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View Full Version : Does a backpack mounted holster constitute open carry?


JPanimal
01-22-2011, 12:57 PM
Hello,
I've been thinking about UOC while extended backpacking in some national forests, and am wondering if a holster mounted on the hipbelt of my backpack would constitute open carry. I'm trying to stay away from the whole drop leg option due to comfort and visibility. The two situations that I am concerned with are:

1) Wearing the backpack: Is the backpack like a massive 65 liter "removable belt", and thus the firearm in a "belt holster"?
and
2) If I set my pack down (say to get something from inside) and the firearm is no longer directly attached to my body. Would this create any issues?

Thanks in advanced, and I hope this hasn't been asked/answered before!

Jack L
01-22-2011, 1:00 PM
I was under the impression you could carry concealed in national forest.

cmth
01-22-2011, 1:42 PM
Is the firearm concealed? If not, then it is "open carry".

I was under the impression you could carry concealed in national forest.

You can with a concealed carry permit, or a fishing permit, or a hunting permit. Only the concealed carry permit allows you to carry loaded in all circumstances. The other two allow you to conceal, but not to load. The loaded state of the firearm depends on other factors, mostly whether or not it is lawful to discharge a firearm in that location.

Lead-Thrower
01-22-2011, 3:01 PM
I was under the impression you could carry concealed in national forest.

I believe there is an exemption in place for hunters and fishermen. But you must be actively engaged in, or on your way to or from, hunting or fishing. In other words, if you plan on concealed carrying, you had better have your fishing license and a fishing pole on you...

I dont carry very often when I go backpacking (usually I go to Desolation or Mokolumne wildernesses), but when I do, I LOC. I have encountered many forest rangers in the wilderness while carrying and they never gave me a second look, other hikers however... :43: But usually I just carry my K-Bar. All comes down to what you feel most comfortable with.

Lead-Thrower
01-22-2011, 3:04 PM
Is the firearm concealed? If not, then it is "open carry".



You can with a concealed carry permit, or a fishing permit, or a hunting permit. Only the concealed carry permit allows you to carry loaded in all circumstances. The other two allow you to conceal, but not to load. The loaded state of the firearm depends on other factors, mostly whether or not it is lawful to discharge a firearm in that location.

Not true. In national forests, LOC is legal: As long as wherever you do it, it is legal to discharge a firearm (i.e. not in an "occupied area", not in a campground, except within your own campsite, etc.).

This thread has some good info on the topic:

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=186457

packnrat
01-22-2011, 3:04 PM
do you know what they call a unarmed person walking in the back country?




bear..sht.


even that guy who thought the bears were his friends..got eaten.


.

Crom
01-22-2011, 3:26 PM
Open is open. Don't conceal it and your fine. And yes you can load it if it's not illegal to discharge where you are.

cmth
01-22-2011, 3:40 PM
Not true. In national forests, LOC is legal...

I was responding to a statement that concealed carry (CCW) was legal in a National Forest; we were not discussing LOC. LOC and CCW have nothing to do with each other. Two separate laws. PC 12025 governs concealed carry, and PC 12031 governs loaded carry.

It is also not true to say that it is legal to LOC in a National Forest, because that is dependent on whether shooting is banned there, which I already stated. Most NF land does not allow shooting other than licensed hunting, and only allow target shooting in designated areas. Therefore LOC would not be legal in those NFs unless one possessed a hunting permit. PC 12031 kicks in whenever and wherever a prohibition on shooting is in place. It is not simply near campsites and populated areas.

Perhaps some NFs do allow shooting anywhere and everywhere, but I am not aware of any. They have long since been closed to target shooters because of the trash they leave behind, the danger to others in the NF, and the high fire danger in the dry season (which is year-round, really). Maybe it's different up north, but in the lower half of the state, you cannot simply discharge a firearm anywhere in the NFs, except in designated areas or while lawfully hunting.

As previously stated, a CA 12050 CCW permit allows you to carry loaded anywhere in the NFs and NPs, but hunting and fishing permits do not, even though they, too, allow you to conceal a handgun.

locosway
01-22-2011, 4:17 PM
Is the firearm concealed? If not, then it is "open carry".

The wording of the law says "on a belt". So it would be wise to perhaps follow this wording or gain some sort of letter from the Sheriff who enforces the laws in that part of the NF stating that openly holstered firearms on a backpack constitute open carry.

cmth
01-22-2011, 4:42 PM
The wording of the law says "on a belt".

PC 12025(f) is merely an example of what constitutes open carry; it is by no means the only legal method of carrying a firearm unconcealed. In fact, there is no legal definition of "open carry", nor is that term ever used in any law. PC 12025 prohibits the concealment of a firearm on one's person or in one's vehicle. As long as that firearm is not concealed, then the law is not violated. A firearm carried in plain view, whether on foot or in a vehicle, in any manner, is lawful. It only becomes unlawful when that firearm is concealed from plain view.

Lead-Thrower
01-22-2011, 5:54 PM
I was responding to a statement that concealed carry (CCW) was legal in a National Forest; we were not discussing LOC. LOC and CCW have nothing to do with each other. Two separate laws. PC 12025 governs concealed carry, and PC 12031 governs loaded carry.

It is also not true to say that it is legal to LOC in a National Forest, because that is dependent on whether shooting is banned there, which I already stated. Most NF land does not allow shooting other than licensed hunting, and only allow target shooting in designated areas. Therefore LOC would not be legal in those NFs unless one possessed a hunting permit. PC 12031 kicks in whenever and wherever a prohibition on shooting is in place. It is not simply near campsites and populated areas.

