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National gun rules for national parks (From the left!)
Miami Herald ^ | Jan. 15, 2008 | Editorial Staff

Posted on 01/15/2008 6:02:24 AM PST by fweingart

OUR OPINION: SENATE MOVE TO CHANGE MODEST LIMITS IS PURELY POLITICAL

Welcome to the American national park system where the camper in the next space over may be packing heat. What a peaceful thought as you try to snooze under the stars.

Yet, there's a letter circulating in the U.S. Senate that has attracted 47 signatures including that of Florida Republican Mel Martinez, aimed at easing federal regulations on the carrying of firearms in national parks.

Consistent policy

Written by Idaho Republican Mike Crapo, the letter is directed to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and seems reasonable on its face. It would require the park system to recognize state firearms laws in national parks. This would make department policy consistent because state firearms laws apply on other Interior lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.

The proposal doesn't turn the national parks into a Wild West of gun-toting hikers, but it isn't necessary. Currently, the park system permits the presence of guns for authorized hunting and target shooting and allows park-goers to carry guns in car trunks or other areas of vehicles that aren't readily accessible. But holders of state gun permits aren't permitted to openly carry accessible weapons.

• First off, these are national parks with visitors from states throughout the nation with a variety of weapons laws. The interests of consistency should lie with all visitors at all national parks. It should be little more than a minor annoyance for, say, residents of states bordering Yellowstone to stow their rifles when driving through the park.

• Second, there simply is no good reason to have a weapon handy while visiting a park. The numbers of attacks by wild animals on park visitors complying with park rules and the dictates of common sense do not justify the danger to others of, say, city folk firing at strange noises in the night, which may be someone else at the campsite or a bear more interested in potato chips that weren't properly stowed than in human morsels in the tent.

• Third, national parks aren't hotbeds of crime, but they do suffer from an overtaxed ranger service that doesn't need more law-enforcement responsibilities. Throw in the accessibility of guns -- and the perception that it's OK to have guns in the parks -- with the mindlessness some display when on vacation, and the mix isn't pretty. Nor should rangers be faced with yet more complications for controlling illegal hunting and poaching in parks.

The current regulations have been in effect for more than two decades. Changing them doesn't solve a pressing problem in the parks; rather it serves only to make a political statement at the expense of the safety of people and the wildlife they come to see.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: banglist; gunfreezones
....including that of Florida Republican Mel Martinez, aimed at easing federal regulations on the carrying of firearms in national parks.

Sometimes Mel gets it right!

This editorial is typical of the MSM reception of a welcome addition to our constitutional right to bear firearms.

1 posted on 01/15/2008 6:02:30 AM PST by fweingart
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To: fweingart

I don’t really worry much about seeking government’s blessing or permission.


2 posted on 01/15/2008 6:05:47 AM PST by MoMagic
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To: fweingart
Welcome to the American national park system where the camper in the next space over may be packing heat. What a peaceful thought as you try to snooze under the stars.

Welcome to the National Parks system, where the rapist or mugger is packing heat because he doesn't care if the law says he can't.

what an imbecile to think that the law keeps criminals from packing heat in the parks.

3 posted on 01/15/2008 6:09:09 AM PST by normy (Don't take it personally, just take it seriously.)
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To: fweingart
“Welcome to the American national park system where the camper in the next space over may be packing heat. What a peaceful thought as you try to snooze under the stars.”

Guess what. That camper next to you may already be armed, if I’m armed then I can snooze peacefully.

“Next to me in the blackness lay my oiled blue steel beauty. The greatest Christmas gift I had ever received, or would ever receive. Gradually, I drifted off to sleep, pringing ducks on the wing and getting off spectacular hip shots.”

4 posted on 01/15/2008 6:12:07 AM PST by fungoking
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To: fungoking

In 2002 we visited the Grand Canyon for the first time. Our little Mossberg 500 shotgun with a legal 18” barrel and pistol grip, loaded as usual and in a carry case, was in the station wagon. On the way up from Flagstaff my wife was looking over a guide pamphlet we had picked up, and it said clearly that no firearms were permitted in the Park. It was too late to do anything about our “firearm” so we just continued our trip, no questions were asked. I don’t know if any regulations have changed since then. I’ll be very surprised if any existing ones are relaxed.


