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View Full Version : Cousin stopped In Nat'l Forest by Ranger


kicker72
03-31-2007, 5:46 PM
I have a question for all the guys that got the cali. law lingo down. I have a cousin who went hunting today out in the national forest, it is a regular area regularly used for hunting. Strictly hunting and no target shooting, and it is posted in that particular area.

The area i am talking about is in Temecula area. Now here is my question. What are the legalities while hunting with a rifle in the National Forest. They were stopped by a Forest Ranger while in their vehicle, while inspecting the guns he noticed that they had rounds in the mags and rounds in the feeding tubes of their rifles, NO rounds were chambered. He said that they could not have any rounds in the rifle chambered or not, and infact they could not even have the rifles inside the cab of the truck even if no rounds were present without being in a locked container, and the ammo also had to be in a locked container(and it doesn't matter if your hunting in a hunting area). He said it was because of a 3 action law or a 3 lock law my cousin didn't remember exactly what he said, but it similar to what I posted above. He said it could be a mistimeanor or even a felony. To make a long story short he didn't even give them a citation. Just asked them not to do it again. The guns that were checked were a .22 and 17 HMR. They were hunting squirrels.

I know some of your are pretty sharp when it comes to this kind of thing. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance guys.

!@#$
03-31-2007, 6:12 PM
no loaded guns in car when hunting.

no locks are needed.

HowardW56
03-31-2007, 6:27 PM
I have a question for all the guys that got the cali. law lingo down. I have a cousin who went hunting today out in the national forest, it is a regular area regularly used for hunting. Strictly hunting and no target shooting, and it is posted in that particular area.

The area i am talking about is in Temecula area. Now here is my question. What are the legalities while hunting with a rifle in the National Forest. They were stopped by a Forest Ranger while in their vehicle, while inspecting the guns he noticed that they had rounds in the mags and rounds in the feeding tubes of their rifles, NO rounds were chambered. He said that they could not have any rounds in the rifle chambered or not, and infact they could not even have the rifles inside the cab of the truck even if no rounds were present without being in a locked container, and the ammo also had to be in a locked container(and it doesn't matter if your hunting in a hunting area). He said it was because of a 3 action law or a 3 lock law my cousin didn't remember exactly what he said, but it similar to what I posted above. He said it could be a mistimeanor or even a felony. To make a long story short he didn't even give them a citation. Just asked them not to do it again. The guns that were checked were a .22 and 17 HMR. They were hunting squirrels.

I know some of your are pretty sharp when it comes to this kind of thing. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance guys.

UNLOAD YOUR GUNS WHEN YOU GET INTO A VEHICLE!

You can't have loaded weapons in the vehicle, even while hunting...

arguy15
03-31-2007, 6:29 PM
This really pisses me off. The DOJ is a sorry excuse for a government agency. Their laws and interpretations are so difficult to understand and the fail to relay proper information to law enforcement. The DOJ needs to publish a correct and UP TO DATE gun law book to law enforcement! How do they except citizens to follow the laws when sworn law enforcement officers donít know them?

HowardW56
03-31-2007, 6:36 PM
This really pisses me off. The DOJ is a sorry excuse for a government agency. Their laws and interpretations are so difficult to understand and the fail to relay proper information to law enforcement. The DOJ needs to publish a correct and UP TO DATE gun law book to law enforcement! How do they except citizens to follow the laws when sworn law enforcement officers donít know them?

I donít know what you mean by that statement. Who said that the ranger didn't know the law? Maybe he didn't want to confiscate their weapons and believe they just made a mistake. If it had been a Fish and Game Warden that had stopped them, they may have needed a ride home, they would have taken their weapons and will impound the vehicle tooÖ.

NRAhighpowershooter
03-31-2007, 6:41 PM
CA F&G rules say the gun is loaded when a round is IN the chamber!!! that ranger either doesn't know the rules or just wanted to harass your cousin....and yes you can have guns with loaded mags in the cab of a vehicle WHILE hunting. as long as there are NO rounds in the chamber.......BUT!! if you are on public roads going from 1 hunting area to another you MUST follow regular laws not F&G laws!!

jmlivingston
03-31-2007, 6:43 PM
This really pisses me off. The DOJ is a sorry excuse for a government agency. Their laws and interpretations are so difficult to understand and the fail to relay proper information to law enforcement. The DOJ needs to publish a correct and UP TO DATE gun law book to law enforcement! How do they except citizens to follow the laws when sworn law enforcement officers don’t know them?

