You are here

Secretary Salazar on Guns in Parks: He'll "Take A Look At It"


Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was non-committal, though with a decided rightward lean, when asked by a National Park Service employee whether he would challenge the recent rule change to allow park visitors to arm themselves.

During a get-to-know-you meeting with Interior Department employees earlier this week, one that was telecast through the agency's offices across the country, Secretary Salazar, in part because the rule change is the subject of legal wranglings, said nothing of substance when asked about the rule. Rather, he simply said he would "take a look at it."

The short reply came in response to a question from Einar Olsen, an assistant regional director who also spent time as chief ranger for the agency's Capital Region. Ranger Olsen pointed out that the National Park System gets more than 275 million visitors annually and statistics show that park rangers have the most dangerous jobs in law enforcement when it comes to the number of assaults they attract.

Secretary Salazar told the ranger that he was brought up with guns and feels entirely comfortable with them. "I'm a defender of the 2nd Amendment," he added. "We'll take a look at it. I don't have an answer for you at this time."


Nice to see Interior Secretary Salazar be a 2A supporter. I agree I am comfortable around guns and peole who use them and been shooting since I been a child and you don't see people freak out at a gun range with weapons openly carried, or over the shoulder and or at rest.

But the emotional reaction of others is strange, they are so scared of a tool. We either trust Americans to be free or we don't. An American that can bear arms is a free man. One that is not free to do that, is a subject, though he may not realize it.

As to the fear that CCW holder will start acting irrationally and shoot people, wildlife and scenery, that doesnt happen outside parks so there is no rational reason to assume they will inside a park.

Well, to be accurate, the guns rule wasn't in the freeze mix anyway, as it already had been placed into effect before President Obama was sworn in. That said, it's still the subject of two lawsuits.

Just in: Bill Schneider reports in New West that neither the guns-in-parks rule or the mountain bikes-in-parks rule is being affected by the freeze on implementing the previous administration's regulations:

Schneider, by the way, is an astute commentator on controversial issues like these and one of the few truly neutral voices of reason out there. Reading his various reports and discussions on the New West website will prove valuable.

Reminds me of an interesting anecdote. One evening after work, I was riding in a local park with some mountain biking buddies. On our way down, we met a solo rider, and proceeded to chit chat as one of us had seen a mountain lion earlier. The solo guy proceeded to reply that he was okay since he was packing a gun on his ride! The interesting part was that he was not wearing a helmet. Interesting how one could be worrying about the 1 in a million odd of having to deal with a mountain lion yet was not protecting his noggin for the much more likely event of falling off the bike. Go figure...

Respectfully, there is a word for that degree of concern. Following that line of reasoning, wouldn't it be just as appropriate to carry a gas mask, flame retardant coveralls, emergency medical kit, full body armor, etc.? If you must to spend time in places that are obviously dangerous (war zone, known centers of violent crime, etc.) there may be some justification for carrying a concealed firearm. However, it seems an extreme stretch to justify being armed with a concealed hand gun on the walkway of Old Faithful.

"Anonymous" said: I guess I'm lost. Just WHY do people want to carry guns in a National Park?

Why indeed! I carry in the National Park for the same reason I carry when I go to Wal-Mart, McDonald's, Home Depot, or Safeway: I honestly hope that I will not NEED it, but I'll have it with me for that one-in-a-million chance that I might have to USE it.

Yes indeed, Anonymous (1st post).
The Brits also want their guns back as Britain has a soaring crime rate. A couple good articles for ya:

Oh, and if you read this blog, THANK YOU, Secretary Salazar!!

I guess I'm lost. Just WHY do people want to carry guns in a National Park?

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

Recent Forum Comments