Park Rangers Oppose Bid to Ease Gun Ban

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hacon1, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. hacon1

    hacon1 Monkey+++


    Park Rangers Oppose Bid to Ease Gun Ban

    By MATTHEW DALY – 17 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Park rangers, retirees and conservation groups are protesting a plan by the Interior Department to reconsider regulations restricting loaded guns in national parks.

    The groups say current regulations requiring that visitors to national parks render their weapons inaccessible were working and have made national parks among the safest places in America.

    "Loaded guns are not needed and are not appropriate in our national parks," said Doug Morris, a retired park superintendent and member of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees.

    The plan to reconsider the gun regulations "could break what is not broken and change the nature of our national parks," Morris said Monday.

    Morris spoke at a news conference called in response to an announcement Friday that the Interior Department will review gun laws on lands administered by the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service. The department will draw up new rules by April 30 for public comment, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said in a letter to 50 senators who requested the review.

    The National Rifle Association and other gun-rights advocates hailed the announcement as the first step to relax a decades-old ban on bringing loaded firearms into national parks.

    "Law-abiding citizens should not be prohibited from protecting themselves and their families while enjoying America's national parks and wildlife refuges," said Chris W. Cox, the NRA's chief lobbyist.

    A Kempthorne spokesman emphasized the review was in its early stages, but said it made sense to update regulations that were last changed in the early 1980s.

    "It's appropriate to look at updating these regulations, to bring them into conformity with state laws" on guns use, said Chris Paolino, an Interior Department spokesman.

    Conservation groups and park rangers disagreed, saying the plan amounted to surrender to the NRA.

    The gun ban "has not been a major issue at national parks in recent years," said Bryan Faehner of the National Parks Conservation Association, an advocacy group.

    The restrictions, which require that guns be unloaded and placed somewhere that is not easily accessible, such as in a car trunk, "were reasonable then and are reasonable now," Faehner said. "This is not about guns. It's not about parks. It's a hardball political issue injected by the NRA in an election year," he said.

    Kempthorne's announcement follows letters complaining about the gun restriction from half the Senate — 41 Republicans and nine Democrats.

    Sen. Mike Crapo, an Idaho Republican who organized the letters, said he was pleased that Kempthorne — a former Idaho governor and senator — was "taking steps to uphold the rights of citizens under the Second Amendment and eliminate inconsistent regulations."

    Crapo and other lawmakers had complained to Kempthorne that the existing guidelines were "confusing, burdensome and unnecessary."
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  2. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Screw them, if they dont want loaded guns in National Parks then they dont have to carry them. Their regs dont stop the bad guys or the folks growing dope in the park land from carrying guns and the rangers dont provide armed escort for visitors, they also dont make the bears and cats and such check their fangs at the gate so since they wont respect the 2A they can at the LEAST go to level of the state laws allowing folks trained and vetted in criminal background checks to carry to defend themselves and their families.
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