View Full Version : National Parks - good news

December 5, 2008, 02:13 PM
Looks like we can score one for the good guys. The Federal Gov't Department of the Interior has decided to simply expand state concealed carry policies to the federal reserves within them. If you can carry in your state, you can carry in the parks.


December 5, 2008, 02:22 PM
I'm just going to stand here stunned for a few moments.
and then I'm going to load 10 rounds of .45 to go in the gun I carry while camping!

This has been my top "activist" cause for a few years. It's a little surreal for it to be over!

Link: http://www.nraila.org/News/Read/News....aspx?ID=11895

The US Dept announcement

December 5, 2008, 03:22 PM
I've been reading the text. Apparently the Heller case gave this whole thing a great big SHOVE in the right direction.

I could just KISS Mr. Heller (though I think I'll leave that to our prettier female memebers :D)

December 5, 2008, 03:25 PM
Excellent and huzzah!

[/pats magnum revolver on hip];)

December 5, 2008, 03:43 PM
Holy COW folks, you have GOT to read the document!

They Cite Warren vs DC ("the government and it's agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen") and they also acknowledge that there is no way 3,000 NPS officers can realistically police millions of acres of parks.

I am literally STUNNED to hear that admission (though they still deny that Heller had anything to do with their decision...ya right, pull the other one).

http://www.doi.gov/issues/Final%20Rule.pdf (warning, pdf file)

December 5, 2008, 05:27 PM

I haven't seen this posted but the ban on guns in National Parks has been eased.

December 5, 2008, 05:31 PM

Al Norris
December 5, 2008, 06:06 PM
"Once again, political leaders in the Bush administration have ignored the preferences of the American public by succumbing to political pressure, in this case generated by the National Rifle Association," said Bill Wade, president of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees.

"This regulation will put visitors, employees and precious resources of the National Park System at risk. We will do everything possible to overturn it and return to a commonsense approach to guns in national parks that has been working for decades," Wade said.
Oh hogwash!

How often do these fear-mongerers have to repeat these things, when in each and every occasion, the "Blood-in-the-streets" cry has never materialized?

December 5, 2008, 06:14 PM
How often do these fear-mongerers have to repeat these things, when in each and every occasion, the "Blood-in-the-streets" cry has never materialized?

When the concealed carry law was passed in SC, the antis were vociferous in their objections, citing things like: There will be gunfights in every bar. Shootouts at stoplights. And so on and so on.

Ain't happened yet!

Al Norris
December 5, 2008, 06:18 PM
Ah, I've just seen this is posted over in L&CR. The other post beat this by about 3 hours, so... Threads merged.

December 5, 2008, 06:25 PM
they also acknowledge that there is no way 3,000 NPS officers can realistically police millions of acres of parks

i know ONE, that kept me from from setting foot in his park.:) i hope hes fuming, and i will be sure to wave to him twice daily. hopefully he'll stop searching my truck now.:rolleyes:

maestro pistolero
December 5, 2008, 06:26 PM
How often do these fear-mongerers have to repeat these things, when in each and every occasion, the "Blood-in-the-streets" cry has never materialized?

Often enough to impune their credibility. Oops, too late. :rolleyes: Sooner or later, people's lives are going to be saved by this common sense measure.

We know that the sky will not fall into the Yosemite Valley over this. Citizens will once again demonstrate that we can be trusted with this right in the 21st century, just as we could be trusted in the 18th, 19th and 20th.

Al Norris
December 6, 2008, 11:21 AM
Responses to questions in the closed thread over in the General Discussion forum.

I wonder if this would apply to National Forest lands? In particular in my state, you may NOT legally carry firearms except during the hunting season and you must have a valid hunting license. The state has labeled these as "wildlife managment areas". My guess is that it changes nothing except inside the national park.

The new ruling makes carry on National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges the same as carry on BLM and US Forest Service (National Forests) land to be the same as the State laws where you live.

If you cannot, by law, carry in BLM and National Forests now, this will have no effect.

