Quick Camping Tip: Taking Your Gun Camping

By Suzanne Wiley published on in Camping & Survival

Cheaper Than Dirt! Quick Camping TipSince February 2010, federal law states that you may carry firearms into national parks in all common outdoor areas such as your campsite, in your vehicle and on public trails, as long as you follow all state and local laws. Ranger stations, visitor centers, maintenance buildings and other “federal facilities” still do not allow the carry of firearms inside. National forests under control of the Department of Agriculture do not fall under this law. Further, the law did not change the legal use of firearms in a National Park—so no target shooting unless the national park you are in has a designated shooting area.

Picture shows a sign detailing the law allowing concealed carry in national parks.

Since February 2010, federal law states that you may carry firearms into national parks in all common outdoor areas as long as you follow all state and local laws.

Similar to traveling with firearms, many state’s national parks allow you to conceal carry if the state you are camping in shares a reciprocity law with your state’s concealed carry permit or license. Please check the laws of the state you will be camping in for reciprocity agreements. As of January 2014, the following are exceptions to carrying concealed reciprocity in national parks.

Constitutional Carry

Anyone legally allowed to own a firearm may open or conceal carry without any permits.

  • Alaska
  • Vermont
  • Arizona

Conceal Carry by Licensed Residents of the State Only

  • Massachusetts
  • Oregon
  • Illinois

Guns Allowed, but Must be Unloaded, Cased and Kept in the Car or in the Campsite

  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Rhode Island
  • Firearms prohibited:
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Washington D.C.
  • New Jersey
  • Maryland
  • New York

As always, double check local state laws for the legalities of carrying your gun open or concealed at any campsites you plan to visit.

Will you be camping in our country’s national parks this summer? Do concealed carry laws determine where you go? Tell us in the comment section.


Introduced to shooting at young age by her older brother, Suzanne Wiley took to the shooting sports and developed a deep love for it over the years. Today, she enjoys plinking with her S&W M&P 15-22, loves revolvers, the 1911, short-barreled AR-15s, and shooting full auto when she gets the chance. Suzanne specializes in writing for the female shooter, beginner shooter, and the modern-day prepper. Suzanne is a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!

View all articles by CTD Suzanne

Tags: , , , , ,

Trackback from your site.

The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, "The Shooter's Log," is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (5)

  • abelhorn




    But thanks for telling us which states are

    NOT part of the United States


  • Smitty 550


    ….and what’s the deal with BLM land? IIRC, didn’t the BLM recently prohibit hunting on BLM lands? This is a link published by the BLM, but it is not dated, so I have no idea if it is current or not. Anyone have any information? If not, I will contact BLM directly. BTW, they provide some excellent maps that show BLM and private property, but…..what is not shown is property that is leased by private owners, so it is always a good idea to check with private owners who might be in the area so as to prevent getting into a dispute.


    • Smitty 550


      Here is a link from the BLM dated April 1, 2014 (on Google). In it are listed California BLM lands that apparently were previously open to hunting, but are now restricted due to population increases in those areas. I would think that it would be prudent to check with BLM re any current BLM law changes prior to making any hunting plans, since it appears that BLM’s hunting areas are in a constant state of flux.

      My visits to BLM offices have been very productive, and the personnel there have been very friendly and helpful.



  • G-man


    I know this is off topic, but I cringe every time I see articles like this that provide lists of states with their varying gun laws across our country; mainly because it can’t help but bring attention to the states that are abusing citizen’s Constitutional rights and those that are not. It is so painful to accept how this can be, when there is supposed to be all this equality throughout the freest country in the world.


Leave a comment

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

%d bloggers like this: