NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks

The National Rifle Association on Friday appealed a federal judge's ruling that put a halt to concealed weapons permit holders arming themselves in national parks.

Comments

The judge's ruling won't hold water. The 2nd Amendment is absolute...if the USSC hears this case, we will never have to worry about this issue again.

Editor's note: This comment was edited to remove a gratuitous comment.

I carry a comb in my back pocket just out of habit, never us it, as I have little hair left. When you stand next to me in line at the 7-11 you don't know I have a comb and if you stand next to me at the railing overlooking some scenic view in a national park you don't know I have a comb. The point being, what you don't see can't upset you weather in a store or in a park. Same person, same comb, what diffence does a location make??

The number of people licensed to carry is small, and the number who enter parks is probably smaller, is it worth all this fuss over??

NRA members in good standing carry firearms to give ourselves a means of protection against those who do not believe in our constitutional, God given rights to life liberty and justice for all. We fight for this right because we are aware there are unfortunately people that live in this nation that believe they have the right to abuse us, rob us, steal from us and use the NRA and any other agency that we have created to protect us from them to take from us even our lives in anyway, anywhere they please. The NRA by standing up for us by fighting for an individuals, any individuals right to bear arms, allows us to remain a free country. Animals in our national Parks however are not allowed to carry firearms to defend themselves, so they must rely on their instincts to attack and defend those creatures that evade there homes and territory. After living and working in the Park system for 6 years I can assure you that there are already some individuals that enter the National Parks armed illegally now. Now they will venture into areas where they surely would not go without the security of firearms to defend them selves from the vicious, aggressive attacking animals that they run into on the trails. If anyone out there thinks this is not the case then you must disbelieve any of the stories told in any of the sporting and hunting magazines. Anytime a person hiking, camping and visiting our National Parks confronts any of these "wild" animals viciously attacking either themselves of anyone else that has ventured too close to these poor animals, the animals always lose. I myself did not believe this until I spent time trying to educate park visitors, not to try to touch the animals and give them the space and respect they deserve. I have personally witnessed a park visitor running towards a grizzly bear with a young child in her arms so the child could see the bear. I am sure that if this grizzly bear had felt aggression from this act that it would have defended itself. If a concealed carrying park patron witnessed this act of aggression I am sure the outcome would have been radically different for the bear. If we as a Nation can not control crime in our cities why do we think we can control crime in the National Parks by carrying concealed weapons. The real problem is the crime we can not or will not control so we feel safer arming ourselves.

I’m afraid that there are too many ignorant people out there in the parks that are unaware that a person licensed to carry a concealed firearm, is not only protecting themselves and their families but everyone around them! This Judge that listened to the ignorant misinformed people who don’t have any respect for the “Law-abiding” person who will not be there in case of emergencies. Many of these people like myself have worked in law enforcement for many years before retiring. Now we go through the process of getting a permit to continue our “To Serve & to Protect” training while trying to enjoy the many parks ourselves! I really feel sorry for those who cannot tell the difference between a Law-abiding citizen and a “CRIMINAL”, who doesn’t play by any one’s rule! I personally have seen many of these people that wouldn’t think twice about killing you or yours without a second’s thought! I only hope you don’t get to meet one of these “Criminals” that will teach you the difference. The hard way.

well, first of all, i don't think you'll use a comb when a brown bear comes into camp!

you do not need a gun in the park. i have hiked back country three times in Yellowstone. no gun required.

my next trip in will be to Shoshone Lake, so i will buy a can of pepper spray.

if you don't have a gun, like a CONCEALED gun, you won't shoot the gun at a bear. and the small concealed weapon will do nothing but piss the bear off.

so, if you feel you need to carry a concealed weapoin when you're in a national park- just go someplace else for your vacation.

Well, Tom J., I would like to think "law-abiding" people have respect for all laws, not just the ones that suit them. In the case at hand, the Interior Department in the judge's opinion more than likely broke the law by failing to consider the possible environmental impacts of the rule change. Now, it's very likely that there won't be any significant impacts, but that's why the National Environmental Policy Act calls for such a study -- to make that determination so politicians can't ramrod things through the system.

Well Kurt,
I’ve carried a concealed weapon for over forty years and there has been no environmental impact, however, there has been an impact on crime! I’m pretty sure who’s trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes.

Well here we go again. While staying in a popular California resort, a competent legal carrying gun owner just left his loaded 45 under a pillow for the housekeepers to find. Then he checked out and left the property. Then he ask us to mail it to him in a bubble wrapped package so it won't get damaged. Need I say more?

I feel this law needs to be broken, just like the Bank Executives do to the tax code. I think a person has the fundamental right to protect themselves and their family against a bear attack. I believe this what is called civil disobedience, set forth by Henry David Thoreau. I still plan on carrying my .480 Ruger while backpacking in Glacier.

Dear storminator,

CCW is a personal choice. If you don't want to exercise your 2nd amendment rights, that's up to you. To make comments like yours is just showing your ignorance and indifference. Maybe someday a CCW citizen will save your bacon and you will think otherwise...

