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Almost saw the Bonneville Dam...

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by I-Shoot, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. I-Shoot

    I-Shoot Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I had a nephew in from out of town, he wanted to do the tourist stuff and I'm new to this part of Oregon, so I didn't mind. On the list was checking out the salmon runs at the dam, since its that time of year. I've carried so long sometimes I forget I have it on me, so as we drove up to the entrance and the armed security guard stepped forward, I was kind of taken by surprise when he asked one and only one question: "are there any guns in the vehicle?"

    He seemed far more surprised by my answer, when I said "yes". He took a step back, and asked if I was a police officer, I said no, he took another step back and put his hand over the top of his holstered handgun. I calmly told him I have a CHL and I have my carry gun on me, at which point he told me I could not enter, and would have to turn my vehicle around (we were allowed to view the fish hatcheries... yawn).

    I have a small electronic combination safe bolted to the floor under the passenger seat, in case I find myself needing to go to a courthouse or some other place where I can't carry, but this was not that type of situation. He was not telling me that I could not enter the building armed, he was telling me that firearms are not allowed on the premises at all.

    I suppose I should brush up on the types of places we can't carry, its been a while since I got my CHL. Dams/power plants do not appear on the list the county provides, and I am not aware if it is considered a federal property (I know it was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers with federal funding, but I thought that Oregon "owns" it). Not sure what the deal is, maybe some anti-terrorist thing? I'm pretty sure you can't carry (if enter at all) at nuclear power plants.

    Learn something new every day. If nothing else, just passing this along to save others the time of driving out there and not being allowed in.
     
  2. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    As I recall, Bonneville Power Administration, which operates the dam, is also responsible for it. BPA is a federal agency, part of the DOE. After 9/11, sites like that got pretty locked down. I have gone to BPA sites occasionally as part of my job. If I have to enter the site, I don't bring a firearm (on me or in my car) because I know their policies. I think the issue is that the dam could be a potential target for the bad guys, so it makes sense they would lock it down. Good to know the guy, while cautious, didn't flip out when you told him you were carrying.

    I had a situation once where I had to go to the National Guard base at PDX. I wasn't carrying because I knew that was a big no no, but I'm diabetic, and had a needle with insulin in the car. When they did a search, they found the needle - and it just about prevented me from gaining entry. After about 20 minutes of question and answer, they finally let me through. Crazy stuff though.
     
  3. aflineman

    aflineman Both South of Eugene and East of Portland. Active Member

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    BPA does NOT own, nor does it operate Bonneville Dam. Just buys the power it produces. Bonneville Lock and Dam is operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
     
    F2CMaDMaXX and Caveman Jim like this.
  4. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I stand corrected. They are the distributors of the power generated there, not the operators of the facility.
     
  5. sailorfej

    sailorfej Scappoose Silver Supporter Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    This is due to an Army Corp of Engineers ban on firearms on land managed by the Corp. It it is currently being challenged in a couple of lawsuits with the judgements so far going against the Corp, but I don't believe any of them have reached final resolution as the Corp is appealing the decisions.

    If I recall correctly the two suits are

    Morris vs US Army Corp of Engineers in Idaho
    and
    Georgia Carry vs US Army Corp of Engineers in Georgia
     
  6. Modeler

    Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

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  7. BAMCIS

    BAMCIS Eugene Well-Known Member

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    That "guard" is just a feel good response to make the sheep comfortable. Do you think he'll be able to stop a well motivated nut job from brining his car (or truck) bomb past him an onto Bonneville Dam then setting it off?

    When me and the wife went there we were asked the same thing. Instead of answering I asked if there was a locker or someplace we can secure our guns. He looked at us like we were from Mars.
     
  8. kev350

    kev350 Gresham , Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I'll have to remember that the next time I go out there. It's been a few years but I don't remember a guard then.
     
  9. WilliamIV

    WilliamIV Longview, Washington Active Member

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    I was there last year with my girlfriend. I was 20 at the time so I couldn't carry anyways. He also insisted on looking in our trunk for whatever reason.
     
  10. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    Still no legal obligation to tell anyone that you're armed unless otherwise by the law.

    Sounds more like a policy than anything.
     
    chariot13 likes this.
  11. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I'd be curious to know......ZA, why don't you go up there and give it a test? You just might win the court battle. Me? I'll leave my fire arm at home, thank you very much!

    Just razzin' you ZA!
     
    riverrat373 likes this.
  12. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    LoL, matter of fact I just might!!
    Most of my travel/fun/life is limited due to business, but I'd be more than happy to put my opinion into practice should I find myself in the area.

    The primary issue with NSA and other government agency protected areas is they fall under different rule of law than what an average citizen is used to. Perhaps Id be met with full force.. Don't taze me bro!

