Legality of carrying a long arm during hiking


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cleardiddion
April 14, 2008, 12:36 PM
Like the thread title says, I was wondering what the legality of carrying a long arm while hiking on public lands/national parks is.

Thanks in advance for the responses!

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Cosmoline
April 14, 2008, 12:37 PM
NP's generally forbid it. BLM, Forest Service and most of the rest mirror state laws. If in doubt, call ahead.

cleardiddion
April 14, 2008, 12:45 PM
If it helps any, the locations I was thinking about going to are in the Boulder/Rocky Mountain National Park area.

Thanks for the quick reply Cosmoline!

M1911
April 14, 2008, 01:05 PM
Carrying any gun in a national park is against federal law.

coloradokevin
April 14, 2008, 01:56 PM
You will be in violation of Federal law if you carry an firearm in RMNP... Be it a long gun or a handgun.

'Around Boulder' is a bit too vague for me to answer... I belive (but am not positive) that Boulder open space parks forbit firearms. If, on the other hand, you are talking about the Indian Peaks Wilderness, or James Peak Wilderness, or a similar area, you can pretty much carry what you want.

ctdonath
April 14, 2008, 02:02 PM
National Parks: forbidden outright.

National Forests: federally legal, but subject to state laws which usually limit such carry to regulated hunting.

Zundfolge
April 14, 2008, 03:15 PM
Carrying a long gun in the wildernesses WITHOUT a hunting license and/or not during the appropriate season could get you charged with poaching (because its assumed that long guns are only for hunting, not self defense).

If you're going to be in the woods (and outside of National "Parks") pack a handgun. If you have a FLA CHL pack it concealed (don't want to frighten the granolas as most of them are packing cell phones).

BullpupBen
April 14, 2008, 10:21 PM
Sorry to threadjack but I was just thinking about this the other day. I go backpacking on the Appalachian Trail throughout the northeast several times a year, i dont think its a "national park" maybe a national forest?
I'm not a hunter by any means but in the future I was thinking about buying a marlin papoose or a colt woodsman type gun for hunting little things to eat, could anyone give me advice on the legality of this?

dmazur
April 14, 2008, 11:27 PM
While of course it is legal to hunt small game in season, with the proper resident or non-resident hunting license, it is not legal to shoot "little things to eat" indiscriminately. Especially in the spring and summer, when most people hike the AT. That's termed poaching.

If you absolutely have to do some sort of subsistence thing, you're far more likely to be able to do it legally if you confine your activities to fishing with UL tackle. (And the correct licenses...)

Generally, backpacking is a lot more satisfying if you take enough food to last the trip and treat any fish you might catch as a bonus... :)

BullpupBen
April 15, 2008, 02:59 PM
While of course it is legal to hunt small game in season, with the proper resident or non-resident hunting license, it is not legal to shoot "little things to eat" indiscriminately. Especially in the spring and summer, when most people hike the AT. That's termed poaching.

If you absolutely have to do some sort of subsistence thing, you're far more likely to be able to do it legally if you confine your activities to fishing with UL tackle. (And the correct licenses...)

Generally, backpacking is a lot more satisfying if you take enough food to last the trip and treat any fish you might catch as a bonus...

So I mean if I shot a squirrel/chipmunk would that be illegal?

Do you have a link to legality of fishing and all that? Fishing would probably be easier anyway, though im not sure what you mean by UL tackle.

coloradokevin
April 15, 2008, 03:20 PM
Carrying a long gun in the wildernesses WITHOUT a hunting license and/or not during the appropriate season could get you charged with poaching (because its assumed that long guns are only for hunting, not self defense).

I doubt it. You are allowed to target shoot on forest lands in Colorado, and the only specifically related requirement listed is that you have a hunting license IF you are hunting.

http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/arnf/recreation/shooting/index.shtml

ctdonath
April 15, 2008, 11:08 PM
Guys, read your state's hunting regulations.
Many states frown on people wandering thru the woods with loaded guns out-of-season and without hunting licenses, especially if the activity looks anything like poaching.
State hunting laws absolutely apply to federal lands in the state.
Go find out - which is better done going to a hunting-oriented store and picking up the state hunting guide, than asking a bunch of strangers from all over the country.

coloradokevin
April 16, 2008, 05:07 AM
Okay, let me revisit the whole hiker with a rifle debate... since the hunting regulation thing keeps coming up.

As I mentioned above, and linked to, Colorado's national forests allow recreational (non-hunting) target shooting. This type of activity requires no hunting license, and there is no specific mention of long guns being outlawed.

More to this specific point, I just read through both the Big and Small Game hunting regs books for Colorado (2008). There are some restrictions listed on transporting weapons in/on motor vehicles. But, the only part I found that was even tangentially related to this issue read as follows:

"Caliber restrictions:

It is illegal to hunt game birds, small game mammals or furbearers with a centerfire rifle larger than .23 caliber in regular rifle deer and elk seasons west of I-25, unless you have an unfilled deer or elk license for the season you are hunting. A small game license also is required"

This regulation (on page 3 of the small game regulations booklet, second column) does not mention anything about not being able to carry a gun for target/protection purposes.

This is my take on the issue, and I know of nothing else prohibiting such an act in the CRS (Colorado Revised Statutes). Every state is different, so refer to your local regulations...

As the others have mentioned, checking your state's hunting regs wouldn't hurt!

jmr40
April 16, 2008, 06:24 AM
BullpupBen, unless I am mistaken he means ultra-light tackle. Generally not a good idea to have a gun on the AT unless it is a hunting season that you are licesened for and you have a gun legal to hunt what is in season.

rnr4me
April 16, 2008, 07:15 AM
ColoradoKevin's right. Read his posts.

I volunteer w/ the DOW and have talked to them and you need a licence to hunt, but not shoot/target practice. But if you're wandering around the forest w/ a gun, they may ask you what you're doing. Having a reason would be good.

There's not a lot of areas around Boulder that allow firearms, tho. You'd have to get deeper into the forest. But there's lots of that around Nederland.

cleardiddion
April 16, 2008, 07:39 AM
Thanks alot ColoradoKevin and rnr4me!

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