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Lake & Rivers Local News

Changes to USACE Regulation Could Allow Guns on Canyon Lake

If passed, a proposed revision to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regulations would allow individuals to lawfully carry firearms at the lands and properties it manages, which include some Canyon Lake parks, facilities and boat ramps. Image courtesy of Mark Robinson with MJR Photography.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), which sets the rules for Canyon Lake parks and boat ramps, is seeking public comments on a revision to its regulations that would allow recreationalists to carry guns on lands and properties in manages.

The proposed revision would bring the Corps into alignment with state and local laws authorizing the possession of firearms by individuals.

Comal County leases its boat ramps from USACE, so any changes to regulations the USACE approves would apply to its boat ramps, Comal County’s Public Information Paul Anthony said.

“We do not have any additional rules, beyong existing state rules, regarding firearms at county-owned parks,” he said.

Texas gun laws do not regulate the possession of firearms so any person, no matter what age, can possess a firearm as long as they are not a felon. To purchase a handgun a person must be at least 21 years old if buying from a federally licensed dealer. Licences to carry are issued to both residents and non-residents with a 4-6 hour training course required. Open carry is legal provided the handgun is in a shoulder or belt holster, according to gunstocarry.com. Texas has no laws regarding the carrying of long guns (rifles or shotguns) in motor vehicles.

How to Comment

Comments to USACE may be submitted one of the following ways on or before June 12, 2020:

  • The Federal eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov. The docket number is COE-2018-0008. Instructions for submitting comments are provided on the portal.
  • E-mail: Firearms@usace.army.mil. Include the docket number, COE-2018-0008, in the subject line of the message.
  • Mail: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Attn: CECW-CO-N, Steve Austin, 3F68, 441 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20314-1000
Clay Church, Public Affairs specialist with the USACE’s Fort Worth District, which oversees Canyon Lake, said the proposed revision to Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 327.13, will align USACE regulations with those of other federal land management agencies and will more appropriately reflect the requirements of current state and local laws authorizing the possession of firearms by individuals.
The revision will also eliminate the requirement for individuals to obtain written permission from a District Commander to carry a firearm on USACE-managed lands and waters, he said.
“The process for the revision is being followed with the Federal Register filing today and then seeking comment until June 12,” he said on Tuesday, April 14. “Once input is considered then a change to Title 36 may take place and will then also be announced in the Federal Register and changes to our operating procedures, guidance and regulations can take place.”
Church said since the last amendment of USACE’s regulation in 2000, many states have passed laws or amended existing laws to provide for the carrying of firearms by private individuals, in particular for self-defense purposes.
“Firearm regulations of other federal land management agencies have been amended in recent years to make them more consistent with the law of the state in which the federal lands are located,” he said. The current regulation prohibits the possession of firearms unless being used for hunting, at authorized shooting ranges, or if written permission has been received from the District Commander.



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  1. Canyon Lake resident April 23, 2020

    The proposed revision would bring the Corps into alignment with state and local laws authorizing the possession of firearms by individuals. There are already many state laws regulating an individuals right to possess a firearm. This change makes sense.

  2. Jeanette Nelson April 14, 2020

    Why would guns be necessary around the lake? I don’t see the reasoning for allowing this. I vote no.

  3. James McGee April 14, 2020

    Can not be drinking alcohol while in possession of a firearm.


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