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National Park Carry Bill Update

Passes the house by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of 279-147

Good.

Update: From Kevin in comments:

The Bush Administration rule required among other things that:
The gun owner have a concealed carry license.
The gun owner carry a handgun concealed.
The state in which the park was located had to allow carry in state parks. (Not 100% sure about this).

The Brady Campaign sued and successfully blocked this in the federal courts.

Coburn’s amendment goes much further:

The Secretary of the Interior shall not promulgate or enforce any regulation that prohibits an individual from possessing a firearm including an assembled or functional firearm in any unit of the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System if–
(1) the individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the firearm; and
(2) the possession of the firearm is in compliance with the law of the State in which the unit of the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System is located.

Thus Arizonans without a license can now carry any firearm openly in their national parks and Texans can now carry rifles and shotguns openly (and handguns in their cars without a license) in their national parks since those activities are in compliance with the law outside the Park.

This must burn up the Brady Campaign – they won a battle and lost a much bigger war!

Well, there could be a veto.

22 Responses to “National Park Carry Bill Update”

  1. Ron W Says:

    This from GOA. Check the end of the exerpt for Rep. Rob Bishop’s excellent comment.

    “Gun Owners of America was the most consistent and loudest voice on
    Capitol Hill in support of the effort to repeal the National Park
    Service gun ban.” — Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)

    Wednesday, May 20, 2009

    Good news!

    The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill today that included an
    amendment to repeal the gun ban on National Park Service (NPS) land and
    wildlife refuges.

    The amendment, sponsored by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) and attached to a
    credit card industry reform bill, passed the House overwhelmingly by a
    vote of 279-147.

    For decades, law-abiding citizens have been prohibited from exercising
    their Second Amendment rights on NPS land and wildlife refuges, even if
    the state in which the land is located allows carrying firearms.

    With some limited exceptions for hunting, the only way to legally
    possess a firearm anywhere in a national park is by having it unloaded
    and inaccessible, such as locked up in an automobile trunk. A Bush
    administration regulation partially reversed the ban, but that action
    was singlehandedly negated recently by an activist judge in Washington,
    D.C. The Department of Interior decided not to appeal that ruling.

    Senator Coburn believes, like you do, that Americans should not be
    forced to sacrifice their Second Amendment rights when entering NPS land
    and wildlife refuges.

    GOA worked with Coburn on an amendment that simply allows for state and
    local laws — instead of unelected bureaucrats and anti gun activist
    judges — to govern firearm possession on these lands.

    The anti-gun leadership in both the House and Senate went berserk and
    fought to keep the Coburn amendment from being attached to the
    underlying bill. Sparks were flying on the floor of the House of
    Representatives today.

    Anti-gun Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) whined that a “very
    good” credit
    card bill had been “hijacked” by the Coburn amendment. To
    this, Rep.
    Rob Bishop (R-UT) pointed out that gun control is the policy of tyrants,
    as evidenced by the British attempt to confiscate firearms at Lexington
    and Concord in 1775.

  2. Kevin P. Says:

    The Bush Administration rule required among other things that:
    The gun owner have a concealed carry license.
    The gun owner carry a handgun concealed.
    The state in which the park was located had to allow carry in state parks. (Not 100% sure about this).

    The Brady Campaign sued and successfully blocked this in the federal courts.

    Coburn’s amendment goes much further:

    The Secretary of the Interior shall not promulgate or enforce any regulation that prohibits an individual from possessing a firearm including an assembled or functional firearm in any unit of the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System if–
    (1) the individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the firearm; and
    (2) the possession of the firearm is in compliance with the law of the State in which the unit of the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System is located.

    Thus Arizonans without a license can now carry any firearm openly in their national parks and Texans can now carry rifles and shotguns openly (and handguns in their cars without a license) in their national parks since those activities are in compliance with the law outside the Park.

    This must burn up the Brady Campaign – they won a battle and lost a much bigger war!

    Note that this may not apply to federal buildings such as Visitor Centers. There is a separate statute in place for “federal facilities”. It is not clear to me how this new law will affect the existing statute.

  3. John Hardin Says:

    I agree with David Codrea that it’s unfortunate that the amendment defending our rights has to be tied to a bill that wraps the government’s tentacles ever tighter around private businesses. I also dislike the general idea of amendments unrelated to the core subject of the bill.
    But I’ll take it, and render a heartfelt Italian arm salute to Paul Helmke and Josh Sugarmann.

  4. Mikee Says:

    From everything I have read, you cannot legally carry a concealed firearm into a building where federal employees are at work. A federal facility would include a visitor center, but not a bathroom in a campsite.

    Expect much confusion over this issue as Arizonans openly carry into the Grand Canyon visitor center, until signage is in place either saying it is OK or it is verboten.

    I would guess that after the first million armed visitors are stopped and told to remove their weapons, the feds will accept that in national parks the buildings are exempt from the statute barring carry.

  5. Boyd Says:

    This shouldn’t have any impact with the “federal facility” law. This law specifically addresses promulgation or enforcement of rules by the Secretary of the Interior. It says nothing about pre-existing laws.

    No intersect.

