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Discussion Starter #1
Ya 'at 'teeh. I will be driving through New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah next week, all of which honor my Texas CHL. I may want to drive through the Navajo and Hopi reservations; does anybody know what their laws pertaining to concealed carry may be? I couldn't find anything on the internet, including the Navajo Nation and Navajo Nation DPS web sites. I'd appreciate any local help or experience with this issue.
 

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I Googled around but didn't find much. For what it's worth:
http://www.lapahie.com/FAQ.cfm

A summary for visitors: The Navajo Nation (reservation land) is a separate government entity on a level of authority comparable to the US Federal government. Within the reservation territory (which covers an area larger than the 10 smallest states in the US and which includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah) the Navajo Tribal Code supersedes local, state and most federal laws. The Navajo Tribal Code follows a similar pattern to state and local laws in your home state, and common sense will easily keep visitors from running afoul of the law. But visitors should remember that they are visitors and should treat the land and people with the same respect that you would expect of visitors who come to your neighborhood. Possession and especially distribution of alcohol and drugs are prohibited everywhere on the reservation. Firearms are prohibited. Fishing, hiking, and camping are permitted with a license which is available from the Tribal offices in Window Rock. Guided back country tours, horseback excursions, river rafting and such are available from operators licensed by the tribe and located near most of the major tourist attractions. The Navajo people mostly welcome and enjoy talking with visitors from other places, so long as they behave in a civilized and respectful manner. Photography of individual people or their dwellings is considered disrespectful unless permission has been obtained in advance.


Perhaps a call to the Navajo Nation Police would be in order? Would you please laet us know if you find a definitive answer to youe question?
 

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I rode through there last Labor Day. While stopped in Tuba City (on the Rez) I asked a Navajo PD Sergeant the same thing. He said weapons are generally illegal, but were allowed for "just passing through". Then he asked me "If it's properly concealed, how would I know anyway?"
 

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AZ Husker said:
Then he asked me "If it's properly concealed, how would I know anyway?"
Ya gotta admire that Native American, no nonsense attitude.
 

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I live in az and guns are not allowed on the rez that is unless you pay 15 or 20 grand for a hunting permit.
That being said I always keep a gun no further away than my car when I am there and have never had a problem.
I guess I am just a scufflaw.
 

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I thought that the FOPA allowed for passage through such areas, regardless of local law. In fact, I thought that reservations were specifically mentioned as not exempt, subject to that law despite their high degree of sovereignty. I can't seem to track the full text of the law, though. There's lots of commentary, but every time I try to find the law itself, I get nothing.
 

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treesloth said:
I thought that the FOPA allowed for passage through such areas, regardless of local law. In fact, I thought that reservations were specifically mentioned as not exempt, subject to that law despite their high degree of sovereignty. I can't seem to track the full text of the law, though. There's lots of commentary, but every time I try to find the law itself, I get nothing.
The phrase sovereign nation kind of mutes FOPA. You know, sorta like Mexico. It isn't a State of the Union, it is a Sovereign Nation. Its Authority is established by a Treaty with the federal government

Jerry
 

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jamorris said:
The phrase sovereign nation kind of mutes FOPA. You know, sorta like Mexico. It isn't a State of the Union, it is a Sovereign Nation. Its Authority is established by a Treaty with the federal government

Jerry
For better or worse, a reservation is not a sovereign nation in the same sense as Mexico or any other. Despite the frequent use of the expression "sovereign nation", things are a bit muddier than that. For example, in Oliphant, SCOTUS determined:

Indian tribal courts do not have inherent criminal jurisdiction to try and to punish non-Indians, and hence may not assume such jurisdiction unless specifically authorized to do so by Congress.

As part of their decision-making, they relied on the determination that:

By submitting to the overriding sovereignty of the United States, Indian tribes necessarily yield the power to try non-Indians except in a manner acceptable to Congress...

While the Indian nations may have a degree of independence, the expression "sovereign nation", being used for such dissimilar entities as a reservation and a peer nation such as Mexico, is imprecise. Justice Marshall said, "...an Indian tribe or nation within the United States is not a foreign state in the sense of the constitution..." With various refinements, that same concept has remained in force.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone; that's about what I figured. My carry weapon is always well-concealed on my person, and would remain so if I were to traverse the Navajo and Hopi Nations.
 

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Tribal reservations have their own laws and should be researched prior to visiting. I loaned out my copy of AZ. gun laws, but from what I have read generally ccw isn't allowed, if you are just driving through, it isn't a big deal, but if you get out and walk around it could be.
http://www.azdps.gov/ccw/documents/newsletterApril2007.pdf

Indian reservations. Each reservation
has the authority to choose whether or
not they will recognize the Arizona con-
cealed-weapons permit. Check with the
appropriate Indian Reservation
Notice that it says Arizona concealed-weapons permit. so I do not think that they have to honor reciprocity.

http://www.indians.org/Resource/FedTribes99/Region3/region3.html might offer some contacts...
 

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treesloth said:
I thought that the FOPA allowed for passage through such areas, regardless of local law. In fact, I thought that reservations were specifically mentioned as not exempt, subject to that law despite their high degree of sovereignty. I can't seem to track the full text of the law, though. There's lots of commentary, but every time I try to find the law itself, I get nothing.
Here's the entire text of the interstate transportation provision of FOPA, found at 18 USC Sec 926A:
Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver's compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.
 

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While most of the Navajo Nation Code is not freely available online (although they say it may become available on Westlaw soon), 1 NNC § 6 reads as follows:

Right to keep and bear arms

The right of the people to keep and bear arms for peaceful purposes, and in a manner which does not breach or threaten the peace or unlawfully damage or destroy or otherwise infringe upon the property rights of others, shall not be infringed.
 

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Just my opinion, but you would probably be in much bigger trouble hunting without a tribal tag, then CC passing through. I pass through the NN every week, and never have encountered difficulty with Tribal LE. Course, like the man said, he wouldn't know it.
 

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jwc41 said:
Here's the entire text of the interstate transportation provision of FOPA, found at 18 USC Sec 926A...
Cool, thanks. Somehow other folks' interpretation of the law just isn't as satisfying as reading the actual text.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
back from my trip; I drove through both nations twice, and stayed in motels in both with no problems whatsoever. Tribal police were very visible on the roads on New Year's Day, but since I wasn't speeding or impaired I didn't get a second glance. Got my fix of fry bread and Navajo Tacos -man, if I lived closer I would weigh 400 lbs.

Thanks again everyone for the law and the advice.
 
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