DWR Rules and Right To Carry

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Re: DWR Rules and Right To Carry

Postby divegeek » Thu 24 Dec 2009 12:12 am

tuffluckdriller wrote:My cousin was cited during the rifle deer hunt for having a loaded firearm in the vehicle. He does not have a CFP. As I have researched (obviously only a little bit so far), it seems to me that the DWR CO has no right to issue such a citation. He's having to make payments on the $250.00 fine they imposed. What legal recourse is there? Maybe none of you is a lawyer able to offer the accurate info needed... Anyway, thought I'd ask.

It sounds like he didn't even try to fight it -- and I suspect that is what happens 99.9% of the time. What with all the stories that go around about how people caught doing something wrong by the DWR lose their gun, their truck, their camp trailer and anything and everything else they have that was even peripherally related to hunting, people look at a $250 fine and pay up, in part relieved that it's not worse and in part convinced that if the DWR didn't really have the authority to issue that citation, they wouldn't.

My guess is that the other 0.1% of cases are quietly dropped. I could be wrong, but that's my guess.
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Re: DWR Rules and Right To Carry

Postby NSD » Thu 24 Dec 2009 6:30 am

tuffluckdriller wrote:My cousin was cited during the rifle deer hunt for having a loaded firearm in the vehicle. He does not have a CFP. As I have researched (obviously only a little bit so far), it seems to me that the DWR CO has no right to issue such a citation. He's having to make payments on the $250.00 fine they imposed. What legal recourse is there? Maybe none of you is a lawyer able to offer the accurate info needed... Anyway, thought I'd ask.



This sounds a little different than just trying to cite someone for having a firearm. As I understand it, you cannot have a loaded rifle, shotguns, or muzzleloader in your car without a CCP. If it was a handgun then I believe he was cited incorrectly.
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Re: DWR Rules and Right To Carry

Postby apollosmith » Thu 24 Dec 2009 8:40 am

As I understand it, you cannot have a loaded rifle, shotguns, or muzzleloader in your car without a CCP. If it was a handgun then I believe he was cited incorrectly.


Correct. DWR does have authority to cite you for having a loaded long gun in a vehicle without a CFP. This is very clearly a law. However, they do not have authority to cite you for the many other random and arbitrary firearms 'rules' they have created for themselves, such as no firearms if you are archery or muzzle loader hunting, no firearms in an area where a limited entry big game hunt is happening, etc. The legislature has never granted them authority to regulate firearms in these ways yet they do it all the time.
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Re: DWR Rules and Right To Carry

Postby RustyShackleford » Thu 24 Dec 2009 9:49 am

Q:Why are DWR (or any other cop) allowed to have a loaded firearm in their vehicle?
A:There are laws that allow an officer to be armed and have a loaded firearm in the vehicle.

Q:Why are those in Utah allowed to carry a loaded firearm in their vehicle?
A:There are laws that allow us in Utah to be armed and have a loaded firearm in the vehicle.

If there is a Law (DWR) that says you can't have a loaded firearm in the vehicle during a hunt...
Where in that law, is found the exception for DWR officers (or other cops) to remain armed "during a hunt" but somehow only apply to us common folk?



The law should read: you can't take a shot at a deer while in your vehicle, across a roadway etc..... (that is the crime that they are trying to cover and those laws are in place)
Why don't they just outlaw vehicles during the hunt????

There is a legal term for this (preemptive law), same as most gun control laws.

What is next...you cant have a ladder, a hammer and "nails" in your pick-up........because you may go out and repair someones roof without the proper license!!???
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Re: DWR Rules and Right To Carry

Postby RustyShackleford » Thu 24 Dec 2009 10:10 am

If someone wanted to fight this. I think the best way to go about it would be to approach it, is to question this law on what is called "The Order of Supremacy"

It means DWR Rules are superseded by State Law>>Superseded by Utah State Constitution>> Superseded by the U.S. Constitution>> Superseded by Inalienable Rights (Constitution actually acknowledges those Inalienable Rights)

