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Open Carry on Public Federal Lands

cirrusly

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Jun 15, 2013
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291
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North Dakota
In the past weeks the Bundy Ranch Standoff has brought to the forefront the amount of land that the Feds actually own in the west: Specifically 84.5% of Nevada and 1/3 of the entire United States overall. Much of these lands are under the "authority" of the Department of the Interior, and several other federal departments of the US. The laws regarding open carry on National Parks is widely discussed.

http://strangemaps.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/map-owns_the_west.jpg
http://nationalatlas.gov/printable/images/pdf/fedlands/NV.pdf

But are there specific laws regarding OC for other types of Federal Lands including: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Department of Defense (Including Army Corp of Engineers), Department of Energy, Fish and Wildlife Services, Forest Services?

I know that there are specific laws for:
National Parks and National Forests: State Law Applies for Carry, Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, Section 512 of this law
Department of Defense (including Army Corp of Engineers): No Carry

But what about:
Bureau of Indian Affairs ?
Bureau of Reclamation ?
Department of Energy ?
Department of Defense land not specific to a military base ?

These are prevalent and important questions considering how much land these federal agencies encompass.
 

EMNofSeattle

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S. Kitsap, Washington state
I don't think the
Bureau of Reclamation actually owns lands other then what is nessecary for their facilities, dams, canals, etc and these are usually fenced.

The army corps of engineers bans carry, but a federal district court in Idaho ruled the ban unconstitutional I don't know any more recent updates. The case was Morris v army corps of engineers. Practically speaking I don't know how the ban is enforced since the Dept of the army has no law enforcement resources of their own for recreation lands. I don't know of any publically open dept of energy land. The only DOE land I know if is the Hanford site, and getting caught there gun or no gun will get you in some big trouble....... I didn't even know the BIA owned land separate from indian reservations, and on indian jurisdiction they can ban carry but that's the tribal government and not the feds
 

notalawyer

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Florida
There are no specific federal regulations or laws regarding firearms on "Indian Land'. Also Tribal law does not apply to non-Indians. Generally criminal activity on "Indian Land" is under the jurisdiction of state law. (In many if not most states. Those that do not have such an agreement are subject to Federal law.)

43 CFR 423
§423.30 Weapons, firearms, explosives, and fireworks.
(a) You may possess firearms, ammunition, bows and arrows, crossbows, or other projectile firing devices on Reclamation lands and waterbodies, provided the firearm, ammunition, or other projectile firing device is stowed, transported, and/or carried in compliance with applicable Federal, State, and local law, with the following exceptions:

(1) You must not have a weapon in your possession when at or in a Reclamation facility.

(2) You must comply with any prohibitions or regulations applicable to weapons in a special use area established by an authorized official under subpart E of this part 423.

(b) You must not discharge or shoot a weapon unless you are:

(1) Using a firearm or other projectile firing device lawfully for hunting or fishing as allowed under §423.32, or at an authorized shooting or archery range; and

(2) In compliance with applicable Federal, State, and local law.

(c) You must not use or possess explosives, or fireworks or pyrotechnics of any type, except as allowed by a permit issued pursuant to subpart D of this part 423, or in special use areas so designated by an authorized official under subpart E of this part 423.
10 CFR 73
§73.81 Criminal penalties.
(a) Section 223 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, provides for criminal sanctions for willful violation of, attempted violation of, or conspiracy to violate, any regulation issued under sections 161b, 161i, or 161o of the Act. For purposes of section 223, all the regulations in part 73 are issued under one or more of sections 161b, 161i, or 161o, except for the sections listed in paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) The regulations in part 73 that are not issued under sections 161b, 161i, or 161o for the purposes of section 223 are as follows: §§73.1, 73.2, 73.3, 73.4, 73.5, 73.6, 73.8, 73.25, 73.45, 73.75, 73.80, and 73.81.

(c)(1) No person without authorization may carry, transport, or otherwise introduce or cause to be introduced any dangerous weapon, explosive, or other dangerous instrument or material likely to produce substantial injury or damage to persons or property into or upon a protected facility or installation. Willful violations of this provision are punishable by the criminal penalties set forth in sections 229b and 229c of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended.

(2) As used in this section:

(i) “Protected facility or installation” means any production or utilization facility, high-level waste storage or disposal facility, independent spent fuel storage installation, uranium enrichment, uranium conversion, or nuclear fuel fabrication facility, but does not include those portions of such facilities that are not required under §73.75(b) of this part to be identified by notices posted at their pedestrian and vehicle entrances, and does not include facilities described in §73.75(c) of this part.

