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xrc4681
07-08-2011, 4:15 PM
Hi all, first time posting and I'm sorry if this has been asked all the time but,
Is it okay for me to carry a pistol on a hiking course if it is visible?

I know California is really strict on concealed carry especially where I live (bay area) but would carrying a pistol in a visible area be considered as not concealed carrying? I just want to carry it in case a mountain lion pops up since they seem to appear more often these days.

Another question is, some courses clearly has signs and warnings prohibiting bringing in firearms but if the courses does not clearly state that firearm is prohibited, is it okay to be in possession of it?

stix213
07-08-2011, 4:20 PM
Depends on where you are hiking as to what you can do. See this thread for rules for various forests and parks.

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

If your pistol is fully visible (for example on a belt holster), as well as your magazines, then it would be called open carry. Most populated areas making carrying a loaded pistol openly a violation of PC 12031, but again it all depends on where you are going.

Kid Stanislaus
07-08-2011, 5:03 PM
If you're carrying a fishing pole and there's a place to fish on the trail then you can carry concealed. You'd best have a fishing license as well.

xrc4681
07-08-2011, 5:37 PM
okay, thanks stix213 & Kid Stanislaus!

Glock22Fan
07-08-2011, 5:41 PM
If you're carrying a fishing pole and there's a place to fish on the trail then you can carry concealed. You'd best have a fishing license as well.

I don't think you need a pole and a place to fish. You need a fishing license to catch or hunt (rattle)snakes, and I bet there are those about where you are going. So, just the fishing license should be enough (note, IANAL and this is not legal advice. YMMV.).

andytothemax
07-08-2011, 5:44 PM
Hi all, first time posting and I'm sorry if this has been asked all the time but,
Is it okay for me to carry a pistol on a hiking course if it is visible?

I know California is really strict on concealed carry especially where I live (bay area) but would carrying a pistol in a visible area be considered as not concealed carrying? I just want to carry it in case a mountain lion pops up since they seem to appear more often these days.

Another question is, some courses clearly has signs and warnings prohibiting bringing in firearms but if the courses does not clearly state that firearm is prohibited, is it okay to be in possession of it?

If you frequent any of the preserves in the Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District (http://www.openspace.org/), no weapons of any kind are allowed (http://www.openspace.org/preserves/downloads/ord04-01_8sept2004.pdf) [PDF], including knives! That particular policy purports to make it a misdemeanor to carry any weapon of any kind, although there is no citation to any penal code section supporting this. It seems ripe for a 2nd amendment challenge.

Trailboss60
07-08-2011, 6:16 PM
I would think that the "Safepacker" from Wilderness tactical would work well for ccw on non- prohibited hiking trails in Ca.?
http://www.covertconservatives.com/phpbb3/images/smilies/headscratch.gif

http://www.thewilderness.com/storepinnacle/index.php?p=catalog&parent=171&pg=1

Delta Bravo
07-08-2011, 8:05 PM
The best solution I have found to your question on "carrying while hiking" is listed below. However, I must admit I have not looked into the fishing license angle too deeply, and now intend to do so. So here is my current knowledge (and no, I am not a lawyer either!):

Weapons are prohibited in State Parks.
However, I believe you can carry unloaded weapons in a locked case through a State Park, just as you would in a car - if you are "in transit" to another location (such as national forest hiking trails & campsites.

Once you are in National Forest land, you can open the case, and wear the handgun openly displayed.
BUT....
The magazines can be full, but must NOT touch the handgun or the holster the handgun is in. And the magazines MUST be openly displayed as well. So you can wear the full magazine(s) on your left side, your gun (empty) on your right side. Thus you are "open carry" and able (for now at least) able to carry non-concealed in the national forest hiking trail.

You could even wear a drop-leg holster, if all of the other conditions are complied with.

Once you return to the State Park land, you must stop, put the unloaded handgun back in the locked case, put away the mags, and "transit" through the park.

