Laws & Policies

Firearms in National Parks

The law governing possession of firearms inside a national park changed on February 22, 2010.

Visitors may possess firearms within a national park unit provided they comply with federal, state, and local laws.

The role of the responsible gun owner is to know and obey the federal, state, and local laws appropriate to the park they are visiting.

Please remember that federal law prohibits firearms in certain park facilities and buildings. These places are marked with signs at public entrances.

Firearms are not allowed in the Heritage Corridor Commission office, One Depot Square, Woonsocket, RI.

The National Park Service does not own or manage any property within the Heritage Corridor, therefore the state laws of Rhode Island and Massachusetts concerning firearms must be followed by all visitors. For more information on those regulations, please see the links below.

For information on Rhode Island gun laws, please visit their website

For information on Massachusetts gun laws, please visit their website


Legislative History of the Heritage Corridor
Congress passed the Act to establish the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor in Massachusetts and Rhode Island for the purpose of “preserving and interpreting for the educational and inspirational benefit of present and future generations the unique and significant contributions to our national heritage of certain historic and cultural lands, waterways and structures within the Blackstone Valley” in order to “provide a management framework to assist the states…and their units of local government in the development and implementation of integrated cultural, historical, and land resource management programs in order to retain, enhance, and interpret the significant values of the lands, waters and structures of the Corridor.” (Public Law 99-647, November 10, 1986)

This law passed in 1986, and subsequent laws passed by Congress since that time provide the purpose and mandate for the Corridor. Click on any of the following for the complete text of the laws that continue to shape the how the Corridor carries out its work.

November 10, 1986
Public Law 99-647
(PDF: 15KB / 5 pages)

An Act to establish the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor in Massachusetts and Rhode Island

October 18, 1990
Public Law 101-441
(PDF: 8KB / 2 pages)

An Act to Amend Public Law 99-647, establishing the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Commission, to authorize action in furtherance of its purposes and to increase the authorization of appropriations.

November 12, 1996
Public Law 104-333
(PDF: 9KB / 2 pages)

Amending the boundaries of the Heritage Corridor, revising the Cultural Heritage and Land Management Plan, extending the Commission for ten years and authorizing appropriations.

October 12, 2006
Public Law 109-338

(PDF: 29 K/ 2 pages)

Reauthorizes the Heritage Corridor for five more years, calls for an update of the Cultural Heritage and Land Management plan and initiates a Special Resource Study to determine the suitability of designating one or more sites within the Blackstone Valley as a unit of the National Park System.

December 23, 2011
Public Law 112-74

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 extended the Commission through September 30, 2013

January 14, 2014
Public Law 113-76
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 extend the Commission through September 30, 2015.

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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670 Linwood Avenue
Northbridge, MA 01588


(508) 234-4242

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