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Old 03-31-2017, 11:05 AM
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Does anyone have experience carrying on Tribal Lands? My wife and I are going to the National Parks in Wyoming and Montana this summer. I'm covered to carry under LEOSA but I've read the Tribal Police have rules that differ from Federal Law.
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Old 03-31-2017, 11:09 AM
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Best and safest policy is "Don't carry on the Rez!" Any Rez ...
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Old 03-31-2017, 11:50 AM
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They are a law unto themselves. Don't do it.
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Old 03-31-2017, 01:28 PM
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Ask a Lawyer: Tribal Lands and Guns

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Old 03-31-2017, 01:40 PM
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Since you are well enough informed to ask, you may already know that Reservations are sovereign land and as such are like being in a different country. Tribal police and the FBI are the enforcement agencies. I don't think that you will get good info from anyone except the specific reservation LEO's themselves. If you know where you will be call those particular agencies and ask the question to them. Lawyers will just be guessing unless they actually had a case in question on the specific reservations you are interested in. Each one will probably be different.
Your LEO permit under HR218 won't apply since you will be entering sovereign domains.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:04 PM
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Apparently the local Cherokee are OK with carry.



An acquaintance who was an '89 graduate from Harvard Law, was made chief of the Prairie Dwelling Lakota, and worked as assistant attorney general for the Cheyenne River Sioux and then chief justice of the Oglala Sioux.
He harbored a strong animosity toward non-natives, and I'd hate to provoke a confrontation that came before him. I'd keep my firearms locked in the car if your unsure.

Otherwise, have a great trip through that spectacular scenery.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:11 PM
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I've been stopped on the Yakama Rez with no problems BUT I was on the State Highway.

I would check if I was going anywhere else.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:14 PM
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I have elk hunted on the Apache reservation here in Arizona and of course you can carry firearms while doing so.However; I would NOT recommend carrying firearms at any other time.
I live right next to a reservation here in the Phoenix area and if you are caught with a firearm by the tribal police you'll likely be going to jail.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:18 PM
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I don't know the authenticity of this, but it's the best I could find.