5 posted on 01/15/2008 6:19:43 AM PST by 19th LA Inf
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To: fweingart; Joe Brower
"Second, there simply is no good reason to have a weapon handy while visiting a park."


6 posted on 01/15/2008 6:20:49 AM PST by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: fweingart

My late husband and I spent a lot of time camping in national parks and we always “packed heat.” We also always slept really well.


7 posted on 01/15/2008 6:22:20 AM PST by MomofMarine
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To: fweingart
I quit assisting the NPS with Civil War Interpretation when the employees of the NPS demanded that I register the serial numbers of my cap and ball revolvers and mine ball rifles with them. NPS employees on average are liberal Democrat left winging tree huggers that care nothing of the citizens and public that visit the park. They believe the park is for their employment and self interests.
8 posted on 01/15/2008 6:23:06 AM PST by vetvetdoug
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To: Travis McGee

Bullseye! If that young lady had been carrying she might be alive today.


9 posted on 01/15/2008 6:24:46 AM PST by navyguy (Some days you are the pigeon, some days you are the statue.)
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To: fweingart
This thread has just added to the FreeRepublic "bang list" (firearms interest list) by adding the keyword "banglist".

Any time a firearms-related thread is created on FreeRepublic, please be sure to add the "banglist" keyword to it so that interested FReepers don't miss it. Just a suggestion.

Let Freedom Ring,

Gun Facts v4.2!

Click the pic to go to the Gun Facts v4.2 download page!

10 posted on 01/15/2008 6:25:46 AM PST by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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To: navyguy
Amen. Not only armed with a gun, but with the mental attitude that not everybody in a park is a frolicking innocent bambi lover.

This kind of article perpetuates the dangerous myth that parks are places only of wonder and innocence, and will only lead more young hikers to peril.

11 posted on 01/15/2008 6:30:24 AM PST by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: fweingart
I strongly recommend inviting Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson when camping in Big Bend National Park. It is not uncommon to encounter crimmigrants breaking their way into the U.S.
12 posted on 01/15/2008 6:32:33 AM PST by ConservaTexan (February 6, 1911)
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To: fweingart

You can leave a comment on a discussion thread right at the MH link. You don’t have to sign in or anything, just comment and submit.


13 posted on 01/15/2008 6:35:25 AM PST by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: ConservaTexan

The same applies to Padre Island National Seashore, for the same reasons.


14 posted on 01/15/2008 6:46:49 AM PST by Rockhound
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To: fweingart

I imagine even the staunchest anti-gun liberal would have a change of heart when they have an 800 lb bear gnawing on their skull.

Even a call to the Hillary campaign at a time like this won’t help you...you have to pack heat to be truly protected.


15 posted on 01/15/2008 6:47:20 AM PST by ParaVet93
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To: Travis McGee
Not only do you have to worry about murderers, you have to worry about gangs that are using the parks to smuggle and grow illegal drugs.

Another point that the writer missed is that if I'm from Florida and drive my RV to Yellowstone, what am I supposed to do with my firearms while I'm in the park? Should I give up my 2nd Ammendment rights because I plan on visiting or driving through a National Park?

16 posted on 01/15/2008 6:47:35 AM PST by mbynack (Retired USAF SMSgt)
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To: navyguy
Bullseye! If that young lady had been carrying she might be alive today.

My wife hiked in Vogel SP, alone with one of our Labs, two weeks before that incident. If this 'perp had confronted my wife, I assure you things would have come out much, much differently, if you get my drift......

17 posted on 01/15/2008 6:48:05 AM PST by Thermalseeker (Silence is not always a Sign of Wisdom, but Babbling is ever a Mark of Folly. - B. Franklin)
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To: fweingart

“Welcome to the American national park system where the camper in the next space over may be packing heat. What a peaceful thought as you try to snooze under the stars. “

Yes, currently I can sleep peacefully at night because there are laws that prevent the campers from packing heat in their tents. </sarcasm>

My Sturm and Ruger .44 mag accompanies me on all camping/hiking trips. Guaranteed to be helpful in confronting black bears and all people intent on doing me harm.


