Fed, State Rules Blur Issue of Guns in National Parks


National Park carry gets confusing in blurry conflicts between state law and rules.You will need a concealed weapons permit to carry the loaded gun in the backpack. But you don’t need any kind of permit if you just want to stash your loaded weapon in the tent.

At the same time, unless you feel your life is being threatened, don’t shoot the gun at all.

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What’s going on? Guns in national parks are now under both state and federal restrictions, and the result can be confusing.

State law generally applies to the way guns are carried and how a concealed weapons permit is enforced. California’s odd exemptions to the concealed weapons rule include sleeping in a tent, which is considered your temporary home.

Federal restrictions aim at a bigger picture. They do not allow guns in many federal buildings, such as park visitor centers. They also forbid hunting, target shooting or even firing a gun.

“The fact is, you still can’t use a weapon in the park,” said Steve Shackelton, former chief ranger of Yosemite National Park. “I don’t think we’ll see much of a difference with this law in Yosemite.”


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