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View Full Version : In CCW at a campsite, can you only carry in your tent area?


firearmenthusiast
04-30-2010, 6:37 AM
I saw that you can carry at a campsite concealed legally without a permit unless it is a National Park. However, it seems to me to be very vague as your place of residence really isn't that defined at a campsite. Do they mean you can only carry within your tent, within your assigned campsite, or within the entire camping region? Has anyone had any experience with this? Thanks!

paul0660
04-30-2010, 6:50 AM
within your assigned campsite

This has always been my interpretation. It's like hotels.......in the room yes, in the hall no.

GrizzlyGuy
04-30-2010, 7:08 AM
within your assigned campsite

This has always been my interpretation. It's like hotels.......in the room yes, in the hall no.

I agree. While at your campsite, you would be using the 12026 (http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/12026.html) exemption for concealed carry:

...within the citizen's or legal resident's place of residence...

The place of residence is the campsite. Someone else's campsite is their place of residence, and the rest of the campground is open to everyone.

Note that while 12026.2 (http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/12026.2.html) allows you to carry concealed on your way to and from camping, it also requires the use of a locked container:

(11) The transportation of a firearm by a person when going
directly to, or coming directly from, a lawful camping activity for
the purpose of having that firearm available for lawful personal
protection while at the lawful campsite. This paragraph shall not be
construed to override the statutory authority granted to the
Department of Parks and Recreation or any other state or local
governmental agencies to promulgate rules and regulations governing
the administration of parks and campgrounds.


(b) In order for a firearm to be exempted under subdivision (a),
while being transported to or from a place, the firearm shall be
unloaded, kept in a locked container, as defined in subdivision (d),
and the course of travel shall include only those deviations between
authorized locations as are reasonably necessary under the
circumstances.

12026.2 uses the phrase "at the lawful campsite" (rather than 'at the lawful campground') so that is another indication that you are limited to your campsite. FYI, there is lots of good related info in this thread: Firearms in Forests and Parks (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=186457)

Cnynrat
04-30-2010, 7:58 AM
With the new Federal law regarding guns in National Parks, wouldn't this now be permissible in National Parks in CA?

paul0660
04-30-2010, 8:14 AM
With the new Federal law regarding guns in National Parks, wouldn't this now be permissible in National Parks in CA?

You mean CCW without a permit in your campsite? Yes, if not in a school zone.

Cnynrat
04-30-2010, 8:26 AM
You mean CCW without a permit in your campsite? Yes, if not in a school zone.

Sorry, yeah that's what I meant.

The school zone issue is an interesting one to consider. How is a school defined? For example, I believe there is a rock climbing school in Yosemite valley. Would that be covered?

Regardless, probably need to make sure there are no schools for park employees' kids nearby.

Havoc70
04-30-2010, 8:35 AM
Though there are specific exclusions for the school zone:

Place of residence
Place of business

So would the campsite, being your lawful residence, within a school zone, still be allowed? That is the question.

Decoligny
04-30-2010, 8:40 AM
Sorry, yeah that's what I meant.

The school zone issue is an interesting one to consider. How is a school defined? For example, I believe there is a rock climbing school in Yosemite valley. Would that be covered?

Regardless, probably need to make sure there are no schools for park employees' kids nearby.

School Zone is clearly defined in both the State Law and the Federal Law

State Law:
(e) As used in this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) "School zone" means an area in, or on the grounds of, a public or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or grades 1 to 12, inclusive, or within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of the public or private school.

Federal Law:
18 USC 921 Definitions
(a) As used in this chapter—
(25) The term “school zone” means—
(A) in, or on the grounds of, a public, parochial or private school; or
(B) within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of a public, parochial or private school.
(26) The term “school” means a school which provides elementary or secondary education, as determined under State law.

So, a rock climbing school, it is NOT a "school" in regards to the Gun Free School Zone laws.

paul0660
04-30-2010, 8:45 AM
That is the question.

