Federally Banned Locations for Carrying Firearms

Federally designated areas where weapons are banned, even with a permit:

  • Federal Courthouses*
  • Federal Buildings*
  • Any Building Owned, Leased or Rented by the Federal Government — This includes buildings in national forests which are property of the federal government. 
  • National Forests — There is no federal law prohibiting carry in national forests. States control the carrying of firearms in national forests in their state. However, carry is not allowed buildings in national forests which are property of the federal government. 
  • Visitors Centers/Ranger Stations in National Parks — These are federal buildings where carry is not allowed. There is no federal law that prohibits carry in national parks. States control the carrying of firearms in national parks in their state.
  • Sterile areas of Airports -An individual may not have a weapon on or about the individual’s person or accessible property when entering or in a sterile area of an airport or when attempting to board or onboard an aircraft for which screening is conducted.
  • Federal Prisons*
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers* — The Corps builds and runs flood control and navigation dams. The Corps has jurisdiction over the dam site and usually all waters backed up by the dam. Per 36 CFR § 327.13, carry anywhere on Corps property is illegal unless written permission has been received from the District Commander. Firearms can be unloaded and secured in a vehicle while on Corps property.
  • National Cemeteries*
  • Military Bases — All military bases are Federal property. Each base may have slightly different policies, however visitors who arrive at a military base with firearm(s) must leave them with the guards at the gate. If the base does not have storage capabilities at the gate or armory, you could be turned away. The only people who can carry guns around a base—concealed or otherwise—are on-duty military police, who handle routine security. They then have to return their guns to the armory when their shifts are over. There are exceptions for on-duty local or state police officers who come to the base on official business. The base commander can make other exceptions. Check at each military post for specific rules. 
  • Rented Offices — Any part of any building that the federal government has rented for office space or a federal workforce, etc. Just their offices or the part of the building the federal government has control over is off-limits. You can carry in the rest of the building if state or local laws allow.
  • Post Office — Postal regulations prohibit the possession of firearms in their buildings and in their parking lots or any property they own.
  • Bureau of Land Management (BLM)* — On most BLM lands, if you can legally carry in the state the BLM land is in, you can carry on the BLM land. If it is not legal, the area will be posted as no firearms allowed. Any building on the BLM land operated by the federal government is considered federal property and carry in those buildings is not allowed. The exceptions where the BLM prohibits firearms are the San Pedro Riparian Zone in Arizona, the Wallace Conservation Forest in Idaho and Red Rock National Conservation Area in Nevada.
  • Indian Reservations — Carry on Indian Reservations is controlled by tribal law. You must check with each tribe before carrying on the property. Some Indian tribes consider federal and state highways through their property as under their control. This should also be verified with the tribe.

* This includes parking lots adjacent to, or part of, the facility if the federal entity owns or has control of the parking lot and it is posted “No Firearms.” The lot has to be posted under federal law (below) if they do not wish to have firearms present.

 

Law Requiring Posting of Federal Buildings/Properties 

18 U.S. Code § 930 – Possession of Firearms and Dangerous Weapons in Federal Facilities

(a) Except as provided in subsection (d), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility (other than a Federal court facility), or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.
(b) Whoever, with intent that a firearm or other dangerous weapon be used in the commission of a crime, knowingly possesses or causes to be present such firearm or dangerous weapon in a Federal facility, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both. 

(g) As used in this section:

(1) The term “Federal facility” means a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.
(2) The term “dangerous weapon” means a weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, except that such term does not include a pocket knife with a blade of less than 2 1/2 inches in length.

(h) Notice of the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) shall be posted conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal facility, … and no person shall be convicted of an offense under subsection (a)… with respect to a Federal facility if such notice is not so posted at such facility, unless such person had actual notice of subsection (a) or (e), as the case may be.

 

Federal Gun-Free School Zones Act

18 U.S. Code § 922(q) – Unlawful acts
Congress passed the Federal Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990 (GFSZA) and it was amended in 1995 to prevent guns being carried near schools. It states that one cannot knowingly possess a firearm in a school zone. “School zone” is defined as “in, or on the grounds of, a public, parochial or private school; or within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a public, parochial or private school.” It includes all public roads and sidewalks within that 1,000-foot buffer zone. It does not apply on private property, to a licensed concealed firearm permittee or an unloaded weapon in a locked container/rack. It should be noted that the firearm permittee exemption only applies in the state that issued your permit/license, not any states with reciprocity.

Related Articles From the USCCA Blog

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The Gunman in a Gun-Free Zone

Beth Alcazar — January 31, 2017

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How Does Post Office Law Affect Concealed Carry?

K.L. Jamison, ESQ — February 17, 2012

The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. Members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer for a specific case.