Don't go armed into a national park or wildlife refuge this weekend. New gun regulations for those federal properties won't take effect for nine months.
According to Interior Department officials, the legislation that President Obama signed today doesn't take effect immediately, but only after nine months. During those nine months, Interior officials plan to work with the National Park Service's thousands of employees to make sure every one is on the same page with all the various state gun laws out there.
“As Interior prepares to implement the new law, the department will work to understand and interpret its implications for our national parks and wildlife refuges, with public safety and the safety of our employees as our foremost consideration," said Interior spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff.
"Because possession of loaded weapons on national parks and wildlife refuges will be governed by varying state firearms laws once the new law is implemented, the department will provide guidance to the more than 24,000 professionals who manage our parks and refuges and the more than 310 million people who visit our parks and refuges each year," she added.
No doubt Park Service crews will also begin taking down signs that tell visitors not to carry firearms into the parks and begin rewording all park collateral materials (brochures, maps, etc) that mention firearms.
"For the time being, the current Reagan Administration regulations governing possession of firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges remain in place<' notes Ms. Barkoff. "Under the current regulation, firearms are generally prohibited, but citizens may transport unloaded and dismantled or cased firearms and carry firearms while participating in approved hunting programs and under certain other circumstances."