Saturday, December 06, 2008

Guns restrictions loosened in National Parks

The Bush administration has released regulations allowing carrying of loaded guns inside National Parks (see http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2008475500_guns06.html). I blogged why I thought this was a bad idea before (http://feralhiker.blogspot.com/2008/02/carrying-weapons-in-national-parks.html) and I shouldn't belabor the points now. However, I'm disappointed that this step was taken. It seems to me to be a solution in search of a problem. I have yet to see or hear much evidence that there is either a widespread desire or need to carry a loaded weapon in most National Parks. I realize that most comments were in favor of the change; however that does not mean most Park users are in favor of the change. Also Park administrators are highly critical of this change.

Of course there are a lot of conditions around the new regulations, the most stringent is the person must have a concealed weapons permit. Another is that the state(s) in which the park resides must allow concealed weapons. Hopefully, this will reduce the number of loaded guns carried although I suspect many people will not understand the restrictions and carry anyway. For instance, does a Washington State concealed carry permit allow me to carry weapons into Yellowstone Park in Wyoming? The Wyoming page on concealed carry permits suggest it does (http://attorneygeneral.state.wy.us/dci/CWP.html) but don't rely on my interpretation. According to the Seattle times article above, the reverse is not true, someone with a Wyoming permit could not take a weapon into Washington's parks.

See also http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2008/12/interior-officials-release-rule-change-allow-national-park-visitors-arm-themselves for an opinion and many comments on the change in gun rules.

3 Comments:

At 9/12/08 18:09, Blogger Mossymom said...

Now I will feel a little bit less safe in the National Parks

 
At 10/12/08 10:56, Blogger feralhiker said...

I tend to agree with you although I saw a comment from a woman on another blog that stated she would feel safer in Park campgrounds with the option of carrying a gun. I do wonder if any major changes will occur due to this or if it will go away soon.

 
At 14/12/08 11:32, Blogger Mossymom said...

I used to keep a gun with me when I went camping alone in State Parks and such but now that I have kids I would not dream of doing that because the kids might get a hold of the gun and get hurt.

 

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