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Thread: Encounter while camping...

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    Regular Member DrakeZ07's Avatar
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    Encounter while camping...

    Hello y'all, I had just got back from camping in the Red River Gorge, and had an odd encounter with two different LEO's at two different locations in the gorge, and wanted to share it with you all. The encounter was friendly, but left me rather confused, the two encounters are as follows;

    1. While setting up my tent at a camp site along a small creek, I had my .45 Revolver on my hip and in plain sight, loaded of course, like I always do when camping in the woods anywhere. A Ranger LEO pulled up to check my parking pass, and cleared it, then noticed my revolver. He asked; "Is that loaded?" I responded with a "Yes sir". He told me "It's illegal to carry a loaded firearm in a national forest, unload it and keep the ammo separate" With him knowing I'm a resident. He watched me unload it, put the ammo in my tent, then drove off.

    It was my impression that openly carrying a sidearm while loaded in a holster with a guard-strap over the hammer was fine as long as you wasn't drinking.

    2. The next day, was driving to a swimming hole, and had to drive through the Nada tunnel, there was a different Ranger LEO doing a traffic check; Came up to me, gave him my Insurance, License, etc, he checked it out, and gave it back to me. He sees my Revolver sitting in plain and open view, within it's holster, on a lil shelf on my dash board, just out of arms reach from me. Same question as the last LEO; "is that loaded?" My reply being "No, It's unloaded" (I don't keep my sidearms loaded in my vehicle unless I'm in an unfamiliar city :P). He told me in a matter-of-fact tone; "You cannot have a firearm in the open like that, it has to be in the glove-box, or on the seat" and gave me a written warning.

    Again, It was my understanding you could legally have an unloaded sidearm in plain view in your vehicle as long as its outside of arm reach or something to that effect.

    Am I just wrong, or (as my gut tells me) are these LEO's mistaken?

    I remember Obama passing some sort of law a while back that allowed carry in National Parks, does that not extend to National Forests?

    Sorry for the long post, Wanted to give plenty of details; And thank you in advanced for any insight, comments, or corrections
    I'm a proud openly gay open carrier~
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    Wow those are some SERIOUS over reaches of authority. Not only can you have an openly carried firearm in the National Forest, but you may SHOOT in the national forest (with certain conditions).

    What was the written warning for?

    How can they do a traffic stop with no probable cause or RAS? These are some serious constitutional violations. I've open carried several times in the gorge without problem, though I have not had any LEO encounters. Were these forest rangers? If so, you need to complain immediately to their supervisor. I believe they're based in Winchester.

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    Plus, if you were stopped and cited at the Nada Tunnel, that's a state road, not a national forest road.

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    Hmmm. From everything I've seen and read its legal to carry in a national park unless its owned by the army or navy. At nadda tunnel I didn't think they could say anything since that's a state highway.

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    @slocav He was in Daniel Boone National Forest which is different from a National Park. Nevertheless, it is still legal to carry in the DBNF.

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    Yeah I know. I live somewhat near nada tunnel. It's legal to have his gun on him.

    Go to http://www.handgunlaw.us/ and click ky. It will Download a pdf. A hair over half way down it talks about carry in a state park etc and says yes. I keep a copy of this on my phone at all times so I can have it available.

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    Regular Member DrakeZ07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by langzaiguy View Post
    Wow those are some SERIOUS over reaches of authority. Not only can you have an openly carried firearm in the National Forest, but you may SHOOT in the national forest (with certain conditions).

    What was the written warning for?

    How can they do a traffic stop with no probable cause or RAS? These are some serious constitutional violations. I've open carried several times in the gorge without problem, though I have not had any LEO encounters. Were these forest rangers? If so, you need to complain immediately to their supervisor. I believe they're based in Winchester.
    The written warning says; "Officer noted placement of firearm in an unapproved location within a vehicle. Written and Verbal warning issued." followed by my Plate number, and personal information of course.

    And yes, Forest rangers, both their vehicles had the US Forestry logo on the door panels, with LAW ENFORCEMENT striping.