http://handgunlaw.us/documents/tribal_law_ccw.pdf
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:30 PM
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It looks like the OP really opened a big can of worms. After reading some of the information, I wouldn't want to be caught on a reservation with a gun. I think I'll find other places to go and things to do off the reservation.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:57 PM
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This is a real gray area that has not been fully tested as far as I know. Yes, reservations are their own little worlds with their own laws. That being said, the reservation I work on has their own law and order code and their own courts. However, it has been determined here that tribal law can not be enforced on non-Indians. I'm not sure how our current tribal council feels about this subject. Our previous tribal chairman had made the comments that he would have anyone carrying, whether you had a ccw or not, arrested for violation of tribal law. Now, we have an agreement that tribal police can arrest people for violations of State and local laws but they would go through the State court system. The State court system can not enforce tribal law on anybody. I once asked the county prosecutor about this. They told me that if the tribe brought a case to them where a non-indian was arrested for carrying, they would hand them their weapon back and tell them to have a good day, case dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
Not sure how this would work out elsewhere.
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Old 03-31-2017, 03:16 PM
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I live next to a tribe here in NM that is very conservative. They do not allow non tribal members on their lands other than a few areas. And firearms laws on the Rez are strictly enforced. If you have it and they find it they will take it from you. And they won't give it back. Pueblo laws are differtn from Apache laws (Apaches love to get folks on their lands to hunt/fish/camp, as those are income sources for them). The Navajo are different again. Trveliing on a State or US highway they honor those laws as they have agreements for lease of those rights-of-way, once on tribal specific lands their laws are in effect.
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Old 03-31-2017, 03:58 PM
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I did a prairie dog hunt on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota last summer. Before I started driving there, I called the tribal police and asked the captain if they honored concealed carry permits from out of state residents. I was surprised when he said they honor all permits that South Dakota recognizes. He explained that they use a nearby county sheriff (non-tribal) to process all their permit requests.
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Old 03-31-2017, 04:00 PM
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Just like Rubone reported, it varies fron tribe to tribe.
And just about anytime you venture off the main highways, you will wind up on Tribal Land in NW NM and N AZ.
Like your going to the Bisti Badlands or Monument Valley.
The public land is often mixed with Tribal Land. That's called Checkerboard.
So enjoy your trip and leave your guns locked in your vehicle.
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Old 03-31-2017, 04:17 PM
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Thanks for the great information. It looks like I have some more researching to do. We'll be going to Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Yellow Stone NP, and Grand Teton NP. It appears the safest and most responsible thing to do is keep the firearm locked in the same case I use on the airline when in doubt.
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Old 04-02-2017, 07:43 PM
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I just read this post and found it most interesting. I plan to visit the battle sites on the Crow Reservation in the Little Big Horn area this year. Since I will be flying out and renting a car, I think I will leave my guns at home. This was all good information.
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubone View Post
I live next to a tribe here in NM that is very conservative. They do not allow non tribal members on their lands other than a few areas. And firearms laws on the Rez are strictly enforced. If you have it and they find it they will take it from you. And they won't give it back. Pueblo laws are differtn from Apache laws (Apaches love to get folks on their lands to hunt/fish/camp, as those are income sources for them). The Navajo are different again. Trveliing on a State or US highway they honor those laws as they have agreements for lease of those rights-of-way, once on tribal specific lands their laws are in effect.
A few years ago our company had some projects on Tribal Lands for a Nation and also on US highways crossing through a Nation's Tribal Lands. I agree with Rubone that all Nations are different and their laws differ. In addition, any Nation may change its interpretation of its own law without notice.
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:09 PM
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I have been there and if you come from the north (from Montana) south on I-25 you pass through the Crow Reservation. If you get off the freeway you are on the reservation. The Battlefield is not on the reservation though. However, I agree. Lock the gun in the trunk. I live next door to the Nisqually Reservation. They have their own laws.If I want to fish there I have to get a permit from them. You can pass through but if you stop at the Redwind Casino, you are on the reservation. I don't know if they have a reciprocal agreement with the state or county but why risk it? Same applies elsewhere. Either call ahead and find out or lock the gun in the trunk.
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:42 PM
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Often you can simply "Google" the specific tribal government you are concerned about. Generally their tribal laws, including the criminal code, will be linked from that web-site and you can read them. The ones I have done this with have been in simple, plain English and clearly understood.
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Old 04-03-2017, 06:08 AM
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I have had bad experiences with tribal police when living in New Mexico. Even if the tribal chief of police issued me a letter saying it is okay to carry, I still wouldn't do it.
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:22 AM
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I live in Montana and have never worried about having a gun on the reservations here and I have not heard of any problems. Lots of highways cross native lands and people around here drive through them all the time with guns and having a gun in your car here, loaded or empty requires no permit. I would not recommend going into some of the more remote villages and hanging out gun or no gun. Most of the natives are great, but there is a percentage and here the list of reservations is long. How each one operates varies. My one step son ran an ambulance on one and carried. There was absolutely no mention of not caring on the reservations when I got my permit, I didn't have to go to a class, but as one was offered I did go to it. I have never heard of a problem with a white guy having a gun on the reservation. I go on several reservations quite a bit as my wife deals with legal issues related to child abuse and some of the kids are natives. The tribe does get involved in that. I don't hang out on any of the reservations for any other reason. I do spend a lot of time close to the Northern Cheyenne reservation as my brother lives right beside it. He knows lots of Cheyennes and has gone to various ceremonies etc with them. He has never said squat to me about taking guns on the res except to keep the truck locked up.

I would say if you stay on the highways your fine. Watch out for loose horses though. Hit one of those and 16 owners might appear and want payed. Many of them are not to concerned about fences.

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Old 04-03-2017, 09:27 AM
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I've driven through the reservation here in Wyoming and the Navajo reservation in Arizona. Firearms are locked in a case and out of sight. I've never been stopped. I've never been off the main roads either. Worst case scenario might be an auto accident where the cased firearms became visible.

