Gun owners might be under the impression that a valid carry license allows them to bring their firearms into tourist attractions such as theme parks, zoos, or national parks. However, many tourist hot spots have a “no guns allowed” ban on firearms.
Most major tourist attractions have posted rules and regulations online and visitors who are used to carrying their firearm would do well to review the regulations before making travel plans. Even tourist attractions that do not have a full “no guns allowed” ban may actually have specific restrictions regarding areas within the attractions where carry is not permitted.
For example, a federal law was passed in 2010 that allows those with a valid carry permit to bring firearms into national parks and national wildlife refuges. The law amended previous policy, which prohibited carry in those designations. However, the law does not supersede existing federal law, which prohibits firearms in government facilities. Thus while it is legal to carry in Yellowstone National Park, according to the posted park laws and policies, no guns are allowed inside certain facilities in the park which includes the visitor center.
Here are five popular tourist attractions that have a “no guns allowed” policy:
1. Universal Orlando Resort: Home to Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the resort specifically prohibits “any type of weapon” on the premises.
2. Mall of America: Located in Bloomington, Minnesota, the Mall of America receives more than 40 million visitors a year. Tourists and locals come to shop in more than 500 stores and 50 restaurants as well as to visit the various entertainment features including the Nickelodeon Universe theme park. According to the security information posted, “Guns are banned on these premises.”
3. Walt Disney World: Visitors to any Walt Disney theme park, including Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, and Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida, must abide by the “no guns allowed” policy. In fact, Disney World prohibits “weapons of any kind, or objects that appear to be weapons” and Disneyland has an even more specific set of guidelines that, in addition to no guns allowed includes, “Water pistols, toy guns, and replica weapons, with the exception of those sold in the Disneyland Resort.”
4. SeaWorld, Orlando: SeaWorld is in the top ten of the most visited amusement parks in the U.S., and the security procedures for the park state that “for the safety of our animals and our guests” weapons are not permitted.
5. Dallas Zoo: At 106 acres, the award-winning Dallas Zoo is the largest in Texas. The zoo’s FAQ page states, “Under state law, the Zoo is considered both an amusement park and an educational institution, so concealed weapons aren’t allowed, even for licensed holders of concealed handgun permits.”
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