Gun Control In North Carolina State Parks?

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

As I posted, I recently made a hiking trip to Mount Mitchell State Park with my son Joseph.  Along the way (during a visit to a store to pick up some souvenirs for my son’s friend), I saw this sign.

“Firearms and lethal weapons are prohibited except by permit.”  Now, this causes a whole host of problems, and so let’s begin our discussion.

First of all, North Carolina is a traditional open carry state, and there is nothing in any statute that excepts the state parks as being areas where one cannot open carry or stipulates the manner of carry, whether a handgun or long gun (rifle or shotgun).  Furthermore, hunters carry firearms into the park all the time, hunting mostly for black bear during the summer and fall.

This all caused me to research the regulations, or at least, the publicly available statements by the park service, concerning firearms in North Carolina state parks.  I landed on this web site, where we read the following concerning firearms.

Firearms and other weapons are prohibited except that those with a proper permit may possess a concealed handgun in permitted areas and under the requirements of North Carolina G.S. 14-415.11. All firearms and weapons are prohibited in state park visitor centers and park offices.

This makes it sound as if firearms are prohibited unless they are concealed, since it is only under those conditions that a permit is legally required.  In other words, it appears that this statement on the park web site is a spurious prohibition of open carry in contravention of state law (which does not speak to the issue of open carry, and simple carry of a handgun in a holster has never been considered carrying a weapon “to the terror of the public” or brandishing a weapon).

The statute to which this statement refers (North Carolina G.S. 14-415.11) simply makes it clear that “Any person who has a concealed handgun permit may carry a concealed handgun on the grounds or waters of a park within the State Parks System as defined in G.S. 143B-135.44.”  It says nothing about prohibition of open carry, in parks or anywhere else.  Nor does any other North Carolina statute speak to the issue of open carry.

So this leaves us with only two apparent options for interpretation of the signage and the statement on the park web site.  The first option is that it is intended to be an end run around the legislature who has not spoken to the issue of open carry in state parks, or anywhere else for that matter.  The state park service is making up their own laws.

The second option is that this signage is a mistake, but even more than that, contains material false information and is therefore unlawful due to its false and misleading information.  Frankly, either option means that the park service is behaving in an unlawful manner, where they are making up their own laws, or simply communicating material false information to park visitors.

Which is it, and is the park service aware of their unlawful behavior on this issue?

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Comments

  1. On August 7, 2017 at 8:32 am, Ned said:

    “Show me the law.”

    “I am the law.”

    Insert lead punctuation where required.

  2. On August 7, 2017 at 5:30 pm, Sean said:

    Sign? What sign?

  3. On August 7, 2017 at 9:15 pm, DAN III said:

    If one were to challenge the NC State Park system, they would find out quickly, just how corrupt the system is. My guess is that should one open carry in sight of a state park badged thug you would be, at a minimum, cited. Relishing your day in court you challenge the charge. Robed thug hears your plea and rules for the state. “”You can appeal it, sir”, says the robed thug.

    Guess what ? You lose. Even a win on appeal you lose….time, frustration and money spent….YOU LOSE. The rule of law is not how you, the common man, der untermenschen, read and interpret it. Rather it is how your betters, the ruling elites, choose to interpret it, implement it, and in turn, keep your sorry, common man ass in line.

    Of course, my scenario above is hypothetical. Certainly, in my cynicism I could be wrong. However, in my experience, as per the above you’ll be found to be one guilty SoB !

  4. On August 8, 2017 at 2:52 am, Dan said:

    Another instance of state apparatchiks resorting to the practice of ‘lawfare’. Using the legal system as a weapon to punish citizens
    who have the temerity to challenge them EVEN IF THEY ARE WRONG.

    They are fully aware that THEY have unlimited resources ( at least till
    every taxpayer in the state is flat ass broke) and the people they are
    persecuting don’t. And it’s all based in the insanity of ‘qualified immunity’
    where those making the rules and breaking the law can do so with total
    impunity because the corrupt system they control makes them immune to the consequences of their actions. Under such a system a citizen will never obtain justice via the legal system. For justice to occur it will require
    they obtain it themselves under whatever circumstances they can safely do so…..resulting in one fewer bureaucrat wasting oxygen.

  5. On August 8, 2017 at 5:41 pm, Jay Bree said:

    There’s nothing there that a Sharpie couldn’t fix.

  6. On August 18, 2017 at 9:19 am, Roger L Martin said:

    What this boils down to is the 10th amendment that states do not have the power to enforce anything that is prohibited by the constitution. The 2nd amendment prohibits the infringement of people’s right to keep and bear arms. Any state law that infringes 0n the 2nd amendment is illegal and unconstitutional. Any law enforcement office that tries to enforce it comes under the category of a domestic enemy of this country.

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You are currently reading "Gun Control In North Carolina State Parks?", entry #17501 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Gun Control and was published August 6th, 2017 by Herschel Smith.

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