New law allows loaded guns in national parks
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New law allows loaded guns in national parks

This is a discussion on New law allows loaded guns in national parks within the Concealed Carry Discussion forums, part of the Main Category category; New law allows loaded guns in national parks by Matthew Daly - Feb. 19, 2010 02:25 PM Associated Press WASHINGTON ...

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    Default New law allows loaded guns in national parks

    New law allows loaded guns in national parks

    by Matthew Daly - Feb. 19, 2010 02:25 PM
    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON - Loaded guns will be allowed in Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and other national parks under a new law that takes effect Monday.

    The law lets licensed gun owners bring firearms into national parks and wildlife refuges as long as they are allowed by state law. It comes over the objections of gun-control advocates who fear it will lead to increased violence in national parks.

    The national parks law takes effect in a climate that favors advocates of gun rights. The debate shifted dramatically in 2008, when the Supreme Court struck down a handgun ban in Washington, D.C., and declared that individuals have a constitutional right to possess firearms for self-defense and other purposes.

    Gun owners have rushed in record numbers to get concealed weapons permits, saying they worry President Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress may impose stricter gun laws. The National Rifle Association lobbied hard to allow guns in parks and has spent millions to challenge its opponents.

    Now gun-control advocates are on the defensive, seeking to preserve some gun restrictions in the face of aggressive assertions of gun rights.

    As of Monday, guns will be allowed in all but about 20 of the park service's 392 locations, including some of its most iconic parks: Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains, Yosemite and Rocky Mountain National Park. Guns will not be allowed in visitor centers or rangers' offices, because firearms are banned in federal buildings, but they could be carried into private lodges or concession stands, depending on state laws.

    Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said national parks are now among the safest places in America, but that could change under the new law. Current rules severely restrict guns in the national parks, generally requiring them to be locked or stored. "It really is sad that we've become such a paranoid society that people want to take guns pretty much everywhere including national parks," he said Friday.

    "When you are at a campfire and people are getting loud and boisterous next to you, you used to have to worry about them quieting down. Now you have to worry about when they will start shooting," Helmke said.

    Bill Wade, president of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, called the new law a sad chapter in the history of the park system.

    "People go to national parks to get away from things that they face in their everyday living, where they live and work. Now I think that social dynamic is really going to change," he said.

    Bryan Faehner, associate director of the National Parks Conservation Association, said the law would place an unfair burden on park service employees, who will have to wade though a variety of state and local laws to determine whether visitors are breaking the law.

    Officials said visitors who want to bring a gun to a national park need to understand and comply with state gun laws. More than 30 national parks span more than one state, so visitors need to know where they are in those parks and which state law applies, the park service said.

    A spokesman for the National Rifle Association scoffed at the idea that parks would become more dangerous, saying people have been assaulted and even murdered in national parks. "This common-sense measure will enhance the self-defense rights of law-abiding Americans and also ensure uniformity of firearm laws within a state," said Chris W. Cox, the NRA's chief lobbyist.

    The National Park Service said there were 3,760 reported major crimes, including five homicides and 37 rapes, in 2008, the most recent year for which data was available. The agency does not note which crimes involve firearms. Crime is down across the system's parks, according to park service spokesman David Barna.

    Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who led congressional efforts to change the law, said concerns about increased violence were overblown.

    "I don't expect anything major to come from this other than to restore the Second Amendment rights taken away by bureaucrats," Coburn said.

    The park service has prepared for months for the new law. "We will administer this law as we do all others fairly and consistently," National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis said in a statement.

    National parks hosted about 275 million visitors in 2008, the agency said.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RRGlock23 View Post
    The national parks law takes effect in a climate that favors advocates of gun rights. The debate shifted dramatically in 2008, when the Supreme Court struck down a handgun ban in Washington, D.C., and declared that individuals have a constitutional right to possess firearms for self-defense and other purposes.

    Gun owners have rushed in record numbers to get concealed weapons permits, saying they worry President Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress may impose stricter gun laws. The National Rifle Association lobbied hard to allow guns in parks and has spent millions to challenge its opponents.

    Now gun-control advocates are on the defensive, seeking to preserve some gun restrictions in the face of aggressive assertions of gun rights.
    While it is true that the current political climate favors advocates of gun rights, there was no "dramatic shift" in debate caused by the Heller vs. DC case. This is something that has been brewing since Marion Hammer started the right to carry movement in Florida back in 1976. The recent events are part of a trend that if you didn't see coming, you were not paying attention.

    Yes gunowners have been applying for carry permits in record numbers, this is because of the reforms in states throughout the country. When concealed carry becomes more practical for the average person, more people do it. The logic is not that hard to follow.

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    Default CONCEALED or OPEN

    The only thing I saw in here was "licensed gun owners". Does that mean concealed carry only? I don't have to have a license to carry my pistol openly.

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    Default What an idiot!

