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Reader Participation Day: Has The Change In Gun Rules Changed Your National Park Plans?


Since late February it's been legal for properly permitted concealed weapons owners, and rifle and shotgun owners, as well, to bring their weapons into a national park if the surrounding state law allows such carry. Has that change in national park gun regulations changed your thoughts about visiting a national park?

There was quite an uproar over this rule change, on both sides of the issue, with more than a few folks saying they wouldn't want to be in a park where some folks might be armed. Has the issued turned into much ado about nothing? Or, if you opposed the rule change, are you changing your plans to visit a national park?


Was never a factor on any planned visit.

Yes, I am more likely to feel safer knowing that law abiding citizens may be armed in National Parks. Before only criminals an Park rangers, who are few and far between, were armed.

I'd prefer if everyone had a gun, then maybe those that can't read the laws or refuse to follow the laws regarding guns would be less inclined to pack them around or even think about pulling one out for fear of like retaliation.
Get real this ain't your Grandpa's National Park anymore.

Yes, it has. Where as I was NOT going because I could not have my gun, I will be going with my family now becase I will have the ability to defend them. Google Dr. Gaery Kleck. With 2.5 MILLION defensive uses of a firearm in this country every year Guns SAVE Lives!!

There are a number of National Parks here in Washington not far from where I live. I have not visited them YET. One big reason was that I don't go in to the woods without my firearm. Now that I can legally carry it with me concealed, I'm planning on visiting as many Parks as I can as soon as I can.

I've visited approximately 100 NPS sites and have never felt threatened or the need for a gun. I'm not against guns, my husband is a hunter and I've taken an NRA-sponsored shooting class, but I"ve never felt the need, whether in the city or the wilderness, to be armed.

I have worked as a Campground Host at several State Parks and a couple of N.P's and I must say, that for the most part campers were good decent people. But, I will not forget the summer I worked at Sol Duc Campground in Olympic National Park. Some of the local Washingtonians were so upset about the amounts of foreign visitors quote " taking up all those campsites". The locals would get so upset that we often had to break up altercations between the visitors. Now that you can carry a concealed weapon, I would hate to have to be the one to try and maintain the peace. All it takes is one upset person with a gun and an itchy finger.

It's beyond me the fear that some people feel where ever they go. I have been to about 125 NPS sites, including almost all of the big western parks. I have camped, hiked, and backpacked in the frontcountry and the backcountry and not ONCE have I EVER felt threatened by another human. The parks are one of the safest places an American citizen can be.

What will happen though is that sometime this summer some wing nut with a gun will shoot and kill a wolf, grizzly, bison or other wildlife "in self defense" even though they were intruding on the wildlife's habitat, in many cases the LAST protected habitat these animals have. The vast majority of people who are injured by wildlife in the parks are folks who get too close to the animal and then are amazed when they get gored or mauled. This is not the 1820's where we need to think or act like John Colter, Kit Carson, or some other mountain man and gun down a griz to protect ourselves. This is exactly what the NPS is worried about now that they have to let guns in the park.

Poachers will also be hard to catch since they can claim the gun they are carrying in the backcountry is for self defense even if it is a hunting rifle. Poaching is a huge issue in Yellowstone and other parks.

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