It’s clear that no alcohol is allowed while carrying concealed. I read somewhere that while backpacking or bikepacking (with no car) a gun, even in a backpack, is considered a concealed carry. Is there a way to legally have a beer with buddies when on a backpacking trip if only place to put the gun away is a backpack or a tent? Does it need to be locked? (putting aside that locked firearm in the wilderness doesn’t serve the purpose)
Welcome to the party!
I don’t mean to be the joker, but who the phuck is going to know you had a beer Do you trust yourself? As long as you don’t shoot anyone while intoxicated.
Now the “law” ( what phuckin law ), if you can stab someone 108 times and get away with it, I’d have that 2nd beer!
If you are caught, you had a psychotic break from the protein bars!
Seriously, you’ll have to look up the particular states laws and it may depend on whether you’re on federal land while hiking. I’m just throwing this out there, but if the backpack and/or tent are not attached to your body at the time of you drinking, then you don’t have possession!
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
Laws vary by state on what is considered concealed carry when walking/hiking around. You’ll need to consult your local listings.
I have read of a bunch of cases of people getting in trouble for possessing a firearm and consuming alcohol while camping. In a lot of the cases the carrier/drinker did something stupid. But there were other cases where nothing bad happened with the firearm but LEOs became aware the person was carrying for a variety of reasons. Even if you behave responsibly some of your companions may not. Then there are the very rare cases where the person drinking/carrying needed or at least felt they needed to use the firearm for self defense.
Most of these cases were car camping related but a few were backpacking related.
I usually don’t drink while backpacking. Though an Irish Coffee can sure help take the chill off after a long cold day on a winter backpack trip:) When backpacking I usually carry in a fanny pack across my waist. This gives me easy access when the backpack hip belt and shoulder strap prevents other forms of carry. I also carry one of those tiny TSA approved combo locks that I can use to lock the zippers together. In many States this would be considered secured in a lock case. Most States require unloaded and secured in a locked case to avoid being considered concealed carry.
I do this mostly because I have a young son and want the ability to secure my firearm from his access if I take it off for some reason. I am not a lawyer but suspect unloaded and locked in a case would keep you out of legal trouble with most LEOs. At least outside of the anti self defense States and could likely be used as an affirmative defense in some of those States as well.
Our law says you can’t be “Intoxicated” on alcohol. Along the same lines, if you live in a state where medical or recreational marijuana is legal, be careful. There is a reason the feds haven’t reclassified marijuana from a Schedule 1.
As an aside I personally think it is unreasonable to take away a persons 2A right simply because they have a drink or two. In most States even a sip will put you in serious legal trouble. You can legally drive a car after drinking if you are not past the legal limit but you can’t legally defend yourself from a lethal threat under the same conditions. People are way more likely to kill someone driving home after a couple drinks than they are to harm someone with a firearm they are carrying in a holster.
Though even in the couple of rare States were drinking and carrying is legal I would say it is highly irresponsible to do so if you are going to drink anywhere remotely close enough to noticeably impair your judgement and abilities while carrying a firearm.
I am so glad that the VAST majority of LEO in this state are PRO 2A.
Welcome @SimonK !
Personally I open carry while hiking or camping.
Alcohol and guns mix as poorly as alcohol and cars.
Check your state and local listings before engaging in mixing the two.
I am not aware of any actual law that prohibits possession of both at a single time. So having the brews with you shouldn’t by itself be illegal (not a lawyer, this isn’t legal advice)
My understanding of it in Colorado is possession (on your person or in immediate control) of a firearm while under the influence (subjective to the officers opinion) can get you charged.
So I’ll take this Q another step. Currently going through my CCW process and it is very clear that ANY alcohol, prescription meds or illegal substances while carrying is a crime here in Commiefornia. Can’t even be in a place who’s primary source of revenue is alcohol (bar). How does this work AT HOME? If I’m minding my own business having a beer and methhead invades my home, am I “carrying” if I defend myself? I Never drink enough to be past legal limit, but even a sip by some is considered “under the influence”. Does this mean I lose the right to defense in my home because I chose to have a beer?
In California, yes! How dare you protect yourself with a gun!?!???
Now, smoke it up and stab the $#!+ out them and you’re legal.
Not in Ohio.
That guy was drunk,… admitted to being drunk. Had the gun in hand in his own home.
The article didn’t go into enough detail for me to be able to judge what was actually going on when the police arrived and made the arrest.
Easy presumption to say he was fighting with the wife.
The weapon was NOT loaded, so it is nothing more than a club at that point,
did ol’boy know it wasn’t loaded? Did his wife know it wasn’t loaded? Did he point or brandish it at her in anyway?
Was SHE the aggressor in the DV situation causing him to go for the gun?
Lots of questions in that one.
Apparently he was messing with it, and there was no ammunition in the house, and she kept telling him to put it down and he kept picking it back up.
Whether or not alcohol is allowed while carrying concealed, in terms of legality, varies by state. There are jurisdictions where it is legal to carry concealed and consume alcohol…even in a bar.
There are also jurisdictions where it is not legal.
So, it depends.
This is not legal advice, and I am not an attorney, but what I would do is unload it before starting drinking, and put it unloaded into a bag/case that is closed. Bonus points if you bring a quick safe though I know backpacking how much extra weight sucks. Maybe a cable lock, those aren’t too heavy
Hello and welcome @SimonK
Don’t mix firearms with alcohol, ever.
Thanks for the replies! The assumption behind my question that there is no intention to use a firearm with beer or not getting fully wasted.
It was more related to a situation when someone hikes in the wilderness for couple of days with a firearm (concealed or open), then one day, a camping is on more civilized side, with a bar and more folks around. Someone wants to grab a beer, two by the fire and forget about the gun for the night (again no intention to use it). The question was if there is ANY way of legally doing so, having firearm in the backpack or wherever…
Depending on the state it could vary from 100% legal, to a go-to-prison felony for possessing the disassembled handgun in your own home
Aside from the really crazy places that have stupid laws, most areas consider your camping site as your temporary dwelling with the same laws that apply to your home. Like Nathan said, check with the local laws, but most likely, do like we do when we camp by the bonfire. Open carry and crack a few beers open.
From a legal perspective under CA law I suspect you would most likely be considered in possession of a firearm while consuming alcohol. Whether or not you get charged would be up to the LEOs and prosecutor. Being in CA your chances are likely a lot higher unless maybe you are in one of the more firearm friendly counties.
Someone around here once posited if you could be charged if you were not drinking when someone broke in and forced you to defend yourself and then you unloaded your firearm and had a drink to calm your nerves after calling 911. That also would likely be up to the LEOs,prosecutor and perhaps a jury.
Again while I agree with most that alcohol and firearms don’t mix well, if someone attacks you, your right to self defense should not be denied because you have had some alcohol. Seems unconstitutional to me. But many State laws say your right to defend yourself with a firearm stops when alcohol touches your lips and starts again at some arbitrary time after you stop drinking.