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NPS Struggling With New Regulations

It’s funny, because law enforcement agencies around the country don’t seem to have any problem dealing with this issue.  I can see where there might be some problems though, in that state boundaries inside the park might not be well delineated everywhere, but that problem certainly isn’t unique to National Parks.  There’s also issues with federal facilities:

Not only that, but the feds have their own rules and regulations. One prohibits guns in federal buildings or facilities, but just what constitutes a federal facility isn’t clear.

“A visitor center is an easy one,” Nash said. “Our administration building is another easy one. It’s not clear to us at this point … [if] every structure would be classified as a federal facility even though we own it.”

The uncertainty extends to concessionaires too. Is a building still a federal facility if it is run by a private company?

Actually, this is something that should be deflined more clearly across the board, but what constitutes a federal facility is pretty clearly defined in 18 USC 930:

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.

So if the concessionaires are not federal employees, they aren’t federal facilities.  Outhouses, under this guideline, would also not be considered federal facilities, because federal employees are not regularly present.  Of course, the law also says:

(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.

So they have to post, or notify you in some other way, in order for them to convict you.  But I can see the confusion.  Most other agencies wouldn’t have to deal with this problem, since their facilities are more cut and dry.

10 Responses to “NPS Struggling With New Regulations”

  1. Interesting. I was personally wondering about Appomattox Court House… Last time I visited there, I had to go unarmed. Next time I can carry on the grounds, but what about the vaioud buildings? They have a bunch of historical buildings, staffed with re-enactors… it would seem that under 18 USC 930 these are “federal facilities”.

  2. Robb Allen says:

    You know, if some law making critters would just realize that imaginary lines don’t lessen threats nor cause people to go nuts, they could do away with this all together and make life easier.

    However, if they did that, it would be harder to control the populace by threatening them with charging them for crimes they cannot possibly be able to avoid.

    But then again, I’m cynical like that.

  3. Sebastian says:

    Because the Court House probably has rangers taking tour groups in and out, it would be a federal facility under federal law, but they probably won’t post it. Of course, it just says no one shall be convicted if they don’t post. It does not say they won’t take your firearm and arrest you.

  4. N.U.G.U.N. says:

    Does notice have to state no firearms or that it’s a Federal facility?

    What about post-offices. These are always annoying.

  5. Carl in Chicago says:

    Enter … “The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2009.”

  6. Carl in Chicago says:

    I guess to some folks out there, this article screams “oh my god, repeal this nightmarish rule change.”

    To me, it simply speaks for a uniform standard of reciprocity.

  7. joated says:

    Many parks have an entrance that is within an enclosed facility. To get into the park, you must pass through the building. I would push for a declaration that such buildings–entrance kiosks in reality–are NOT facilities that could bar firearms.

  8. Sebastian says:

    It would take more than a declaration, it would take an Act of Congress to fix that. Independence National Historical Park is one such park — you have to enter through he Liberty Bell pavilion, which is posted.

  9. RAH says:

    The is just belly aching about the NPS having to adjust to the rule. Prior to 1976 there was no problem, of course nobody opened carry in visitor centers Since this is for CCW only, NPS should presume that CCW citizens are no worse when carrying then they are when not, and treat all visitors the same, because they will not know who is and who isn’t. Most facilities should not be restricted and those that are posted should have a gun locker room like a secured coat check. Then when you go to the facility you declare your CCW and check the gun. When you leave get your gun. Not a big deal

    As to the varying state laws I would enforce the most liberal state law. So if a CCW from Idaho, who get Idaho law throughout the park and only other CCW that has reciprocity with IDAHO has the same presumption. That would encourage that laws would standardized the most liberal gun laws.

    This is just because the nanny state liberals in NPS over the last 30 years do not like citizens being armed. We really need to have the public get over this idea that a man with a gun is a criminal. Get rid of that underlying assumption and most of these problem fade.

    I want people to realize that many of these interpretations are made by people employed at NPS over the last 30 years of liberal anti gun bias. That is why it is important not to allowed liberals to be voted into federal office since the staff tends to trend the same bias and attitudes that affect what rules they promote and enforce.

    There are entrenched Clintonistas in many government agencies that will stonewall changes and make petty policies that are anti gun. Now we will get more and the Obamaphiles. At least with McCain they would not have added more left liberals in agencies and leadership positions. But we lost that fight, because GOP wanted perfect and that is the enemy of good.

  10. RAH is correct: it’s bellyaching.

    Colorado (and many other states) also have laws for “car carry.” Ours reads as follows:

    (3) (a) a person who may lawfully possess a handgun may carry a handgun under the following
    circumstances without obtaining a permit and the handgun shall not be considered concealed:
    (I) the handgun is in the possession of a person who is in a private automobile or in some other private
    means of conveyance and who carries the handgun for a legal use, including self-defense

    ——-

    So the NPS should be aware of that too.

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