    This Paul Helmke guy is a moron. Obviously if you are a licensed firearm owner, you are of good moral character and responsible. These are not the people he should be worried about. Criminals don't abide by laws and will carry a gun where ever and when ever they want. Allowing lawful gun owners to be able to posess a firearm in a park, won't effect anybody negatively except the the bad guy looking to commit a crime on unexpecting, unarmed people. I'm tired of these mental midgets thinking that everybody with a gun is looking to go out and just start shooting people. I have gone through the red tape and gotten a pistol license because I'm an upstanding citizen and I'm insulted by these people who look upon licensed gun owners as bad guys!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunguru View Post
    This Paul Helmke guy is a moron. Obviously if you are a licensed firearm owner, you are of good moral character and responsible. These are not the people he should be worried about. Criminals don't abide by laws and will carry a gun where ever and when ever they want. Allowing lawful gun owners to be able to posess a firearm in a park, won't effect anybody negatively except the the bad guy looking to commit a crime on unexpecting, unarmed people. I'm tired of these mental midgets thinking that everybody with a gun is looking to go out and just start shooting people. I have gone through the red tape and gotten a pistol license because I'm an upstanding citizen and I'm insulted by these people who look upon licensed gun owners as bad guys!
    Good enough for me! Welcome to USACarry!
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    Sorry, I missed the opportunity to welcome a new member. Welcome and I gotta agree with ya on the point you made about Paul Helmke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooter88310 View Post
    The only thing I saw in here was "licensed gun owners". Does that mean concealed carry only? I don't have to have a license to carry my pistol openly.
    Yes Licensed gun owners that is mean concealed carry weapon licensed, not openly carry without licensed. BUT you can carry openly unless you have a licensed.

    "WASHINGTON - Loaded guns will be allowed in Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and other national parks under a new law that takes effect Monday.

    The law lets licensed gun owners bring firearms into national parks and wildlife refuges as long as they are allowed by state law. It comes over the objections of gun-control advocates who fear it will lead to increased violence in national parks."
    Last edited by RRGlock23; 02-24-2010 at 09:52 AM. Reason: revised edit
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    Quote Originally Posted by RRGlock23 View Post
    Yes Licensed gun owners that is mean concealed carry weapon licensed, not openly carry without licensed. BUT you can carry openly unless you have a licensed.

    "WASHINGTON - Loaded guns will be allowed in Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and other national parks under a new law that takes effect Monday.

    The law lets licensed gun owners bring firearms into national parks and wildlife refuges as long as they are allowed by state law. It comes over the objections of gun-control advocates who fear it will lead to increased violence in national parks."
    Actually what the law states is (extracted from Library of Congress Congressional Record):

    "(b) Protecting the Right of Individuals To Bear Arms in Units of the National Park System and the National Wildlife Refuge System.--The Secretary of the Interior shall not promulgate or enforce any regulation that prohibits an individual from possessing a firearm including an assembled or functional firearm in any unit of the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System if--

    (1) the individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the firearm; and

    (2) the possession of the firearm is in compliance with the law of the State in which the unit of the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System is located."

    Notice the absence of any specific license requirement. It specifically depends on the laws of the State that the National Park or National Wildlife Refuge is located. Anti-gun people have brought up this issue.

    Note: The law that restricts firearms in Federal Facilities is still in effect.

    Respectfully;
    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief_Engineer View Post
    Actually what the law states is (extracted from Library of Congress Congressional Record):

    "(b) Protecting the Right of Individuals To Bear Arms in Units of the National Park System and the National Wildlife Refuge System.--The Secretary of the Interior shall not promulgate or enforce any regulation that prohibits an individual from possessing a firearm including an assembled or functional firearm in any unit of the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System if--

    (1) the individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the firearm; and

    (2) the possession of the firearm is in compliance with the law of the State in which the unit of the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System is located."

    Notice the absence of any specific license requirement. It specifically depends on the laws of the State that the National Park or National Wildlife Refuge is located. Anti-gun people have brought up this issue.

    Note: The law that restricts firearms in Federal Facilities is still in effect.

    Respectfully;
    Jim
    Thanks for more the information.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooter88310 View Post
    The only thing I saw in here was "licensed gun owners". Does that mean concealed carry only? I don't have to have a license to carry my pistol openly.
    As pointed out earlier, the statute says nothing about any license being required. If you are legal to carry the firearm by whatever method outside the National Park in that state, you are also legal to carry that firearm in the same manner inside the National Park in that state. Washington State for instance, unlicensed open carry is legal both outside and inside the National Parks in Washington State. In Alaska and Vermont unlicensed concealed carry is legal both outside and inside the National Parks in Alaska and Vermont.

    One more false rumor that has circulated is that a state must allow firearms in state parks in order to be legal to carry firearms in National Parks. That rumor is false. Any prohibition on firearms in State Parks applies only to State Parks and not to National Parks in that state. State Parks and National Parks are two completely different entities and State Park rules and regulations do not affect and are not valid in National Parks.

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