-Mike

Storminator -- it's not just brown bears. Most handguns will put down a black bear....but we're also talking wolves, mountain lions (kill people every year here in Colorado), rattlesnakes (which we're allowed to shoot in state parks here), and coyotes.....and that's not counting the humans! Let's not forget the string of murders/rapes that occurred on the Appalachian Trail a few years ago at knife-point.

The bottom line is this -- who cares? Continue to carry concealed in the park like everyone ALWAYS HAS. The only time you'll get in trouble is if you pull out your gun and use it. If you are smart, you'll be doing this for a life & death situation, and I'm quite sure the misdeamenor that follows won't really be of that much concern to you. If you have a CCW, you should have a good legal/lawyer insurance anyways, which will cover your rear.

Do you really think that people who go through the entire course, study the laws, and pay for the permits are that quick to shoot an animal on a "whim"? If the lady with the child ran up to the bear and the bear reacted to this as a sign of agression, who is at fault? Who will you try to save-- the bear or the woman and child? Those who wander into parks armed "illegally" will probably always be illegal and should be prosecuted. Why condemn those of us who play by the rules? I am not a group, but an individual who respects and abides by the law. What have I ever done to you?

Here we go again. To both sides I applaud your conviction to what you believe is right. Please remember that with every decision there is a considerable operational impact. For those of us who are charged with keeping the resource safe from the people, the people safe from the resource and the people safe from the people we'll continue to stand by while this gets properly vetted. Until then and in no way am I trying to be disrespectful, any chance we can get all of you to care about getting children back into parks or reducing our carbon footprint?

any chance we can get all of you to care about getting children back into parks or reducing our carbon footprint?

Sure, Chief. Let's talk about reducing the carbon footprint in national parks. How much carbon is emitted maintaining nearly 10,000 miles of NPS roads? How much carbon is emitted by plowing the Rim Drive at Crater Lake as well as those in other snow-covered parks? And the boat tours on Crater Lake? How much carbon for that? Are there any plans to reduce/eliminate these emissions? How much carbon do NPS patrol vehicles emit and what is being done to limit that? How about gas-powered leaf blowers? Are those still allowed in national parks? Gas-powered mowers still maintaining yards in national parks?

I find it very odd that such environmentally impacting activities are carried out without the save level of scrutiny as a constitutionally protected activity.

any chance we can get all of you to care about getting children back into parks or reducing our carbon footprint?

Kids hardly want to play pick-up games of baseball or touch football anymore much less explore a national park. Why heck, if they're missing for more than a few minutes off the fear wracked radar screen of constant surveillance someone's liable to issue an Amber Alert. The post-modern world has not spawned the most adventurous children that civilization has ever known but don't blame them.

As for carbon footprints----how come every time I see a national park patrol vehicle stopped for any length of time it always has its engine running? Recently I watched as two LE vehicles, that were parked by the side of the road, while two rangers were chatting, were running and spouting out greenhouse gases galore the entire time. I came back 15 minutes later and the vehicles were still at it, idling away a carbon footprint the size of the Jolly Green Giant. No make that the Jolly Gray Giant.

While we're on the subject of carbon footprints how about doing something about that gas belching volcano in Lake Clark? That things throwing up enough gunk to keep Al Gore in the carbon offset business until the dawning of Aquarius. When Yellowstone blows y'all are really gonna have some egg on your face. At least the whole planet will smell that way.

Anonymous #3 and Colorado, I see alot of "Law Abiding Citizens" pro carry people now saying they are going to carry no matter what the law. If that is the case, why call yourselves "Law abiding"? I am a gun owner, and was on the fence on this subject but reading these comments about who cares about the law I'm gonna carry anyway, I am leaning on the side of no concealed weapons in the parks. Sounds like you all are going to do what you want no matter what the law is anyway. If there is a no concealed weapons in the Nat. Parks Law in effect and some "Law Abiding Citizen" pulls out their gun... well maybe that would weed out the not so responsible carriers. If your gonna do it anyway why tell everyone? It makes no sense.

Yo Eric-----If the Constitution forbids the Executive Branch from starting wars but it does so anyway to defend our freedoms (and enrich their military contractor friends), who cares, because they're gonna attack Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq anyway. If the Constitution does not authorize these Beltway Bandits to print worthless paper currency, bail out of their criminal friends on Wall Street or save worthless and outdated Detroit ironmongers then why argue because they're gonna do it anyway!

Why should we, the lumpen proletariat, worry about observing the law when our tyrannical rulers DO NOT?

At this point it's all about doing what is right and not what is technically lawful. The criminals are fully in charge and it's time to take a stand and decide for ourselves what is right and morally correct instead of obediently following, like sheep, a carefully crafted set of oppressive rules specifically designed to keep us all in our place.

Bob Dylan put it quite succinctly: "To live outside the law you must be honest. I know you always say that you agree."

The Soviet States of America has finally arrived. I'm planning to be a conscious and willing dissident, and the rest of you are free to bow and scrape before your jack booted masters! The 2nd Amendment is very real and the reasons for its designation as a natural right are as apparent today as it was in 1787.