We get tourists here who want to go the reservation expecting it be sort of like Disneyland. There's a casino near Riverton, but other than that there's nothing to do or see specific to the native American residents.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:37 AM
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There is a world of difference between having a gun in the vehicle and carrying. Some of the reservations you didn't mention in MT I would feel better carrying than not. Others you would never need one other than to shoot gophers. IMO, Custer Battlefield is already heavily policed and the gun is best left in the car.
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Old 04-03-2017, 10:31 AM
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The best advice we can give you is leave your guns locked in your car.
There is plenty of stuff to see in NM and AZ on Indian Reservations.
Like Chaco Canyon, Monument Valley (partly in Utah) , Canyon De Chelly,
Colorado Horseshoe and slot canyons at Page, etc.
Went touring in Canyon de Chelly with a Navajo guide in his Toledo Torpedo.
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Old 04-03-2017, 10:57 AM
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There is a world of difference between having a gun in the vehicle and carrying. Some of the reservations you didn't mention in MT I would feel better carrying than not. Others you would never need one other than to shoot gophers. IMO, Custer Battlefield is already heavily policed and the gun is best left in the car.
You are correct some places I would not want to be without a gun. Best plan is not to go to those areas especially at night. Very poor places to stop and have a few too. One guy from my home town was torchered and killed. Very ugly deal.

Can't say much more here. I do get along well with most Natives and count some as my friends.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:13 AM
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Very interesting post. I have hunted Prairie Dogs in S Dakota from around 2004 through 2015, including 2015 when we stayed and hunted directly on the Rosebud. I strapped on my 3" 24 loaded with 3 shot loads and 3 JHP's every morning before hunting and it stayed there all day. Not concealed (unless it was cold enough to have a coat on). On the Rosebud we even had an Indian guide. Nothing was mentioned, (all 4 of us were carrying open). There are too many rattle snakes to worry about. I will keep this in mind if I ever hunt there again.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:43 AM
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It seems we have a whole lot of reservations here in Arizona,I try to avoid them if I can while carrying. Some of our malls are located entirely within reservations, and most of the time you don't know till you are already on their property. For the most part I hear if you get your gun confiscated, you have to pay a fine and talk to a tribal chief to get it back.
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Old 04-03-2017, 03:44 PM
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Very interesting post. I have hunted Prairie Dogs in S Dakota from around 2004 through 2015, including 2015 when we stayed and hunted directly on the Rosebud. I strapped on my 3" 24 loaded with 3 shot loads and 3 JHP's every morning before hunting and it stayed there all day. Not concealed (unless it was cold enough to have a coat on). On the Rosebud we even had an Indian guide. Nothing was mentioned, (all 4 of us were carrying open). There are too many rattle snakes to worry about. I will keep this in mind if I ever hunt there again.
Not a problem on the Rosebud Reservation - see post #13. Call ahead to confirm just to be safe. We did see one rattlesnake on the reservation - just before we ran over it. It was sunning itself on the crest of a hill and we couldn't avoid it.
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Old 04-03-2017, 04:06 PM
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As an interesting parallel to all of the above, Texas and Oklahoma have reciprocal agreements with respect to carrying concealed handguns. If you drive from Dallas 90 or so miles to, say, Durant, in order to play in the Choctaw Casino, it is unclear when, where, or if Federal Highway 75 ever crosses reservation land. Certainly, once you go to the casino you are on Indian land. So I can't begin to guess if I violate tribal law on the short piece of 75 that takes me to Chictaw Casino - and I know guns are barred at the casino. So let's skip that. Let's expand that to Tulsa.

That is nearly a 4 hour drive and part of that drive in Oklahoma is on an interesting but somewhat desolate highway called the Indian Nation Turnpike with signs indicating that you are in the Cherokee Nation. (I think; could be Chickasaw). The Oklahoma Highway Patrol patrols that highway.

Whose laws are enforced on the turnpike, Oklahoma's or the local Indian nation?
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:25 PM
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This is my weapon of choice when crossing the reservations.
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Old 04-05-2017, 11:32 AM
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It sounds to me that with all the guns being left in cars that break ins would not be unusual?
I think I would leave the guns at home if I had to go and research thoroughly where I would be going "unarmed".
No slight towards any natives, but there are criminals in all cultures and they learn how to take advantage of circumstances.
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Old 04-06-2017, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubone View Post
I live next to a tribe here in NM that is very conservative. They do not allow non tribal members on their lands other than a few areas. And firearms laws on the Rez are strictly enforced. If you have it and they find it they will take it from you. And they won't give it back ... The Navajo are different again. Traveling on a State or US highway they honor those laws as they have agreements for lease of those rights-of-way, once on tribal specific lands their laws are in effect.
When I traveled from Kansas to Arizona a couple of years back I researched this as well. I read stories like Rubone has said where guys get their guns taken never to be seen again and since they have their own set of laws, there is not much you can do.

I had two lock boxes in my car and when I saw the signs on highway 40 saying "Entering Navajo Nation" I unloaded and locked the gun in one box and the ammo in another.

Traveling there and on the way back, I saw several "Navajo Nation Police" SUV's with people pulled over on highway 40. I am not 100% sure that unloading and locking the gun and ammo up separately would have spared me getting my gun taken, I figured it was the best I could do and if in that situation I could hope to explain that I did unload and lockup when entering Navajo land "Out of respect for your laws." and hope that would buy me some favor.

Although it sounds like I would have OK anyway based on what Rubone said about the Navajo honoring the laws on the highways.

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Old 04-06-2017, 11:21 AM
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Old 04-06-2017, 12:03 PM
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All tribes have phone numbers, so do their police departments. As an added bonus, they all speak English. You're a guest on their land and expected to follow their laws.
I lived on the Navajo Nation for a dozen years. Trust me, you do not want to get into a jurisdictional black hole on a rez. Even within your rights, it ain't worth the money and aggravation.
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Old 04-06-2017, 12:06 PM
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Just a reminder: when it comes to being armed in a National Park, most parks that share concurrent law enforcement jurisdiction with the states in which they are located will honor state law when it comes to concealed and open carry. Best to check their website for any updates, but I believe Teton and Yellowstone are concurrent with WY.

Regardless, when it comes to National Parks, you cannot legally enter any federal building armed, if that building is staffed by federal employees. That includes Visitor Centers, Administration buildings, etc. and the entrances will be signed to that effect. Concessions contractors that run food and souvenir services may have different policies for the buildings they lease on park land, but they typically follow suit with the park policy of excluding firearms in their buildings.
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Old 04-06-2017, 12:28 PM
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Just a reminder: when it comes to being armed in a National Park, most parks that share concurrent law enforcement jurisdiction with the states in which they are located will honor state law when it comes to concealed and open carry. Best to check their website for any updates, but I believe Teton and Yellowstone are concurrent with WY.

Regardless, when it comes to National Parks, you cannot legally enter any federal building armed, if that building is staffed by federal employees. That includes Visitor Centers, Administration buildings, etc. and the entrances will be signed to that effect. Concessions contractors that run food and souvenir services may have different policies for the buildings they lease on park land, but they typically follow suit with the park policy of excluding firearms in their buildings.
Straight From the FBI Web site addressing LEOSA and carry on federal property.

FBI — Off-Duty Officers and Firearms

"Federal laws or regulations are not superseded by LEOSA. Qualified officers may not carry concealed weapons onto aircraft under the act. They also cannot carry firearms into federal buildings or onto federal property. However, in February 2010, a federal statute took effect authorizing individuals to carry concealed weapons into national parks if they have complied with the carry concealed rules of the state or states in which the park is located (Title 36 U.S.C. § 2.4). Of course, this federal statute will not change the fact that it is unlawful to carry a firearm into federal buildings, even in a national park (Title 18 U.S.C. § 930). This would include facilities, such as visitor’s centers, museums, and restrooms"

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Old 04-06-2017, 01:13 PM
Mike in Reedley Mike in Reedley is offline
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Originally Posted by ISCS Yoda View Post

That is nearly a 4 hour drive and part of that drive in Oklahoma is on an interesting but somewhat desolate highway called the Indian Nation Turnpike with signs indicating that you are in the Cherokee Nation. (I think; could be Chickasaw). The Oklahoma Highway Patrol patrols that highway.

Whose laws are enforced on the turnpike, Oklahoma's or the local Indian nation?
Reservations, Nations and Rancherias are all different. Reservations are recognized as having their own governing bodies. As mentioned, Reservations are under the control the FBI.

Some Rancherias (at least here in Ca.) have their own police, but the reality is they are more like security guards. Rancherias are not owned or operated at a Federal level, but at a State or County level.

Nation in Ok is not necessarily controlled or governed by any tribe other than on property actually owned by that Nation. Also as mentioned, CC in casinos is not permitted.

Interesting note, in the past here in California anyway, their is no regulatory body (checking for fixed machines and win/loss ratios) for Indian Gaming that would compare to those gaming regulatory bodies in Nevada and New Jersey. In the past, a lot of Indian Casinos in California hired people who were ineligible to obtain a gaming license in NV or NJ to run their casinos. I don't know if this is still the practice. I have no idea if there is any regulation on Indian gaming in other states.

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Old 04-08-2017, 11:29 AM
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In NY I avoid going on Tribal lands whenever possible.
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Old 04-08-2017, 12:08 PM
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Out here the Reservations, especially the Navajo Reservation are so large they are hard to avoid.
For example - Monument Valley is on the Navajo Reservation.
If you haven't been there, you need to go.
I'm having trouble describing exactly how it makes me feel, but it's sort of like going to Church.
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Old 04-08-2017, 01:02 PM
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The best thing to do is avoid Reservations if you can. They are their own nations, and some of the inhabitants still have a chip on their shoulder. I can't blame them, I still get a little hot at the Campbell clan and Oliver Cromwell. Stay in the USA.
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Old 04-08-2017, 03:17 PM
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One thing to consider while on Tribal Lands, if you get in an accident, get injured, or anything else that might require an attorney, you might be out of luck. A woman in Arizona tripped and fell in a Casino parking lot, was injured and tried to file suit against the casino. She was informed that she could only use a Tribal attorney; guess how that ended up? Seems the worst case scenario would be to have a car accident with a loaded gun in the car....don't even want to think how that would turn out.
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Old 04-08-2017, 08:11 PM
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All I really know is I carry when I pass through the reservations here in Montana, and so do lots of others.
A. its a good idea.
B. Lots of guns in Montana and lots of them passing through the reservations and I have never heard of a problem. If there was one I think you would hear the scream.

Especially during hunting season, tons of guns in cars and trucks, even in rifle racks in back window. Pistols, rifles shotguns, loaded and empty, no permit needed. Lots of big reservations (8) with highways running through them. Crow, Cheyennes, Flathead, Blackfoot, Crees+Chippewa, Assiniboine- Sioux, Gros Ventre
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Old 04-08-2017, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by CQB27 View Post
However, in February 2010, a federal statute took effect authorizing individuals to carry concealed weapons into national parks if they have complied with the carry concealed rules of the state or states in which the park is located (Title 36 U.S.C. § 2.4). Of course, this federal statute will not change the fact that it is unlawful to carry a firearm into federal buildings, even in a national park (Title 18 U.S.C. § 930). This would include facilities, such as visitor’s centers, museums, and restrooms"[/B]
So it would be legal to carry in a national park- but no t-shirts, books, restrooms since that would be federal building? Good to know. Be Safe,
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  #44  
Old 04-08-2017, 10:08 PM
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I live next to a tribe here in NM that is very conservative. They do not allow non tribal members on their lands other than a few areas. And firearms laws on the Rez are strictly enforced. If you have it and they find it they will take it from you. And they won't give it back. Pueblo laws are differtn from Apache laws (Apaches love to get folks on their lands to hunt/fish/camp, as those are income sources for them). The Navajo are different again. Trveliing on a State or US highway they honor those laws as they have agreements for lease of those rights-of-way, once on tribal specific lands their laws are in effect.
In New Mexico, Tribal police must cite a non-Indian offender into either State Magistrate Court or the US Magistrate, not Tribal Court. As long as you are on State Highways or the Interstate, you can safely carry. Tribal Cops & BIA generally do noy patrol interstate and state highways anyway. I would imagine that Montana and wyoming would be the same but thats only a guess.
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Old 04-08-2017, 10:13 PM
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One thing to consider while on Tribal Lands, if you get in an accident, get injured, or anything else that might require an attorney, you might be out of luck. A woman in Arizona tripped and fell in a Casino parking lot, was injured and tried to file suit against the casino. She was informed that she could only use a Tribal attorney; guess how that ended up? Seems the worst case scenario would be to have a car accident with a loaded gun in the car....don't even want to think how that would turn out.
Indian Reservations need to be sued through the Federal Court system so I would assume your friend received some poor advice.
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Old 04-09-2017, 09:58 AM
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Indian Reservations need to be sued through the Federal Court system so I would assume your friend received some poor advice.
It was on the Phoenix news a couple of years ago....she was not a friend of mine. They reported that she finally gave up on legal proceedings because of the cost involved and the difficulties involved in trying to file suit against a Tribal Nation.

