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View Full Version : Rant! Ellis Island: No guns allowed even for off duty Federal Agents


1stLineGear
10-03-2011, 6:16 AM
My brother went to Liberty Island with his family last week. (He is a Border Patrol Agent like I am and neither of us goes anywhere without our issued duty weapon.)

Before going through the screening process to get to the island my brother discretely tells the park police that he is carrying his issued weapon off duty. The park police tell him that he cannot take his issued duty weapon with him into the park. WTH? He was allowed to place his weapon in a secure vault to retrieve after the tour.

What I don’t get is how does preventing a federal agent from going to the statue of liberty armed make anyone there safer. The Statue of Liberty being a high profile target would be a much safer area having an armed off duty agent than not.

Hell, we are even allowed to fly armed on airplanes off duty. Street cops can't even do that.

I would have asked to see the written law/policy on it but my brother did not want to get into it with them.

I am still going to e-mail or write them for their justification on the matter. Hopefully it was just an ill informed Park Police Officer.

Rant over

Here is the park policy:

http://www.nps.gov/stli/planyourvisit/safety-and-security.htm

tenpercentfirearms
10-03-2011, 6:50 AM
Yeah I had to stash my pocket knife in the Clinton Battery on top of a custodian's locker and they let me take my Surefire E2 Defender in 2007. Silly.

ldsnet
10-03-2011, 7:56 AM
NPS considers the entire place a "building" or museum and therefore can restrict weapons. Until we get a SCOTUS ruling about "carry" and more details and rules about what can be defined as a "sensitive place" we will continue to see these kinds of abuses.

I still don't get how a Post Office can be a sensitive place that can limit carry, but banks (in most states) are OK. More federal beauracacy because they think they can.

Ubermcoupe
10-03-2011, 8:01 AM
Wow. I would never have thought that to happen.

I wonder if they would make an exception for US Park Police? ;)

Please let us know if your letter-writing gets anywhere. :)

OleCuss
10-03-2011, 9:01 AM
I think NPS generally considers buildings regularly occupied by NPS rangers as "Sensitive". If they more or less always staff the location then it fits into their norms to restrict firearms there.

In that particular location they've got a better argument than in most places. Unless I'm mis-informed I'm given to believe that they have armed air, sea, and land patrols there on a pretty regular basis (saw something about it on TV in the last few days) so one could argue that the extra firepower is superfluous and might lead to more mistakes and innocent deaths than warranted.

But if they really aren't blanketing the area then they're behaving idiotically to restrict responsible citizens from carrying in the area.

Tack
10-03-2011, 9:12 AM
It sounds like leos are treated like normal citizens. It doesn’t make sense to the rest of us either.

mag360
10-03-2011, 9:23 AM
sounds good to me. If a non-LEO/non Federal Agent can't carry there...

redcliff
10-03-2011, 9:28 AM
My brother went to Ellis Island with his family last week. (He is a Border Patrol Agent like I am and neither of us goes anywhere without our issued duty weapon.)

Before going through the screening process to get to the island my brother discretely tells the park police that he is carrying his issued weapon off duty. The park police tell him that he cannot take his issued duty weapon with him into the park. WTH? He was allowed to place his weapon in a secure vault to retrieve after the tour.

What I donít get is how does preventing a federal agent from going to the statue of liberty armed make anyone there safer. The Statue of Liberty being a high profile target would be a much safer area having an armed off duty agent than not.

Hell, we are even allowed to fly armed on airplanes off duty. Street cops can't even do that.

I would have asked to see the written law/policy on it but my brother did not want to get into it with them.

I am still going to e-mail or write them for their justification on the matter. Hopefully it was just an ill informed Park Police Officer.

Rant over

Here is the park policy:

http://www.nps.gov/stli/planyourvisit/safety-and-security.htm

I'm confused; while the Statue of Liberty may indeed be a high profile target, last time I went there it was on Liberty Island, not Ellis Island.

RangemasterP226
10-03-2011, 9:39 AM
It sounds like leos are treated like normal citizens. It doesnít make sense to the rest of us either.