But suppose you have a concealed permit and you travel to Wyoming to visit Yellostone (which is mostly located in WY, but some of it is in ID & MT - similar CC laws, though), you would be allowed to carry concealed as WY, ID and MT recognize your States permit (even though your State may not recognize ours). - Research the CC laws of the State you are going to visit. Do not take my word for it.

This would not work if you were going to Yosemite, however. Since CA does not recognize any other States permits.

In the thread linked above, Casimer links to the discussion at The Volokh Conspiracy, where you not only can read the many answers. Here is that link (http://volokh.com/posts/1228517027.shtml). There is a link to download the rule change. It's an 800KB PDF file, but it contains all the answers to your questions.

December 10, 2008, 09:16 AM
"This regulation will put visitors, employees and precious resources of the National Park System at risk. We will do everything possible to overturn it and return to a commonsense approach to guns in national parks that has been working for decades," Wade said.

I love reading this stuff from the Brady Campaign. Spreading fear and propaganda at every turn. However, it's the same broken record they put forth on every issue. Basically, "people with CCW permits will start shooting up the place and crime and murder will sky rocket."

While Brady preaches "common sense approach" their tactics show a total lack of said common sense. For example: Making guns legal in the park will cause crime to go up therefore legal guns cause people to break the law. Making guns illegal in parks will therefore make parks safe.

In other words, people who aren't afraid of the legal and moral ramifications of robbing or shooting someone will be swayed from doing so because its illegal to carry in a park? After all, we've seen how gun free zones are working out.

Calling something the "common sense approach" does not make it so.

In my opinion, the Bush admin did the only common sense thing by allowing CCW in national parks.

December 11, 2008, 06:18 PM
will this have any effect on for instance...a shotgun in a truck gun rack, or is the law only being relaxed as far as concealed weapons?

also...any chance that this will also cause the post office regulations to go under closer scrutiny, as they are also federal property?

December 17, 2008, 09:18 PM
It has been published in the Federal Registry. It's effective 9 Jan.

Question, does this apply to parks run by USACE

December 19, 2008, 05:14 PM
Rocky Mountain Gun owners http://www.rmgo.org is checking the law to see whether one may carry a firearm in their conveyance in Rocky Mountain National Park without a permit.


Dept. of Interior allows some firearms in National Parks; H-S Precision ignores gun owners' concerns
Activists called to put more heat on H-S Precision
The Department of Interior has issued new rules to partially over turn the National Park gun ban

Today the Department of Interior issued their long-awaited new rules regarding the carrying of firearms in National Parks.

The new rules:

...would allow an individual to carry a concealed weapon in national parks and wildlife refuges if, and only if, the individual is authorized to carry a concealed weapon under state law in the state in which the national park or refuge is located.

While these rules are certainly a step in the right <direction> they are a far cry from truly embracing our Second Amendment rights.

And they bring up an important question for Colorado citizens: can a citizen carry a concealed handgun in their car, without a permit (which is legal in Colorado and authorized by state law), in a National Park? We believe so, but we will seek a firm, written answer (which we will post on our website) from the Department of the Interior.

December 19, 2008, 07:39 PM
From the DOJ Q&A webpage on this ruling:


Q: Doesn’t this rule create a complex patchwork of standards for parks and refuges?

A: No. The Department is aware that some national parks and wildlife refuges are located in two or more states. In those instances, the law of the state in which the portion of the park or refuge is located will apply to the possession, transport, and carry of concealed, loaded, and operable firearms. This is the same basic approach adopted by the BLM and the USFS, both of which allow visitors to carry weapons consistent with applicable federal and state laws.

Moreover, as is generally the case, visitors remain responsible for familiarizing themselves with and obeying all applicable laws, including the law of the state they are located within. Finally, the NPS and FWS will take appropriate steps to inform visitors about the applicable requirements when a unit is located in more than one state.

Q: Does the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller impact the Department’s rule?

A: In our view, the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller does not directly impact our proposal to revise existing federal regulations to more closely conform our regulations to appropriate state laws. But we believe it is consistent with the final rule.

