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I live in southern Arizona near a large Indian reservation. The reservation informally allows non-members like me to hike there as long as we follow tribal rules. One of those rules is no guns. As a law-abiding citizen, I go unarmed when I hike there. I do pack on adjacent BLM land, but in places it’s unclear just where BLM land ends and tribal land begins. I’m concerned about my legal status if I inadvertently stray onto the reservation while carrying and have the bad luck to have to defend myself against bad guys, like drug smugglers. Would I be subject to prosecution under reservation laws, or would Arizona’s self-defense laws apply? No one in this rural area seems able to answer. I’d appreciate an opinion from any legal minds out there. Thanks.
 

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no matter where you are, if you successfully defended yourself from a real threat, you won.
if you carry, you have a defense lawyer, cocked and locked? if you don't, don't carry.
something the lawyer can answer for you is, are you required to report an incident in your state or tribal land? if you are required, who shows up and writes the report? what do you tell them? see, get a lawyer. (almost any town or area has a well known and respected defense lawyer, that's who you want.)
 

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Indian tribal land is subject to whatever the tribe wants to do at that moment in time. They can more or less do whatever they want.
 

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If you have a legal question then spend a few of your hard earned dollars and get an opinion from a good lawyer before you do have a legal issue.
 

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A lawyer in your jurisdiction is the best one to advise you.

I can tell you this: Thru a friend who is a retired cop, I was advised that he was turned away from an event at Mohegan Sun [part of Indian reservation land] because he was carrying. I have a Full Carry in Connecticut and wondered if I would be legal on the reservation. Research revealed that Indian Reservation land is under it's own jurisdiction independant from the State where it is located. I also discovered that "the Tribal Council" could grant approval for one to carry on the reservation. So I call the "head of Security" to confirm that the reservation was indeed a "no gun zone" and if I could request permission. I was advised that a Connecticut permit was indeed without authority on reservation property and that, to his knowledge, only one person had been granted permission to carry under "extreme circumstances".
 

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Exactly, what Terry just said, I too live right next to the Mohave Indian Reservation, I do believe I'm pretty well versed on the tribes laws in regards to firearms on their property, as far as hunting goes (With a Tribal hunting permit). I do know that carrying a handgun on their property is a horse of a different color, and they have the option of making life really miserable for even a licensed CCW. You might also get in contact with the Tribal Chief and see what there restrictions are prior to even considering carrying on Indian property.
 

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I would say if you defend in a good shoot and can accurately articulate the facts
you win in criminal court.
However if they want to prosecute for breaking the no gun law you loose.
I would say if it can be a problem don't depend on them being nice.
Short answer don't stray.
 

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It is better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
 

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Legal Question?

I suspect that it is "Legal" to ask that question. HTH :rolleyes:

I live in southern Arizona near a large Indian reservation. The reservation informally allows non-members like me to hike there as long as we follow tribal rules. One of those rules is no guns. As a law-abiding citizen, I go unarmed when I hike there. I do pack on adjacent BLM land, but in places it’s unclear just where BLM land ends and tribal land begins. I’m concerned about my legal status if I inadvertently stray onto the reservation while carrying and have the bad luck to have to defend myself against bad guys, like drug smugglers. Would I be subject to prosecution under reservation laws, or would Arizona’s self-defense laws apply? No one in this rural area seems able to answer. I’d appreciate an opinion from any legal minds out there. Thanks.
 

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Legal or not I strongly suggest you know where in the hell you go hiking/backpacking into!!! If you inadvertently cross over from BLM to Indian tribal lands that's your own fault carry a GPS & the proper maps so as not to get into trouble:eek:!!!
 

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As others have already said, Indian reservations are sovereign states; they are subject to Federal law, but are like a separate state when it comes to things like gun laws. My experience with local tribes has been that they don't support concealed carry by their own tribal members and they sure as heck aren't receptive to non-members carrying. If you wander onto tribal land with a gun and no permit, expect bad things to happen.

Since I don't know how your local tribes deal with concealed carry requests, the best thing for you to do would be to contact the tribal justice center or equivalent and see if they'll answer your questions. Don't be too surprised if they refuse to talk to you or give you the run-around; they may not have dealt with this issue before. On the other hand, given the Arizona gun laws, they may have a ready answer - just don't expect it to be "yes".

At least around here, the tribes are usually pretty despotic, in a well-intentioned way. The tribal governments are often small and in-bred, with the same people being elected of and over; they usually know their constituents very well (and are related to them), so they don't feel a need to be responsive to "outsiders".


Good luck.


Jim
 

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As others have already said, Indian reservations are sovereign states; they are subject to Federal law
Actually, they are sovereign Nations subject to U.S. Law. There is a difference.
 

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As noted, reservations have their own ideas on gun laws. That said, they are not all the same. The one I live on goes along with state law, so open carry and CCW is allowed. You need to know the specifics of the reservation you are going to be on.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks to all who responded. I'm convinced now that the best policy is the simplest one--make damn sure (GPS, maps) not to accidentally stray onto reservation land with a firearm. Not worth the risk.
 
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