Wednesday, April 30, 2008

National Park carry proposal from DoI

This is from the VCDL regarding the Department of the Interior's proposal for carrying firearms on National Parks and National Wildlife refuges, posted here in its entirety:

Breaking news! The Department of the Interior has now published a proposed rule change for the National Park Service!

The proposed rule change is as follows for National Parks: "A person may possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national park area in the same manner, and to the same extent, that a person may lawfully possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded and operable firearms in any state park, or any similar unit of state land, in the state in which the federal park, or that portion thereof, is located, provided that such possession, carrying and transporting otherwise complies with applicable federal and state law."

The proposed rule change is as follows for National Wildlife Refuges: "A person may possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national wildlife refuge in the same manner, and to the same extent, that a person may lawfully possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded and operable firearms in any state wildlife refuge, or any similar unit of state land, in the state in which the national wildlife refuge, or that portion thereof, is located, provided that such possession, carrying and transporting otherwise complies with applicable federal and state law."

The problems that I initially see with the proposed rule change are:

* It does not allow for carry in a National Park or National Wildlife Refuge buildings even if the state allows carry in its state park and state refuge buildings. Federal law currently allows for carry in federal buildings unless they are posted. And even then you are allowed to carry for "other lawful purposes."

* It does not allow for open carry, without or without a permit, even if the host state allows for such carry in a state park or refuge area.

* It requires that the state allow the person to be able to carry in a state park or a refuge before they can carry in a National Park or Refuge. It seems to me that you should be allowed to carry in a National Park or Refuge unless the state prohibits carry or says specifically that you cannot carry in a National Park or Wildlife Refuge.

One good thing about this proposed rule change is that it will allow for reciprocity. Thus people from other states who can carry in Virginia will be able to carry in National Parks and Wildlife Refuges within Virginia when they visit here.

VCDL is continuing to analyze the proposed rule change and will be firming up its final position in the near future. I will advise when we have done so.

In the meantime you can read the proposed rule change for yourself by clicking on the URL below:

http://federalregister.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2008-09606_PI.pdf



Here is more coverage from the VCDL's blog, The Sentinel. The VCDL swings a big sword and, even though this is a national issue, this organization will get some work done.

I highly suggest signing up for their VA-ALERT whether you are a Virginian or not. You will not receive any spam, I promise, and you will get excellent updates several times a week.

Here is my previous coverage of the issue.
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