Land Grab bill nears passage

Land Grab bill nears passage

The Omnibus Land Grab Act of 2009 is, after a long battle, on its way to passage.  The bill had been held up because of Second Amendment concerns for over a year.

Opponents of the bill, such as Gun Owners of America, argued that the bill did not protect the individual right to keep and bear arms on National Park Service and Fish and Wildlife Service land.

Instead of protecting the Second Amendment, leaders in both the House and Senate chose to insert language to protect hunting and recreational shooting on federally controlled land.  While protecting the shooting sports is an admirable goal, it is no substitute for real Second Amendment protection.

The idea that the founding fathers inserted into the Bill of Rights, which was intended to safeguard individual liberty and limit the reach of government, an amendment to protect sport shooting is laughable.


Instead of repealing the gun ban on a significant amount of federal land, lawmakers inserted this:

“Nothing in this Title shall be construed as affecting the authority, jurisdiction, or responsibility of the several States to manage, control, or regulate fish and resident wildlife under State law or regulations, including the regulation of hunting, fishing, trapping, and recreational shooting.  Nothing in this Title shall be construed as limiting access for hunting, fishing, trapping, or recreational shooting.”

As GOA points out, this may as well be titled the “Elmer Fudd Protection Act.”  This weak language does not even acknowledge the right to self protection.

So, the tens of millions of acres of land controlled by the NPS will remain “gun free zones,” with thousands more acres of parks and trails to be added by the bill.

The Senate should wrap up business on the Omnibus land bill this week.  When it goes back to the House, anti-gun leaders will allow NO amendments.

Pro-gun members who want to offer an amendment to fully repeal the NPS and FSW gun bans will be told, in essence, to “Shut up, and Vote!”

Still, for most members of Congress, the good in the bill outweighs the bad. Members will be able to bring home some special pet project – a Wild & Scenic River here, a new national monument there, while turning a blind eye to their oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.