OK, let’s try this again. The first version of this blog got the facts wrong, as the story upon which it was based was confusing, to say the least. Thanks to TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia, I now have a clearer idea of WTF happened. Let’s start with the slive.com account: “A New Jersey man was arrested in Great Kills Park Friday night after two shot guns and shell casings were recovered from his vehicle. Gerald Waldron of New Jersey was approached after an officer noticed his Jeep parked in the parking lot after hours without a permit . . .
Upon approaching the car, the officer observed two shot guns and shell casings inside the vehicle; Waldron could not produce paperwork for the guns. He said he was hunting turkeys in New Jersey, but could not produce a hunting license.
He was arrested for possession of two shotguns and three boxes of shotgun shells.
Federal authorities charged Waldron with possession of an unlicensed shotgun.
He was released and a court date is pending.
So here’s what happened, to the best of our readers’ understanding (though not mine, initially).
Mr. Waldron was not “hunting turkeys in New Jersey.” He was hunting turkeys on federal land in New York City. The cops who apprehended him, were, therefore, feds. Mr. Waldron, hunting illegally, was charged with possession of an unlicensed shotgun.
A what, you say?
TTAG reader Jared (we went to Jared!) offers an explanation: “He doesn’t need a shotgun license or register if he is in NYC for less than 24 hours.” [Also pointed out: if Mr. Waldron had been in New Jersey with his shotguns without an FID card on his person he would have been charged with illegal possession, too.]
The law on carrying a firearm on federal lands is simple enough: you have to conform to all local and state laws. So, if you can open carry in Wyoming, you can open carry in a Wyoming National Park.
So, Waldron, a New Jersey resident was charged for bringing his [otherwise] lawful shotguns into a federal park in New York City — presumably after being in the City That Never Met A Gun Control Law It Didn’t Like for more than 24 hours. Where, presumably, they were banned (because of New York City laws).
Bottom line for me remains the same: in a “free state” Mr. Waldron would have been charged with hunting without a permit, and that would be that. Instead he’s looking at gun charges which will no doubt lead to a lifetime firearms ban, in both New York, New Jersey and everywhere else for that matter.
Clear? And thanks guys.