Can I Bring a Gun to Yellowstone?

Gun in Yellowstone

(This article was created to bring awareness to the changed laws about weapons in national parks. It is the individual’s responsibility to educate theseselves about the laws and abide by them. The below information may change.)

Yes, guns are permitted in Yellowstone National Park

Park visitors are able to openly carry legal handguns, rifles, shotguns and other firearms per a federal law approved by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in February 2010. Concealed weapons are allowed by state statute.

Can I shoot my gun?

In a word, no. The overarching permission that allows guns in Yellowstone doesn’t note the range of additional rules surrounding the presence of firearms in the park. The most important caveat is that visitors aren’t allowed to shoot them. Hunting is strictly forbidden in Yellowstone, as is target practice. And visitors should not use guns as self-defense against large wildlife, but rather carry bear spray and take other safety precautions. Firearms are also prohibited in facilities like visitor centers and government offices. These locations are labeled at all public entrances.

If I can’t shoot my gun, why are they allowed?

According to park ranger and guides, the main reason for allowing guns in Yellowstone is to facilitate town-to-town travel for local citizens. Many areas outside of the park are prime hunting locations, and hunters often use roads through Yellowstone because it’s the most direct route, or in the case of Cooke City in the winter, the only route. It’s difficult for rangers to restrict people from carrying guns in their vehicles.

While guns are allowed in the park, each state has its own individual regulatory practices. Because Yellowstone encompasses parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, it’s important that visitors understand and comply with all applicable state and local firearms laws (in addition to national laws) before entering this park. The 2010 federal law did not affect other weapons like bows, swords and pellet or BB guns, all of which remain prohibited by the National Park Service.

Consider the following state guidelines before crossing Yellowstone boundaries into state-governed land.

Wyoming Gun Guidelines

Is Open Carry Allowed?
Handgun = Yes
Rifle = Yes
In Vehicle = Yes
Age Requirement = None

Is Concealed Carry Allowed? – Permit Required for Non-Residents
Person = Yes
Vehicle = Yes
State Reciprocity = 23 states
Age Requirement = 21 years of age

Montana Gun Guidelines

Is Open Carry Allowed?
Handgun = Yes
Rifle = Yes
In Vehicle = Yes
Age Requirement = 14

Is Concealed Carry Allowed? – Permit Required
Person = Yes
Vehicle = Yes
State Reciprocity = 40 States
Age Requirement = 18

Idaho Gun Guidelines

Is Open Carry Allowed?
Handgun = Yes
Rifle = Yes
In Vehicle = Yes
Age Requirement = 18

Is Concealed Carry Allowed?
Person = Yes
Vehicle = Yes
State Reciprocity = 46 States


http://www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/lawsandpolicies.htm

http://www.eenews.net/stories/1059990473

http://www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/upload/gunsinparks_IMR_2-2010.pdf