Since 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.
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.
Anyone legally allowed to own a firearm may open or conceal carry without any permits.
Conceal Carry by Licensed Residents of the State Only
Guns Allowed, but Must be Unloaded, Cased and Kept in the Car or in the Campsite
- Rhode Island
- Firearms prohibited:
- Washington D.C.
- New Jersey
- 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.