I may be going out to some of the PA state Gamelands past the Sony plant east of Pgh (forget where it "actually" is). I'm going there to climb, and I don't hunt (therefore, do not have any kind of hunting lisence).
I do have a CCW, but since Game law likes to apply to things that aren't under its purview (the carriage of loaded rifles in cars for purposes other than hunting), I thought I'd check to see what kind of legal risk I incur if I'm on or around PA game land with certain weapons in certain conditions.
1) Are semi-auto weapons allowed on or around the land? Remember, I'm NOT hunting.
2) Is there a certain number of rounds I cannot have in my weapons, regardless of their operating systems?
3) Can I carry a loaded rifle outside my vehicle, either openly or in a backpack?
Your Florida Permit is recognized by PA - just as good as a resident.
State Game Land regulations.
Basically - NO SHOOTING unless hunting in season WITH a License.
(Unless the Game Land has a RANGE - some do. )
Also Carry In STATE PARKS is ILLEGAL.
No other regs. I know of.
EDIT No Loaded Long guns in your vehicle , and I wouldnt suggest carrying one around on
the game lands.
so is it lawful to carry on the gamelands with ranges ??
to my knowledge gamelands are not a state park. is this correct?
Just to clarify - Carrying in PA State Parks is specifically prohibited under the
Uniform Firearms act.
State Game lands are used for public hunting - and some have public shooting ranges.
The regs for Game Lands are in the .pdf file I posted previously.
The Shooting Ranges have some rules also.....
Public Shooting Ranges
For your shooting enjoyment and to make you a better hunter, the Game Commission maintains numerous public shooting ranges across the state.
These ranges are open year-round, from 8 a.m. until sunset, except for Sunday mornings, unless otherwise posted. And with stable benches, large backstops and well maintained grounds, they're great places to sight-in your rifles, test ammunition and hone your shooting skills.
Especially prior to the bear and deer seasons and on weekends, these ranges can be busy places. Users should review and follow the posted regulations, and be considerate of others, too. Of course, all rules of safety need to be followed, and by all means wear proper eye and ear protection. Also, anyone under 16 must be accompanied by someone 18 or older.
Users should also practice good shooting etiquette. The regulation, for example, that limits a shooter to having no more than three rounds in a rifle (six in a handgun) may not seem to make much sense.
What it does, though, is give shooters a chance to check their targets without having to wait for those who may want to shoot long strings. This same regulation prohibits people using firearms with large capacity magazines from monopolizing time on the range, and also causing inordinate damage, particularly to backstops.
Carrying in State Parks is not prohibited by law. They like to push the idea that it is, but they have nothing except an "opinion".
You can carry on SGL's with a CCW.
Sec. 2507. Restrictions on shooting.
(a) General rule. - It is unlawful for any person during the open season for the taking of any big game other than turkey to:
(1) Shoot at any mark or target other than legal game or wildlife with a firearm of any kind or a bow and arrow.
(2) Discharge at any time any firearm or release an arrow at random in the general direction of any game or wildlife not plainly visible for the purpose of routing or frightening them.
(3) Discharge at any time any firearm or release an arrow at random or in any other manner contrary to this section.
(b) Exceptions. - This section shall not be construed to apply in any manner to:
(1) The discharge of any firearm for the sole purpose of signaling for aid or assistance while in distress.
(2) The use of rifle, pistol or archery ranges owned, leased or maintained by a State or Federal military or police organization or by any regularly organized rifle, pistol, shotgun or archery range, shooting association or club while shooting at a regularly established and properly safeguarded range or to any public shooting exhibition properly safeguarded and conducted under the direction of any organization for the promotion of marksmanship.
(3) The discharge of a muzzle-loading firearm at a proper target for the purpose of safe transportation of the muzzle-loaded firearm.
(4) Shooting at a properly constructed target or mark or a dead tree protected by a natural or artificial barrier so that the ball, bullet or arrow cannot travel more than 15 yards beyond the target aimed at, after making due allowance for deflection in any direction not to exceed an angle of 45 degrees. Target shooting shall only be lawful when it is done:
(i) Upon property owned by the shooter or by a guest of the property owner.
(ii) Within 200 yards of the camp or other headquarters where the person shooting is quartered or is an invited guest or visitor.
(c) Penalty. - A violation of this section is a summary offense of the fourth degree.
here are the state park regs. copied from their website.
11.215. Weapons and hunting.
The following activities are prohibited without written permission of the
(1) Hunting, pursuing or intentionally disturbing woodchucks, also known as
groundhogs. Paragraph (2) does not apply to this activity.
(2) Hunting, pursuing or intentionally disturbing wildlife unless:
(i) The person engaging in the activity is licensed by the Game Commission to
hunt and is engaged in hunting in accordance with the Game and Wildlife Code.
