defense.

    Just so we’re all clear I’m not going hunt, I wish to bring my gun because I think it’s foolish to go into the wild unprotected – I know some will disagree. To my point however there has been a slight uptick in the number of bears in our area eating people food and breaking into bear proof food containers. I wish to lower the risk of personal harm while in this remote area.

    Furthermore rangers have told me I’m allowed yet fail to provide the specifics of the laws they will be enforcing. The few calls I’ve had suggest they allow it, but discourage it while similarly all down playing bear danger.

    How best to carry my shotgun?
    What am I legally allowed in a California National Park?

    I’ve done a fair bit of reading, have some printouts to carry but wish to be well within the law and speak clearly to fellow hikers and law enforcement.

    Cliff notes anyone?

    Thanks,
    Rob
    Last edited by robmt; 07-26-2010 at 06:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Regular Member mjones's Avatar
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    I've personally logged nearly 7500 miles of wilderness backpacking over the last 30 years.

    In all that time I've only ever had one semi-dangerous encounter with a bear. As 'luck' would have it, that was the only time (since I was 18) that I had backpacked without a firearm. My friend and I hastily prepared to defend ourselves with a hand-axe and luckily the bear took off.

    All things considered and presuming you follow proper food storage practices at night, your likely hood of being involved in a bear attack is INCREDIBLY remote. But that doesn't mean it won't happen...

    I've never considered carrying any form of longgun...simply too much weight if you're travelling anything more then 10-15 miles. Especially if you're with a small group where you don't have as many bodies to distribute loads.

    I've had maybe a dozen encounters with 2 legged critters where I thought things might go sideways. So all things considered I'm far more worried about 2 legged threats then 4 legged ones.

    I've also seen dozens of mountain lions over the years and I've never had a problem with them either. I even had one lick me on the ear while I was sleeping

    My normal backpacking piece is a .357 Mag S&W 340pd

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    Your understanding of the laws seem to be the same as my own. All of your points about carrying concealed, loaded at the campsite, self defense against wildlife, and others seem to be correct. I would add that it is legal to carry a loaded, concealed long gun anywhere it is legal to openly carry a loaded gun. There is also some question as to whether a Federal regulation banning the discharge of a firearm on Federal land triggers the loaded exception in PC 12031. Some believe that only county-issued discharge bans trigger the exception. Until there is an opinion from the state Attorney General or a court ruling on this, anyone wishing to carry loaded in a National Park is at risk of criminal prosecution. Don't be the test case (unless you want to). I know that short, lightweight shotguns loaded with Brenneke slugs are very popular for wilderness defense in the wilds of Alaska and Canada, but those guns are always carried fully loaded. If you do need yours to defend yourself, I hope that you can load it fast enough. I would recommend keeping the bolt open and safety off so that you can quickly insert a shell and close the slide to fire if the necessity arises.
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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjones View Post
    I've also seen dozens of mountain lions over the years and I've never had a problem with them either. I even had one lick me on the ear while I was sleeping
    You were a cool guy before in my book, but now you are a god among men.

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    Regular Member mjones's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by bigtoe416 View Post
    You were a cool guy before in my book, but now you are a god among men.
    Thanks! hahahaha

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    I don't own a handgun but do a shotgun.

    But staying on point, I'm really interested in the law on this which I'm not confident we have confirmed.

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    Founder's Club Member MudCamper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmt View Post
    I don't own a handgun but do a shotgun.

    But staying on point, I'm really interested in the law on this which I'm not confident we have confirmed.
    There is no law making it illegal to conceal a long gun. Other than that, I concur with you.

    I also have a detailed thread on this topic on CalGuns, Firearms in Forests and Parks.

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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by MudCamper View Post
    There is no law making it illegal to conceal a long gun. Other than that, I concur with you.

    I also have a detailed thread on this topic on CalGuns, Firearms in Forests and Parks.
    Thanks MudCamper - your post you link to came up in my search a while ago and got me started.

    I guess I fully understand now. Hopefully it never has to be used.

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    Happened today, he used pepper spray, text only link:

    Jack Hanna Attacked by Grizzly
    http://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/new...tacked-grizzly


    A famous encouter is Timothy Tredwell, sadly he was lunch.