    Should they have a search of my person that's one thing.. Otherwise I'll just quietly carry my firearm and not announce it.
     
  13. AMT

    AMT Vancouver, WA. Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    The Corps of Engineers is a Federal Government agency, I believe an offshoot of the military. The dams and the property that they are on are Federal property. Revert back to any place you can/can't carry and you will find that you cannot carry on any federal property.

    You are not even supposed to carry ammo onto the properties. Believe me, there is no going to the store "for a good deal" at lunch and bringing the ammo back onto any of the Federal properties. Too risky. Losing my job over a box of ammo isn't worth it to me.

    Any and all of the dams up and down the Columbia are owned and operated by the Corps of Engineers. BPA owns the power lines attached to the dams that spider-web out from them.

    ZA, you can try and argue with the guards but you will lose. It is Federal property. And the "no legal obligation to tell them" doesn't fly. If you bring it on the property, and they find out, your in for a world of cr_p. Get a good attorney so you can possibly plea down to something lower without doing jail time. But you'll still probably gonna lose your CHL license(s).

    Speaking of BPA.... technically if you are on a BPA owned right-of-way, and you are carrying (or shooting/plinking), you are on Federal property and can/will be prosecuted as such.

    Please let us know how it works out if you do try and "push it".
     
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  14. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    Yep, fair enough. Man enough to admit I wouldn't fight a federal law.
    I would assume it's always been federal land? Or have some of these key area been taken over after past attacks with heightened security?

    If anything is a "policy" I do ignore it, the "law" is different. :) I wouldn't attempt to fight that..
    .. Unless it just became utterly absurd. (Which most "bans" are.)

    But wow, even so much as ammo?
    That would really bite of there was a sweet sale going on at a local sporting goods store before your shift.
     
  15. ak56

    ak56 Carnation, Wa Active Member

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    Not true. National Parks and National Forests are two examples of federal property that you can carry on.

    Not all dams on the Columbia are owned and operated by the COE. Grand Coulee is owned by the Bureau of Reclamation, some are owned and operated by local PUD's (not to mention those in Canada owned by BCHydro).

    The restriction on carry on COE land is not based on the fact they are federal property, it is based on the COE's rules.
     
  16. AMT

    AMT Vancouver, WA. Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    ;) Didn't mean to come across as an a_s. But I thought you might like to know before "taking a drive" this weekend and testing it.

    As far as I know the dams and property have always been under the Corps of Engineers since the day they broke ground and were built. Before 9-11 they have been open to the public for visits, tours, etc. Notice that the train tours at The Dalles dam have been stopped too? Even that was too close for Homeland Security. They no longer have an open door and free tours at any of the dams anymore.

    I am assuming that before the dams being built that the land was probably owned by the Native Americans? (LET'S NOT GET INTO THAT ARGUEMENT FOLKS. :D). State owned? Privately owned by the initial settlers on the river? Who knows. That is a whole other topic and debate. Not one for this thread.

    Yeah, believe me, I've gotten some really good deals at lunch and taken the rest of the day off as vacation time as to NOT drive it back on to Federal property. Either that or crossed my fingers that it was still there when I got off work, and I picked it up on the way home. Heck, even met folks for a "deal" and taken the rest of the day off so I didn't drive it back onto property.

    It's just not worth fighting the Feds over something like this. In this day and age it's a battle that you probably would not win.

    I do agree with you (and all of the others) regarding posted "policy", door stickers, etc. I do the same thing..... concealed is concealed.
     
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  17. AMT

    AMT Vancouver, WA. Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    Then I definitely stand corrected. Thank you. Bonneville Dam, The Dalles Dam, John Day Dam, McNary Dam and numerous others are COE. I was under the assumption that they were all owned by the COE. If this is not true then I definitely stand corrected.

    That is true about National Parks and Forests. I forgot about those. I was mainly concentrating on the dams in the area. I think I got tied up in buildings and structures as opposed to outdoor and wilderness lands.

    COE rules.... isn't the COE a part of the one of the branches of the military? I'm pretty certain that civilian John-Doe cannot CC on a military installation. Military policy? I'm just asking....
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  18. scooter

    scooter Medford, OR Member

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  19. PDXSparky

    PDXSparky Keizer / Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    The complete title is Army Corps of Engineers and yes, they are part of the army. They employ a lot of civilians, but they are still commanded by an Army officer. My dad worked for the Corps as an engineering technician for 25 years.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
  20. tanzuki

    tanzuki Salem Active Member

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    Well I for one am glad that the guard is there to stop people and ask those questions because we all know that the bad guys will certainly declare their weapons!o_O:confused:
     
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