Not two weeks ago U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah criticized a massive public lands bill that would designate official wilderness and launch three new units of the National Park System because it included provisions he viewed as frivolous.
Now the Republican wants to amend that bill with a provision that would allow concealed weapons permit holders to go armed into the national parks and national wildlife refuges.
While the Bush administration in its waning days changed the rules to allow just that, a federal judge last week blocked the rule, saying Interior Department officials failed to consider the environmental impacts of the rule change.
Mr. Bishop, who criticized $34 million in the lands bill that would go to create a unit of the National Park System in New Jersey while overlooking existing needs in the park system, such as Dinosaur National Monument's need for a new visitor center, says the judge's ruling was wrong.
What remains to be seen is whether the House Rules Committee will allow the House to consider amendments to the lands bill, which has already passed the Senate. If the Rules Committee decides against opening the measure to amendments, all it would take for the legislation to pass the House is a simple majority vote.