    Quote Originally Posted by langzaiguy View Post
    Plus, if you were stopped and cited at the Nada Tunnel, that's a state road, not a national forest road.
    I don't know the boundaries of Ranger and regular LEO jurisdiction, LEO's make me uneasy, so I took their word, and in the second case, warning, as being law, until I actually started thinking about it and questioning it.
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    If they saw your firearm then it's out in the open. Plus, if it's unloaded, then I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter where the hell you want to put it. I am assuming you don't have your CCDW.

    I'm pretty sure they are fine with their jurisdiction. I suppose my point was that if you were on the Nada highway, they can't try to quote some obscure some sort of forest service rule against firearms that doesn't exist in the first place. They are to enforce KY law, which they know nothing of the sort. They need to be taught a very serious lesson here and I hope you are going to take this up with their supervisors.

    It bugs me further about the whole traffic stop. Just thinking about this is making me furious. Dude, if you want company on this matter, I'll be glad to join you. I'm in RRG very often and I always OC.

    You don't want this illegal warning on your history. This is a black & white issue here and I hope it can be easily resolved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by langzaiguy View Post
    If they saw your firearm then it's out in the open. Plus, if it's unloaded, then I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter where the hell you want to put it. I am assuming you don't have your CCDW.

    I'm pretty sure they are fine with their jurisdiction. I suppose my point was that if you were on the Nada highway, they can't try to quote some obscure some sort of forest service rule against firearms that doesn't exist in the first place. They are to enforce KY law, which they know nothing of the sort. They need to be taught a very serious lesson here and I hope you are going to take this up with their supervisors.

    It bugs me further about the whole traffic stop. Just thinking about this is making me furious. Dude, if you want company on this matter, I'll be glad to join you. I'm in RRG very often and I always OC.

    You don't want this illegal warning on your history. This is a black & white issue here and I hope it can be easily resolved.
    I agree man. As long as its in plain sight they cannot stop him. If he has his ccdw then he hide it anywhere he Damn well pleases. No way in Hell would I have let those rangers do that. If your phone supports pdf files I'd put a copy of the law on it and refuse to put the gun away next time.

  10. #10
    Regular Member DrakeZ07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by langzaiguy View Post
    If they saw your firearm then it's out in the open. Plus, if it's unloaded, then I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter where the hell you want to put it. I am assuming you don't have your CCDW.

    I'm pretty sure they are fine with their jurisdiction. I suppose my point was that if you were on the Nada highway, they can't try to quote some obscure some sort of forest service rule against firearms that doesn't exist in the first place. They are to enforce KY law, which they know nothing of the sort. They need to be taught a very serious lesson here and I hope you are going to take this up with their supervisors.

    It bugs me further about the whole traffic stop. Just thinking about this is making me furious. Dude, if you want company on this matter, I'll be glad to join you. I'm in RRG very often and I always OC.

    You don't want this illegal warning on your history. This is a black & white issue here and I hope it can be easily resolved.
    I don't have my CCWD yet, waiting on my Sheriff to get in touch with me, already did the course and submitted everything. (If I can pass the FBI background check in order to get my NREMT license, I'm confident I can get my CCDW)

    And yes, I was on the Nada tunnel road, that pull out on the side under the rock cliff heading away from Slade, is where he was sitting at when he pulled out and pulled me over on the other side of the tunnel (On a lighter note, Glad he didn't try to give me a warning or ticket for not stopping within the tunnel as soon as he put his lights on, I know a couple City LEO's who will ticket you for not immediately stopping).

    From what y'all have said, I'm going to contact their office on Tuesday, and see what they say about it, and if it will be put on my record; I was informed when going through EMT training, that any writing traffic warning or citation can keep me from getting my license renewed, and that's something I can't afford.

    I usually camp with a couple friends, but their staunchly Anti-gun, but can build a fire that lasts more than five minutes :P

    Quote Originally Posted by slocav View Post
    I agree man. As long as its in plain sight they cannot stop him. If he has his ccdw then he hide it anywhere he Damn well pleases. No way in Hell would I have let those rangers do that. If your phone supports pdf files I'd put a copy of the law on it and refuse to put the gun away next time.
    I usually have it on my passenger side dashboard, unless I'm going to, or through Lexington, or Louisville, then it goes in my glove box. And I'll check if the iPhone supports PDF, thanks.
    I'm a proud openly gay open carrier~
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrakeZ07 View Post
    I don't have my CCWD yet, waiting on my Sheriff to get in touch with me, already did the course and submitted everything. (If I can pass the FBI background check in order to get my NREMT license, I'm confident I can get my CCDW)

    And yes, I was on the Nada tunnel road, that pull out on the side under the rock cliff heading away from Slade, is where he was sitting at when he pulled out and pulled me over on the other side of the tunnel (On a lighter note, Glad he didn't try to give me a warning or ticket for not stopping within the tunnel as soon as he put his lights on, I know a couple City LEO's who will ticket you for not immediately stopping).