In this case DWR rules are clearly in conflict with State Law (and Constitution) therefor the DWR rule is wrong and is not enforceable.
Since these things are handled in Justice Court and Justice court judges "are like a box of chocolates".. I would demand a jury trial in District Court. A Jury can nullify this stupid law...a judge will lean toward case law and protect the revenue generating his paycheck.
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Re: DWR Rules and Right To Carry

Postby Cabinetmaker » Thu 07 Jan 2010 9:25 pm

If you go into the "hunter's safety building" (shooting range) in Logan that is run by DWR they get all kinds of uptight about a person open carrying a gun in a shooting range. They seem to thing that all the guns have to be in cases and unloaded with the actions open to come in the door.
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Re: DWR Rules and Right To Carry

Postby apollosmith » Sun 10 Jan 2010 11:13 am

Cabinetmaker wrote:If you go into the "hunter's safety building" (shooting range) in Logan that is run by DWR they get all kinds of uptight about a person open carrying a gun in a shooting range. They seem to thing that all the guns have to be in cases and unloaded with the actions open to come in the door.


Yep, though I do it all the time... mostly just to spite (and educate) them. When they ask me about it, I usually just say, "Oh, that. Don't worry about it. I carry it there all the time." The guys working the counter there all carry (and by that, I mean they aren't carrying hard sided gun cases in their pants).
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Re: DWR Rules and Right To Carry

Postby manithree » Fri 11 Mar 2011 9:12 am

I don't think this is OT, but I've e-mailed the DWR again this year (no response last year) about this from the Turkey Guidebook:

No matter what turkey permit a youth
obtains, an adult must accompany the young
hunter in the field. During the youth hunt, the
accompanying adult may not hunt or possess
a firearm.


This year I got a response:

Thank you for your email and your concerns. I have been working on rule and language changes for the divisions proclamations that deal with conflicts with Title 53 and Title 76 firearms laws. Let me start off by saying that you certainly have the right to carry a firearm for your protection as you accompany your son or daughter on the turkey hunt. I can only recommend that you not choose a shotgun for protection as that may get the suspicion level of an officer up as to what your intentions are.
The language in the Turkey Guidebook is in an informational box and not in the main rule so its force of law is even more suspect. We are going to change it and unfortunately it slipped through the cracks for this year. Please feel free to use this email as proof that you conversed with me and clarified your rights if necessary. I will notify my officers and tell them not to enforce that specific language until we have a chance to fix this.
Take care and good hunting,

Mike Fowlks
Chief of Law Enforcement
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources


So it seems at least someone at DWR is aware of the actual laws and is doing something about it. At least for the youth turkey hunt. +1 for Chief Fowlks :thumbsup:
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Re: DWR Rules and Right To Carry

Postby RustyShackleford » Fri 11 Mar 2011 9:31 am

+1...That is a good response from the DWR officer (Chief).
I wonder if they will further look at the other proclamations that forbid the carrying or even the presence of another firearm (even in your camp) during Muzzleloader and/or Archery. There is an exception for those with a CFP but is still an unlawful regulation denying others of their rights.
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Re: DWR Rules and Right To Carry

Postby manithree » Fri 11 Mar 2011 11:50 am

RustyShackleford wrote:I wonder if they will further look at the other proclamations that forbid the carrying or even the presence of another firearm (even in your camp) during Muzzleloader and/or Archery. There is an exception for those with a CFP but is still an unlawful regulation denying others of their rights.


I intentionally did not mention that I do have a CFP in my e-mails. I suspect that's why he suggested I not carry a shotgun. But since he mentioned other proclamations, and didn't suggest I need a CFP, I'm hoping that those are exactly the kinds of things they're looking at. I don't hunt any big game yet, so I only complained about the turkey proclamation.
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Re: DWR Rules and Right To Carry - GREAT NEWS!