Also - do NOT go into buildings (including outhouses) in National Parks. You are allowed to carry weapons in National Parks, but buildings are considered Federal Buildings (if I understand correctly), and you are prohibited from carrying weapons in Federal Buildings.

But you are allowed to treat your tent as a "house" so you can defend your tent (and carry your weapon loaded/concealed) inside the tent as if it were your house. I am unclear whether that extends to your campsite (I doubt it). BUT only so long as the tent is in a National Forest or non-State Park camping facility. Plus various other restricted areas as other posters have identified.

Confusing enough?

Just tell the mountain lion (and bears, rattle snakes, etc.) to leave you alone. Sing Kum-bi-yah to them as they eat your children, wife or girlfriend, and you will be fine. I understand that mountain lions could possibly start purring upon hearing that song, and lay down next to the lambs..... or not.....

BTW - there is nothing quite so comforting has having a loaded weapons & chambered round when hearing the low throaty purr of a leopard at 2am in Africa.... Maybe kum-bi-yah would have worked, but I was not willing to test that theory..... We are not necessarily the top of the food chain.....

bill_k_lopez
07-08-2011, 8:13 PM
Just tell the mountain lion (and bears, rattle snakes, etc.) to leave you alone. Sing Kum-bi-yah to them as they eat your children, wife or girlfriend, and you will be fine. I understand that mountain lions could possibly start purring upon hearing that song, and lay down next to the lambs..... or not.

It "Circle of Life" you have to sing....didn't you see the Lion King?

MudCamper
07-08-2011, 8:29 PM
xrc4681, stix213 has already linked to the Firearms in Forest and Parks (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=186457) thread where we cover this topic in depth.

If you frequent any of the preserves in the Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District (http://www.openspace.org/), no weapons of any kind are allowed (http://www.openspace.org/preserves/downloads/ord04-01_8sept2004.pdf) [PDF], including knives! That particular policy purports to make it a misdemeanor to carry any weapon of any kind, although there is no citation to any penal code section supporting this.

Interesting. There is also some kind of "open space" type lands in my neighborhood. I will investigate these. If these are public lands, then they can't legally ban firearms. That is preempted by state law. (Of course if it's CA State lands then they can, for now.) If they are private property, then they can, but can only enforce it with trespass law (i.e. tell you to leave).

Delta Bravo, you can LOC (loaded open carry) in much of the NF. See the link I and stix posted.

Delta Bravo
07-08-2011, 8:49 PM
Thanks MudCamper & stix. I will check out LOC in NF. That would make my life a lot simpler. Moving over to the links you provided. Thanks!

I used to live and hike in AZ, where LOC was the norm out in the desert. While I respect wildlife, and have tried singing various songs (maybe I need to try Circle of Life?), a .45 or even a 9mm works much better if you get into a wildlife situation that cannot be avoided. On the other hand, a combat knife works quite effectively for green mamba's in Africa if you're fast enough (highly motivated). That guy who just got killed in Yellowstone by the Grizzly would have had more of a chance if he had been LOC. Sometimes you just turn the trail, and run into a dangerous unavoidable situation.

Course, I also know a local guy in Africa who shot & killed a lion in his compound (young male, searching for the guy's young children hiding in his hut) with a single round from his AK47. I don't know if that was dumb or smart - he only had one round in his rifle, since that was all the ammo he had available.... Maybe if he had taken up singing lessons?? Or armed & highly motivated in defending your family.....

Rhythm of Life
07-08-2011, 8:58 PM
I would think that the "Safepacker" from Wilderness tactical would work well for ccw on non- prohibited hiking trails in Ca.?
http://www.covertconservatives.com/phpbb3/images/smilies/headscratch.gif

http://www.thewilderness.com/storepinnacle/index.php?p=catalog&parent=171&pg=1

http://the-gadgeteer.com/assets/maxpedition-jumbo-versapack2.jpg

Get this. The Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack.