  6. Fiftycal Says:

    It is an interesting question whether or not someone with a concealed handgun license/permit could carry in a “visitors center”. If the building is “owned” by the park service or a unit of Interior, I would think this would come into play:
    The Secretary of the Interior shall not promulgate or enforce any regulation that prohibits an individual from possessing a firearm including an assembled or functional firearm in any unit of the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System if–
    (1) the individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the firearm; and
    (2) the possession of the firearm is in compliance with the law of the State in which the unit of the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System is located.

  7. AntiCitizenOne Says:

    “well there could be a veto”

    great don’t jinx it man…

  8. John Hardin Says:

    Obama will never veto it. He’s salivating too hard over telling the credit card companies how to run their business, too.

  9. LKP Says:

    I was listening to NPR this afternoon (God help me!) in the car and they were just wringing their hands in outrage. But they said that POTUS is expected to sign it.
    (Really, you could almost hear the hand-wringing on the radio!)

  10. Mark Says:

    And the Brady Campaign’s march towards irrelevance continues.

  11. Mark Says:

    Every time I read about a news report about a Second Amendment issue I am reminded about just how nauseating the Carolyn McCarthy is. Yes it was terrible what happened to your husband Carolyn, but quit trying to take out your rage on law-abiding citizens.

  12. Huck Says:

    “Every time I read about a news report about a Second Amendment issue I am reminded about just how nauseating the Carolyn McCarthy is. Yes it was terrible what happened to your husband Carolyn, but quit trying to take out your rage on law-abiding citizens.”

    I’m of the opinion that “what’s a barrel shroud?” McCarthy dos’nt consider gun owners to be law abiding citizens.

  13. Mike123 Says:

    Are gun-carriers better off with a Democrat Congress and President? This bill seems to imply so, especially with Kevin P’s analysis.

    So remind me again why I should have voted for John “close the gun show loophole” McAmnesty?

  14. florida Says:

    Let’s get something straight.

    Here’s the text of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed except in National Parks, or anywhere else the Congress says the people can’t carry arms.”

    Wait. No … that’s not what it says.

    The US Congress can pass, or not pass, all the laws it wants regarding whether, or not, I can carry my weapon. Doesn’t matter what they do, because my right to carry my weapon isn’t conferred upon me by them.

    It’s a God-given right, codified in the US Constitution.

    Congress can neither pass legislation allowing me to carry my gun somewhere, nor pass Constitutional legislation removing my right to do that because Congress doesn’t confer rights.

    The Constitution confer’s me my rights.

  15. Chas Says:

    “Well, there could be a veto.”

    Oh, really? Well, perhaps Obama feels he hasn’t done enough to encourage people to stock up on guns and ammo.

  16. Ron W Says:

    florida,

    You’re right. And Congress only has power over “such part of the militia” (armed citizenry) that is employed by the United Staets (Article I Section 9)

  17. What I Think Says:

    Wrong, wrong, wrong!

    I have a huge issue with “2nd Amendment” types, and I wish they would seriously consider this point: The U.S. Constitution was not written to confer rights upon Citizens.

    They already had their rights.

    The Constitution was written to establish a limited federal government, period. It started with ‘We the People’ and ended with “powers not granted to the national government nor prohibited to the states are reserved to the states or the people.” And keeping arms was one subject specifically reserved to the people.

    How can you possibly read the 2nd. as GIVING you the right? You already HAVE IT! Subsequent federal legislation is almost totally focused upon those who did not inherently have this right. See the U.S. Const, Annotated
    for further amplification. A glance at the table of contents should make my point more clear.

  18. AD Says:

    What I Think:
    I think that those you deride as “2nd Amendment Types” mean to say that their rights are affirmed by, and protected from governmental infringement by, the Constitution, not that the Constitution grants those rights.

  19. What I Think Says:

    I think that those you deride as “2nd Amendment Types” mean to say that their rights are affirmed by, and protected from governmental infringement by, the Constitution, not that the Constitution grants those rights.

    I agree. What I don’t agree with is #14 and organizations like the NRA saying “The Constitution confer’s me my rights.”

  20. Jones Says:

    restoring the rule makes sense. many people think of a National park, and only think about the part where the parking lots and bathrooms and food concessions are. Few think about millions of square acres of wilderness, where there is no cell phone coverage and no Ranger or policeman just a phone call and a 5 minute drive away should you find yourself in ‘a situation’.

    And the Brady people like to put up the usual strawmen-gun owners will use the rule to poach wildlife, or will have drunken ‘wild west’ shootouts in the campground after too many beers. Ridiculous.

    I have a gun because I insist on taking personal ressponsibility for my own physical safety, and I refuse to surrender that RIGHT because I choose to visit a national park.

  21. Scott Says:

    “Few think about millions of square acres of wilderness, where there is no cell phone coverage and no Ranger or policeman just a phone call and a 5 minute drive away should you find yourself in ‘a situation’.”

    True, and few also think about regular city streets that cross into and out of National Parks. In Atlanta and many cities, you can be going from your house to some other place you’re allowed to carry and not realize you’ve entered a restricted area. God forbid someone crashes into your car there, and the ranger decides to pursue it.

  22. Virginian Says:

    We need to be evermore vigilant in our efforts to be respective and vocal toward our congressional representatives in letting them know they work for us and I applaud their listening and upholding the constitution.