Yo Bemis- I don't know where you live, but where I live it really is not that bad. Criminals don't rule the roost, I don't have to lock my door and feel perfectly safe walking at night or the trails during the day. Just as safe as I feel hiking and camping in the Parks I frequent. I know... I know some day I will wish you were here with your concealed weapon to save me. Well, I am just going to do what I do as I have been for 45 years, be a true law abiding citizen, visit our National Parks and hope every one does the same. Laws change, it is someting we all live with. I will live with what ever happens with this and keep a smile on my face, can you say the same? It was that way in 1787 and it is the same way now, we just roll with the punches. That is why we live in this wonderful country, if you know of a better place, well... feel free...

gosh, i sure hope you CCW people aren't going to be in Yellowstone next summer! LOL

sure- i'd feel better having my trusty .44 MAG on my hip- but the reality is- I DON'T NEED IT. and- it's against the law.

i know how to deal with nature. without a gun.

but i will admit that i've wanted to carry a small .22 derringer to scare things off. but with the dozens of times i've hiked back country in our national parks and forrests- i've been unarmed. no bear spray even. not even a big knife. usually i do have a pair of ski poles, though. LOL

and a big dose of common sense.

A friend of mine carries one of those canned airhorns that folks use at basketball games and such. He says that it is a great alternative to bear spray especially on a windy day, and claims to have stopped an angry bison in its tracks once, but hasn't tried it on a bear. In fact, I have dozens of friends who have logged hundreds of back country miles in Yellowstone and Glacier and not one of them has ever had a serious encounter with a bear. I know it can and does happen, but a little awareness goes a long way.

" it's not just brown bears. Most handguns will put down a black bear....but we're also talking wolves, mountain lions (kill people every year here in Colorado), rattlesnakes (which we're allowed to shoot in state parks here), and coyotes." Colorado.

Anyone who believes a handgun is adequate protection against a bear attack has never been charged by an adult bear. Insofar as the other critters are concerned, a handgun, particularly one that is carried concealed, is likely to cause more problems than it solves. I have had close encounters with bears (black, brown and polar), wolves, moose and other large wildlife. As a hunter I harvested a fair number of large animals, some at close range. I strongly advise any backcountry travelers anxious about wildlife encounters not to rely on a handgun for adequate protection. Common sense is your best line of defense. It is almost ludicrous to imagine that a handgun will dispatch a rattlesnake before it strikes. If you have time to pull out a pistol and aim it at a snake, the chances are that you could more easily and safely simply back away. The typical sidearm is designed for one primary purpose, to kill people at close range. Even then it has distinct limitations (accuracy, range and stopping power).

In terms of backcountry hazards you are far more likely to be injured or killed by accidental falls, hypothermia, thirst, falling rocks, drowning, fire, storms and avalanches than you are by a wild animal. You are better off carrying a good knife, folding camp saw or small ax as a survival tool.

It's not the four-legged critters that make me nervous, it's the two-legged variety. I've run into too many sketchy characters out in the wilds, especially in states like California, Nevada and Florida. Most wild animals know well enough to leave me alone and respect my space, except for the occasional field mouse in my gorp or snake curled up in my boots. Hey, as they say, I'm a guest in their home and should expect such behavior from the hosts.

I agree with all of the comments about the futility of a handgun against a bear or even a cat. Again, as I've said, they ain't the problem.

Well heck Beamis, I am not all that surprised that you find too many sketchy characters out in the wilds.

This comb analogy is ridiculous - no one can possibly do me any harm with a concealed comb versus a concealed weapon. Additionally, here in the SW it is incredibly easy to get a concealed carry permit. Whose to know, any one of these people, with perhaps mal-intent, may enter into a National Park. Presently, I do not have a concealed carry permit and thus do not enter a National Park with a gun. So yes, the "fuss" is worth thinking about!

It was an obvious move that the NRA would appeal. I personally cannot see how CCW impacts the environment at all. But the fact is the DOI failed to do this study, which is required. So the judge was right on the law. Unless the appeal is ready to argue the environmental impact any or none, I do not see this injunction to change.

The bigger argument is whether the DOI has any authority as a federal agency to regulate a constitutional right. That is more questionable since the 2 A was explicitly against the federal government. I would address the constitutional basis of the original ban.

But any rule change has to go by the procedures and impact studies are part of that procedure.

Kurt , I thought you were going to drop this issue. Gun rights activists will not chnage their minds and anti gun naturalists won't either. The shouting turns off the middle folk who do not have strong opinion.

It would be real nice if people would stop trying to dictate to others about our self defense options, sports and risks we are willing to take. From the anti snowmobile, Mountain bikers to CCW carry in NPS it seems the nanny types want to to stop others from enjoying the parks the way they want.