There is also this from the Federal Register:


Under the proposed amendment, visitors must have authority to
possess loaded and concealed firearms on analogous state lands before
they will be allowed to carry firearms in Federal park areas and
refuges. In practice, this will mean that two conditions must be met in
order for this proposed regulatory change to permit the possession of
firearms on federal parks and refuges. First, the state in which the
park or refuge unit is located must have laws that allow the individual
to possess concealed and loaded firearms. And second, the authorization
to carry a concealed and loaded firearm must be applicable on the
analogous state lands in the State in which the park or refuge is
located. Where these conditions are present, the proposed amendments
will accommodate State prerogatives with respect to recognition of
licenses issued by other States, including reciprocity agreements.
Individuals authorized to carry firearms under this rule will continue
to be subject to all other applicable state and federal laws.
Accordingly, as stated above, this rule does not authorize the carrying
of concealed firearms in federal facilities in national parks and
wildlife refuges.

Well, that sounds like the firearm structure in Colorado. We will have to wait and see what RMGO comes up with.

December 23, 2008, 02:43 PM
This isn't what I wanted to hear.


The Department of the Interior (DOI) announced on 5 December that it has
updated existing DOI regulations governing the possession of firearms in
national parks and wildlife refuges. This rule change will take effect in
early January and will allow an individual to carry a concealed, loaded and
operable weapon in most national parks and wildlife refuges, provided that
the person is authorized by state law to carry a concealed weapon in the
state in which the national park or refuge is located. However, DOI
regulations do not apply to Corps projects or facilities. This change does
not affect application of the Corps Title 36 regulations; 36 C.F.R. § 327.13
remains in full force and will continue to prohibit loaded concealed weapons
on Corps properties regardless of the new DOI regulation and notwithstanding
any contrary provisions of State law.

Michelle Miller
Tioga-Hammond & Cowanesque Lakes Project
Office: 570-835-0126
Fax: 570-835-5422




Sec. 327.13 Explosives, firearms, other weapons and fireworks.

(a) The possession of loaded firearms, ammunition, loaded projectile
firing devices, bows and arrows, crossbows, or other weapons is
prohibited unless:
(1) In the possession of a Federal, state or local law enforcement
(2) Being used for hunting or fishing as permitted under Sec.
327.8, with devices being unloaded when transported to, from or between
hunting and fishing sites;
(3) Being used at authorized shooting ranges; or
(4) Written permission has been received from the District
(b) Possession of explosives or explosive devices of any kind,
including fireworks or other pyrotechnics, is prohibited unless written
permission has been received from the District Commander.

[65 FR 6901, Feb. 11, 2000]

January 1, 2009, 08:15 AM
This take effect on the 5th or 6th of January, correct? i have found articles listing both dates.

Jimpeel...I am still curious about the loaded rifle/shotgun issue if you hear or run across anything additional that may apply. i have a CCW so a pistol is obviously covered. Virginia statute seems to allow me driving my work truck with a loaded long gun, back and forth from my place of business as a shopowner. its been broke into before, and there have been more recent breakins a few hundred yards down the road at a friends business. so i am just wondering if the parks are accepting the firearms laws of the states in all regards...or only with respect to CCW.
from Virginia law:
§ 15.2-915.2. Regulation of transportation of a loaded rifle or shotgun.
any person who reasonably believes that a loaded rifle or shotgun is necessary for his personal safety in the course of his employment or business.

January 1, 2009, 09:01 AM
As I understand it the effective data is 9 Jan. After reading it, it only affects concealed carry.

Al Norris
January 1, 2009, 01:32 PM
This is absolutely asinine. But what else can we expect from The Brady Bunch? From the New West Network (http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/brady_campaign_sues_to_stop_national_park_gun_rule/C41/L41/):

Brady Campaign Sues to Stop National Park Gun Rule
The new rule applies to rural and urban national parks. If it goes into effect on January 9, it would allow concealed firearms on the National Mall just eleven days before the Obama Inaugural Celebration.

By Bill Schneider, 12-30-08

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (http://www.bradycampaign.org/), America’s largest anti-gun organization, sued the Department of the Interior today to prevent the implementation of the controversial administrative rule allowing loaded and concealed firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges.

“The Bush Administration’s last-minute gift to the gun lobby, allowing concealed semiautomatic weapons in national parks, jeopardizes the safety of park visitors in violation of federal law,” said Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke, in a press release (http://www.bradycampaign.org/media/release.php?release=1097). “We should not be making it easier for dangerous people to carry concealed firearms in our parks.”

