Federal Law on Other Location Restrictions

Posted on May 21, 2012

Firearm Possession in Federal Facilities and Courts

Federal law generally prohibits the knowing possession of, or causing to be present, a firearm in a Federal facility (defined as a building or part of a building owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties) other than a Federal court facility.1

Federal law also prohibits:

  • The knowing possession of, or causing to be present, a firearm in a Federal facility with intent that a firearm or other dangerous weapon be used in the commission of a crime;2
  • The killing of any person in the course of a violation of the firearm possession prohibitions under 18 U.S.C. § 930(a) or (b), or in the course of an attack on a Federal facility involving the use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon;3 and
  • The knowing possession or causing to be present a firearm in a Federal court facility (defined as courtrooms, judges’ chambers, witness rooms, jury deliberation rooms, attorney conference rooms, prisoner holding cells, offices of the court clerks, the United States attorney, and the United States marshal, probation and parole offices, and adjoining corridors of any court of the United States).4

Nothing in 18 U.S.C. § 930 limits the power of a court to promulgate rules or orders regulating, restricting, or prohibiting the possession of weapons within any building housing such court or any of its proceedings, or upon any grounds appurtenant to such building.5

Firearm Possession in National Parks

Unless otherwise specifically permitted in a national park or park system, the federal government generally prohibits the possession, carrying, or use of a firearm in national parks or on national park property.6 The possession or carrying of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, vessel or other mode of transportation also is prohibited unless the vessel is not being propelled by machinery and is used as a shooting platform in accordance with Federal and State law.7

Firearms may be carried, possessed or used in certain areas, at certain times, where hunting, fishing and target practice are authorized.8

Possession of a firearm is also lawful within a residential dwelling located on such property,9 and an unloaded gun may be possessed within temporary lodging or a mechanical mode of conveyance on park property if the firearm is rendered temporarily inoperable or is packed, cased or stored in a manner that will prevent its ready use.10

  1. 18 U.S.C. § 930(a), (g)(1). []
  2. 18 U.S.C. § 930(b). []
  3. 18 U.S.C. § 930(c). []
  4. 18 U.S.C. § 930(e)(1), (g)(3). []
  5. 18 U.S.C § 930(f). []
  6. 36 C.F.R. § 2.4(a)(1). []
  7. 36 C.F.R. § 2.4(b). []
  8. 36 C.F.R. § 2.4(a)(2). []
  9. 36 C.F.R. § 2.4(a)(2)(iii). []
  10. 36 C.F.R. § 2.4(a)(3). []