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View Full Version : Carrying a Handgun In The Toiyabe National Forest


signal5delta
07-26-2010, 5:45 PM
My wife and I are going to hike from Mono Village,which is 14 miles from Bridgeport,California,east of Yosemite,to Barney Lake,which is a short 8 mile roundtrip dayhike.
I am a registered gun owner in this state and I own a 45 handgun.Here is where the dilema starts. I want to carry my handgun while I am on this hike.I have been given several different answers from a Sheriff dispatcher to a Lt. with the Fish and Game.The hike is in the Toiyabe National Forest and the area I am going is listed as wilderness.I have had answers from it is Ok to you have to have a CCW.
I really don't know what to do. Leave my gun at home? The gun laws are very hard to understand. Some of the police do not even understand them. Could you guys help me out? Thanks.
Jim Skoonberg

JimWest
07-26-2010, 6:26 PM
I'd leave it home. I've hiked quite a bit including wilderness areas solo. Less weight, less to worry about. If you get busted without a CCW you become another bad guy gun statistic.

advocatusdiaboli
07-26-2010, 7:41 PM
If you can, climb Crown Point--incredible views and at least one class 3 route. Leave the peace, that is benign back country. You could probably open carry (it's legal for now) but I'd avoid the potential hassle of scared hikers calling the law on you or a ranger not knowing it. What are you afraid of--marmots?

signal5delta
07-26-2010, 7:54 PM
I guess Ill leave the peice at home. I really hadn't thought of the other hikers there.When I hike anywhere I carry a fixed blade and pocket knife. I have carried a pocket knife since I was about 8 years old,so I am used to carrying something while I am in the outdoors.

maschronic
07-26-2010, 8:22 PM
i love mono village!!!! i go up to mono village every year. i usually do a backpack trip to Hunewell Lake. about 5 years ago, we met a ranger hiking up to tamarack lake. when we saw him, all of us was open carrying. he never said a word to us. infact, all he did was warn us about bears chasing off hikers down below.

my avatar is from Hunewell lake overlooking the peak. :)

Crom
07-26-2010, 8:55 PM
I'd carry a fixed blade on your belt. A lot less wight. I've done lots of backcountry wilderness exploration and have not had any problems.

Lead-Thrower
07-26-2010, 9:40 PM
In the wilderness I carry my KA-BAR. If I am in a more shady area of the NF, where potential tweekers/pot-growers may be, I will carry a pistol. But as far as legality, you should be in the clear unless the wilderness you are going into has specific restrictions against firearms. I would call the district ranger station and ask to be safe.

v/dBrink
07-27-2010, 12:17 AM
I am a registered gun owner in this state

How can I be a registered gun owner? Do you get a cool ID card that says you're a registered gun owner? I want one!

shooter777
07-27-2010, 12:52 AM
Although I've hiked the Muir Trail and other parts of the PCT, the only place I was worried about bears was in Lyell Canyon near Donahue Pass. We stored our food in bear canisters and hung bear bags. I never carried any more than a folding pocket knife.
That being said it could be really fun to carry and shoot in the High Sierra. I'v come across and camped with a couple horse packers who probably were Packin... also, most times up there, you see people coming from miles away. enough time to pull your reclaimed Patagonia pullover over your peace, piece

oh, and there was that huge bear in our camp in Matterhorn Canyon but he ran off with some yelling and carrying on. Either way, have fun and enjoy the high fruits of our State

M1A Rifleman
07-27-2010, 7:32 AM
Ehh, keep it locked in a padded case in your pack. You have if you need it.

Decoligny
07-27-2010, 8:18 AM
Ehh, keep it locked in a padded case in your pack. You have if you need it.

In a locked padded case in your pack, if you need it, you will never have time to:
1. drop your pack off your back,
2. get the locked padded case out of your pack,
3. unlock the locked padded case,
4. take out the unloaded pistol,
5. take out the magazine,
6. insert the magazine,
7. and rack the slide.

The only advantage of having a gun locked away is if you are camping, and only want to be able to defend yourself when you are at your campsite.

This area isn't within the city limits of any incorporated city.
Discharge of a firearm is prohibited as listed below.

From the website:

Fireworks and Firearms
Fireworks and explosives are prohibited in National Forests. Only persons with a permit from the Forest Service may engage in these types of activities.
Firing a gun is not allowed: a) in or within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site, or occupied area; b) across or on a road or body of water; c) in any circumstance whereby any person may be injured or property damaged.

Your best bet would be to UOC to avoid violating PC12031. This would allow you to eliminate steps 1 - 4 and if necessary you would only have to draw your weapon, insert a magazine and rack the slide.