Odd. I've hiked and backpacked extensively for over forty years and across the west, including quite a bit in California and Nevada. Both National Parks and forests, as well as some BLM land. I have yet to meet one person in the back country that I felt afraid of, and only a very few that I would classify as "sketchy" (and actually I was hiking WITH those!) Overall I would say that, almost without exception, the folks I have met on the trail have been friendly and helpful. They have shared water with me when I was running low (and I with them), they have shared campsites, campfires, meals, stories and adventures. They have warned me of potential dangers and pointed out wildlife, landscapes and side trips that I might have missed.
I suppose that in the event of a bad situation, I would have no qualms using my bear spray on a person (which has been replaced many times due to expiration, but never once fired); but given my lifetime of pleasant experiences with folks met on the trail (many of whom have become lifelong friends), I certainly have never felt the need to carry a gun. Sometimes I wonder if we don't find what we are looking for?
Glad to see the site is back up. Couldn't get in for two days.

hey Frank N- great idea! i'm going to ride my motorcycle to Alaska this summer- and i can't have a can of bear spray in Canada, eh? so- the horn is a great idea. THANK YOU!

i'm WAY more concerned with running into a bear on the Alcan than in Yellowstone. i'll be camping all the way. maybe it's because i lived in Alaska for so long- but a BROWN BEAR isn't going down with an ordinary handgun. NO WAY. not even my .44 MAG. now, a .454 Casull- maybe.

bears don't think of us as prey- most wilderness critters don't. RACCOONS do- LOL. black bears have run away from me all my life. the moment they see me, or smell me- they are GONE.

there is a great video on youtube of a ranger telling you what to do if a bear attacks. check it out.

".....bears don't think of us as prey- most wilderness critters don't. RACCOONS do- LOL......".........and skeeters, don't forget skeeters and deer flies. They pretty much keep me indoors in July and August. Something no other critter in the woods can manage to do! Guns, bear spray, horns, forget it! Nothing works on skeeters and deer flies! Have a great trip! Wish I was going with ya.

storminator,

Bear spray can be legally carried through Canada enroute to and from Alaska. Not every Canadian customs official is aware of this, so it may take some explanation, but they are supposed to allow it.

Ray Bane has done a great job of explaining the advantages of bear spray, and Dr. Tom Smith's recent research into bear attacks in Alaska and the effectiveness of spray on both brown and black bears is worth reading. If you are backpacking into remote areas, consider carrying two cans. Should you need to use one on a bear, you'll want a second can ready as you get out of the area. The same reason those with firearms carry an extra magazine or speedloader.

Air horns are effective, but spray is better. There are lots of brands out there, so do a little research and buy a reputable brand, such as those recommended by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.

I know of cases where a .44 magnum pistol (and some smaller calibers) have been used successfully to dispatch brown bears, but again, as Ray pointed out, speed and accuracy with a handgun are difficult in the stress of surprise bear encounter. More than one armed hunter has learned this in a bear encounter. The cloud of bear spray mitigates the accuracy problem and reduces the risk of collateral damage from a stray bullet as well.

Hope you have a great motorcycle trip this summer.

The previous post by Anonymous has some excellent comments on the subject of bear spray.

Storminator - hope you encounter a Canadian customs official who is up-to-date on the bear spray regs, so you can take some along.
Have a great trip!

SKEETERS! you mean, the Alaskan state bird? those critters will be harrassing me on the entire trip. i am Alaskan sourdough- so i know how to deal with them. i will have a my trusty head net at the ready at all times. and i shall bathe in DDT! lol

so, i can bring some bear spray with me into Canada, eh? excellent! thank you very much, Anonymous. that is very good news. i worry about not being able to hang my food properly. (the further north you go, the smaller the trees get). i won't have much, but it takes very little to attract that very long nose. i've driven the Alcan twice, and i almost hit a black bear on the road. (and several moose, and mountain goats, and a porcupine).

i read a book by Elmer Keith, the man who designed the .44 MAG, (and .357 MAG). he took down a lot of animals with it. and he had a story of a brown bear coming into their camp in Alaska unexpectantly, and very upset. after reading that story, i knew my .44 wasn't ever going to be big enough. in fact, i'm willing to bet they wish they could have blasted that bear in the nose with spray!

two cans is a great idea. my brother and i will both have them in Yellowstone. Shoshone Lake has a history of bear attacks, albeit most are just quick confrontations and fake charges. i'm still much more concerned with the lone bison. those guys have no fear, and walk wherever they please. i completely agree with Frank N. about the people in the back country. very nice, courteous, and genuinely happy people out there.

i'm not surprised by Beamis. i've known many people like him- and i would never hike with ANY of them. EVER. they were the people i would have considered as "sketchy". i believe the psychological term is "paranoid". once upon a time while living in Alaska, my paranoid boss pulled his .25 auto out of his posket and pointed it at me to prove that carrying was a good idea. i immediately knocked it out of his hand, and pinned him to the wall. then he fired me. then the owner found out he pulled a gun. i got my job back, and my paranoid manager lost his! he did not have a license. definitely the paranoid sketchy type.

thank you for your kind wishes, Jim B and Anonymous. i cannot wait to get on the road again. yet another epic adventure. i'll be riding to the Arctic Circle, and all the way down to Homer. by myself. no gun required.

oh, and just so all you CCW people know- i am a member of the NRA. i completely agree with the law to own and to carry. (i own 14 firearms). just not in the parks. those rules are in place for a good reason. i believe that it is more dangerous in downtown Seattle on a Saturday night than in the middle of nowhere at any time.

yet, i still don't feel the need to carry.