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    Regular Member mjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drdcup View Post
    Happened today, he used pepper spray, text only link:

    Jack Hanna Attacked by Grizzly
    http://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/new...tacked-grizzly


    A famous encouter is Timothy Tredwell, sadly he was lunch.
    I just saw this on a new report tonite and came to post it!

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    Regular Member wewd's Avatar
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    Do you want to enjoy liberty in your lifetime?

    Consider moving to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project.

    "Live Free or Die"

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    Union Valley Bear Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by robmt View Post
    A few of us will be going on a backpacking adventure in the wild of a national park here. It is my desire to bring my 18.5inch Remington 500 shotgun in my pack with only the buttstock showing. 4 rounds on the shoulder strap only.

    I wish to get clarification on what my research and get feedback from other carrying hikers.

    Can you provide feedback?

    My current understanding:
    • Shotguns 18inch or longer can be concealed as long as they are unloaded (anywhere in California and the law used in national parks in California)
    • Ammo on the shoulder strap is not loaded (People vs. Clark)
    • Weapons not allowed in federal buildings, loaded or otherwise
    • A loaded weapon in a tent or on a camp site is allowed as it is considered ‘temporary dwelling’
    • Firing upon a bear is legal when attacked IE charging you & you feel your life is threatened
    • The carrying of a loaded shotgun concealed or exposed is only allowed in the period leading up to a threatening movement and shortly after. Once rangers come on the scene the weapon should be unloaded.
    • No permit is required to carry a shotgun into a national park for the purpose of self defense.

    Just so we’re all clear I’m not going hunt, I wish to bring my gun because I think it’s foolish to go into the wild unprotected – I know some will disagree. To my point however there has been a slight uptick in the number of bears in our area eating people food and breaking into bear proof food containers. I wish to lower the risk of personal harm while in this remote area.

    Furthermore rangers have told me I’m allowed yet fail to provide the specifics of the laws they will be enforcing. The few calls I’ve had suggest they allow it, but discourage it while similarly all down playing bear danger.

    How best to carry my shotgun?
    What am I legally allowed in a California National Park?

    I’ve done a fair bit of reading, have some printouts to carry but wish to be well within the law and speak clearly to fellow hikers and law enforcement.

    Cliff notes anyone?

    Thanks,
    Rob
    Hey Rob,

    The week before the bear incident at Union Valley (URL below), I had a bear incident there. The bear had not been trained to eat people food, so everything was cool. I have spent lots of time in Yosemite, and wild Black bears are cool. Two legged critters may give you more trouble.

    Your synopsis of CA law confirms my understanding. You are cool!

    Distinction: CA law, seems to create a situation where it is impossible to "conceal" a long gun. A long gun is never considered concealed. Don't worry about the the gun showing or the ammo showing. Put it wherever you want.

    Bear attack story:

    http://www.kcra.com/news/24126817/detail.html

    markm

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    Quote Originally Posted by MudCamper View Post
    There is no law making it illegal to conceal a long gun. Other than that, I concur with you.

    I also have a detailed thread on this topic on CalGuns, Firearms in Forests and Parks.
    It is my understanding that a long gun, by law, cannot be concealed. Not that you can't stash it under your jacket, but rather that it's deemed unconcealable and thus nothing you do will cause it to be legally considered as concealed. Assuming it's long enough, of course.

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    Regular Member Gundude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkBofRAdvocate View Post
    Hey Rob,

    The week before the bear incident at Union Valley (URL below), I had a bear incident there. The bear had not been trained to eat people food, so everything was cool. I have spent lots of time in Yosemite, and wild Black bears are cool. Two legged critters may give you more trouble.

    Your synopsis of CA law confirms my understanding. You are cool!

    Distinction: CA law, seems to create a situation where it is impossible to "conceal" a long gun. A long gun is never considered concealed. Don't worry about the the gun showing or the ammo showing. Put it wherever you want.

    Bear attack story:

    http://www.kcra.com/news/24126817/detail.html

    markm
    Another bear attack.....

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38487886...-san_diego_ca/
    A citizen may not be required to offer a ―good and substantial reason-- why he should be permitted to exercise his rights. The right‘s existence is all the reason he needs.

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    Back from a 3 day trip with my 12 gauge.