(ii) “Without authorization” means not authorized as part of one's official duties to carry the weapon, explosive, or other instrument or material;

(iii) “Dangerous weapon” includes any firearm, as defined in either 18 U.S.C. 921 or 26 U.S.C. 5845, or dangerous weapon, as defined in 18 U.S.C. 930;

(iv) “Explosive” means any explosive as defined in 18 U.S.C. 844(j).

(3) An item, such as a dangerous weapon, explosive, or other dangerous instrument or material, is considered to have been carried, transported, or otherwise introduced or caused to be introduced into or upon a protected facility or installation for purposes of paragraph (c)(1) of this section once the item has traveled past a notice posted pursuant to §73.75 of this part at a vehicle or pedestrian entrance to the protected facility, or once the item has entered the protected facility or installation at a location that is not a vehicle or pedestrian entrance to the facility, whether such entry is accomplished through, over, under, or around a fence, wall, floor, roof, or other structural barrier enclosing the protected facility or installation or by any other means.

(4) For all protected facilities or installations that do not possess special nuclear material, byproduct material, or source material as of the effective date of this rule, this provision shall take effect upon receipt of such material at the applicable facility or installation.
DOD: I find nothing relevant with a quick search.
 
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noname762

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Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Messages
190
Location
Where am I, WA, , USA
There are no specific federal regulations or laws regarding firearms on "Indian Land'. Also Tribal law does not apply to non-Indians. Generally criminal activity on "Indian Land" is under the jurisdiction of state law. (In many if not most states. Those that do not have such an agreement are subject to Federal law.)

43 CFR 423


10 CFR 73


DOD: I find nothing relevant with a quick search.
The last time I OCd it was an experiment. I was the OC guy while my buddy recorded what happened. After his report I haven't OCed since. I might add this was right after the WAC gun show. I haven't open carried since. That was in January of 2010.
 

Fallschirjmäger

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Aug 4, 2007
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3,826
Location
Cumming, Georgia, USA
The army corps of engineers bans carry, but a federal district court in Idaho ruled the ban unconstitutional I don't know any more recent updates. The case was Morris v army corps of engineers.
Morris v. Corps of Engineers has been settled?
The last I had heard Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill had only issued a preliminary injunction against the Corps and the actual trial had yet to take place.
 
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notalawyer

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Jun 19, 2012
Messages
1,061
Location
Florida
The last time I OCd it was an experiment. I was the OC guy while my buddy recorded what happened. After his report I haven't OCed since. I might add this was right after the WAC gun show. I haven't open carried since. That was in January of 2010.
Care to elaborate?
 

F350

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Mar 22, 2012
Messages
942
Location
The High Plains of Wyoming
I don't think the
Bureau of Reclamation actually owns lands other then what is nessecary for their facilities, dams, canals, etc and these are usually fenced.
I have a map program that identifies all government owned land (state and federal) and yes Bureau of Reclamation does "own" quite a bit of land in Colorado and Wyoming (haven't looek at other states).

Not only is carrying of firearms legal recreational shooting/hunting is legal anywhere that is not posted, except Corps of Nerds lands.
 
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since9

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Jan 14, 2010
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Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
As an avid outdoorsman, I spent a good deal of time researching carry laws with respect to various types of federal lands here in Colorado. What I discovered is that the law regarding carry on federal land that's not National Forest or National Park is fairly murky, and almost certainly violates the spirit, intent, and letter of the Second Amendment.
 

F350

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Mar 22, 2012
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When we first moved to Grand Junction I heard there were a couple public shooting ranges (1 handgun 1 rifle) by the airport. I went looking for them and was sitting in the middle of the parking lot observing how people behaved at the handgun range when a BLM Ranger pulled in, he made a wide swing so he could pull up drivers side to drivers side and rolled down his window. He said he couldn't help noticing my Missouri license plate (# GLOCK9) and asked if I was visiting or moving to Colorado etc and we talked a bit.

I told him it was a nice looking range but I use to shoot IPSC and asked if there was somewhere out there I could go and practice some run & gun style shooting. He waved his arm out at the expanse of desert and said "If you can't find some place out there that suits ya, I don't know what to tell ya". He just asked that I remove any shot up targets and asked that I not shoot glass because it is impossible to get it all.