MudCamper
07-08-2011, 9:00 PM
It appears that the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District is a California Special District (http://www.csda.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=6&Itemid=41). Some interesting reading here though:

Special districts have corporate powers and tax powers, but rarely the police power. Corpo-rate power is the ability to “do things,” like building public works projects such as parks and sewers. It’s the power to run recreation programs and collect garbage. Tax power is the authority to raise money to pay for these projects and services. Police power is different; it’s the authority to regulate private behavior to accomplish a public goal. Governments that make rules and enforce them use the police power: zoning property, requiring business licenses, or setting speed limits. Special districts rarely have police powers.

Even with full police powers, like a city, I don't see how they can ban firearms possession. Use yes, but not possession. But then, how do some county and city parks do this? That would be preempted by state law also...

ETA: Here we go, from the document andytothemax originally linked:

SECTION 300. AUTHORITY. All sections of this Ordinance are adopted pursuant to Sections 5541, 5558, and 5559 of the Public Resources Code of the State of California, and apply to all District Lands.

So I need to go read these sections. May not have time tonight, but I'll get back to it.

Trailboss60
07-08-2011, 9:12 PM
http://the-gadgeteer.com/assets/maxpedition-jumbo-versapack2.jpg

Get this. The Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack.


To each his own, but I like the Safepacker on the hip and the Camelback hydration system on my back. I tried the Maxpedition and I felt it didn't distribute the weight as well...your mileage may vary.

I must say it was fun wearing the Eagle drop leg holster while camping at lake Powell this last week...the people at the next campsite from Ca. that rented the El Monte RV about crapped their pants and reported me to the park ranger...he asked them what their problem was...
:D

Lead-Thrower
07-08-2011, 9:18 PM
I love NFs. I spend a lot of time in El Dorado NF and LOC alot there. In fact, I am planning on LOC'ing on my backpacking trip in Desolation Wilderness next weekend.

Rhythm of Life
07-08-2011, 9:25 PM
To each his own, but I like the Safepacker on the hip and the Camelback hydration system on my back. I tried the Maxpedition and I felt it didn't distribute the weight as well...your mileage may vary.

I must say it was fun wearing the Eagle drop leg holster while camping at lake Powell this last week...the people at the next campsite from Ca. that rented the El Monte RV about crapped their pants and reported me to the park ranger...he asked them what their problem was...
:D

To each his own sums it up best. Just thought I'd throw it out as an option.

Cool as heck the park ranger said that.

Decoligny
07-08-2011, 9:29 PM
If you're carrying a fishing pole and there's a place to fish on the trail then you can carry concealed. You'd best have a fishing license as well.

Concealed yes, loaded no. There is no exemption to pc 12031 for fishing/hunting.

Decoligny
07-08-2011, 9:40 PM
BUT....
The magazines can be full, but must NOT touch the handgun or the holster the handgun is in.

The above is totally WRONG.

You need to look up People v. Clark to get some clarification.

You can have the full magazine pretty much anywhere except in the magazine well. You can duct tape it to the side of the handgun and it is perfectly legal. As long as the rounds are not put into a position from which they can be fired you are good to go.

Clark, the guy in the case cited above had a shotgun with a butt sleeve on it, in which he had about half a dozen shotgun shells. He was arrested for violating PC 12031, and was found guilty. He appealed and won. This makes it binding case law.

oldrifle
07-09-2011, 6:34 AM
I've heard of people walking around national forests with loaded pistols in a holster. Is this illegal? I heard it was legal to carry a loaded pistol in a national forest.

Wildhawk66
07-09-2011, 7:22 AM
I've heard of people walking around national forests with loaded pistols in a holster. Is this illegal? I heard it was legal to carry a loaded pistol in a national forest.

