Carrying Guns Soon To Be Legal In National Parks

Carrying Guns Soon To Be Legal In National Parks
— But your help is needed to make sure the right is permanently recognized
Gun Owners of America
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102
Springfield, VA 22151
Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Bush administration, after more than seven years, has finally issued regulations permitting the carrying of firearms in national parks. Gun owners will soon be able to carry firearms according to the laws of the state in which the park is located.

While not perfect, the proposed regulations, which are likely to take effect at the end of June 2008, represent a sharp contrast with the steadfast refusal to allow for self-defense in national parks.

The bureaucrats responded after a crescendo of congressional activity. Senator Tom Coburn has made efforts to put the matter before the Senate, and would have done so had Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid not broken his word to Coburn to allow him to have a vote on the measure. Also, 47 Senators signed a letter to the Department of the Interior urging that the ban be removed.

In the House, there are now three bills that would open national parks to carrying firearms as regulated by the state in which the park is located.

The most recent bill, and the most comprehensive, is that of GOA Life Member Paul Broun (R-GA), who was elected to Congress in July of last year. Rep. Broun has introduced HR 5646, the “Protecting the Second Amendment and Hunting Rights on Federal Lands Act of 2008.”

This is not the time to slack off on our efforts. If congressional activity got the Park Service bureaucrats to finally move, we need to keep the heat on. We need to make sure they follow through.

Moreover, legislation is the more sure way of keeping concealed carry “on the books.” Regulations could be changed the first day an anti-gun president takes office.

Finally, Rep. Broun’s legislation would go even further than the proposed National Parks regulations. As we mentioned above, they are not perfect. Among other things, it’s not clear (in the proposed regs) whether or not an individual will be able to engage in open carry on national park lands for the purpose of self-defense. That would not even be questioned under the Broun bill.

So with all this in mind, we urge you to send an email to your representative urging him to cosponsor Rep. Broun’s bill, HR 5646.

ACTION: Please urge your Representative to cosponsor HR 5646. You can visit the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center to send your Representative the pre-written e-mail message below. And, you can call your Representative at 202-225-3121or toll-free at 1-877-762-8762.
—– Pre-written letter —–

Dear Representative:

I urge you to cosponsor Rep. Paul Broun’s bill, H.R. 5646, which protects the Second Amendment rights of individuals to carry firearms and ammunition in units of the National Park System and the National Wildlife Refuge System. It also requires that hunting activities be a land use in all management plans for Federal land to the extent that such use is not clearly incompatible with the purposes for which the Federal land is managed.

Now that the Park Service has finally recognized that this is a good idea, there is no reason not to enact this into federal law so that the next president could not once again make it illegal to protect oneself with a gun in a national park.

Please let me know when you have cosponsored Rep. Broun’s bill. Gun Owners of America will be keeping me posted.


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