National Parks Carry Question

View Poll Results: When I visit National Parks I usually:

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  • Open Carry

    2 9.52%
  • Concealed Carry

    18 85.71%
  • Don't Carry

    1 4.76%
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Thread: National Parks Carry Question

  1. #1
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    National Parks Carry Question

    So I know that as of February 22, 2010, federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws, to legally possess firearms in National Parks, Monuments, Lakeshores, etc. I was just wondering if anyone has any advice/experience/anecdotes about carrying in a N.P.? I will be visiting Yellowstone in September and as my Indiana permit is recognized there I planned on carrying in the park. I know I can open carry in Wyoming but I was wondering if it would just be a better idea to CC in the park?
    Anyway, let me know what you guys think.
    Thanks!
    "It is not malicious acts that will do us in but the appalling silence and indifference of good people. All that is needed for evil to run rampant is for good women and men to do nothing." -MLK Jr Current Carry: Ruger SR40c

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  3. #2
    I've since moved "Back East," but for thirty years I carried illegally in Yellowstone and virtually every other park in the Western US. I know I could have gotten into serious trouble, but it was a decision I made and was prepared to live with the consequences. I think what you carry and how really depends on what you're planning to do, car camping, RV, day hike?
    -
    In Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier, I was into serious back country backpacking with permits. If you intend to go into the wilderness areas, bring something with enough punch to make a difference. I carried my Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Long Colt wrapped in a folded towel in a narrow, zippered gear pouch that I attached vertically to the left front strap of my pack. I never had to discharge the weapon in all those years, but I drew it several times when we were confronted by bears and moose, stalked by a large cat and during a surreal encounter with a lone bison that we came upon on a trail in the heavy forest (that was a strange one, indeed.) Interaction with rangers was/is infrequent in the back country, and we would usually see maybe one per day riding on horseback. In the visitor areas, I don't think you can legally carry in any of the buildings even with the law changes, so you might be taking it on and off quite a bit.
    -
    I was mostly concerned with four-legged predators, but it seems like the two-legged variety are popping up everywhere these days. Good luck, be safe and have a great time. It truly is one of the most beautiful places in America.

  4. #3
    Just remember it is still illegal to carry in federal buildings even in national parks. For that reason, carrying concealed lessens your chances of arrest if you forget to store your weapon before going into a building.
    "Lets Be Careful Out There!"

    Ron

  5. #4
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    I'll be carrying my Ruger SR40c and while I won't be going into deep backcountry I may do at least one long day hike to just see how far out I can get. I'm sure .40 cal isn't the best option for stopping a bear but I'll carry my 15 rd mag with one in the pipe and my 9 rd as back-up. If anything the noise might be enough for some animals.
    I know about the buildings and that can be kind of a pain. Because they're technically Federal buildings you're not supposed to carry in them. They're supposed to be clearly marked though so I'm not sure if they're not if that means I'm ok?
    Thanks for the advice though!
    "It is not malicious acts that will do us in but the appalling silence and indifference of good people. All that is needed for evil to run rampant is for good women and men to do nothing." -MLK Jr Current Carry: Ruger SR40c

  6. #5
    It is federal law. They do not need to be marked, but most are. That is why I always carry concealed.
    "Lets Be Careful Out There!"

    Ron

  7. #6
    I carry in Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway all the time. I always CC unless I'm backpacking, then I OC. I too have always at least CC'd when backpacking in national parks just like JDM. The bears in our mountains are fairly accustomed to seeing people which means they don't readily run away. I always figured I'd carry because I believed my chances were better with the law than with a bear.
    NRA Life Member
    NRA Certified Instructor (Pistol & Personal Defense in the Home)
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  8. #7
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    Well I found this: Laws & Policies - Yellowstone National Park
    A few notable quotes:
    "Federal law also prohibits firearms in certain facilities in this park (such as visitor centers, government offices, etc.); those places are marked with signs at all public entrances."
    "Hunting and discharge of firearms remain prohibited in Yellowstone National Park."
    "Firearms should not be considered a wildlife protection strategy. Bear spray and other safety precautions are the proven methods for preventing bear and other wildlife interactions."

    I wonder if discharging as a means of protecting one's person, property and loved ones is ok? I would think so but I'd hate to see someone defend themselves and get a fine for discharge or a weapon.
    "It is not malicious acts that will do us in but the appalling silence and indifference of good people. All that is needed for evil to run rampant is for good women and men to do nothing." -MLK Jr Current Carry: Ruger SR40c

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonM0710 View Post
    It is federal law. They do not need to be marked, but most are. That is why I always carry concealed.
    Does this include stand-alone restrooms? By stand-alone I mean ones not inside a building used for other purposes.
    "It is not malicious acts that will do us in but the appalling silence and indifference of good people. All that is needed for evil to run rampant is for good women and men to do nothing." -MLK Jr Current Carry: Ruger SR40c

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by RonM0710 View Post
    It is federal law. They do not need to be marked, but most are. That is why I always carry concealed.
    In order to comply with the same Federal law they certainly are required to be marked:

    18 USC 930:
    18 USC 930 - Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities

    (a) Except as provided in subsection (d), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility (other than a Federal court facility), or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

    (h) Notice of the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) shall be posted conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal facility, and notice of subsection (e) shall be posted conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal court facility, and no person shall be convicted of an offense under subsection (a) or (e) with respect to a Federal facility if such notice is not so posted at such facility, unless such person had actual notice of subsection (a) or (e), as the case may be.
    Anyone who says, "I support the 2nd amendment, BUT"... doesn't. Element of Surprise: a mythical element that many believe has the same affect upon criminals that Kryptonite has upon Superman.

  11. Quote Originally Posted by jfisch View Post
    Anyway, let me know what you guys think.
    Thanks!
    The laws are EXACTLY THE SAME inside the National Park as outside the National Park. Therefore, I can't understand having any additional questions about carrying inside a National Park v. outside the National Park. Do you have all these concerns walking down the street in normal life? There is nothing different regarding firearms inside the National Park.

    Quote Originally Posted by jfisch View Post
    Does this include stand-alone restrooms? By stand-alone I mean ones not inside a building used for other purposes.
    The federal facilities prohibition does not apply to stand-alone restrooms. If you are in doubt about a building, just look for the sign that is required by federal law to be consipicuously posted at the entrance. A US Park Service janitor cleaning a bathroom once or twice a day does not constitute "regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties."

    18 USC 930 - Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities

    (g) As used in this section:
    (1) The term “Federal facility” means a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.
    Anyone who says, "I support the 2nd amendment, BUT"... doesn't. Element of Surprise: a mythical element that many believe has the same affect upon criminals that Kryptonite has upon Superman.

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