    From what y'all have said, I'm going to contact their office on Tuesday, and see what they say about it, and if it will be put on my record; I was informed when going through EMT training, that any writing traffic warning or citation can keep me from getting my license renewed, and that's something I can't afford.

    I usually camp with a couple friends, but their staunchly Anti-gun, but can build a fire that lasts more than five minutes :P



    I usually have it on my passenger side dashboard, unless I'm going to, or through Lexington, or Louisville, then it goes in my glove box. And I'll check if the iPhone supports PDF, thanks.
    I'm positive your iPhone supports pdf. I'd download it and if you get stopped again bust the iPhone out and show em.

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    SInce you didn't have a traffic/driving problem and weren't going to be proned out, I think I'd have said something like:

    "Sir, the last Park Ranger said I could have it on my hip but not loaded. He wasn't sure if that meant 'nothing in the chamber or no mag'."

    "He told me it's OK to have loaded in the car as long as it wasn't concealed and not withint immediate reach and said I had BETTER have one in the chamber or it was like carrying a tactical brick".

    NOW, you're telling me it's not ok IN KY to have an UNLOADED firearm not within reach UNLESS it's concealed.

    I don't have/have my permit with me but I have them in several states (etc...if co), but you cold look it up. Further I have a hunting license - how am I to hunt with an unloaded firearm.

    PLEASE get me a sargeant; am I being detained; what is your RAS/SAF to see my ID; carrying in State parks is now OK; are you a state officer or a Federal officer...

    You know just got to the point (nicely) where he didn't know if he was coming or going.

    Even better is if you could produce a quick ref card of the actual rules and HR numbers/codes, and again ask to speak to his sargeant. You got a written warning on a bogus charge and by acccepting it (not going to court - how can you?) your data is 'written warning about a firearm'.

    NOW they can say 'we already gave you two warnings one written, this is the third you're going to jail'. ALL BOGUS. IANAL, but you see my drift on compounding and getting into the system. Besides permitting you want to stay out of the system AT ALL COSTS (excepting your life and loved ones). It's too easy for the computer to screw up already.

    HTH

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    National Parks, Federal, National Park Service, US Department of the Interior - firearms now permitted

    - National Forests, Federal, US Forest Service, US Department of Agriculture - firearms and shooting welcomed

    - BLM Land, Federal, Bureau of Land Management, US Department of the Interior - firearms and shooting permitted
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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrakeZ07 View Post
    any traffic warning or citation can keep me from getting my license renewed, and that's something I can't afford.
    Horse pucky.
    Look up the laws yourself, &/or the standards of the national licensing group.
    I'm pretty sure you'll find things like "no DUI", but 'any traffic warning' is a bit stiff.
    That sounds an awful lot like cops making up laws, or people teaching a permit class who don't know diddly about open carry laws but run their mouths anyway.

    I usually camp with a couple friends, but they're staunchly anti-gun, but can build a fire that lasts more than five minutes
    You need more reasonable friends. Find a Girl Scout.
    Not only am I pro-armed-citizens, but I can build good fires... and teach you too.

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    @Grapeshot Excellent links, thanks for posting!

    @MKE This is great, it could be the first "match" made here on the forum! So when are you two going camping?

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    Regular Member DrakeZ07's Avatar
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    Just a follow up; Called the Station in Winchester. Regarding both encounters, and the woman on the phone basically said that the Forest Service Law Enforcement branch operates within it's own directives, and according to Federal law, while not being subjugated to State firearm ordinances (After I cited State law, and what Grapeshot posted).

    The written ticket won't be applied to my driving record, or criminal record (or lack thereof), and should be taken as a "second warning".

