Congressman will block attempts to lift nat'l park gun ban

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hacon1, Mar 3, 2008.


  1. hacon1

    hacon1 Monkey+++

    http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/u...ry/298875.html

    ****

    Tacoma, WA - Monday, March 3, 2008

    Dicks says he'll block efforts to lift gun ban

    Les Blumenthal
    Last updated: March 2nd, 2008 08:12 PM (PST)

    WASHINGTON – With a showdown looming, U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks says he’s prepared to block any effort by the administration to lift the current ban on carrying loaded weapons in national parks.
    It’s not an idle threat.

    As chairman of the House Appropriations interior subcommittee, Dicks oversees the National Parks Service’s annual budget and is in a position to prevent the administration from dropping the Reagan-era ban. While the Washington Democrat is usually reluctant to add legislative provisions to his spending bill, he is ready to make an exception in this case even if it prompts a presidential veto.

    “Every now and then something rises up that needs to be fought and this is one of them,” Dicks said.

    The ban, and efforts by the National Rifle Association to lift it, has emerged as a major Second Amendment issue in this election year. Democrats say Republicans are using it as a “wedge” to exploit gun issues in an already heated political atmosphere. Republicans say they are just trying to protect the rights of gun owners.

    The dispute already has interrupted consideration of a massive public lands bill in the Senate, which included the creation of the 100,000-acre Wild Sky Wilderness area north of Seattle.

    Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has said the ban is under review and a new regulation will be released April 30 that will update firearms policies in the national parks and wildlife refuges.

    Current regulations ban loaded weapons in the federal parks and refuges. Unloaded weapons can be carried if they are locked in a safe place such as a car trunk.

    Dicks said his counterpart in the Senate, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has told him she would use her position as chairman of the Senate Appropriations interior subcommittee to also block any changes in the current regulations.

    “Permitting loaded firearms to be carried or used within our national parks or wildlife refuges would be a radical, unprecedented change that would likely upset the delicate balance that exists between wildlife and park visitors in these areas,” Dicks and Feinstein said in a letter to Kempthorne.

    “More importantly,” the letter continued, “allowing loaded and accessible weapons in national parks would create a dangerous environment for millions of American families who annually visit our national parks expecting a safe and enjoyable experience – not loaded firearms and stray bullets.”

    Dicks was an early supporter of efforts to ban handguns and assault weapons, in part because of the violence that so long flared in the Hilltop area of Tacoma.

    “Everyone knows when you have guns, bad things happen,” Dicks said in an interview.

    Dicks called the effort to lift the ban on loaded weapons in the parks a mistake and vowed to “fight it all the way. If this ban was good enough for the Reagan administration and James Watt, why isn’t it good enough now?”

    Watt was President Reagan’s controversial interior secretary when regulations involving guns in the parks were last revised. The ban actually dates to 1936 amid concerns of illegal hunting and poaching in the parks.

    Washington state’s two senators also oppose any change in the current regulations.

    “Park rangers and conservationists have pointed to the reasonable gun regulations in our national parks as a reason they are some of the safest places in America,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

    Murray was also upset the issue had interfered with passages of the Wild Sky Wilderness legislation, which was yanked from the floor when Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a longtime gun-rights advocate, said he would offer an amendment to the public lands bill lifting the ban.

    “A bill creating new wilderness land for future generations shouldn’t be the grounds for ideological battles to be waged,” Murray said.

    Democrat U.S. Rep. Adam Smith and Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert have yet to take a stand, though Reichert, a former King County sheriff, is talking with former park rangers.

    A retired park rangers association and the National Parks Conservation Association adamantly oppose any change in the current regulations.

    “It’s truly unfortunate the National Rifle Association has chosen this issue to flex its election-year political muscle,” said Tom Kiernan, president of the National Parks Conservation Association.

    The NRA fired back.

    “Law abiding citizens should not be prohibited from protecting themselves and their families while enjoying America’s national parks and wildlife refuges,” said Chris Cox, the NRA’s chief lobbyist. “Under this proposal, federal parks and wildlife refuges will mirror the state firearms laws for state parks. This is an important step in the right direction.”
     
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  3. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Re: Congressman will block attempts to lift nat'l park gun b

    Dicks said his counterpart in the Senate, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has told him she would use her position as chairman of the Senate Appropriations interior subcommittee to also block any changes in the current regulations.

    “Permitting loaded firearms to be carried or used within our national parks or wildlife refuges would be a radical, unprecedented change that would likely upset the delicate balance that exists between wildlife and park visitors in these areas,” Dicks and Feinstein said in a letter to Kempthorne.

    “More importantly,” the letter continued, “allowing loaded and accessible weapons in national parks would create a dangerous environment for millions of American families who annually visit our national parks expecting a safe and enjoyable experience – not loaded firearms and stray bullets.”


    Since Fienstein has a permit and carries a handgun (a .38 snub nose IIRC) that she has even showed off to the press, I wonder if she figures these regulations apply to her and her bodyguards? I figure they should give her her wish on a personal level and simply strip her and her security staff of their firearms, that way she wonthave to deal with guns.
     
  4. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Re: Congressman will block attempts to lift nat'l park gun b


    WTF? How'd they get that? It will still be illegal to shoot the animals except in self defense. Do they think allowing carry means "open season" on all the animals?



    So now they think people will just be leaving guns laying around or just shooting all over the place?

    I have a hard time believing that we actually elect mentally retarded people into congress, but the evidence is in.

    C'mon Bird Flu...... Need a little gene pool cleansing!
     

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