And we're off.......oh brother. :(

Low-Pressure
10-03-2011, 9:39 AM
Don't worry, you'll get over it. Sometimes it feels different for you guys to get treated like normal citizens like us.
J/K :)

1stLineGear
10-03-2011, 9:41 AM
I'm confused; while the Statue of Liberty may indeed be a high profile target, last time I went there it was on Liberty Island, not Ellis Island.

Good catch. It was just Liberty Island he went to not Ellis island.

1stLineGear
10-03-2011, 9:44 AM
Don't worry, you'll get over it. Sometimes it feels different for you guys to get treated like normal citizens like us.
J/K :)

I know how you feel. I was not always a BP agent.

mag360
10-03-2011, 12:26 PM
When I went to Liberty Island in July, they make you go through a metal detector before you even board the ship. Then once you are on the island, if you want to go up to the platform, or the crown of lady liberty you have to go through an additional metal detector. The park service runs the operation and they were armed at both places.

Patrick Aherne
10-03-2011, 1:22 PM
NPS hates guns. Their rules are stupid. There are plenty of other places that are sensitive targets where there is not ONE armed LE ranger. Have fun with that, Mr. Docent, when some nut job decides to start murdering people in a gun free zone. I will not post where those locations are, but by the time local, on-duty LE got there, everyone would either be dead or held hostage. Good Job, NPS!

Ubermcoupe
10-03-2011, 1:32 PM
Maybe they're in cahoots with Bloomberg? ;)

tenpercentfirearms
10-03-2011, 2:22 PM
The boat goes to both places.

smn
10-03-2011, 2:51 PM
Do what the rest of us have to do: file a lawsuit. Welcome to the party!

ocmsrzr
10-03-2011, 3:26 PM
LoL..tell us how you really feel Pat.

NPS hates guns. Their rules are stupid. There are plenty of other places that are sensitive targets where there is not ONE armed LE ranger. Have fun with that, Mr. Docent, when some nut job decides to start murdering people in a gun free zone. I will not post where those locations are, but by the time local, on-duty LE got there, everyone would either be dead or held hostage. Good Job, NPS!

sfpcservice
10-03-2011, 3:34 PM
Do what the rest of us have to do: file a lawsuit. Welcome to the party!

I wish someone would. The law that the US Park Circus uses to ban firearms from federal buildings is 18 US Code Section 930. The stickers they place on buildings cite that law right up to the point of:

(d) Subsection (a) shall not apply to -

(3) the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons
in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful
purposes.

They amazingly leave this little gem out. Carrying for self protection with a valid carry permit to me is a lawful purpose. Can we get a Board Member's thoughts on this one?

BigDogatPlay
10-03-2011, 5:57 PM
They must've changed policy somewhat. When I visited Liberty and Ellis Island in 2005 all my buddy and I had to do was check in with the Park Police, sign a log and get issued a blue wristband. We both carried on the boat, on both islands and back on the boat again.

Oh well......

paul0660
10-03-2011, 6:16 PM
They must've changed policy somewhat. When I visited Liberty and Ellis Island in 2005 all my buddy and I had to do was check in with the Park Police, sign a log and get issued a blue wristband. We both carried on the boat, on both islands and back on the boat again.

Oh well......

You got a blue wristband that said you were carrying a gun?

Gryff
10-03-2011, 6:18 PM
Maybe they are worried because Lady Liberty is French-born but lacks formal immigration papers?

ubet
10-03-2011, 7:29 PM
Honestly if joe blow cant carry there, why should any off duty person be able to?

POLICESTATE
10-03-2011, 7:35 PM
It's the french taint. It abhors weapons in the presence of liberty in spite of the fact that weapons procure and maintain it.

The french concept ofliberty makes me sick, we should send that statue back to them.

thrasherfox
10-03-2011, 7:49 PM
My brother went to Liberty Island with his family last week. (He is a Border Patrol Agent like I am and neither of us goes anywhere without our issued duty weapon.)

Before going through the screening process to get to the island my brother discretely tells the park police that he is carrying his issued weapon off duty. The park police tell him that he cannot take his issued duty weapon with him into the park. WTH? He was allowed to place his weapon in a secure vault to retrieve after the tour.

What I don’t get is how does preventing a federal agent from going to the statue of liberty armed make anyone there safer. The Statue of Liberty being a high profile target would be a much safer area having an armed off duty agent than not.

