Published in the Federal Register

The National Park Service rule allowing for concealed carry in National Parks has been published in the Federal Register.  This starts the clock ticking for it to go into effect on January 9th.  Bitter and I will be paying a visit to Valley Forge National Park, shortly thereafter, both armed with a lawfully concealed pistol, the way our founding fathers intended.

31 thoughts on “Published in the Federal Register”

  1. Yes, I would love to join you. Driving through there at dusk one afternoon, there were freaking deer everywhere.

  2. So, am I correct in assuming that this new rule does not apply to National Forests (or any other land managed by the Dept of Agriculture)?

  3. I don’t either — of course being able to carry by some means legally is better than not being able to carry at all.

  4. “I don’t either — of course being able to carry by some means legally is better than not being able to carry at all.”

    I agree 100%

  5. Jason, I don’t mean to be non-accomodating, but if you would only read the rule change in the PDF that Sebastian provided, you would not have to rely on your assumption.

  6. The founding fathers would turn over in their graves to hear that you are NOW allowed to carry a CONCEALED firearm in our NATIONAL parks. Open carry is the true exercising of the RKBA.

    I agree it’s a step in the right direction, but OPEN CARRY needs to be allowed as well, and I hope people don’t rest until it is so.

    Which, actually, if you read the exact wording of the rule change, OC doesn’t seem to be prohibited after all (even if that is what they intended). The law says we may carry a “concealed, loaded, and operable firearm.” It doesn’t say it HAS to be concealed, HAS to be loaded, and HAS to be operable. The poor wording of this rule leaves it open to Open Carry, in my opinion.

  7. OryGunner:

    That’s not entirely true. The stigma surrounding carrying concealed didn’t exist until later, and even then it didn’t exist everywhere.

  8. My point wasn’t that they would disapprove of concealed carry. My suggestion was more along the lines that Open Carry is still restricted (supposedly), and that’s still unacceptable.

  9. I know in the description for the rule change it says they intended the carry of concealed firearms where allowed by the state, however, the actual wording of the rule change seems it would allow Open Carry as well.

    “Notwithstanding any other
    provision in this Chapter, a person may
    possess, carry, and transport concealed,
    loaded, and operable firearms within a
    national park area…”

    Apply the wording to something else. Say it was illegal to wear a shirt in a National Park (Fabio would be fine with it, I’d get abdominal cramps from sucking it in for an extended period of time). Then apply the statement: “…A person may posess, carry, and transport red, blue, and green shirts within a national park area…” The way it’s written, you can possess, carry, and transport a red shirt, you can possess, carry, and transport a blue shirt, and you can possess, carry, and transport a green shirt. All three factors do not have to apply at the same time…

    I don’t want to the be the test case, but….

  10. Carl (and Sebastian),

    Thanks. I read a little deeper and found info in Response 8 on page 5.

  11. OryGunner:

    In my take, I would at least mildly disagree with your position on OC. The Parks provision is as follows:

    “Notwithstanding any other provision in this Chapter, a person may possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national park area in accordance with the laws of the state in which the national park area, or that portion thereof, is located, except as otherwise prohibited by applicable Federal law.”

    The Wildlife refuges provision is the same, except “a person” is changed to “persons” and “national park area” is changed to national wildlife refuge.”

    While it does say “in accordance with the laws of the state”, it also says “concealed.” Grey area, for sure.

  12. What’s messed up about it is that laws are supposed to tell you what you CAN’T do, not what you CAN do. The law prohibits firearms (except in certain circumstances). This new rule change puts in exceptions to the existing prohibition, and their wording certainly makes it a grey area now. If it’s concealed, but not loaded, is it in violation? What about if it’s concealed, and loaded, but doesn’t work? What about just loaded, but not concealed?

    It’s like a step in the right direction by a drunk man wearing one sneaker and one 3″ heel….

  13. Good to read, and can’t wait till it passes. I got Red Top Mountain and Lake Lanier down the road from me, two of my favorite places to camp and hang out for a swing or fishing.

  14. Valley Forge?


    Independence Hall?


    Liberty Bell Center, with it’s metal detector?

    Best yet.


    I can see that we’re going to have to read closely for that.

  15. Hm. Methinks my closest national park will be snowed in by the time this change takes effect. I might have to wait until spring to celebrate appropriately ;).

  16. Stormy Dragon:

    There is merit in your question, but I’d feel confident that one can now carry on any land administered by the NPS (long as you can lawfully carry in that state) … these lands include national parks, battlegrounds, rivers, historic sites, monuments, recreation areas, seashores, whatever.

  17. My question is how long this long needed change will last in the upcoming Obama administration. He has come out foursquare against concealed carry. Alan Gottlieb of the 2nd Amendment Foundation made the point that the first attacks on gun owners from Obama will come in adminstrative changes, exec orders, etc.

  18. with all the flack from this Blago scandal going on, it will be a damned miracle if Obama has enough political clout to pass a parked car, let alone a controversial gun control bill.

  19. J, if this gets reversed and that’s all we suffer, I won’t shed tears over it. It’s a setback, and one that was very hard fought, but we learned how to do it so we could correct it again. And given Obama’s background, if this is all he does to us, we won’t be totally bruised and beaten as gun owners under the most anti-gun president in history. Of course, it’s a reasonable fear that he wouldn’t stop there, so it’s not exactly an optimistic thought.

    However, if more is done, I don’t think it will come from him. Chris, I think you’re looking in the wrong direction for trouble. I think you’re correct that he doesn’t exactly have nearly as much political capital as he’d like and we’re pretty low on the list given the much bigger problems going on. In my mind, that makes it less likely Obama will propose anything. Where we probably need to watch most closely is the House. Pelosi is already showing a few signs that she believes has a mandate to run left. She made clear that the White House is not to try and work with Blue Dogs, that everything must go through her. If she manages to get something through the House and we can’t stop it in the Senate, then I think Obama would sign it. I just don’t think he’ll be the one to start it or really campaign for it.

  20. Let me add to what bitter said, in that changing the rule would come at a great cost of political capital. I know that Obama would be pleased to generally restrict keeping and bearing of arms, but I truly think that he might cash in the chips on other initiatives.

    We shall see … but this rule change is really a very minor thing, and they know that reversing it would come at a great cost.

  21. I actually don’t think it will come at great cost if he decides to change it, partially because it is a fairly new rule and is a bone he could throw to the anti’s while telling to get outside and stay outside in the proverbial doghouse for the rest of his term so they don’t screw it up for him.

    However, I think that the situation he’s looking at is one that means any cost could prove harmful to other issues. Montana is a state that should benefit from this rule, and he had Democrats there stumping hard for him on this issue. Any move to do anything anti-gun, and NRA suddenly has ammo to try and knock those guys out. For the Gov., that’s a little hard since he was also re-elected this year. But Tester is up in 2012. While that gets Obama through his first term, it’s hard to imagine he’s not looking at keeping a friendly Congress into a second term. And since he knows there’s a real risk that 2010 could hurt their majorities, he’s got to keep 2012 in mind. That’s not the only example of pro-gun Dems who would be at risk, but it’s a good one because Montana went red in the presidential race, but Obama has to hold on those folks in order to keep his support in the Senate up.

  22. Without this rule. Change, could I be charged with a crime for driving through valley forge park with s concealed firearm on the way to king of prussia?

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