Skip to comments.Loaded, Hidden Guns in National Parks Puts Visitors at Risk [Barf Alert]
Posted on 02/08/2008 9:06:24 AM PST by kiriath_jearim
A proposal facing action by the U.S. Senate would force National Park and National Wildlife Refuge managers to allow more loaded, hidden handguns in national parks and wildlife refuges, endangering the public as well as wildlife.
"This is more of the same from the gun pushers - any gun, anywhere, at any time," said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "Why are we putting hikers, campers and families at risk by introducing loaded, hidden handguns into our national parks and refuges? This proposal is a bad idea that the Senate should reject."
Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, an ally of the gun lobby, plans on offering an amendment to a broader bill on public lands issues that would weaken reasonable gun restrictions in Federal lands adopted in 1982 by the Reagan Administration for the National Park Service after extensive comments and review.
At the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, this amendment would undermine the firearms policy discretion of land managers who allow firearms for hunting in many refuges during hunting season, but prohibit them when no hunting is in season or where no hunting is allowed.
The Coburn proposal was the subject of a letter sent in December to Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne. The letter, signed by a number of U.S. Senators, called for the elimination of common-sense limits that allow park visitors to have firearms as long as they are unloaded and lawfully stored.
Late last week, gun violence prevention groups - the Brady Campaign, the Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence and the Violence Policy Center - sent a letter to Secretary Kempthorne indicating that "given the heightened security risks in the post-9/11 world, as well as contemporary concerns about poaching on federal lands, we find the Reagan Administration regulation to be both necessary and appropriate." The letter is available at http://www.bradycampaign.org/action/parks_letter.pdf
A letter sent to Senators last Friday, signed by the Association of National Park Rangers, the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees and the U.S. Park Ranger Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police states: "In our view, Senator Coburn's amendment will make poaching in parks even more prevalent than it already is, thus reducing the opportunity for children, families, and Americans from all walks of life to easily view wildife that so many parks provide."
Separately, the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees stated in a news release that "It is a hoax to suggest that there is some big demand out there for people to be able to tote semi-automatic weapons on the trails of Yellowstone or nine-millimeter pistols on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The current rules in no way prohibit guns in parks, but they do work to discourage that tiny percentage of irresponsible individuals who would engage in poaching and target practice at the expense of irreplaceable natural and historic sites."
As the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence, the Brady Campaign, with its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, works to enact and enforce sensible gun laws, regulations and public policies. The Brady Campaign is devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.
The National Park Service would be surprised at how many concealed weapons people carry while they are in the Parks.
There’s never a Ranger around when you need one.
Does the Sun-Herald actually do any reporting, or do they simply regurgitate press releases?
This is actually quite funny. Who will enforce it? The park rangers? I know they wouldn’t even attempt it in Alaska. These anti people live on another planet, maybe they will enforce it for the park service.
The key words in the PArk rules are ...loaded..
Carry what you will, just take the magazine out.
I have had prople freak out when I open carry and they see the pistol on my hip.
I assure them that if they are attacked by any of the local wildlife, I will hurry to report it to the local park Ranger. That usually nets me a few odd looks, I guess they just don’t ‘get it’.
Law or no, anyone who ventures into the wilderness without a firearm is a moron.
Right. I didn't think you would know the answer to that question, either.
Paul needs to be in jail for “aiding and abetting” and “accessory to murder”.
Care to elaborate on the legalities thereof?
That title is very misleading, which is the gun-grabber’s credo.
Carrying a pistol concealed on your person is not the same as having pistols hidden throughout the parks, which is what the title means.
No kidding. They way they worded it, I was ready to get a GPS and go on a geocaching hunt.
Christmas woulda come early for you.
I'm far more concerned about Loaded, Hidden Hyperbole.
Sounds like more of the same from the nutless gun grabbers - no guns, nowhere, ever.
You need to watch out for those wascally Wugers, hiding in the bushes, waiting for an innocent hiker to wander by.
” The current rules in no way prohibit guns in parks, but they do work to discourage that tiny percentage of irresponsible individuals who would engage in poaching and target practice at the expense of irreplaceable natural and historic sites.”
Lord knows, the already existing laws against poaching would not deter these people if they were allowed to legally carry in the park...
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