M1A Rifleman
07-27-2010, 8:26 AM
Your best bet would be to UOC to avoid violating PC12031. This would allow you to eliminate steps 1 - 4 and if necessary you would only have to draw your weapon, insert a magazine and rack the slide.

Yea, but you may look like a total frightened buffoon walking around on a heavily used trail packing an unloaded pistol making the children and hippies nervous. At least in your pack its out of sight, your not a target with an unloaded weapon, and your not a threat to any LEO's since they don't know whats in the pack. After your on the trail if you figure you need to OC, then you have it to OC rather than if it was left at home.

rsandovaljr
07-27-2010, 8:42 AM
Would it be any different if you were carrying a kel-tec rifle. In your pack .

ZombieTactics
07-27-2010, 9:24 AM
One of the things you should consider is that this area is extremely popular (reasons unknown) with European tourists, many of whom are quite gun-phobic. I would not open carry under any circumstances.

A good machete might be a good alternate.

MudCamper
07-27-2010, 9:37 AM
See the Firearms in Forests and Parks (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=186457) thread.

Personally, I always carry in the National Forests, just because it's one of the few places left that you can.

LOC/UOC are legal depending on where you are. Which wilderness area are you going through?

http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/htnf/recreation/wilderness/index1.shtml

signal5delta
07-27-2010, 2:00 PM
I will be hiking in the Toiyabe National Forest near Mono Village,which is 14 miles from Bridgeport,east of Yosemite.

duxfearme
07-27-2010, 3:33 PM
See the Firearms in Forests and Parks (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=186457) thread.

Personally, I always carry in the National Forests, just because it's one of the few places left that you can.

LOC/UOC are legal depending on where you are. Which wilderness area are you going through?

http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/htnf/recreation/wilderness/index1.shtml

Thanks a bunch for this posting, MudCamper. I can't believe the amount of mis-information and fear that exists among gun-owners in this state (as evidence, I present most of the previous posts in this thread). I mean no disrespect to the previous posters, but... wow.

Signal5, as you can see, National Forests allow LOADED open carry. I've spent a lot of time in the National Forests here in CA and almost always LOC'ing and nobody even bats and eye. Go with confidence and enjoy your rights!

NightOwl
07-27-2010, 3:46 PM
Thanks a bunch for this posting, MudCamper. I can't believe the amount of mis-information and fear that exists among gun-owners in this state (as evidence, I present most of the previous posts in this thread). I mean no disrespect to the previous posters, but... wow.

That's because we're in CA. Seriously, it's not like that everywhere in the country, that's just the gun-environment that California has developed. You live here, it shouldn't be THAT surprising to you.

This is what our gun rights have fallen to in this state. God help us.

duxfearme
07-27-2010, 4:17 PM
You're right, NightOwl. It really is the state of affairs here. You've got to have a law degree or endless amounts of free time to look up the gun laws that relate to whatever given situation... and then hope you got it right and won't get your guns taken your butt thrown in jail.

And as a result, you leave your gun at home.

I blame the lawmakers and DOJ... sorry if I offended anybody.

dantodd
07-27-2010, 4:47 PM
At least in your pack its out of sight, your not a target with an unloaded weapon,

LOLZ

guns_and_labs
07-27-2010, 4:56 PM
As was pointed out, you are allowed to open carry loaded. No concealed carry without a CCW permit or a badge.

If you wanted to be doubly sure, get a hunting license, too. We used to pop rabbits near there, back in the day. They tasted terrible.

Whether you want to is a separate matter -- but you stated that you wanted to.

taperxz
07-27-2010, 6:00 PM
See the Firearms in Forests and Parks (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=186457) thread.

Personally, I always carry in the National Forests, just because it's one of the few places left that you can.

LOC/UOC are legal depending on where you are. Which wilderness area are you going through?

http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/htnf/recreation/wilderness/index1.shtml

^^^^this!! I don't know what it is but the folks in Socal seem to have restrictions in their NF down there that we don't have for whatever reason. Load that weapon put it in a nice comfortable holster and enjoy!!

I don't think i would worry about the other people. Or the europeans for that matter. THIS ISN'T EUROPE. JMO

sideshowhr
07-27-2010, 6:05 PM
what mudcamper said.

NF = safe haven for gun owners.

i carried in Sequoia NF not but two weeks ago. only got **** from one punk that thought he'd show off to his girl.

taperxz
07-27-2010, 6:05 PM
BTW the main office for that forest is in Sparks Nevada!! Half that forest is in Nevada!!

pieeater
07-27-2010, 6:10 PM
I always open carry loaded when im in NF, ive never had a problem.

