Laws & Policies

What You Need to Know

To learn about the park's rules and regulations, view the 2014 edition of the Superintendent's Compendium in PDF format.

This enabling legislation stipulated that the original grantors of the property retain all rights to minerals within what became the National Seashore. Therefore, the mineral estate underlying the park is either owned privately or by the State of Texas. The National Park Service is legally required to allow access to the minerals while applying stringent requirements and ensuring adherence to federal and state regulations, policies, and guidelines.

Click here for: The Oil and Gas Story

Click here for: The Oil and Gas Program at Padre Island National Seashore

Click here for: The 9b Regulations

New Firearms Law

As of February 22, 2010, a new federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws, to legally possess firearms in this park. It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering this park. Please visit our state's various websites for more information:

TX State Home Page

TX State Statutes

TX Concealed Weapons Information

TX State Reciprocity

Federal law also prohibits firearms in certain facilities in this park. Those places are marked with signs at all public entrances.


President John F. Kennedy Signing Legislation for Padre Island National Seashore, 1962. Photo courtesy PAIS Archives.

The park's Founding Legislation is a federal law, drawn up by Congress and signed by the President, which forms the foundation for all the rules, regulations, laws, and policies of the park. The National Seashore's founding legislation was signed by President John F. Kennedy on September 28, 1962.

Want to find out more about the laws that regulate national parks? Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) is a comprehensive listing of the rules in national parks. Here you will find out about the laws that are used to protect park resources.

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