    The park still has anti-gun signs up so I asked for clarification upon completing trail documentation. I was informed they couldn't tell me not to bring it but that it wasn't required. I informed ranger that I would want to at which time ranger asked for my permit. When I told ranger I was carrying a long gun and did not require paperwork we moved onto trail related items. I suspect my direct manner communicated an understanding of the law beyond my actual understanding.

    The people:
    On my 3 day trip I was mostly greeted warmly.

    A few people asked questions at which time I would engage in dialog and express concern that we may be moving towards a gun ban. One individual who was most hostile asked if I was allowed to have the gun. The situation quickly cooled down when I told him it was the law. We discussed it for a few moments and went on. I got a few looks, only from men. One who was clearly angered by the visible display of force.

    Oddly the women seemed least bothered by the presence of a man carrying a shotgun and some even seemed comforted by it. None of them commented on it and all but one was extremely friendly.

    The Ranger:
    On the last day we bumped into the ranger who we signed in with on the first day. They were shocked to see me with my gun (buttstock sitting out the top of a pack). They were polite but clearly bothered that I out gunned them – they were unarmed.


    The wildlife:
    There were two occasions where having the gun made my friend and I feel safer. Bothe involved accidentally meeting with a black bear cub. Mom was nowhere in sight and cub couldn’t be scared off. I loosened my pack for quick draw out the top and we walked the next few miles on alert.

    I never had the gun loaded but slept beside it at night. I admittedly enjoyed carrying it with me and educating people on their rights.

    Had I been confronted by someone who was very hostile I had a short little sound bite for them, might be helpful for you.

    “I brought this gun into the wild for my protection, and will be the only person required to carry it. I won’t be asking you to lug the additional weight up this mountain, nor will I ask anything of you. Should I assume by your tone that if I run into you being attacked by a bear you wish for me not to draw my gun less I offend you?”

    I’m sure you talkers can do a better job with it. Generally speaking I suspect I was treated better than others might as I’m often confused for military or police.

    Either way an uneventful trip. Good times.

  16. #16
    Regular Member wewd's Avatar
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    I don't remember if this was mentioned, but you can keep your gun loaded at your campsite. Temporary dwellings are the same as your home in California. Glad everything worked out for you.
    Do you want to enjoy liberty in your lifetime?

    Consider moving to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkBofRAdvocate View Post
    Hey Rob,

    The week before the bear incident at Union Valley (URL below), I had a bear incident there. The bear had not been trained to eat people food, so everything was cool. I have spent lots of time in Yosemite, and wild Black bears are cool. Two legged critters may give you more trouble.

    Your synopsis of CA law confirms my understanding. You are cool!

    Distinction: CA law, seems to create a situation where it is impossible to "conceal" a long gun. A long gun is never considered concealed. Don't worry about the the gun showing or the ammo showing. Put it wherever you want.

    Bear attack story:

    http://www.kcra.com/news/24126817/detail.html

    markm
    Mark,

    Good to know, we were in the same national park last weekend.

    Interesting to note that rangers will inform you that there is a lot of 'bear activity' but encourage you not to protect yourself. It seems so backa$$wards to me.

    I forwarded this to my tree hugging liberal do gooders.

    Rob

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    Regular Member Gundude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmt View Post
    Mark,

    Good to know, we were in the same national park last weekend.

    Interesting to note that rangers will inform you that there is a lot of 'bear activity' but encourage you not to protect yourself. It seems so backa$$wards to me.

    I forwarded this to my tree hugging liberal do gooders.

    Rob
    If it weren't for the tree huggers, you wouldn't have a park to walk in. It would be a clearcut.
    A citizen may not be required to offer a ―good and substantial reason-- why he should be permitted to exercise his rights. The right‘s existence is all the reason he needs.

  19. #19
    Regular Member wewd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gundude View Post
    If it weren't for the tree huggers, you wouldn't have a park to walk in. It would be a clearcut.
    If it weren't for the government, it would be private property, and the property owner could do with it whatever they please. Because free people are not restrained from the ownership of property and the free usage thereof. That use might even include a park that the public is invited to enjoy. But it wouldn't be funded through theft and coercion. There is no place on this earth that is pretty enough that I am willing to steal from its original owners, and then forcibly take money from others to fund its upkeep and operation.
    Do you want to enjoy liberty in your lifetime?

    Consider moving to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project.

    "Live Free or Die"

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