My understanding is that LOC is generally legal in unincorporated areas where shooting is legal, primarily some BLM and National Forest lands. Personally, I always try to check in with the ranger station in the immediate area to make sure that it is ok in their jurisdiction prior to carrying.

andytothemax
07-09-2011, 1:44 PM
If you frequent any of the preserves in the Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District (http://www.openspace.org/), no weapons of any kind are allowed (http://www.openspace.org/preserves/downloads/ord04-01_8sept2004.pdf) [PDF], including knives! That particular policy purports to make it a misdemeanor to carry any weapon of any kind, although there is no citation to any penal code section supporting this. It seems ripe for a 2nd amendment challenge.

Here's a letter I'm sending to the District about their policy:


Via U.S. Mail

Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District
Administrative Office
330 Distel Circle
Los Altos, CA 94022-1404


RE: Ordinance no. 403.1


Dear Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District,

I recently had the opportunity to use your Rancho San Antonio preserve. I commend you for establishing and maintaining a high quality system of trails and preserves for public use.

With that said, I was troubled by section 403.1 of your Land Use Regulations, which are published on your website at
http://www.openspace.org. Section 403.1 prohibits the possession of any “gun or firearm,” or any other “weapon” that is “capable of injuring or killing any person or animal.”

The section purports to make any violation a misdemeanor. Although exceptions are listed for possession of weapons in a residence, none of those exceptions applies to traditional hiking or other trail uses.

As you may have heard, the United States Supreme Court recently had the opportunity to consider the Second Amendment and its application to State and local anti-gun ordinances. The Court held in McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. ___, 130 S. Ct. 3020 (2010) that the Second Amendment preempts some State and local laws and ordinances.

In the McDonald case, the City of Chicago’s ban on possession of handguns was struck down as a violation of the Second Amendment’s individual right to keep and bear arms.

Existing law in California allows a law-abiding citizen to openly carry an unloaded firearm in most public places. The law does prohibit the possession of firearms in school zones (within 1000 feet of a K-12 school), on the campuses of colleges and universities, State Parks, and in other “sensitive” places.

Having experienced your preserves, it appears to me that they are at least one step removed from State Parks, and are more akin to National Forests and BLM-administered Public Land. For example, the PG&E Trail in Rancho San Antonio preserve is clearly a road or “highway” as those terms are defined in California law. The possession and carrying of firearms in National Forests and on Public Lands, including roads, is completely legal.

Granted, there are compelling State interests in prohibiting the discharge of firearms in your preserves, because the preserves are natural habitats of many wild animals that are not suitable for hunting. In addition, the number of trail users makes it inappropriate to allow target shooting in your preserves for safety reasons. These portions of section 403.1 are not challenged.

With that said, I believe the remainder of your section 403.1 violates the Second Amendment. Not only does it prohibit the possession and carrying of any firearm, it also prohibits the possession and carrying of any knife, because a knife is “capable” of injuring or killing a person or animal. A knife is an “arm--” even more so than a firearm because of a knife’s utility purposes in addition to self-defense purposes.

Existing State law permits the open carrying of fixed-blade knives, and the concealed carrying of folding knives. It is contended that these “weapons” are also protected by the Second Amendment. It is conceded that not all weapons are protected by the Second Amendment; however, existing State law appropriately regulates the possession and carrying of dangerous weapons other than firearms and knives.

I wish to openly carry an unloaded handgun with ammunition, and/or a Bowie-style knife, in your preserves-- for the purpose of self-protection against wild animals such as Mountain Lions. Under your existing land use regulations, which arguably exceed your Special District’s “police powers” in any event, this is prohibited and is labeled a misdemeanor. If I were to openly carry an unloaded handgun or knife, I would be subject to arrest and prosecution.

Your land use regulations appear to be ripe for a Second Amendment challenge. Would you be willing to discuss an appropriate amendment to your regulations to allow for the open carrying of firearms and/or knives traditionally used for self-defense purposes, or would court action be necessary? I look forward to discussing the matter with you.

Sincerely,

safewaysecurity
07-09-2011, 2:01 PM
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