There are actually signs posted at entry points to areas that are heavily used by hikers and mountain bikers stating recreational shooting is prohibited, so any land not so posted is open for shooting.

My wife and I were in Wyoming several years ago and I stopped in a BLM office to get maps of BLM lands and was talking to a BLM guy about camping etc and asked if there was any problem with firearms on the BLM lands. He laughed and said "This is Wyoming; everybody carries guns here, in fact you'd be flat out stupid not to have a gun if you plan on camping in the remote areas".

I really don't think there is any murkiness about being able to carry guns on BLM land.
 

Elm Creek Smith

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Mar 7, 2013
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204
Location
In the county.
I live in the greater seattle area, rain is fine by me....
My wife and I were responsible for a nearly week-long drought in Seattle a few years back when we vacationed there. The locals kept looking up at the bright thing that moved through the sky during the day like they hadn't seen it before. On the last day of our sojourn, it did drizzle all day long.

Actually, according to the National Weather Service, it actually rains more in Chicago than it does in Seattle. It just rains more often in Seattle. Still thinking about buying a boat from Sam Devlin in Tumwater, WA.
 

DaveT319

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Joined
Feb 1, 2014
Messages
274
Location
Eugene, OR
I know it's not part of the topic, but I'm astounded by how much of the western states are still public lands, and how little all the others are, according to the map in the OP. And it sure doesn't seem like it in California after having lived there, where all the land in the valleys are farms, and then you have all the urban portions. Makes me question the accuracy of the map a bit. Amazing if true though.
 

F350

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The High Plains of Wyoming
I know it's not part of the topic, but I'm astounded by how much of the western states are still public lands, and how little all the others are, according to the map in the OP. And it sure doesn't seem like it in California after having lived there, where all the land in the valleys are farms, and then you have all the urban portions. Makes me question the accuracy of the map a bit. Amazing if true though.
I live in western Colorado, once you hit the mountains west of Denver, the federal government is BY FAR the major "property owner". Within a 1-2 hour drive I have access to several million acres of public land, from the top of the world's largest flat top mountain heavily forested with over 300 lakes and elk, mule deer, black bear, moose and mountain lion; to highland desert and red rock canyons in the Dominguez-Escalante NCA.

Here is a Colorado Parks and Wildlife map, all the colored area is public land.

http://ndis-flex.nrel.colostate.edu/HuntingAtlas/
 

MAC702

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Jul 31, 2011
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Location
Nevada
Do same firearm laws apply to "National Monuments" as National Forests / Parks?
What little research I did on it a while ago said that National Monuments can be administered by various government agencies, and the laws will depend on which agency is administering the monument in question. Some are administered by the National Park Service, in which case, state possession laws apply.
 

F350

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The High Plains of Wyoming
What little research I did on it a while ago said that National Monuments can be administered by various government agencies, and the laws will depend on which agency is administering the monument in question. Some are administered by the National Park Service, in which case, state possession laws apply.
I do believe all National Monuments are "in the National Parks inventory". I have a the Colorado National Monument almost in my backyard and there is a move to try and change it to a National Park so much has been in the paper lately. I have talked to a National Park Ranger while OCing.

 

MAC702

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I do believe all National Monuments are "in the National Parks inventory"...
According to Wikipedia: "National monuments can be managed by one of several federal agencies: the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, or Bureau of Land Management. Historically, some national monuments were managed by the War Department.[3] National monuments can also be privately managed."

So I did some checking, here are the ones managed by the USFS, for example: http://www.fs.fed.us/news/2012/releases/09/monuments.shtml

Now you may be on to something, though. I don't know what it means to be in the "National Parks inventory." That may make it their rules no matter who is doing the daily "management."
 
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F350

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The High Plains of Wyoming
According to Wikipedia: "National monuments can be managed by one of several federal agencies: the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, or Bureau of Land Management. Historically, some national monuments were managed by the War Department.[3] National monuments can also be privately managed."

So I did some checking, here are the ones managed by the USFS, for example: http://www.fs.fed.us/news/2012/releases/09/monuments.shtml

Now you may be on to something, though. I don't know what it means to be in the "National Parks inventory." That may make it their rules no matter who is doing the daily "management."
That could be, though I have never been to a National Monument that didn't have a bunch of people running around in Smokey the Bear hats.
 
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