Regardless of that story, it still points out the fact that while on Tribal Lands, be it on a Reservation highway, or in one of their many casinos, or anywhere else on Tribal land you have no rights as an American citizen as you are basically in a foreign country.
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Old 04-09-2017, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Lee in Quartzsite View Post
It was on the Phoenix news a couple of years ago....she was not a friend of mine. They reported that she finally gave up on legal proceedings because of the cost involved and the difficulties involved in trying to file suit against a Tribal Nation.

Regardless of that story, it still points out the fact that while on Tribal Lands, be it on a Reservation highway, or in one of their many casinos, or anywhere else on Tribal land you have no rights as an American citizen as you are basically in a foreign country.
Seems to have worked out okay for this woman. Of course the story points out that the Tribe's gambling agreement with the State of California forced them to waive some of their sovereign immunity claims. Like most things that we thrash about on this forum, the correct answer depends largely on where you are. There are no universal correct answers . . .

Woman's Lawsuit Against Casino Settled for $500,000
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:32 PM
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I am leaving on a trip to Colorado soon and have been researching this topic because I will be traveling through various Nations where I am considered a foreigner. I found this discussion that seemed worth sharing, although it was written in 2014:

Ask a Lawyer: Tribal Lands and Guns
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  #49  
Old 04-13-2017, 02:09 PM
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When in doubt, don't. I wandered on to the Gila River reservation south of Phoenix once and started shooting. What I remember the most is the tribal cop (Dept. of Interior) unsnapping his holster as he walked toward me. What he wanted was to just tell me I was trespassing and to leave. He did say; "I could confiscate your guns, arrest you, and you would face a hefty fine." I said; "What if I was just out here taking pictures?" He replied; "I could confiscate your camera, arrest you, and you would face a hefty fine."

Check with the tribal authorities before you do anything on a reservation other than drive down a paved road.
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:13 PM
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What no one has addressed is the OP is a LEO therefore covered by LEOSA. All the responses have dealt with CCW carrying. LEOSA grants active and qualified 'retirees' the authority to carry concealed in all US states, territories, and properties. There are limitations but LEOSA covers carrying in a lot more places than most CCW statutes.
For those who do not know, LEOSA is specific as per limitations:
(b) This section shall not be construed to supersede or limit the laws of any State that--
(1) Permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the possession of concealed firearms on their property; or
(2) Prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or local government property, installation, building, base, or park.
Does that allow them to restrict everywhere on tribal land? Probably not any more than allowing a state to prohibit carrying everywhere in the state. Otherwise a state could claim that no LEO could carry on state roadways or other lands owned by the state.
It would be a good question to ask of a competent authority. One thing for certain is generally LEOSA limits are less restrictive than most state CCW limits.
When LEOSA was signed I was on the initial committee to implement LEOSA in IL. That was one question we never asked since there are no reservations in IL and it was not an issue.
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