    When I asked to talk to the supervisor, or someone in command, her tone got a bit lower, and said "they're not available at this time, but you may call back at a different time".

    I have a feeling I got the run around, and I'm drafting a letter to my US Senator, and State Senator. This ain't right; Granted the ticket won't hurt me, but I don't want myself, or any other OC'er being harassed by over zealous LEO Rangers when camping.

    Any other suggestions on who I can contact? As I don't want to get in an argument with a LEO, or being arrested for not complying with them if this happens again.
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    Regular Member DrakeZ07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by langzaiguy View Post
    @Grapeshot Excellent links, thanks for posting!

    @MKE This is great, it could be the first "match" made here on the forum! So when are you two going camping?
    >.> I'm game, but I don't share ammo on the first date. :P
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    RRG lies within the Cumberland Ranger District. It looks like "James Dave Manner" is the District Commander. He might be able to be reached here:

    Cumberland Ranger District
    2375 KY 801 South
    Morehead, KY 40351
    606-784-6428

    From their own website, the only rule regarding firearms is, "Firing a gun is not allowed: (1) in or within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site, or occupied area; (2) across or on a road or body of water; or (3) in any circumstance whereby any person may be injured or property damaged."

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrakeZ07 View Post
    The written warning says; "Officer noted placement of firearm in an unapproved location within a vehicle. Written and Verbal warning issued." followed by my Plate number, and personal information of course.

    And yes, Forest rangers, both their vehicles had the US Forestry logo on the door panels, with LAW ENFORCEMENT striping.



    I don't know the boundaries of Ranger and regular LEO jurisdiction, LEO's make me uneasy, so I took their word, and in the second case, warning, as being law, until I actually started thinking about it and questioning it.
    Does the warning cite which law is being violated? That's what important, not the verbiage.

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    Regular Member DrakeZ07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTG-05 View Post
    Does the warning cite which law is being violated? That's what important, not the verbiage.
    No, just the deal about where I had my pistol.

    I'm trying to find federal laws against having a pistol on my dash in a nat'l forest; but so far can't find anything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrakeZ07 View Post
    No, just the deal about where I had my pistol.

    I'm trying to find federal laws against having a pistol on my dash in a nat'l forest; but so far can't find anything.
    That's because there aren't any. Ky is open carry state you broke no laws.

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    Wow, I don't get to the gorge much anymore but when I do I'll be sure to OC instead of CC. Maybe I'll run into these same fellows. I can't believe they told you that... I would have had to correct them/argue with them over it. I will probably print off fresh copies of the pertinent laws just in case...

    Oh yeah, and I'm pro 2A and can build a good fire. Firebuilding just takes practice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrakeZ07 View Post
    Just a follow up; Called the Station in Winchester. Regarding both encounters, and the woman on the phone basically said that the Forest Service Law Enforcement branch operates within it's own directives, and according to Federal law, while not being subjugated to State firearm ordinances (After I cited State law, and what Grapeshot posted).
    Then they should do so, instead of making it up on the fly.

    Other than rules for things like "no loaded guns in campgrounds" (widely ignored), USFS assimilates state law. Whatever the firearm law is in Kentucky, is what it is in Daniel Boone National Forest.

  24. #24
    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    USDA Forest Service
    http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/about/forest....php?p=1.1.9.1

    Gun laws for National Forests/National Parks are the laws of the state in which it resides (if you can CC or OC, your are legal to carry). However any tickets you get have to be taken care of in Federal Court. Get to know 36 CFR 261 (.10 & .58)
    http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/w...cfr261_04.html

    I had an encounter out here in Washington State where the Ranger told me I couldn't carry a firearm in his forest as his section of the forest was closed to weapons. I wrote to the Regional Forester and asked a few rule making questions and received a nice letter back confirming my thoughts. When I went back to that area I was approached by the same Ranger and was told I was going to be cited and have my weapon relieved. I presented him a copy of the letter I received which promptly shut him up.

    A copy of the letter can be found here:
    http://forum.nwcdl.org/index.php?act...downfile&id=41


    What was the reasoning for stopping you in the tunnel? other than a fishing expedition to get you on something?

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    To:The OP

    I have my KY EMT numbers what part of the state are you in?
    I would say the paper is nothing to keep you from REcert

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