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Thread: Open Carry in Olympic National Park

  1. #1
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    Open Carry in Olympic National Park

    Saturday the 4th of Sept 2010, I was driving in my pickup and camper around the Olympic peninsula. By the time I had gone thru Port Angeles and stopped to see some of the sights there, I was pretty tired. Having an 10 1/2 foot camper on my back I figured would solve that problem so as I was driving south on 101 at Cresent Lake, I saw a large turn out on the side of the road. I thought this spot looks good as I swung into it. I parked well off the roadway in a gravel section got out and placed my .S&W .357 in the tool pocket on my right leg. I was wearing bib overalls so the hand grip of the firearm was clearly visible to any that looked. It was dark outside being around 11:30 pm. As I walked to the back of my camper, I open the door and got the steps out and fastened them. Just as I was bending back up, a patrol car pulled up next to me with his passenger door being closest to me. The officer got partway out of the cruiser and said, "you can't park here!". I asked why, he said because it's the law. I said okay, but just out of curiosity, what is the number of that law so I can look it up. He started to come around the front of his car towards me then, not aggressively, but like to hear me better, so I said "Just for your information, I have a hand gun "open carry" on my right leg". He paused for a second then went back to his drivers door and turned on his spot light to light up the area, but he didn't shine it on me directly. I could see him look at it for a moment, then his attention came back to me.

    So I again asked him what the number of the law was, since there were no signs saying no parking or sleeping where I was. He then said well it's a Park Regulation. So I said well regulations have numbers too don't they? Then he said it is the Rangers rule that camping and parking to sleep are not permitted, that I have to use one of their pay sites.

    His orders went from It's the law, to... It's a park regulation, to.... it's the Ranger's rules. I figured I wasn't going to argue the point with him, so I just moved on. After my letting him know I was OC'ing, he never mentioned it, and did the best thing to make himself, and me safe. And that was to turn on his spotlight.

    When an officer tells me I can't do something, I usually challenge them on it if I know that he is mistaken. I don't like giving up my rights to people in authority who are mistaken in their application of the law. But he was great about the open carry, even at night in the park. (and he could very well have been correct about the sleeping rules, I just wanted to know where they are recorded so I could read them.)

  2. #2
    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    .

    i got rousted once in oregon in my motorhome.
    spent an hour trying to make the cops understand that i was parked,
    so i could hve a snack and enjoy my show on tv.
    they totally ran my a55 thru the ringer, trying to charge me with attempting to camp!!
    they finally went away, and after awhile i drove on.
    unless you actually fall asleep while you are parked there, youre just enjoying the park!
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    I don't understand them telling you that you have to leave a place (non-marked) that you pulled over to get some rest. That just seems dangerous making you continue driving when you pulled over in order to be safe.

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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    If you voted for Obama to prove you are not a racist...
    what will you do now to prove you are not stupid?

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Times have changed

    I am very familiar with this spot. It's just about the only place one can pull off the road while traveling along Lake Crescent.

    I spent the night there once. Even pitched a tent and wasn't bothered at all by either rangers or cops. The year was 1962. Times have definitely changed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLT View Post
    Page 8 of the following document:
    http://www.nps.gov/olym/parkmgmt/loa...&PageID=298582

    (b)(3) Camping within 25 feet of a fire hydrant or main road, or within 100 feet of a flowing stream, river or body of water is authorized only in the following areas, under the conditions noted:
    Camping within 100 feet of a flowing stream, river or body of water is permitted only in established frontcountry and backcountry sites, on river bars in backcountry areas, and those sections of beach and adjacent areas open to backcountry camping.
    I wasn't within 25 feet of the road. The turn out was pretty large, so I was able to be about 40-45 feet off the roadway.

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    Regular Member JSlack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridgerunner98570 View Post
    I wasn't within 25 feet of the road. The turn out was pretty large, so I was able to be about 40-45 feet off the roadway.
    but you were within 100 feet of the lake...sooo?

    I know that spot well. grew up on that lake.

  8. #8
    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    I spent the night there once. Even pitched a tent and wasn't bothered at all by either rangers or cops. The year was 1962. Times have definitely changed.
    Was the road around the lake even paved at that time???

    I have pulled off and slept in many of the pullouts around Hwy 101 since the mid 80's when I used to install satellite dishes out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSlack View Post
    but you were within 100 feet of the lake...sooo?

    I know that spot well. grew up on that lake.
    I probably was within 100 feet of the lake. But being dark out, and a grove of trees between me and it, I wouldn't have a clue. But it is possible.

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