18 posted on 01/15/2008 7:00:49 AM PST by Old Teufel Hunden
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To: MoMagic

When I’ve gone to national parks, I’ve carried a pistol in deep concealment on my person. It’s not the four legged animals that worry me, it’s the two legged ones that may pop up, particularly in wilderness areas near the Mexican borders.


19 posted on 01/15/2008 8:50:35 AM PST by JeeperFreeper
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To: JeeperFreeper
When I’ve gone to national parks, I’ve carried a pistol in deep concealment on my person. It’s not the four legged animals that worry me, it’s the two legged ones that may pop up, particularly in wilderness areas near the Mexican borders.

Smart move on your part. Unfortunately, that gal hiker in Georgia found out the hard way our approach works better than blind faith others follow the law.
20 posted on 01/15/2008 8:52:19 AM PST by MoMagic
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To: MoMagic

The last time I was in Yosemite Valley, there were indeed gang members present. They were very overt about it.


21 posted on 01/15/2008 8:59:04 AM PST by -=SoylentSquirrel=- (I'm really made of people!)
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To: MoMagic

Good for you. Legislation and laws do not erase rights. Ever.


22 posted on 01/15/2008 9:00:02 AM PST by PeterFinn (A muslim in the White House would be an Obamination.)
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To: normy
The liberals will come up with a multi billion dollar program to teach grizzlies, rapists and muggers how to read the signs posted at the entrances of The National Parks.

Add in a few more billions of pork in the form of Midnight Basket Ball.

23 posted on 01/15/2008 9:00:25 AM PST by TYVets (God so loved the world he didn't send a committee)
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To: fweingart

Miami Herald, the readerless newspaper.

If a leftist opines alone in the forest does it really matter?


24 posted on 01/15/2008 9:13:12 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: Travis McGee

BINGO!!!!!!!!!

Need to put this in a postcard and send it to congress, and the Miami Herald...


25 posted on 01/15/2008 10:00:57 AM PST by stevie_d_64 (Houston Area Texans (I've always been hated))
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To: vetvetdoug

I quit participating in a Trapper’s Rendezvous when the shooting contests were halted and you were not allowed to even demonstrate actually loading your muzzle-loader to the tourists (national Historic Site).


26 posted on 01/15/2008 10:06:11 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: mbynack

You ARE allowed to have them - locked up, unloaded, and stowed deeply in your vehicle.


27 posted on 01/15/2008 10:09:49 AM PST by ctdonath2 (GWB wept for those who suffer. HRC wept for herself.)
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To: fweingart

Better to be tried by 12 than being eaten by a bear.


28 posted on 01/15/2008 10:11:26 AM PST by Mogollon
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To: stevie_d_64

I did leave about the third comment on the Miami Herald’s discussion thread after the article. No signup or registration, just go to the link and leave a comment.


29 posted on 01/15/2008 11:53:44 AM PST by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: vetvetdoug

You hit the nail on the head with that one. NPS, USFWS, USFS, only care about their paycheck. A bunch of green liberals that are clueless how to take care of the enviroment. Look at the wolves in Yellowstone elk down from 19,000 to estimate 5000 now in a few more years the elk going to be endangered. But the beaver are back the liberals scream oh really where were they before? Think about it, where did they magically show up from ? They had to be in the park to begin with. The MSM media also forgot to tell you that YNP was closed 3 times this year from grizzly bear attacks. Just more proof that liberals love animals more then people.


30 posted on 01/15/2008 12:06:34 PM PST by Bruce 22-250 (Vote stop the WITCH!)
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To: Thermalseeker

Good for her! Smart lady.


31 posted on 01/15/2008 3:41:18 PM PST by navyguy (Some days you are the pigeon, some days you are the statue.)
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To: navyguy
Good for her! Smart lady.

Yeah, and she's a damned good shot, too. Her dad was competitive on the national level in target shooting when she was growing up. She had a really good teacher.....

32 posted on 01/16/2008 4:47:25 AM PST by Thermalseeker (Silence is not always a Sign of Wisdom, but Babbling is ever a Mark of Folly. - B. Franklin)
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