Hell, we are even allowed to fly armed on airplanes off duty. Street cops can't even do that.

I would have asked to see the written law/policy on it but my brother did not want to get into it with them.

I am still going to e-mail or write them for their justification on the matter. Hopefully it was just an ill informed Park Police Officer.

Rant over

Here is the park policy:

http://www.nps.gov/stli/planyourvisit/safety-and-security.htm

I don't know if this will help maybe look at it from a different perspective or not.

But I think there was a thread that came up awhile ago about off duty officers not being allowed to carry a firearm into a baseball game.


The following is not meant to try and sound like I am some tough guy, because I am not. There are huge amounts of people out there that could just flat out kick my arse.

With that said, I have trained in martial arts for many years (about 30). One of the techniques I have been trained in is disarming weapons from people, including firearms. there is a technique called gloving where when you disarm a firearm from a person you trap their finger in the trigger guard and pull real hard and it pulls meat and skin off and leaves bone.

Then once you have the weapon automatic double tap.

I know secret service agents, especially the ones who protect the president are taught this also, except they are taught to do it a little differently.

My point is there are many law enforcement agency's, military special ops personnel and many martial arts styles that have similar techniques that people use to disarm firearms from people.


The reason I went into this long explanation is if an organization or agency allows even an off duty LEO to carry a firearm into a place that is typically a no firearm zone, there is a potential risk of the LEO losing control of the firearm if all the wrong things happen to fall into place.

My son in-law works as a LEO and I showed him the technique and he never saw it before. he was never trained to defend against it.


As I said, just a different perspective. My guess it is their way to try and ensure no bad guys have the ability to obtain a weapon while inside.

Gryff
10-03-2011, 10:23 PM
It's the french taint. It abhors weapons in the presence of liberty in spite of the fact that weapons procure and maintain it.

The french concept ofliberty makes me sick, we should send that statue back to them.

The French are not particularly pacifistic. They blew up Greenpeace, for goodness sake.

vantec08
10-04-2011, 7:49 AM
I worked for the NPS for a couple years. Have NEVER seen such a negative, politically driven outfit in my life.

I was not a good gubmint employee.

gunsmith
10-04-2011, 10:52 AM
its a sickness in NY/NJ. ( the anti gun mindset )

Before hr218 cops from NY could be subject to arrest for having JHP in their sidearms while traveling in NJ.

paul0660
10-04-2011, 10:58 AM
I wish someone would. The law that the US Park Circus uses to ban firearms from federal buildings is 18 US Code Section 930. The stickers they place on buildings cite that law right up to the point of:

(d) Subsection (a) shall not apply to -

(3) the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons
in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful
purposes.

They amazingly leave this little gem out. Carrying for self protection with a valid carry permit to me is a lawful purpose. Can we get a Board Member's thoughts on this one?

This is not new. Both the post office and feds have published "legal opinions" of their lawyers that LTC is not a specific lawful purpose, or in the case of the PO, an "official" purpose.

Heiko
10-05-2011, 12:35 AM
I just love the posts with "if everyday Joe Blow can't carry then neither should an off-duty LEO". Get over it!

OP: What sucks more is the CBP policy that the only off-duty gun you can carry is your duty P2000, or P2000K if you're lucky to have one issued to you. I know "policy" isn't the law but it'll get you days on the beach.

Brianguy
10-05-2011, 12:49 AM
...there is a technique called gloving where when you disarm a firearm from a person you trap their finger in the trigger guard and pull real hard and it pulls meat and skin off and leaves bone.


Where can I learn this technique:confused: sounds pretty handy

thrasherfox
10-05-2011, 2:27 AM
Where can I learn this technique:confused: sounds pretty handy

Eh, not really sure. Not like there is a place I can tell you to go. Not sure which martial arts style teachers it.

Over 30 some years of martial arts training (in various styles) the only person who taught it to me was my Kenpo instructor.

But he used to teach us just about anything and everything he knew and he was a local SO for about 8 years. And right now he works for a personnel protection service. So I don't know if it was part of Kenpo or if it was part of something else he picked up over the years.

