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House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System


Thanks to a brilliant tactical move, gun rights advocates are a step closer to arming themselves in national parks and national wildlife refuges across the country following a U.S. House of Representatives' vote on a credit card bill.

By attaching the gun legislation to the widely popular bill that would redefine the ground rules for credit card companies, Congress essentially made the firearms provision bulletproof. The House passed the measure, which earlier this week cleared the Senate, on a vote of 279-147 Wednesday, and sent it on to President Obama, who is expected to sign the legislation into law this weekend.

Condemnation of Congress's move came quickly from park advocacy groups.

Theresa Pierno, Executive Vice President, National Parks Conservation Association

“We are disappointed in the members of the House and Senate who allowed this amendment to pass, as well as in President Obama. By not taking a stand to prevent this change, they have sacrificed public safety and national park resources in favor of the political agenda of the National Rifle Association. This amendment had no hearing or review, and will increase the risk of poaching, vandalism of historic park treasures, and threats to park visitors and staff.”

“These are special protected places, where millions of American families and international visitors can view magnificent animals and majestic landscapes and experience our nation’s history, including sites where lives were lost to preserve our American ideals.

“The Reagan Administration’s regulation requiring simply requires that guns carried into these iconic places be unloaded and put away is a time-tested, limited and reasonable restriction to carry out an important and legitimate goal of protecting and respecting our national parks, monuments and battlefields. It is a tremendously sad day that it has been thrown out by political leaders from whom we expect more.”

Bill Wade, Chair, Executive Council, Coalition of National Park Service Retirees

“Passage of this legislation that would allow firearms of all kinds in national parks is an absolute travesty. There is simply no need for it, given the extremely low risks that visitors face in national parks compared with everywhere else.

"Legislators who voted for this amendment now have to live with the fact that they have, in fact, increased the risk to visitors and employees, as well as the risk to wildlife and some cultural resources. Moreover, they've just contributed to diminishing the specialness of this country's National Park System. We hope the American people register their disappointment in the actions of these legislators.”

Scot McElveen, President, Association of National Park Rangers

“Members of the ANPR respect the will of Congress and their authority to pass laws, but we believe this is a fundamental reversal from what preceding Congresses created the National Park System for. Park wildlife, including some rare or endangered species, will face increased threats by visitors with firearms who engage in impulse or opportunistic shooting.”

John Waterman, President, U.S. Park Rangers Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police

“One should ask, what do guns have to do with credit cards? We are disappointed that Congress chose to disregard the safety of U.S. Park Rangers, the most assaulted federal officers, and forgo the environmental process set up to assure the protection of our national parks. If signed by President Obama, this will clearly be a change in his rhetoric towards taking better care of our environment and protecting federal employees."


Thanks Walker! As scary as that is to me, it also gave me a chuckle during a very slow day in the office. I can understand have a problem with the aggressive deer, I've used sticks to push animals away from me and have even hit them before (not hard!) and have them come right back. I seriously doubt I'd ever use a gun though.

'Aggressive' deer sparks first Glacier gun incident
By CHRIS PETERSON / Hungry Horse News
Published: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 9:26 AM PDT
Glacier National Park has had its first incident of a gun being fired inside the Park boundaries since carrying them was legalized.

On June 12, a woman was hiking on the Going-to-the-Sun Road near Logan Creek when she encountered what she claimed was an aggressive whitetail deer, said Park spokeswoman Amy Vanderbilt.
The deer continued to her approach her and initially she discharged pepper spray toward the animal but was apparently too far away.
Then she pulled out a .357 magnum handgun and fired it into the ground away from the animal to scare it away. The deer hopped into the bushes, but still stayed fairly close.

Rest of the story here.


Hiker in Glacier National Park fires .357 to scare deer

Exactly the problem with allowing firearms in the parks. One wonders if bearspray and other precautions could have prevented this from happening:

Personally I think that people should be forced, by state law, to allow firearms in their homes. That would make every home safer. Hell, everyone over the age of 12, that isn't a felon should be required to carry a gun, that would really make us safe. I trust everyone, but felons with firearms. Let's take this to the extreme (NOT).

I would like the change so I can protect family in National Parks. We here don't worry about. Wild animals but human animals. The best thing would not to flaunt a weapon but keep them hiden. What you don't see better what you don't hear is ok to me. I have carried at work in a Las Vegas hotel and the worst thimg that I can think of is to take a life. Having a weapon is a great responsablility. One I myself take very seriously.


Before you add your 2 cents there you might want to look at this.

Attaching this amendment to the credit card bill was a convenience, not brilliant ploy and far from bullet proof. Your reporting of the vote on the credit card bill is correct, but it is way off base on the amendment. The House used a very rarely used option to split the votes on the credit card bill and the firearms amendment.

House roll call vote:
#276: Firearms Amendment , 361 For – 64 Against. Passed before the credit card bill! And the numbers!
#277: Credit Card Bill : 279 For – 147 Against. Lucky, the credit card bill had enough support to pass too![/q]

See A R Kane's comments on the May 21 for the full text. He writes a lot but he also backs it up. That's a nice change.

To Anonymous on May 25th 2009
On your statement "The votes in both the House and Senate were overwhelming in favor".
The cowards in the House and Senate hid this in the credit card bill, what credit cards have to do with loaded guns in the National Parks I do not know.
If they were truely overwhelming in favor of this they would have let this stand on its own and not hidden in a unrelated bill.

Mr. Repanshek.

To imply that the entire National Park System has crime rates equivalent to those found in New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.,…

I didn’t mean to, I didn’t use the ratios from NY or Newark or DC. I used the FBI UCR rates for the Western Region. That’s everything compiled from west of Texas. Seemed appropriate to me for this analysis. Had I used the Northeastern Region the numbers would have actually been lower had I used the cities in question they would have been higher.

Well, I need to pack up my backpack, gear, and primary provisions for 10 days. I have a scheduled rendezvous with 2 old friends in a remote area of one of “The Ten Most Dangerous National Parks” and am looking forward to that. Not the early plane ride or the drive tomorrow or the long hike in the next, but everything else. It’ll be good to get away for a couple of weeks!

Seems as though some of this should be over a beer… if your going to be inside the Beltway in the very near future let me know, if am still there I’ll buy. As a private citizen not only can I now be political but I get to choose where to live too, ain’t that a kick!

Best Regards,

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