Licensed to kill? Gunmen in killings had permits
By DEBORAH HASTINGS (AP National Writer)
From Associated Press
April 07, 2009 4:45 PM EDT
They had more in common than unleashing carnage - nearly every gunman in this monthlong series of mass killings was legally entitled to fire his weapons.

So what does that say about the state of gun control laws in this country? One thing appears certain: the regulations aren't getting stricter. Many recent efforts to change weapons laws have been about easing them.
Despite eight rampages that have claimed 57 lives since March 10, "it hasn't sparked any national goal to deal with this epidemic. In fact, it's going the other way," said Scott Vogel of the Freedom States Alliance, a gun control activist group.

Even President Barack Obama has felt that sway. Last month, 65 House Democrats said they would block any attempt to resurrect an expired federal ban against assault weapons. The pro-gun Democrats, led by Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas, wrote Attorney General Eric Holder saying they opposed not only a ban on military-style guns, but also efforts "to pass any similar law." Gun control issues would only produce "a long and divisive fight," they said, at a time when Congress should be focused on the roiling economy.

A few states are trying to loosen gun restrictions. In the Texas Capitol - where legislators can carry guns - bills easily passed the Senate in recent weeks that would allow employees to bring weapons to work as long as they leave them locked in their cars, and let those packing heat off the legal hook if they walked into a bar that didn't have signs saying guns weren't allowed inside. The state also is considering allowing students licensed to carry a concealed weapon - there are about 300,000 such adults in Texas - to bring guns on campus.

Kansas plans to put a measure on its 2010 ballot that would rewrite the state constitution to make gun ownership a personal, rather than collective, right. In Tennessee, lawmakers made progress this month toward allowing guns to be carried in state and local parks.

"I think you're seeing a continuing change of culture," Vogel said. "I think the gun lobby wants to take away any stigma to gun ownership. I think they feel emboldened, like who's going to stop them?"

The National Rifle Association, the country's most powerful gun lobbying group, declined to comment this week on gun control laws. "Now is not the time to debate politics or discuss policy. It is time for families and communities to grieve and to heal," it said in a prepared statement.

Groups such as Vogel's, and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, say existing laws are already too weak - just look at the men who received gun permits, legally bought high-powered weapons, and then mowed down family, friends and total strangers in these past few weeks, they say.

Joining their outrage was the U.S. Conference of Mayors. "How many more gun-related acts of violence must we experience before the nation's leaders will decide that it is time to act?" asked president Manuel Diaz, mayor of Miami.
Gun enthusiasts say there is no way to prevent human beings from committing insane acts. Whether they have a gun permit or not. On Friday, a depressed and angry Jiverly Wong used a 9 mm and .45-caliber handgun to kill 13 immigrants and service center employees in Binghamton, N.Y., police said. Earlier that day, the ethnic Chinese immigrant from Vietnam mailed an envelope to a Syracuse television station. In it were his gun permit, photos of him smiling while hoisting shiny, big handguns, and his driver's license.

Questions have been raised over the upstate New York gun permit issued to Wong in 1997. Two years later, he was reported to state police by an informer who claimed Wong was planning a bank heist to feed a crack-cocaine habit. Unlike other areas of the state, including New York City, Wong's Broome County permit did not have to be renewed.

Local authorities, however, have broad discretion in reviewing and revoking such permits, according to legal experts. Especially when it comes to drug use, criminal behavior and violence.

"In retrospect, this is probably not a guy who should have had a gun," said attorney Jeffrey Chamberlain, a former Rochester prosecutor and chief counsel to the New York State Police. "No one likes to see things fall through the cracks and it looks like this guy fell through the cracks."

Binghamton police chief Joseph Zikuski said Tuesday that no robbery occurred and there was no merit to review Wong's gun permit.

In New York City, gun permits are reissued every three years. Yet, regulations differ only slightly between states, Chamberlain said. "They're fairly typical - don't be a felon, don't be a drunk, don't beat your kids or your wife. Don't be so mentally unbalanced that you need be in an institution."

To Chamberlain, the answer to gun violence lies not in stricter regulations, but in answering the question, "Why are we so tolerant of having guns in this country? The answer to that is historical. We've had guns for a very long time.

"I can't think of any sweeping law change that would address that."
To Vogel, the answer to why atrocities happen in places such as Binghamton, and before that Washington state and Santa Clara, Calif., lies in sheer numbers.
The number 280 million, to be precise, the estimated total of every gun in this country.
"When you have that many guns, those guns are going to be used in horrific ways," Vogel said. "There's just too many. Inevitably, somehow, some way, those weapons are going to be used in an egregious way."

Rick Smith

Your comb won't accidentally discharge when if falls from your pocket and kill my daughter

All I can say on the gun issue is, spend a day at your local hospital emergency room and see the terrible consequences of gun violence: the deadly aftermath of gun violence and carnage that fills the hospital morgue with the most pitiless and senseless acts of mans inhumanity to man. If one has witness the incredible and horrendous pressures that a highly trained ER trauma team has to go through to save the life of an individual that has been shot to pieces (like swiss cheese) by a semi-automatic rifle...then perhaps you might think of promoting tougher gun laws. I have seen ALL the aftermath of gun violence (as a former surgical tech) and tagging the toes of the dead before their entry to the morgue. Just the very cold sickly smell of the morgue leaves me with one question...WHY? Why this chronic love affair with guns and more guns in the home and with society? It's just pure stupidity mixed with paranoia that has run amuck with society...and with baseless irrational fear.