MasterYong
07-27-2010, 6:21 PM
Folks are only scared of loc be because they never see it. Since nf is one of the last places we can do it, I almost see it as a ca gun rights advocates duty to do it. I loc almost any time I'm in nf. Besides, here up north the cougars have been known to eat people occasionally. Cougar tries to eat me and he's gonna have a very short talk with mr 1911...

Decoligny
07-27-2010, 7:54 PM
One of the things you should consider is that this area is extremely popular (reasons unknown) with European tourists, many of whom are quite gun-phobic. I would not open carry under any circumstances.

A good machete might be a good alternate.

Yeah, but then you might run into a Rwandan tourist. And with their history, a machete might send them into a panic. :rolleyes:

Do what you think will give you the most protection while staying within the law. Who really cares if you scare a hoplophobe.

GuyW
07-28-2010, 12:53 AM
One of the things you should consider is that this area is extremely popular (reasons unknown) with European tourists, many of whom are quite gun-phobic. I would not open carry under any circumstances.

A good machete might be a good alternate.

What? F^&* them, damn Eurosocialists - they can stay home if they don't like US culture, or go to hell or visit Mexico (but, I repeat myself)...

.

sideshowhr
07-28-2010, 12:55 AM
seriously... wtf do you guys care about what europeans think? THIS IS AMERICAN DAMNIT!

-jose cuervo

MudCamper
07-28-2010, 9:38 AM
I will be hiking in the Toiyabe National Forest near Mono Village,which is 14 miles from Bridgeport,east of Yosemite.

The reason I asked is because some wilderness areas do prohibit shooting, which would limit you to UOC. I don't know the area, so I can't say which of these wilderness areas (http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/htnf/recreation/wilderness/index1.shtml) you may be in based on your description.

But these restrictions are rare, and they must be clearly posted.

guns_and_labs
07-28-2010, 10:07 AM
The reason I asked is because some wilderness areas do prohibit shooting, which would limit you to UOC. I don't know the area, so I can't say which of these wilderness areas (http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/htnf/recreation/wilderness/index1.shtml) you may be in based on your description.

But these restrictions are rare, and they must be clearly posted.

Not generally true. From the website you linked, the rules for firearms are, "Firing a gun is not allowed: a) in or within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site, or occupied area; b) across or on a road or body of water; c) in any circumstance whereby any person may be injured or property damaged."

No restrictions on LOC in the national wilderness areas in general that I've seen or heard about. There are a couple of state or regional "wilderness areas" that have different rules - that may be what you're thinking of.

paul0660
07-28-2010, 10:20 AM
"game refuges" are the places where possession of firearms (and bows) are prohibited.........no exceptions:

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/gamerefuges/

MudCamper
07-28-2010, 11:29 AM
Not generally true. From the website you linked, the rules for firearms are, "Firing a gun is not allowed: a) in or within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site, or occupied area; b) across or on a road or body of water; c) in any circumstance whereby any person may be injured or property damaged."

No restrictions on LOC in the national wilderness areas in general that I've seen or heard about. There are a couple of state or regional "wilderness areas" that have different rules - that may be what you're thinking of.

You need to read my Firearms in Forests and Parks (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=186457) thread. Per 36 C.F.R. 261.58 (http://law.justia.com/us/cfr/title36/36-2.0.1.1.18.2.29.9.html) shooting may be prohibited in wilderness areas. Per 36 C.F.R. 261.57 (http://law.justia.com/us/cfr/title36/36-2.0.1.1.18.2.29.8.html) even possession may be prohibited, although this code is now unconstitutional, and as far as I know, has never been used. However, the 36 C.F.R. 261.58 shooting restriction is sometimes ordered. For many years shooting was prohibited in the Emigrant Wilderness in the Stanislaus National Forest, although that order may have been rescinded as I can no longer find it on their website anymore.

Perhaps what you may not realize is that a shooting prohibition triggers the CA PC 12031 loading restriction. Again, this is covered in detail in the Firearms in Forests and Parks (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=186457) thread.

guns_and_labs
07-28-2010, 11:42 AM
You need to read my Firearms in Forests and Parks (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=186457) thread. Per 36 C.F.R. 261.58 (http://law.justia.com/us/cfr/title36/36-2.0.1.1.18.2.29.9.html) shooting may be prohibited in wilderness areas. Per 36 C.F.R. 261.57 (http://law.justia.com/us/cfr/title36/36-2.0.1.1.18.2.29.8.html) even possession may be prohibited, although this code is now unconstitutional, and as far as I know, has never been used. However, the 36 C.F.R. 261.58 shooting restriction is sometimes ordered. For many years shooting was prohibited in the Emigrant Wilderness in the Stanislaus National Forest, although that order may have been rescinded as I can no longer find it on their website anymore.

