National Parks Gun Law Takes Effect in February - Federal Eye -
National Parks Gun Law Takes Effect in February
A new law permitting concealed loaded firearms at National Parks will not take effect until February and the Interior Department will continue to enforce Reagan-era restrictions until then, a spokeswoman said today.
"Under the current regulation, firearms are generally prohibited, but citizens may transport unloaded and dismantled or cased firearms and carry firearms while participating in approved hunting programs and under certain other circumstances," Interior spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff said in a statement released minutes after President Obama signed the credit card holders' bill of rights, which includes an amendment allowing firearms at the nation's National Parks and wildlife refuges.
The department plans to work on implementing the new law in the meantime, focusing especially on public safety and the safety of National Park employees, Barkoff said. Permission to carry a firearm into a park and the actual restrictions on such possession will vary by state, since the new federal law is governed by each state's firearms laws.
This week both the House and Senate approved Sen. Tom Coburn's amendment to the credit card bill. The Oklahoma Republican and a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers has tried for years to get the measure approved, arguing that differences in state and federal firearms restrictions made it difficult for gun owners to travel between state and federal lands. Interior instituted new regulations in the waning weeks of the Bush administration, only to have them rejected by a federal judge in March. The Obama administration refused to appeal the decision and the president signed today's bill with no comment on the gun provisions. Approval of Coburn's bill is yet another of several recent setbacks for gun control advocates.
By washingtonpost.com Editors | May 22, 2009; 3:32 PM ET