Not to meantion the insane bill sitting on the governor's desk in Montana. A bill that would eliminate the need for federal background checks and registration on guns that are made and sold in the state of Montana. My first question would be: Why in the world would any "law abiding citizen" object to a simple background check to verify that they are a "law abiding citizen" when purchasing a firearm? This will make Montana the "gun capitol" of America. If I were not a "law abiding citizen", I would surely buy my guns there. Indeed, if I were a crime "kingpin", I would set up a dealer there. Oh sure, these guns are not supposed to be transported out of the state, but exactly how is that going to be prevented? And, hey! The fact that these guns are being used to commit crimes in Miami or L.A. isn't Montana's problem. Right? My second question would be: Just what are Montanans afraid of? Or for that matter Idahoans or Wyomingites? Big rash of home invasions in Harve' or Lincoln that I haven't heard about? These states have pretty low violent crime rates compared to the National average. And that's not because of liberal gun laws; it's because of low population densities. Is it the feds themselves that they fear? Do they really think that the Obama "gestapo" is going to bang on their door and take away their guns? And if, in some sort of Bazarro world, that really did happen, do they really think that they would stop at the doors of those who had background checks or registrations? Or do they really think that they could stand up against federal tanks and military weapons with their hunting rifles and handguns? How'd that work out at Waco and Ruby Ridge, BTW?
Thank goodness the Montana legislature only meets every two years!
I worry that it will take another national tragedy, like Bobby Kennedy or Martin Luther King, for people to wake up and tides to turn again. People have just become numb to news stories about ten people shot and killed, or twenty or fifty seven. Unless they personally know one of the victims, they are just numbers.

I agree with the last few comments; I wish to articulate as such; patience over rides I wrote back about the inner city trauma nurse who evedently understands nothing about CWP

The attitude of the trauma nurse is understandable since they try to repair the damage done to a human from bullets. But the bullet and the gun is just the tool used b y the human. I really do not care about the bad person killed by gunfire, It doesn’t matter from gang warfare or not. I care about the innocent victim of bad people. I refuse to be that victim and believe in the right of self-defense. The best tool of self-defense for women and the elderly is the gun.

This is totally unrelated to carry in NP. The fact is that I already have the ability to have a handgun or rifle in NP as long as they are stored and ammo store separately.

Those that hate guns and focus all there negative feelings about damages from guns on the guns rather than the bad guy. They will feel that way no matter whether the carry is in the city or the park. Others do not feel that the parks and their neighborhoods require self-defense measures. I hope they are right. But the unfortunate fact is that death comes at inopportune times and places. And that has been by a murderer in parks, schools, and restaurants. The simple fact is that man does murder and wherever man is, the possibility of murder exists.

The isolation of the NP reduces the chances of rescue by another person and thus the victim is required to depend on him or herself for rescue. If that rescue is from a bad man then a gun is a useful tool. If the rescue is from a fall then other tools may be needed. Being lost the tools are whistles and cell phones. These risks exist and we plan for the contingency.

CCW holders plan for the human risk. Many others have no fears of the human risk. That is good. That means that most human interactions are positive rather than bad or malign

"The best tool of self-defense for women and the elderly is the gun."

Columbia, SC • June 9, 2008. A 4-year-old girl shot herself in the chest after grabbing her
grandmother’s handgun while riding in a shopping cart in a Sam’s Club store.

The best tool of self defense for women and the elderly is common sense; and possibly a course in self defense or a can of pepper spray.

If I have the right to conceal carry why should it be different in a park? Because I might shoot an animal?
No... it's all about the parkies. Parkies think it's their park when it actually belongs the people... and they
are our employees. Oh, I could go on and on but that about sums it all up. Friendly rangers have become
cops looking to violate happy tourists. And they do. Egos! Ladders to climb. Names to make. Retire with
the highest GS pay they can get.

It's our park! And I have a right to conceal carry. I'd hope that if I was unstable enough to be a hazard
in a park I wouldn't be permitted to conceal carry in the first place. It's all about parkies.

Can I get an "Amen"?

(I've worked in an Alaska national park, famous for bears, for 20 years. Yeah, you're probably guessing right.)

@cut and dry: The parks are not "ours". They belong to the wildlife. We are just the stewards. Everything people do there must be seen from the wildlife's point of view. And as the prevention of poaching mandates to keep out guns and the absence of guns is useful to prevent mis-perceptions of self defense against "dangerous" animals by guys who don't have experience in dealing with wild animals, the ban on firearms is the right thing to do.