And a good one! A campsite is a residence, so why not.......?

Btw there is a real school in Yosemite, somewhere, I heard.

firearmenthusiast
04-30-2010, 8:54 AM
What kind of disturbs me about this whole campsite thing is how your "area" is defined. In a hotel, you have walls on all four sides, physically restraining you from moving outside. Yet in some campsites I have been in, your "backyard" is the river, or the land extends into the country side area. There isn't a finite boundary sometimes with up to 20 feet of grey carry area. Even more interesting is that sometimes I have been in campsites where the bathrooms are literally on my grounds. In that case, I would have no idea if I could carry into the bathroom, which is a public facility. It appears to me the law is extremely vague when it comes to campsites. Any ideas where I can get more cold hard facts regarding this?

paul0660
04-30-2010, 9:00 AM
I would have no idea if I could carry into the bathroom, which is a public facility

I think that is the answer.....it's public, so no. The statute is VERY vague. The best thing to do is be reasonable about the limits of your campsite.............AND DON'T GET MADE. UOC, or LOC which might be legal in that area, would be a very bad idea, imo.

JDoe
04-30-2010, 9:05 AM
YOSEMITE PARK VALLEY SCHOOL (http://yosemitevalleyschool.org/) -Located in the heart of Yosemite Valley, under Yosemite Falls.

And for your convenience Yosemite also has it's own judge and courthouse.

Glock22Fan
04-30-2010, 9:30 AM
The way I look at it, and maybe I'm being cautious, is that outside the tent or trailer/RV is publicly accessible, in the same way that your front yard, if not fenced and gated, is.

So, if you can't carry in your front yard, can you carry outside your tent or trailer/RV?

Mad Scotsman
04-30-2010, 9:55 AM
If you rent campsite #14, it is defined by a boundary, like a hotel room. Just ask the camp host. Every other area is public, like a common area of an apartment building.

Glock22Fan
04-30-2010, 10:49 AM
If you rent campsite #14, it is defined by a boundary, like a hotel room. Just ask the camp host. Every other area is public, like a common area of an apartment building.

If you own ten acres of countryside, it is defined by a boundary. Unless you have it fenced and gated, it is unwise to carry outside your house. My 9.9 acres of unfenced yard is not a common area.

gunsmith
04-30-2010, 11:21 AM
isn't Yosemite unincorporated? as such LOC legal if you do not have a permit?
( except for the school zone)

IGOTDIRT4U
04-30-2010, 11:32 AM
If you own ten acres of countryside, it is defined by a boundary. Unless you have it fenced and gated, it is unwise to carry outside your house. My 9.9 acres of unfenced yard is not a common area.

I see what you are getting at, but the law that makes you illegal for carrying on your unfenced 9.9 acres, is superceded by the portion of this law that makes it legal to CCW "In your campsite". It does not say "when in your camp tent or RV". That's MHO.

Glock22Fan
04-30-2010, 11:39 AM
I see what you are getting at, but the law that makes you illegal for carrying on your unfenced 9.9 acres, is superceded by the portion of this law that makes it legal to CCW "In your campsite". It does not say "when in your camp tent or RV". That's MHO.

You might well be right, but ask PullNShoot Theseus how his understanding of the words "Private Property" differed from the D.A.'s. By your logic, he should have been found innocent. He wasn't.

And, as someone said above "Your camp site is your residence for this purpose." My ten acres is my residence, and I am permitted to carry in my residence. The courts consistently interpret this to mean only where the public has no right of access ,and this right is made clear by some form of barrier or challenge.

Mad Scotsman
04-30-2010, 11:46 AM
If you own ten acres of countryside, it is defined by a boundary. Unless you have it fenced and gated, it is unwise to carry outside your house. My 9.9 acres of unfenced yard is not a common area.

Right.
Different rules when carrying at a camp ground. It is legal to carry at your rented campsite, not to carry in the common area.
If viewable by the public, I can not carry in my front yard but if my back yard is fenced and considered not public, I can carry.
Your 9.9 acres is not a common area and you can do basically what you want, even carry.

