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Gun Laws in National Parks

Updated on May 20, 2009

 Gun laws in National Parks is heavily debated upon and there are two strong opinions dividing people in two camps. A senate voting in mid May 2009 overturned the current gun laws on bringing loaded guns into national parks. Before this voting, the existing law is that gun owners can only carry unloaded firearms or the guns have to be stored inside while visiting national parks. Now, states would set specific policies within their borders to define gun laws in national parks. Guns were always banned on national parks. During the administration of George W. Bush, the ban was revesed prompting a lawsuit.

Guns in national parks?
Guns in national parks?

 National parks and state parks are a great place where people go to spend some quality time with their family and to get away from the stress of everyday life or to enjoy mother nature in peace without fear or feeling it is necessary to carry a gun or worry about other people having guns. The other side insists on exerting their Second Amendment rights that allows them to carry guns anywhere they want including national parks and refuges. One camp of people say that gun laws in National parks should not allow turning parks to be a place where robberies and gun fights take place. Perhaps, if there is a possibility of a mountain lion or a grizzly bear attack exists in a national park and you think guns will protect you from wild animals, but that is such a remote possibility. Those incidents are statistically insignificant and should not even be considered before the general safety of the public.

The Bush administration rushed through a regulation to allow weapons in national parks and refuges. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the National Parks Conservation Association and the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees filed a lawsuit and convinced a D.C. federal judge in early 2009 to put the rule on hold. The judge said the process used by the Bush administration to push through the rule was "astoundingly flawed". Some documents show that the Bush administration ignored the procedural concerns and safety warnings of at least two federal agencies in order to push through the rule in time to deny the Obama administration a chance to review it. After initially defending the rule, the Obama Interior Department in April decided not to appeal the judge's ruling, thus putting a formal end to the policy and restoring the Gun laws in National Parks.

Do you think people should be allowed to carry loaded guns in National Parks?

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      Stan bernard 7 years ago

      I have extensive training in gun safety and am licensed to carry a weapon in every state where it is legal to do so. Also I have been a hunter since I was 12 which is now 56 years. My wife and I are taking a 21 day driving tour of the Dakotas, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and ending in Utah where I will be hunting. I plan to have my rifles in a locked case in my automobile. Frankly I am more concerned about having my rifles stolen than any other concern.

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      Peter Navarro 8 years ago

      Any restrictions on law abiding citizens right to carry guns is a creation of an environment where criminals can commit crimes with little resistance. Criminals will know that the place where guns are banned is a place where the law has presented an opportunity for them to victimize unarmed law abiding citizens. Criminals will carry their illegal guns and use them without fear particularly when they know that law abiding citizens will not be armed due to their law abiding nature and their following the law.