That's probably so, but that Forest Ranger would have been a Federal LEO and not somebody under the auspices of the CalDoJBoF. As it was, that Ranger corrected one issue and sent them on their way. While he was wrong on the second (locked ammo bit, unless there's a Fed. Reg. I'm not aware of?) it's hard to be too upset about this.

John

jmlivingston
03-31-2007, 6:45 PM
and yes you can have guns with loaded mags in the cab of a vehicle WHILE hunting. as long as there are NO rounds in the chamber.......

Even when that vehicle is on a public road? Most "trails" are considered public roads, aren't they?

kicker72
03-31-2007, 7:11 PM
Even when that vehicle is on a public road? Most "trails" are considered public roads, aren't they?

The trail that they were on is accessible only by 4x4. I don't know what it's considered.

jmlivingston
03-31-2007, 7:14 PM
Even some 4x4 trails are considered roads. I'm not sure what all the requirements are, but most trails in national forests are typically numbered and included on the detailed maps of the forests. I consider anything like that a public road when I'm out hunting.

John

Pthfndr
03-31-2007, 7:58 PM
Forest Service roads are considered public roadways. Even when they are rarely used and inaccessible by anything other than a hardcore 4x4. If it has road designation number, it's public.

NF rangers can cite or arrest you for shooting across a NF service road even if you're out in the middle of no where. If you keep your cool and act polite and dumb they'll usually just warn and advise you of the regulations and leave you be.

Rumpled
04-01-2007, 12:49 AM
According to the CA F&G code, a rifle is only loaded when a round is in the chamber. This is what most DF&G Wardens will be familiar with,
According to the Penal Code (I think, maybe one of the others) a rifle is loaded if ammo is attached in any way. Most LEO's will be familiar with this.

Because of this more restrictive second code, I unload fully when placing in or even touching the vehicle.

USFS Rangers are Federal and may or may not know any State codes.

HowardW56
04-01-2007, 7:06 PM
Forest Service roads are considered public roadways. Even when they are rarely used and inaccessible by anything other than a hardcore 4x4. If it has road designation number, it's public.

NF rangers can cite or arrest you for shooting across a NF service road even if you're out in the middle of no where. If you keep your cool and act polite and dumb they'll usually just warn and advise you of the regulations and leave you be.


I agree, most of the rangers aren't bad guys. They just want ypou to try to obey the law, most will just advise you on minor infractions and send you on your way....

DamageInc
04-01-2007, 8:33 PM
Sounds like the same National Forest officer who stopped me in the Cleveland National Forest (by Temecula) on the opening day of dove season. He felt it necessary to have his hand on his gun as he instructed me to put my shotgun down as I came out of the field. I was dressed in hunting clothing and had a vest full of birds. He had no clue it was dove season and asked me what I was doing. This was on September 1, 2006. Hunting is becoming a thing of the past in California, and a lot of the NFLE guys in the field view everyone with a gun in the forest as a potential enemy.

If this guy told your cousin that his rifle needs to be in a locked container, he's wrong. If he told your cousin his ammunition needs to be in a locked container, he's wrong. It is OK to have ammo in a magazine or tube of a rifle/shotgun in your vehicle while hunting, as long as there isn't a round in the chamber. Check the CA Fish and Game website and download the current regulations. It's all in there. However, it's better to play it safe and have your long gun completely unloaded when it's in your vehicle.

National Forest law enforcement is used to confronting dope growers and bad people doing bad things in National Forests. They can be edgy, overbearing and IMO, view hunters as a nuisance.

Fish and Game wardens, on the other hand, have always been friendly to me in that area.

kicker72
04-02-2007, 1:29 PM
Hey guys thanks for all the replies, I'll send my cousin this link so he can check it out himself.

mark3lb
04-02-2007, 1:48 PM
He's lucky the Ranger let him off. I wouldn't think of rolling in a truck with even loaded mags in Cali. You want to hunt...get out, load the rifle and walk around looking for game, but rolling with ammo in mags or a mag connected to a rifle but not chambered, hell no. You never know when a Ranger will roll up...like he did on your cousin.