As far as handy, yeah it is good to know. But it is something you need to practice a lot to feel comfortable doing it in a real situation. I don't even know if I would "feel" comfortable. but if I was in a life or death situation at least I know how to "try" and mitigate someone pointing a firearm at me.


I did a internet search for "handgun disarm" and found some different techniques. couldn't find the one I was trained in. But you could do a search and find different ways. the key is to find something that makes sense then practice it.


Are you law enforcement?

1stLineGear
10-05-2011, 5:26 AM
Where can I learn this technique:confused: sounds pretty handy

You should be able to learn that technique at most martial arts schools. I learned it as a teenager. They dont teach it in the patrol though. Pulling off a technique like that while your adrenalin is dumping into your body is very iffy.
but if your life depends on it then go for it.

It is a matter of quickly grabbing the barral of the gun (probably not a very good idea) and while the bad guys finger is in the trigger guard, bend back toward the badguys elbow. then pull down. It can break the finger and rip all the skin off.

thrasherfox
10-05-2011, 5:34 AM
You should be able to learn that technique at most martial arts schools. I learned it as a teenager. They dont teach it in the patrol though. Pulling off a technique like while your adrenalin is dumping into your body is very iffy.
but if your life depends on it then go for it.

It is a matter of quickly grabbing the barral of the gun (probably not a very good idea) and while the bad guys finger is in the trigger guard, bend back toward the badguys elbow. then pull down. It can break the finger and rip all the skin off.

Yep, thats the one.

Takes a lot of practice, like you said, adrenalin pumping, unless a person does it enough times for it to become muscle memory, trying it could turn out bad.

But, if someone was proficient at it, then it would be possible for a bad guy to disarm a LEO, and that would be a bad thing. that is why I taught my son inlaw the technique, not so much so he could use it, but so he could be aware someone could TRY and use it on him.

Just have to always ensure a person is not within 2 arms length of you if you are pointing a gun at them, if they try to gap that space you need to fire otherwise you risk loosing control of the weapon. (jmho I am sure departments have their guidelines)

GettoPhilosopher
10-05-2011, 3:02 PM
Yep, thats the one.

Takes a lot of practice, like you said, adrenalin pumping, unless a person does it enough times for it to become muscle memory, trying it could turn out bad.

But, if someone was proficient at it, then it would be possible for a bad guy to disarm a LEO, and that would be a bad thing. that is why I taught my son inlaw the technique, not so much so he could use it, but so he could be aware someone could TRY and use it on him.

Just have to always ensure a person is not within 2 arms length of you if you are pointing a gun at them, if they try to gap that space you need to fire otherwise you risk loosing control of the weapon. (jmho I am sure departments have their guidelines)

Because....a potential terrorist's attack plan would begin with "Travel to the SOL unarmed, find an on or off-duty officer, and then ninja disarm him to gain a firearm"?

thrasherfox
10-05-2011, 3:58 PM
Because....a potential terrorist's attack plan would begin with "Travel to the SOL unarmed, find an on or off-duty officer, and then ninja disarm him to gain a firearm"?

You just look for confrontation don't you? lol.

Go fish somewhere else, I aint biting

GettoPhilosopher
10-05-2011, 4:28 PM
You just look for confrontation don't you? lol.

Go fish somewhere else, I aint biting

No, I've just always found the "but if you're armed it just gives criminals a chance to take your gun!!!" argument extremely lacking. I don't think that's what you were actually arguing or what you actually believe, but I nonetheless feel the need to point out the utter absurdity of that line of thinking whenever it is expressed, in whatever context it is expressed.

There may or may not be legitimate reasons for refusing to allow off-duty Federal agents to carry on Liberty Island. "If we let them carry, terrorists could disarm them and wreak havoc" is most definitely not one. The tangent about cool disarm moves was interesting and all, but it's not remotely close to being a valid reason to keep citizens (whether federal agents or not) from carrying personal weapons.

Uxi
10-05-2011, 4:43 PM
Honestly if joe blow cant carry there, why should any off duty person be able to?

Indeed. On-duty is another story, but even without equal protections, no off-duty Federal employees should have the ability that the average law abiding John Doe Citizen.

BigDogatPlay
10-05-2011, 4:54 PM
You got a blue wristband that said you were carrying a gun?