Postby manithree » Mon 20 Jun 2011 9:49 am

I got another response from Chief Fowlks today:

Barry,
I wanted to give you an update on our efforts to make our regulations compatible with state code and the 2nd amendment. We have our turkey and upland guidebook coming out shortly and I just reviewed the language on the youth hunts. We have taken out any restrictions on the carry of firearms for the adults accompanying youth. This is the particular regulation you were concerned about.
We have also changed the restrictions with regards to big game. We eliminated the temporary game preserve restriction which required a person to have a valid permit in order to be in possession of a firearm.
We changed the restrictions with regards to archery and muzzleloaders to allow for the possession of handguns in the field and any firearm in the vehicle or in camp.
If you are aware of any other conflicts please let me know and I will try to address them.
Thanks,
Mike


Mike Fowlks
Chief of Law Enforcement
Utah Division of Wildlife Resource
1594 W. North Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114
mikefowlks@utah.gov
work-801-538-4884
cell-801-243-8619


Makes me proud of my adopted home state. I haven't re-read every post in this thread, but I believe ALL the restrictions that people have pointed out as illegal have been removed. I haven't seen the new proclamations yet, but kudos to Chief Fowlks and the DWR for doing the right thing
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Re: DWR Rules and Right To Carry

Postby RanzITman » Mon 20 Jun 2011 11:31 am

That's great news. So often all we get is pushback when issues like this are pointed out. It is nice to see an upfront and reasonable responce. :thumbsup:
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Re: DWR Rules and Right To Carry

Postby Snaggle » Mon 20 Jun 2011 11:33 am

I am going to send Mr. Fowler a thank you note just to say I appreciate him taking the time to address the concern in a professional manner and taking the time to respond.
:thumbsup:
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Re: DWR Rules and Right To Carry - GREAT NEWS!

Postby divegeek » Mon 20 Jun 2011 12:30 pm

manithree wrote:I got another response from Chief Fowlks today:

Barry,
I wanted to give you an update on our efforts to make our regulations compatible with state code and the 2nd amendment. We have our turkey and upland guidebook coming out shortly and I just reviewed the language on the youth hunts. We have taken out any restrictions on the carry of firearms for the adults accompanying youth. This is the particular regulation you were concerned about.
We have also changed the restrictions with regards to big game. We eliminated the temporary game preserve restriction which required a person to have a valid permit in order to be in possession of a firearm.
We changed the restrictions with regards to archery and muzzleloaders to allow for the possession of handguns in the field and any firearm in the vehicle or in camp.
If you are aware of any other conflicts please let me know and I will try to address them.
Thanks,
Mike


Mike Fowlks
Chief of Law Enforcement
Utah Division of Wildlife Resource
1594 W. North Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114
mikefowlks@utah.gov
work-801-538-4884
cell-801-243-8619


Makes me proud of my adopted home state. I haven't re-read every post in this thread, but I believe ALL the restrictions that people have pointed out as illegal have been removed. I haven't seen the new proclamations yet, but kudos to Chief Fowlks and the DWR for doing the right thing

That rocks!

I've wondered if the restrictions were just inertia and lack of awareness, or if they were an intentional attempt to undermine rights that the DWR officials found annoying. It's quite clear in the case of Mike Fowlks that it was the former, and that he's acted aggressively to fix the problem when brought to his attention, and is more than willing to tackle any issue he might have overlooked.

That definitely deserves some big Kudos!

I'm also going to write a letter expressing my appreciation, but it occurs to me that perhaps we can do a bit better than that.

Hey, bagpiper... you have lots of legislator buddies. Can we get some of them to help arrange some real recognition for a public servant who is really trying to do his part to preserve the rights of the people? Doesn't need to be much, not even anything tangible. Maybe just a public mention in a speech or two on the floor. I would think positive attention from the state lawmakers would be very good for a state employees' career -- and I'd love to see OTHER state officials taking notice of this example.

As for the rest of us, perhaps we can contribute by sending letters to our state senators and representatives, complimenting the state on its fine choice in Mike Fowlks.
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Re: DWR Rules and Right To Carry

Postby UtahJarhead » Mon 20 Jun 2011 1:05 pm

The only thing I see that concerns me is he didn't address the carrying of rifles while in the field, regardless of which hunt it is. Preemption should protect that as well since it very clearly addresses FIREARMS and not handguns.
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