ViPER395
04-02-2007, 3:35 PM
I have always thought that a loaded rifle, meant a CHAMBERED round. My dad and I since the dawn of time have rolled around with tubular mags loaded on the 22, and the non-detachable mags loaded in our bolt action 30-06s. No chambered rounds.

Last year the F&G guy hassled me about having rounds in the non-detach mag, bolt open, sitting in a parked vehicle waiting for sunrise.

Another time a F&G guy hassled us about having a .22 during archery season (we weren't archery hunting) and then when he heard someone shoot down the road a ways, he jumped (literally, from gun report to driveaway was like 5 seconds) in his truck and took off.

The only time a USFS has ever bothered me was when I was shooting near a road, and the woman asked if I was shooting toward the road. Of course I wasn't, and she could tell by my target location, but anyways. I was doing some rapid fire with the 10/22 and I think she wanted to stop and check on me.

I realize they're just doing their job, but I seriously think that tubes or mags being loaded in a car is not as big an issue as is with poaching and doe-hunting.

[/rant]

metalhead357
04-02-2007, 11:58 PM
Ranger was full of it................:cool:
I've been stopped EXACTLY like that with nothing in the chamber and loaded mags on 4 of my last 6 hunts. Nada, nothing....its LEGAL.

Per DFG regs


It is unlawful to possess a loaded rifle or shotgun in any vehicle or conveyance or its attachments which is standing on or along or is being driven on or along any
public highway or other way open to the public. A rifle or shotgun shall be deemed to be loaded for the purposes of this section when there is an unexpended cartridge or shell in the firing chamber but not when
the only cartridges or shells are in the magazine.*
The provisions of this section shall not apply to peace officers or members of thearmed forces of this state or the United States, while on duty or going to or returning from duty. (FGC 2006)
*NOTE:
Except as provided in subdivision [PC 12031](b), (c) or (d), every person who carries a loaded firearm on his or her person or in a vehicle while in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated city or in any public place or on any public street in a prohibited area of unincorporated territory is guilty of a misdemeanor
(PC 12031(a)).
A firearm shall be deemed to be loaded for the purposes of this section when there is an unexpended cartridge or shell, consisting of a case which holds a charge of powder and a bullet or shot, in, or attached in any manner to, the firearm, including, but not limited to, in the firing chamber, magazine, or clip thereof attached to the firearm; except that a muzzle-loader firearm shall be deemed to be loaded when it is capped or primed and has a powder charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinder (PC 12031(g)).


http://www.dfg.ca.gov/docs/06-07_Mammal_Hunting.pdf

Off road and hunting...he's good to go:) ; sounds like the Ranger needs some sensativity training classes:p

Rumpled
04-03-2007, 12:50 AM
Metalhead,
Your post shows a clearer explanation than I've seen before. I always thought the road prohibition applied to ALL public roads; not only those in incorporated areas or prohibited areas.

I'll be rereading those sections; but it looks like you cleared that one up for me - thanks!

metalhead357
04-03-2007, 1:27 AM
Metalhead,
Your post shows a clearer explanation than I've seen before. I always thought the road prohibition applied to ALL public roads; not only those in incorporated areas or prohibited areas.

I'll be rereading those sections; but it looks like you cleared that one up for me - thanks!


Anytime! One of my earliest hunting expreineces involved one of these stops with my uncle driving. I was scared S****less as here we were with 2 'loaded' guns in the car (Hunting defintion:D ) and Warden actually had my uncle get out, he climbed IN and checked both mine and my uncles guns....said we were good ta' go. I VERY soon learned that section of the DFG code!!!!!!!

Just remember- 1) gotta be hunting & 2) supposed to be 'off road'....as in NOT on a road you'd normally consider a paved road...... a lot more to it--- but that's the jist.

kicker72
04-03-2007, 3:48 AM
Metalhead, outstanding that's what I was lookin' to hear. I made a print out.:D