Massive land grab bill coming to vote today

Gun Owners of America opposes omnibus land bill
— compromise language does not protect all Second Amendment rights

Today, the House intends to take up S. 22, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009.

This is a massive bill containing nearly 200 separate pieces of legislation.

S. 22 will, among other things, greatly expand the amount of land controlled by the National Park Service.

This is of particular concern to gun owners. Unlike U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, which allow for state and local laws to govern firearms possession, NPS land is subject to a complete gun ban for any citizen who does not hold a concealed carry permit. Thus, expanding NPS land also spreads the agency’s anti-gun regulations into more areas.


Here are just a few examples of land expansions in the bill:

* Section 5204 of the bill establishes the Washington-Rochambeau Route as a Historic Trail. This dual trail begins in Rhode Island and travels 650 miles to Yorktown, Virginia. The trail includes parts of major thoroughfares on the east coast such as Interstate 95 and US Route 1, meaning the gun ban could effect hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting gun owners each day.

* Section 5301 authorizes the federal government to buy private land adjacent to national parks and trails. Such land would be controlled by the NPS, and thus be subject to the agency’s anti-gun regulations.

* Section 7002 makes the birthplace of William Jefferson Clinton a National Historic Site. Perhaps it’s fitting that the legacy of former President Clinton, who was responsible for so many anti-Second Amendment laws, will include yet another “gun free” zone.

There is compromise language being offered supposedly to protect hunting and sport shooting.

That is insufficient and misses the point. The founding fathers did not, in their struggle to secure essential liberties, craft the Second Amendment with the idea that it would protect hunting and recreational shooting.

Gun Owners of America urges a “no” vote and will rate a vote for this bill as an anti-gun vote.