Respectfully, that's your opinion and not mine. I don't poach. I don't even hunt. I don't have any interest in shooting
animals. I have more experience in bear country than the rangers do, in the park I work in. I know better than to
shoot a bear with my handgun but if my head was in the mouth of a sow I don't think a "hey bear, hey bear" would do.
I'm legal to conceal carry. I'm a responsible gun owner. My right to defend myself shouldn't be restricted because
of a few poachers a few thousand miles away. Your logic would also say then that cars should be banned from the
parks because someone might hit a deer. Alaska isn't the lower 48. Alaskans don't need to poach. The guys in Game
Management do a good job and everyone has a full freezer.

"Why do you want a gun then?" I was threatened by a tourist because of something someone else did. It was zero
fault of my own. I'm very passive. I have a right to protect myself. I'm not worried about bears. I know how to
stay safe in bear country. I'm still breathing. It was only one wacko in 20 years, but so what? That's all it takes.

It was the park service that buried a D9 Cat and a couple hundred barrels of fuel in our national park, not the gun owners.
Some stewards! And it wasn't the gun owners that ran natives off their land and claimed it. They'd been there for 4000
years, before the bears were. (considering the end of the last ice age and natural geological changes which changed
the land from a game migration route to a salmon filled river.) That was natural, bear management by the natives.
The bears didn't come until the parkies stole their land some 50 plus years ago. It's a wall-less unnatural zoo now.
I have a hard time respecting the "stewards".
(I'm not positive about the exact type of heavy equipment buried but it was buried.)

Alaska state law requires a firearm to be carried in an airplane as part of the survival equipment. Airplanes are allowed
in the national parks. Considering the vastness of Alaska and its national parks this law would have very little effect on
poaching. Again, freezers are full in Alaska, legally.

Anyway, nothing personal. We disagree and I'm OK with that. You're probably not in Alaska, unless you're a ranger.
Amen? (just kidding)

I've done a bit of reading here and by the looks of things the topic has veered a bit off course...but that's OK. I don't have a lot of time but would like to address a few snippets that I noticed. First, when guns get dropped they don't "go off" and kill people's daughters...I hope that sets your mind at ease. Your daughter is more likely to get hit on the head by a metior than she is from a stray bullet from a dropped gun.
Next, I'd like to comment to the person who worked in a hospital trauma ward. I believe you when you say you've seen people come in looking like cottage cheese from gun play and I'm sure you've got some images etched in your mind that might be hard to live with. I'd like you to consider this. The person that looked like cottage cheese was one of two types of people. He was either a perpetrator or a victim. If he was a perpetrator he apparently got what he had coming. If he was a victim then he may have very well benefited from having a wepon handy.
Humans (and animals) have been killing each other since the stone ages. I'm not saying that it's ok for a civilized society to do so...just saying it's the way it is. Before guns we were killing each other with arrows, rocks, clubs, axes, poison...etc...etc. It's not the weapon that's doing the killing...it's the person. If you want a safe society you should really stop being so near sighted by focusing on the gun and focus more on the people that feel the need to kill.
Two years ago my son was 8, we enrolled him in a state run hunters safety course and he turned out to be the youngest boy in the state to pass both the written and practical shooting test (yes, with real bullets). He's 10 now and is legal to get his own hunting license. He is the proud owner of two rifles and a bb gun. He has been (and continues to be) taught about the safe handling of guns. My 7 year old daughter is next in line.
I gotta run so I guess this is as good a spot to stop...for now.

Capt. Kirk;

You misread what "Whatruafraidof" wrote. He actually says that when the comb kills his daughter it won't discharge.
Could be a malfunctioning comb.

"Whatruafraidof (not verified)
On April 11th, 2009
Your comb won't accidentally discharge when if falls from your pocket and kill my daughter"

Kirk--

That's a tired argument: "guns don't kill people, people kill people." True enough, but people with guns kill more people than people without guns. The people who are arguing against concealed weapons in parks are making the same point that most police unions do: the more guns there are, the more likely that accidents and incidents are going to occur. I don't care whether you or cut and dried carry in your home town; I just don't want you to carry in Carlsbad or Big Bend or wherever else in the National Park System. That seems simple enough.

Rick Smith

I believe that our National parks are the greatest resource in America. I am also a gun owner and support concealed carry in general. But with regard to this issue, it is important to look at the MISSION of the parks and the initial and longstanding reason for the the ban on LOADED guns in parks.
The mission of the Park Service is:
"to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the WILDLIFE therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."
The point of the loaded gun ban was to protect wildlife, and just because you and I wouldn't take pot shots at critters doesn't mean that it won't happen. It already happens all the time. Crime rates against park visitors are exceptionally low, and violence in National Parks is generally very low except along our southern border. However, NPS rangers are frequently assaulted because they are outnumbered. There is also the fact that many people like to use National Parks as their own peaceful place to kill themselves.
So while I can see the value in the strategic victroy for the NRA, and I can see why people think they should be able to carry "in the woods", I think that the longstanding law works quite well the way it is.
p.s. I wish my fellow second amendment supporters would be as supportive of conservation of wildlife and protection of public lands... TRoosevelt would be ashamed.

Captain Kirk (sorry about picking a user name so close to yours...I didn't realize there was another)
You quoted:

"to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the WILDLIFE therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."