Only had a number on it, but it was a visual clue to their resources on the islands that the person with the blue wristband was an armed, off duty LEO. Had to turn them in upon departure.

Mstrty
10-05-2011, 4:58 PM
What in the heck does ninja moves and finger ripping have to do with Ellis Island and how Federal agents are an elite upper class. Lets get back on topic!

RollingCode3
10-05-2011, 5:05 PM
I just love the posts with "if everyday Joe Blow can't carry then neither should an off-duty LEO". Get over it!

OP: What sucks more is the CBP policy that the only off-duty gun you can carry is your duty P2000, or P2000K if you're lucky to have one issued to you. I know "policy" isn't the law but it'll get you days on the beach.

+1 very well said. crap mentality- "if i can't have it, neither can you." :facepalm: Some people need to grow up.

Mstrty
10-06-2011, 5:09 PM
+1 very well said. crap mentality- "if i can't have it, neither can you." :facepalm: Some people need to grow up.
If we subject off duty LEO's to the same restrictions as us "regular folks", the California legislators would not be able to enact such ludicrous anti gun legislation. The police associations would not stand for it. Carving firearm exemptions for the chosen few off duty LEO's is an abomination to us "regular folk". Other States that do not carve out special exemptions for off duty LEO's are the same states we all want to move to and register our SBR and FA weapons. Both myself and my LEO family members all put on our pants the same way....one leg at a time.

RollingCode3
10-06-2011, 5:21 PM
If we subject off duty LEO's to the same restrictions as us "regular folks", the California legislators would not be able to enact such ludicrous anti gun legislation. The police associations would not stand for it. Carving firearm exemptions for the chosen few off duty LEO's is an abomination to us "regular folk". Other States that do not carve out special exemptions for off duty LEO's are the same states we all want to move to and register our SBR and FA weapons. Both myself and my LEO family members all put on our pants the same way....one leg at a time.

You do know under CA law, there is no such thing as OFF DUTY right? They are peace officer 24/7.

Mstrty
10-06-2011, 7:50 PM
You do know under CA law, there is no such thing as OFF DUTY right? They are peace officer 24/7.

I am sorry please replace "off duty" with "off watch". Please excuse my impropriety.

My point is this:
If we allow LEO's to use 11 round magazines outside the scope of their duties we are creating a higher class of citizen. If we require officers to leave their 11 round magazines at their place of employment and replace with a 10 round or less magazine while "off watch" we would not have the laws we have.

Cali-Shooter
10-06-2011, 7:55 PM
The Statue of Liberty, you give up self-defense rights and freedom just to visit it. America today...

BigDogatPlay
10-07-2011, 5:55 PM
You do know under CA law, there is no such thing as OFF DUTY right? They are peace officer 24/7.

Point of order... they can exercise the powers of a peace officer 24/7/365 at any place in the state or within their statutory authority for limited peace officers. But labor law says that on duty is on duty and off duty is off duty. There is a distinct difference in that respect.

lrdchivalry
10-07-2011, 10:33 PM
I just love the posts with "if everyday Joe Blow can't carry then neither should an off-duty LEO". Get over it!

OP: What sucks more is the CBP policy that the only off-duty gun you can carry is your duty P2000, or P2000K if you're lucky to have one issued to you. I know "policy" isn't the law but it'll get you days on the beach.

I would have to disagree with you on this one. Chapter 2 section C-5 of CBP's use of force policy says:

"Authorized Officers/Agents are authorized to carry a CBP-approved handgun off-duty subject to the provisions of this policy. Only those handguns listed in Appendix IV, CBP-Authorized Firearms and Intermediate Force Devices and specifically approved by the AC of each operational component may be carried".

Sounds like only an issued weapon or weapon found in appendix IV can be carried right? Well Chapter 2 section E states:

"Nothing in this policy shall be construed as interfering with the right of Authorized Officers/Agents as private citizens to carry a personally-owned firearm for personal use. Officers must comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws when exercising this right".

Therefore a CBP Officer/Agent can carry a personal weapon under HR218 and be in compliance with CBP policy. HR218 also states that an Officer/Agent would have to carry their creds to prove they are authorized to carry under HR218.