In a phone interview with NewWest.Net, Daniel Vice, Senior Attorney for the Brady’s Legal Action Project, said his group “is looking at all options,” but thought it was vital to file the lawsuit as soon as possible instead of waiting to let the rule go into effect and work through the long political process of trying to get the Obama administration to overturn it.

Many other groups also oppose the rule, he noted, but at this point the Brady Campaign is going it alone with this lawsuit with no co-plaintiffs.

“The rule would allow concealed guns on the National Mall,” Vice pointed out,” and it takes effect only 11 days before the inauguration.”

The Washington Post (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/3758587/Barack-Obama-inauguration-expected-to-draw-crowd-of-five-million.html) had estimated that as many as five million people will be in Washington D.C. to celebrate the Obama inauguration, predicting that the celebration might be “the single biggest gathering of people America has ever seen.”

“This rule affects both rural and urban parks like the Liberty Bell,” Vice said. “Some of our members are now afraid to take their kids to Ellis Island.”

This is why the lawsuit asks for a temporary injunction to prevent the rule from going into effect on January 9, he added. “But we’re concerned about all the parks, not just the urban parks.”

The fundamental legal issue, Vice explained, is that the rule violates the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

“They (Interior Department) did no environmental analysis or review at all,” he explained. “When you have so many people with strong opinions on both sides of an issue, it’s important to follow the law and do a review process.”

Asked if defendants might consider this rule “non-environmental” and not covered by NEPA, Vice answered, “Even Reagan did this.”

He refers to the NEPA analysis and review President Ronald Reagan’s administration conducted when the current rule, which requires guns to be unloaded and inaccessible when taken into national parks, was implemented in early 1980s. “This rule should at least require the same review,” Vice insisted.

According to the Brady Campaign press release, the new rule also violates the National Park Service Organic Act and the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act, which created the parks and wildlife refuges as protected lands for safe enjoyment of all visitors.

You can read the entire legal complaint here (http://www.bradycenter.org/xshare/pdf/kempthorne-complaint.pdf).

Among the other absurd claims, the NEPA process was followed to the letter: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-29249.pdf

January 1, 2009, 01:55 PM
That is very good news. I have avoided national parks for awhile now because of this very issue. Looks like I can stop doing that.

I cannot say for certain, but I am betting that a lot of people that enjoy national parks are also firearms people. Maybe they will now be able to reinvigorate their declining revenues somewhat.

January 2, 2009, 10:55 PM
Jimpeel...I am still curious about the loaded rifle/shotgun issue if you hear or run across anything additional that may apply.

I wrote Dudley Brown, President RMGO.org, and he wrote me that he would re-ask the question as he got no answer from his last inquiry.

January 3, 2009, 01:38 AM
The new rule applies to rural and urban national parks. If it goes into effect on January 9, it would allow concealed firearms on the National Mall just eleven days before the Obama Inaugural Celebration.

They didn't even make it to the first paragraph before telling a lie. :rolleyes: :barf:

There is no provision for concealed carry in DC, therefore carrying anywhere there regardless if it's on park lands or not, is still illegal. Ditto for Ellis Island or any other park located in states that prohibit Right-to-Carry.

Funny how when all the facts are considered we manage to eek out a win and the Brady/VPC puke always have to use lies and deception to get their arguements heard.

January 3, 2009, 07:03 AM
Thanks jimpeel. As stated in the last link in Antipitas's post, its a confusing maze of laws in some areas. Would be easier if they just used the state laws for all issues...as the National Forests do.

Antipitas, i am assuming this still goes into effect and the reaction from the Brady group is the standard response to any legislation they see as unfavorable?

As if a bear or mountian lion knows its in a park, the complaint is rediculous. Again...assuming a person with foul intent is gonna adhere to some law...seems to be their standard line.

Al Norris
January 3, 2009, 12:04 PM
alloy, I expect we will see a ruling on the preliminary injunction sometime in the coming week. Without the injunction, the new rule will have force on Friday, Jan. 9th.