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Paladin
11-06-2008, 5:09 PM
Decision expected on rule about guns in parks
JEFFREY P. MAYOR; jeff.mayor@thenewstribune.com
Published: November 6th, 2008 12:30 AM

The Department of the Interior is expected to announce this month its decision regarding changes in rules governing guns in national parks and wildlife refuges.

When he visited Mount Rainier National Park for the Oct. 10 opening of the new Jackson Visitor Center, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said the announcement would be made soon.

“We’re going through the process. We anticipated we’d get a lot of responses, and we did,” Kempthorne told The News Tribune.

At the end of April, the department proposed a change that would allow people to carry a concealed firearm in a national park or wildlife refuge if the individual is permitted to carry a concealed weapon and is authorized to do so on similar state lands in the state in which the national park or refuge is located.

The department received 130,000 to 140,000 comments on the proposal, said Chris Paolino, deputy director of communications for the department.

“That’s on the higher end for comments but not extreme. By contrast, we received nearly 300,000 comments on proposal relating to a narrow change in Endangered Species Act regulations,” Paolino said.

“The majority (of the comments) support leaving the current rules in place,” said Sean Smith, Northwest regional director for the National Parks Conservation Association, which opposes the changes. “In other words, the public comments support the current firearm restrictions, not the NRA’s proposed changes.”

The debate began last December, when 47 U.S. senators wrote Kempthorne asking that him to review the existing laws and allow citizens to transport and carry firearms consistent with state law where the National Park Service’s sites are located.

Current regulations require weapons to be temporarily inoperable or stowed so they are not easily accessible.

The NRA, which pushed for the change, argues park visitors have the right to protect themselves against wild animals and people. It also argues the existing law is confusing because it differs from regulations allowing loaded weapons on other federal recreation lands.

Groups such as the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, the Association of National Park Rangers, the Ranger Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police and the NPCA oppose any change. They say allowing guns in parks and refuges will only put people and wildlife in danger.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640

blogs.thenewstribune.com/adventure

Liberty1
11-07-2008, 4:52 PM
Wish they'd hurry up already...even if BHO pushes for a reversal that will show his colors to the Blue Dogs.

Paladin
12-01-2008, 11:35 AM
Well, hopefully they'll make the announcement this month, or at least sometime before BHO takes office.

yellowfin
12-01-2008, 11:44 AM
Something tells me Sean Smith frankly doesn't care what all of us have been saying.

bulgron
12-01-2008, 1:11 PM
I wish they would announce a relaxed standard, and soon. I'll be traveling to Arizona later this month (where I am legal for CCW) and I'll be spending my fair share of time in National Parks while in that state. It would be nice to not have to worry about that loaded handgun in my vehicle while we're on a scenic drive or whatever.

But from that article it appears that they won't change the rules. At least, I'm not expecting them to. I guess this means we're going to get to sue the park service in federal court one of these days over our right to bear arms on federal land, especially remote wild federal land.

Liberty1
12-01-2008, 4:58 PM
But from that article it appears that they won't change the rules. At least, I'm not expecting them to. I guess this means we're going to get to sue the park service in federal court one of these days over our right to bear arms on federal land, especially remote wild federal land.

Fighting against a total ban on an operable loaded firearm for self defense while on public government land far far away from 911 is a "bear" fight I look forward to. Bring the suit in Washington and we get "bear" (poss. OC loaded) for the whole nation. The antis would be smart to cave in on the rule change as it takes some of our argument away, but they won't. I still hope the current rule stays just so someone has standing to go against this total ban.

SkyStorm82
12-01-2008, 4:59 PM
I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!!

bulgron
12-01-2008, 7:26 PM
Fighting against a total ban on an operable loaded firearm for self defense while on public government land far far away from 911 is a "bear" fight I look forward to. Bring the suit in Washington and we get "bear" (poss. OC loaded) for the whole nation. The antis would be smart to cave in on the rule change as it takes some of our argument away, but they won't. I still hope the current rule stays just so someone has standing to go against this total ban.

Yes. Exactly. Frankly, I'm a little surprised that that suit hasn't already been filed, but I'm guessing the pro-2A lawyers in this country (of which there aren't very many) currently have more pressing business.

Or maybe they're just hanging back to see if the Bush administration changes the rules in the very last moments? Is it better to be on defense or offense for this one?

WokMaster1
12-01-2008, 8:11 PM
Sean Smith says, no guns for you. His decision is final, according to him. That is before the official word is out.:rolleyes:

Gray Peterson
12-02-2008, 1:51 PM
Sean Smith says, no guns for you. His decision is final, according to him. That is before the official word is out.:rolleyes:


Who's Sean Smith?

sorensen440
12-02-2008, 2:03 PM
Who's Sean Smith?

He is the Northwest regional director for the National Parks Conservation Association