Perhaps what you may not realize is that a shooting prohibition triggers the CA PC 12031 loading restriction. Again, this is covered in detail in the Firearms in Forests and Parks (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=186457) thread.

Thanks for the link and the linked post. I knew about the ability to restrict shooting, but not the possession part.

BTW, I carried in a couple of areas when a shooting restriction was posted, even running into rangers. Never had a problem, though one ranger warned me about the fire danger.

MudCamper
07-28-2010, 1:21 PM
BTW, I carried in a couple of areas when a shooting restriction was posted, even running into rangers. Never had a problem, though one ranger warned me about the fire danger.

Yeah, that's been my experience also. The rangers are usually quite friendly. Although I only UOC (as apposed to LOC) where necessary since one never knows what kind of LEO you may encounter. There are sheriff's deputies that patrol in the Mendocino National Forest (where I often go) and some of them can be young, full of piss and vinegar, and not that knowledgeable about the law.

guns_and_labs
07-28-2010, 1:55 PM
Yeah, that's been my experience also. The rangers are usually quite friendly. Although I only UOC (as apposed to LOC) where necessary since one never knows what kind of LEO you may encounter. There are sheriff's deputies that patrol in the Mendocino National Forest (where I often go) and some of them can be young, full of piss and vinegar, and not that knowledgeable about the law.

Jeez, Mendo NF? Given what they grow there and who grows it, you ought to be carrying an AR and wearing armor.

taperxz
07-28-2010, 2:19 PM
Yeah, that's been my experience also. The rangers are usually quite friendly. Although I only UOC (as apposed to LOC) where necessary since one never knows what kind of LEO you may encounter. There are sheriff's deputies that patrol in the Mendocino National Forest (where I often go) and some of them can be young, full of piss and vinegar, and not that knowledgeable about the law.

I wouldn't worry about the SO up there. Both Mendocino and Lake counties are very pro gun and pretty much know what they can and can't arrest for.(firearms related). The Sheriffs are known to relay these laws to their deputies. I have found that even the CHP up there know whats up also.

shooting4life
07-28-2010, 2:26 PM
What about driving in a nf should you unload and stow away or is it ok to continue loc?

taperxz
07-28-2010, 2:40 PM
What about driving in a nf should you unload and stow away or is it ok to continue loc?

That is a tough one to answer.

It is illegal to have one in the tube while operating a motor vehicle. Now depending on what type of road you are on and who pulls you over seems to end up being a gray area for me.

A warden will check to see if you have one in the tube and a deputy may cite you for having one in the firearm all together.

I would love to see some legal minds jump in on this confusion of the laws. that being PC vs. fish and game.

MudCamper
07-28-2010, 2:51 PM
I wouldn't worry about the SO up there. Both Mendocino and Lake counties are very pro gun and pretty much know what they can and can't arrest for.(firearms related). The Sheriffs are known to relay these laws to their deputies. I have found that even the CHP up there know whats up also.

While you are mostly correct, there is at least one new young officer who patrols up there with a serious superiority complex and a short temper. I tend to err on the side of caution, especially given LE with this kind of attitude.

What about driving in a nf should you unload and stow away or is it ok to continue loc?

I carry UOC in my truck, with mags handy. LOC is not legal due to 12031 "prohibited area" language and being on the road.

Glock27
07-28-2010, 3:49 PM
Same goes for carrying in another state.. call that USFS agency & ask to speak to a LEO. He enforces USFS laws and will know. Calling a state agency will result in the person giving you state law. USFS land is another world.

From speaking with a San Bernadino USFS LEO regarding my trip there some years ago he said I could carry open/loaded on USFS land. In the camp and a distance I specified say 10 feet around my camp is considered my "house" and within that permitted I was able to carry concealed.

Below are allowed without any CCW permit on USFS/BLM Land in ANY state:
Open carry/loaded allow on USFS land
Concealed carry allowed within campsite

Definitely call USFS before taking my advice since this information is 10 years old. I doubt the USFS changed their laws within that time, call be to safe.

guns_and_labs
07-28-2010, 4:03 PM
While you are mostly correct, there is at least one new young officer who patrols up there with a serious superiority complex and a short temper. I tend to err on the side of caution, especially given LE with this kind of attitude.


Have you talked to Allman about him? Or his LT (would that be Welch)? Someone should talk with said young officer about the hazards of a bad attitude in such remote areas. Some of the guys in the forest tend to react badly but shoot well.