Perhaps some NFs do allow shooting anywhere and everywhere, but I am not aware of any. They have long since been closed to target shooters because of the trash they leave behind, the danger to others in the NF, and the high fire danger in the dry season (which is year-round, really). Maybe it's different up north, but in the lower half of the state, you cannot simply discharge a firearm anywhere in the NFs, except in designated areas or while lawfully hunting.

As previously stated, a CA 12050 CCW permit allows you to carry loaded anywhere in the NFs and NPs, but hunting and fishing permits do not, even though they, too, allow you to conceal a handgun.

Which is why I tacked on that second part saying that it is legal to LOC wherever it is legal to discharge a firearm. Granted, there are not many NF's in California (especially down south) that allow shooting just about everywhere. The ones (that I know of) that DO allow shooting throughout are El Dorado and Sierra.

As I said before, I do not carry very often when on hiking/backpacking trips, but when I do, I check first. For example, before backpacking into Desolation Wilderness once, I called the ranger station and asked about carrying a firearm into the wilderness. I was told that firearms and shooting are not prohibited, although shooting is discouraged (basically they just repeated what is posted on their website). As far as other NFs go, I am not sure, but it never hurts to call up the ranger station and ask (although there is always the chance of receiving an answer that is full of FUD). That is my experience with carrying in the NF. YMMV.

pMcW
01-22-2011, 6:13 PM
Is LOC of a handgun always legal while actively hunting? I would hope that there wouldn't be any problem, since you are presumably already LOC with your rifle...

NM, I read this http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showpost.php?p=2409895&postcount=48

JPanimal
01-26-2011, 11:24 PM
PC 12025(f) is merely an example of what constitutes open carry; it is by no means the only legal method of carrying a firearm unconcealed. In fact, there is no legal definition of "open carry", nor is that term ever used in any law. PC 12025 prohibits the concealment of a firearm on one's person or in one's vehicle. As long as that firearm is not concealed, then the law is not violated. A firearm carried in plain view, whether on foot or in a vehicle, in any manner, is lawful. It only becomes unlawful when that firearm is concealed from plain view.

Thanks, I was looking for a definition of "open carry" and could not find one, hence the cause for my concern. I was also looking for a definition of "concealed," because on the side of my hip, my forearm would naturally cover, (but not legally "conceal"?) my firearm.

Since the example of a belt holster is written out as legal, is it safe to assume that a gun "under my arm" is not considered concealed?

Also, if a belt holster covers the entire gun sans the grip, would an IWB holster with the same amount of grip exposed be concealed or open? I ask this out of curiosity; this seems like a grey area that I do NOT want to push...

tonb
01-27-2011, 5:12 AM
I forget the exact code I read, I'm looking for it now, but you are allowed to carry concealed if you are on your way to a specific campsite. If you are backpacking, you are on your way to a new campsite every time you're in motion. That exception does not cover loaded, just concealed. I think you'd be better off to loaded open carry, doesn't do much good to have an unloaded gun stuffed into your pack somewhere.

edit: here it is
Penal code
12026.2
(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.

tonb
01-27-2011, 5:13 AM
Thanks, I was looking for a definition of "open carry" and could not find one, hence the cause for my concern. I was also looking for a definition of "concealed," because on the side of my hip, my forearm would naturally cover, (but not legally "conceal"?) my firearm.

Since the example of a belt holster is written out as legal, is it safe to assume that a gun "under my arm" is not considered concealed?

Also, if a belt holster covers the entire gun sans the grip, would an IWB holster with the same amount of grip exposed be concealed or open? I ask this out of curiosity; this seems like a grey area that I do NOT want to push...

In a recent class I was instructed that, if any part of the gun/holster is covered when carrying exposed, it is considered concealed, violating the exposed carry rules. And the reverse, if carrying concealed and any part of the gun/holster becomes exposed, it is a violation of the concealed carry rules.

Jack L
01-27-2011, 5:58 AM
The deal is, many long distence backpackers carry concealed. I rarely see them OC but see them with a small revolver in their packs. Oh well..........anyone else used to this or just me?

Thanks for the clarification of the law.

GrizzlyGuy
01-27-2011, 7:07 AM
I forget the exact code I read, I'm looking for it now, but you are allowed to carry concealed if you are on your way to a specific campsite. If you are backpacking, you are on your way to a new campsite every time you're in motion. That exception does not cover loaded, just concealed. I think you'd be better off to loaded open carry, doesn't do much good to have an unloaded gun stuffed into your pack somewhere.

edit: here it is
Penal code
12026.2
(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.

Keep in mind that this concealed carry exemption and all the others in 12026.2 (http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/12026.2.html) require the gun to be in a locked container:

(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.

The exemptions in 12027 (http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/12027.html) (such as the hunting/fishing exemption) do not require this. Unless OP can use the 12027 (g) exemption for hunting/fishing or on the way to hunt/fish, open carry is the best way to go for backpacking.

DiscoBayJoe
01-27-2011, 7:11 AM
The wording of the law says "on a belt". So it would be wise to perhaps follow this wording or gain some sort of letter from the Sheriff who enforces the laws in that part of the NF stating that openly holstered firearms on a backpack constitute open carry.

As someone else pointed out, this SHOULD be interpreted as just one example of open carry. That aside, who's to say "on a Belt" means around the waist? My backpack has a Molle BELT!