There is nothing in that mission statement that would justify banning firearms in national parks. You make the arguement that if there are weapons in the parks that the wildlife will be put in danger. There are laws on the books that outlaw poaching so if someone "takes pot shots" at the wildlife they are in voilation of the law and are subject to prosecution...and I will be the first to turn that person in! Archery gear is also able to kill animals (silently!)...is archery gear outlawed, spears? I live in Alaska and when I go out in the woods (which is quite often...however not necessairly always in the national parks) I ALWAYS carry a firearm...ALWAYS! and it's usually a high caliber rifle over my shoulder. I don't do this so I can take pot shots at the wildlife, I do it in case I am forced into a situation to protect my person or property. I am an avid hunter and have had a freezer full of game meat for the last 20 years. I hunt legally and make every effort to preserve that game until hunting season. Some of you folks are putting the well-being of the wildlife over my right to defend myself. Every year I pay for those national parks and I have a right to use them as long as I don't abuse them and as long as I obey the laws of the land. If I am out in the woods in an area where I am considered food by the wildlife you can bet your ass that I will have something that levels the playing field (national park or not). I may have a different opinion if I was in yosemite (or similar) where all the predatory wildlife is more focused on dumpster diving and begging along the roadways but, to date, the national parks in alaska are the real deal and when a grizzly is heading in your direction he ain't looking for your bag of cheetos.

In response to "Roosevelt would be ashamed" please take note of what I wrote above, and copied here...

It was the park service that buried a D9 Cat and a couple hundred barrels of fuel in our national park, not the gun owners.
Some stewards! And it wasn't the gun owners that ran natives off their land and claimed it. They'd been there for 4000
years, before the bears were. (considering the end of the last ice age and natural geological changes which changed
the land from a game migration route to a salmon filled river.) That was natural, bear management by the natives.
The bears didn't come until the parkies stole their land some 50 plus years ago. It's a wall-less unnatural zoo now.
I have a hard time respecting the "stewards".
(I'm not positive about the exact type of heavy equipment buried but it was buried.)

My right to conceal carry in Alaska shouldn't be checked at the gate because of (deleted) thousands of miles away.
You guys in the lower 48 can do what ever you want with this issue under state laws governing guns.
Just don't impose it on us. (Alaskans)

And, in response to Rick Smith. Sorry, I don't consider my constitutional rights and my attempt to keep them as a "tired old arguement". I've got some statistics here as published by the US Census Bureau. These are annual figures for deaths in the US
Motor vehicle--43649
Falls--14986
Poisoning--9510
Fire--3741
Drowning--3488
Choking --3206
Medical complications--2929
Firearms--1134
Aircraft -- 1061
RIFLE --947
Boating--675
Train --565
Electricity -- 482
PISTOL -- 187

Of the 1134 accidential deaths as a result of firearms the number of deaths as a result of a pistol are 187 so I added the rifle and pistol numbers (in caps) to the census list above. The list clearly shows that a person is three times more likely being killed by electricity than they are by an accidental shooting from a pistol.
According to the USGS there were 226 bear attacks in alaska in the last 10 years and that number is rising.
And, according to CDC, there are on average 82 ligheninig fatatalities each year with a 53 to 100 range. So, you should be able to see that accidental deaths from pistols are substantially less than your chance of getting hit by a train and just slightly more than your chance of getting killed by lighetning.
It seems to me that if you were going to be a champion to reduce the number of accidental deaths in the US, you would get a bigger bang for your buck by advocating life jackets for everybody in a boat, or spreading the word about the benefits of a function smoke detector and/or fire sprinklers...etc. You or your family member is 233 times more likely to die in a car than they are with a handgun. You don't like guns...that's fine, I won't make you own one. I like guns and I would hope that you won't infringe on my right to own one or protect myself and my family with one. If there is a tired arguement here it's the notion that accidential gun deaths are a plague in the US.

Cut and Dry, could you please be more specific about where the D9 Cat and "hundreds of barrels of fuel" were buried? Are they still in place? I am just curious, because the story has a familiar ring. Insofar as running off Natives, are you by chance referring to Katmai? As I recall, most Natives relocated from what is now Katmai following the eruption of Novarupta. The monument was created afterward by presidential proclamation. The Park Service does not have the power to unilaterally create park units. That power resides only with the president and Congress. Katmai is a complex mix of land classifications with differing regulations. Brooks River is part of the old monument with more traditional national park regulations. The northern preserve is open to sport hunting, so the regulations tend to be more liberal in regard to firearms. Neither sport or subsistence hunting is legal in the ANILCA created park (not preserve) lands added to the periphery of the old monument. Then there are private inholdings within the park that are not subject to park regulations. The mix of land classification also includes the ocean tidelands below mean high tide that have special status.

Alaska is unquestionably a special place. However, the national parks are, first and foremost, national. They belong to all Americans and must be managed accordingly. If you visited a national park in California or Wyoming you would be expected to abide by park rules and regulations. The same holds true in Alaska. If you are uncertain as to a particular park's rules relating to firearms, please contact the office of the park or the National Park Service in Anchorage for more information.