The Bureau of Land Management has declared the Burning Man "radical self-expression/self-reliance" community "experiment" in northern Nevada's Black Rock Desert a temporary weapons-free zone, GunLeaders Blog reported today. Citing a Department of the Interior "Notice of Temporary Closure and Temporary Restrictions of Specific Uses on Public Lands in Pershing County, NV" appearing in the Federal Register Volume 77, Number 157 (Tuesday, August 14, 2012), the edict mandates "temporary closures and temporary restrictions will be in effect from August 13, 2012 to September 17, 2012.
Proclaiming its authority under 43 CFR 8364.1., and issued by Gene Seidlitz, District Manager, Winnemucca District, the restriction notice declared "The possession of any weapon is prohibited except weapons within motor vehicles passing through the public closure area, without stopping, on the west or east playa roads.
"The prohibitions above shall not apply to county, state, tribal, and Federal law enforcement personnel, or any person authorized by Federal law to possess a weapon," the notice continued. "'Art projects' that include weapons and are sanctioned by BRC LLC will be permitted after obtaining authorization from the BLM authorized officer."
"Any person who violates the above rules and restrictions may be tried before a United States Magistrate and fined no more than $1,000, imprisoned for no more than 12 months, or both," the notice warned, adding "Such violations may also be subject to the enhanced fines provided for at 18 U.S.C. 3571."
Whether this upsets Burning Man organizers and participants, and there does not appear to be any mention of weapons in the almost-anything-goes gathering's "rules and regulations," remains unknown, but there are larger principles at stake here.