(ii) The activity takes place in an area designated by the Department for
hunting. At Presque Isle State Park, waterfowl hunting may take place only from
a facility designated by the Department as a waterfowl blind, and shooting shall
be directed away from State park land and over the adjacent waters.
(iii) The activity takes place during hunting season as established by the Game
(iv) The firearm, archery equipment or other device used for this activity is
lawful for hunting under the Game and Wildlife Code. A device operated by air,
chemical or gas cylinder by which a projectile can be discharged or propelled is
not lawful for hunting under the Game and Wildlife Code.
(3) Using a device, including a firearm, archery equipment or slingshot, that is
capable of discharging or propelling a projectile, except as provided in paragraph
(2) or (7).
(4) Possessing an uncased device, or uncasing a device, including a firearm,
archery equipment or slingshot, that is capable of discharging or propelling a
projectile, except as provided in paragraph (2) or (7), or except in the owner's
building on a leased campsite, in the owner's residence, or in the owner's vehicle
(5) Failing to keep a device, including a firearm, archery equipment or
slingshot, that is capable of discharging or propelling a projectile, in the owner's
building on a leased campsite, in the owner's residence or in the owner's vehicle
or trailer. This prohibition does not apply to either of the following:
(i) A person licensed by the Game Commission to hunt, and in possession of a
device that is lawful for hunting under the Game and Wildlife Code, during
hunting season as established by the Game Commission, in a State park open for
(ii) A person engaged in target-shooting under paragraph (7).
(6) The trapping of wildlife. This prohibition does not apply to a person
licensed by the Game Commission to engage in trapping, during trapping season
as established by the Game Commission, in an area designated by the Department
(7) Target-shooting with a device, including a firearm, archery equipment or
slingshot, capable of discharging or propelling a projectile, except in an area
designated by the Department for this purpose and in accordance with posted
requirements and restrictions.
(8) Dog training, except from the day following Labor Day through March 31,
in an area designated by the Department for hunting.
And what charge are they going to hit you with? Nothing. Like I said, they have it in their regs that they don't want you to carry, but thats it. Its their opinion, not a law.
Okay...that clears it up some. It looks like the hunting regs prohibit DISCHARGING weapons on state gamelands that are not lawful to hunt with. So theoretically, if I walk around with a phaser or something, its no one's business so long as I am not shooting or hunting.
Not that I would wantonly or carelessly do such a thing. I just moved back to PA, so FWIW, I do have a valid PA CCW still.
My opinion for what its worth...
I go climbing / bouldering up at Haycock, which is SGL and until recently used to have a range as well. I have always carried, never had a problem. Shooting is one thing, but concealed carry is just that, concealed carry....unless you display your weapon, exactly how would someone know you had one in the first place? This isnt like sitting in a crowded restaurant and having the butt of my CCW printing....I am out miles into the middle of the woods, where I rarely see another human for the entire time I am out there. My way of looking at it, my CCW, well concealed on my person, miles away from the nearest human....uhmmmm, tree in the forest, no one there to hear it?
I only even carry out there in the event I encounter a black bear or rattlesnake.
Out on a hike, the two legged threats are the least of my concern.
Like I said though, these are my opinions...not advice.
Try READING the regulations:
You will be ticketed and removed from the park. You will have to pay a fine. You will note that this is a LAW, not an opinion, and is covered by section 7506 of the Crimes Code.
I have read THE LAW............"or to promote the welfare, safety or protection of those persons using such property".............can't see how being in possession of a CCW puts you in violation. Concealed is concealed.
§7506. Violation of rules regarding conduct on commonwealth property.
(a) Promulgation of rules and regulations.—
The Department of Environmental Resources, Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission may promulgate rules and regulations governing conduct, other than conduct regulated in section 7505 (relating to violation of governmental rules regarding traffic), on Commonwealth property within the jurisdiction of that agency. Such rules and regulations shall be reasonably related to the preservation and protection of such property for its specified or intended use, or to promote the welfare, safety or protection of those persons using such property, shall be consistent with existing law and shall be posted in a manner reasonable likely to come to the attention of persons using such property.
(b) Violation penalty.—A person who violates any of the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this section is guilty of a summary offense.
Whether YOU see the connection is not the issue. The State Park Regulation decrees that it is there, and you can be cited if found out. Your earlier statement that
And how many people have ever been cited under this?
I've brought up this issue with the DCNR in the past. The feedback from them, at the time, is that if you were caught CCW'ing and not otherwise causing a problem, you would be asked to unload and lock the firearm in your vehicle for the remainder of your visit. If you refused, then they'd ticket you and throw your ass out.
However, that's not published policy and should not be relied upon. CIYOR.
So, basically... don't be an ass and you won't get jammed up for otherwise legal CCW.