IGOTDIRT4U
04-30-2010, 12:01 PM
You might well be right, but ask PullNShoot how his understanding of the words "Private Property" differed from the D.A.'s. By your logic, he should have been found innocent. He wasn't.

And, as someone said above "Your camp site is your residence for this purpose." My ten acres is my residence, and I am permitted to carry in my residence. The courts consistently interpret this to mean only where the public has no right of access ,and this right is made clear by some form of barrier or challenge.

Not wanting to argue with you, but I think the distinction here is that the law has actually defined the space, versus the other example you have pointed out. As you said, the courts have interpreted the law that applies to your property and residence many times, so that issue is settled. Absent any know case law dealing with the clear exemption for campsites, the law remains clear and prevailing over other "residences" situations. Don't forget the CA Health and Safety Code also provides a definition of "residence", which supports the concept of the whole campsite being a part of your residence.

Glock22Fan
04-30-2010, 12:01 PM
Your 9.9 acres is not a common area and you can do basically what you want, even carry.

The best advice I have been able to get is that this is a grey area and could go either way in court (as my property is not fenced). However, I am also told that because it is remote and there is no easy access, law enforcement really could not care less whether I'm armed or not, especially as we have mountain lions and other pesky critters. In fact I've had local deputies advising me (behind the back of their hand) to carry at all times.

OTOH, Campsites, by their nature, have lots of people around.

I'm really not arguing, just trying to make sure that people consider the possibilities.

I'm going off now to erect a tent in my backyard, which I might sleep in from time to time. Then I'll be fully covered ;)

IGOTDIRT4U
04-30-2010, 12:02 PM
You might well be right, but ask PullNShoot how his understanding of the words "Private Property" differed from the D.A.'s. By your logic, he should have been found innocent. He wasn't.

And, as someone said above "Your camp site is your residence for this purpose." My ten acres is my residence, and I am permitted to carry in my residence. The courts consistently interpret this to mean only where the public has no right of access ,and this right is made clear by some form of barrier or challenge.

BTW, Pullnshoot? Or did you mean Theusus?

Glock22Fan
04-30-2010, 12:07 PM
BTW, Pullnshoot? Or did you mean Theusus?

Whoops, yes I do. Sorry guys!

IGOTDIRT4U
04-30-2010, 12:14 PM
The best advice I have been able to get is that this is a grey area and could go either way in court (as my property is not fenced). However, I am also told that because it is remote and there is no easy access, law enforcement really could not care less whether I'm armed or not, especially as we have mountain lions and other pesky critters. In fact I've had local deputies advising me (behind the back of their hand) to carry at all times.

OTOH, Campsites, by their nature, have lots of people around.

I'm really not arguing, just trying to make sure that people consider the possibilities.

I'm going off now to erect a tent in my backyard, which I might sleep in from time to time. Then I'll be fully covered ;)

BTW, when I travel in my motorhome, I am usually CCWing in my campsite if it is possible (like if not wearing shorts or clothing that may give it away), and always at nighttime. I have had park rangers, local LEO and of course park personnel right next to me, and never had an issue. I even asked one ranger up in No Cal about his take, and he said unless it is a State park that prohibits it, his training told him I was ok as long as I did not show the weapon or walk out of my assigned spot. In fact, he said he had a camper once shoot a rabid dog that had gone feral, that he had been looking for for months. He said he knew the camper was CCWing before he shot the dog, but he was glad the dog picked this guy over him or another unarmed camper.

Mad Scotsman
04-30-2010, 12:35 PM
If I stay in an "established" campground, I usually make contact with the camp host(gotten great firewood locations, beer, someone to watch my stuff when gone, good trail locations, small talk) and feel them out for CCW. Every time I get the OK, for my rented site. Same with the local LEO and have family connections with the local ranger.