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Thread: National Parks deserve more than Rube-Kempthorne gun rights scheme!

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    ************************************************** **********
    OpenCarry.org Press Release - May 2, 2008
    ************************************************** **********
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    ************************************************** **********
    National Parks deserve more than Rube-Kempthorne gun rights scheme!
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    For years gun rights groups (1) and members of Congress (2) have been
    prodding the Department of Interior to repeal their gun carry ban in
    National Parks by simply adopting the long proven Department of
    Agriculture rule, 36CFR261.8, which simply assimilates state gun laws
    onto National Forests (3).

    In response, Secretary of the Interior Dick Kempthorne has now issued a
    Notice of Rulemaking (4) purporting to repeal the national park gun
    carry ban, but upon inspection, Kempthorne’s complex and vague scheme
    would provide few gun rights and serve as a source of controversy for
    years to come.

    The proposed rule augments the current National Park gun ban at 36CFR2.4
    with the following:

    “A person may possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and
    operable firearms within a national park area in the same manner, and to
    the same extent, that a person may lawfully possess, carry, and
    transport concealed, loaded and operable firearms in any state park, or
    any similar unit of state land, in the state in which the federal park,
    or that portion thereof, is located, provided that such possession,
    carrying and transporting otherwise complies with applicable federal and
    state law.”

    OBJECTION #1: Vagueness. Remember folks – 36CFR2.4 identifies a criminal
    offense. Gun carry in a park is a crime unless the proposed exception
    applies, so how is anyone supposed to know what the collateral law of a
    state is for a “similar unit of state land?” Answer – not ‘till your
    trial judge tells you! And in the meantime, park rangers and gun rights
    groups will argue for decades over what the law is on a “similar unit of
    state land” because in many or most states, it depends – local parks,
    state parks, regional parks, often have conflicting gun carry
    regulations in the same state!

    OBJECTION #2: Requirement to conceal. So where did this come from? Who
    conceals their handgun while hiking on a hot sweaty trail all day? In
    most states, and therefore in most National Forests, no permit is needed
    to open carry handguns (“the right”), but in all states but Alaska and
    Vermont, a permit is required to conceal handguns (“the privilege”) (5).
    Due to the refusal of most states to freely accept other states’
    concealed handgun permits like they do driver’s licenses, the
    requirement to conceal in National Parks means that few permit holders
    will be able to carry concealed handguns in National Parks outside their
    home state even if the state they are visiting allows concealed carry on
    the proverbial “similar unit of state land.”

    OBJECTION #3: Lack of “consistency in firearms policy across federal
    public land management agencies. (6)” Most people know what state they
    are in at any one time – but what about hiking or driving in a state
    where National Parks and Forests are contiguous – cross over that
    invisible line, you might commit a crime.

    But all is not lost – the Interior Department’s of Notice of Rulemaking
    provides for public comment, and public comment the Department will get
    demanding that the Rube-Kempthorne gun rights proposal be replaced with
    the long proven Department of Agriculture rule, 36CFR261.8, which simply
    assimilates state gun laws onto federal land.

    John Pierce/Mike Stollenwerk
    ##########################
    Contact anytime on gun stories:
    Mike Stollenwerk/John Pierce
    http://www.OpenCarry.org
    A national pro-gun Internet community with more than 5,400 registered
    members
    News media reports citing OpenCarry.org's perspective:
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum63
    ##########################


    1) See the second and still pending petition for rulemaking filed by the
    Virginia Citizens Defense League and signed onto by gun rights groups
    across America representing over a million Americans requesting that the
    Department of Interior assimilate state gun laws onto National Parks
    using the Department of Agriculture’s 36CFR261.8 as a model, available
    at http://www.vcdl.org/pdf/VCDLPRM_010408.pdf.

    2) E.g., Senate letter to Secretary Kempthorne, Dec. 14, 2007 (urging
    adoption of gun carry regulations in national Parks which are both “in
    accordance with the laws of the host state” and with “consistency in
    firearms policy across federal public land management agencies”),
    available at http://www.nraila.org/Media/PDFs/kempthorne_ltr.pdf.

    3) Notice the beauty and elegance of 36CFR261.8 which simply provides:

    TITLE 36--PARKS, FORESTS, AND PUBLIC PROPERTY
    CHAPTER II--FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

    PART 261_PROHIBITIONS--Table of Contents

    Subpart A_General Prohibitions

    Sec. 261.8 Fish and wildlife.

    The following are prohibited to the extent Federal or State law is
    violated:
    (a) Hunting, trapping, fishing, catching, molesting, killing or
    having in possession any kind of wild animal, bird, or fish, or taking
    the eggs of any such bird.
    (b) Possessing a firearm or other implement designed to discharge a
    missile capable of destroying animal life.
    (c) Possessing equipment which could be used for hunting, fishing,
    or trapping.
    (d) Possessing a dog not on a leash or otherwise confined.
    (e) Curtail the free movement of any animal or plant life into or
    out of a cave, except as authorized to protect a cave resource.

    [42 FR 2957, Jan. 14, 1977, as amended at 46 FR 33520, June 30,
    1981; 59
    FR 31152, June 17, 1994]

    4) http://federalregister.gov/OFRUpload...8-09606_PI.pdf.

    5) Except in Wisconsin and Illinois which bans conceal carry altogether.
    Illinois allows open carry on foot in unincorporated areas, and
    Wisconsin allows open carry on foot throughout the state.

    6) See request by US Senate members at n. 2, supra.


  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Well done. As an OCDO member I can certainly get behind that release.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    When I first saw this I sort of liked the way it was written, now I see it is not perfect.

    maybe a better answer is to explicitly allow state law to prevail. not much help for us Illinois residents since carrying even an unloaded gun (rural or not) on public land is illegal, other than a few useless exceptions and while hunting.

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    ilbob wrote:
    When I first saw this I sort of liked the way it was written, now I see it is not perfect.

    maybe a better answer is to explicitly allow state law to prevail. not much help for us Illinois residents since carrying even an unloaded gun (rural or not) on public land is illegal, other than a few useless exceptions and while hunting.
    Actually, I think this would be one of the best situations in which to eliminate all permits for carrying. It's Federal land, so there aren't even any incorporation issues... the Federal government must respect all rights listed in the BOR.

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    Everyone needs to go to www.regulations.gov and NOW is the open comment period. Under search in the comments heading put: 1024-AD70. That will open up this specific rule that would only allow concealed carry (only in states where that is legal in their state parks). Tell them you want open carry to be legal. Also, tell them to mirror laws of National Forests. It seems like lately many laws introduced by the NRA create one tier of laws for people carrying concealed with a permit and another for people open carrying (for example in New Mexico now you can enter a gas station that sells alcohol for off-premise if you conceal and have a permit to conceal, but it is illegal if you open carry with or without a permit...)

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Count wrote:
    Everyone needs to go to http://www.regulations.gov and NOW is the open comment period. Under search in the comments heading put: 1024-AD70. That will open up this specific rule that would only allow concealed carry (only in states where that is legal in their state parks). Tell them you want open carry to be legal. Also, tell them to mirror laws of National Forests. It seems like lately many laws introduced by the NRA create one tier of laws for people carrying concealed with a permit and another for people open carrying (for example in New Mexico now you can enter a gas station that sells alcohol for off-premise if you conceal and have a permit to conceal, but it is illegal if you open carry with or without a permit...)
    Website is down for maintenance!
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    In Tennessee you are not supposed to carry in state parks and the national forest,so that would leave us out. Comments should be leaned towardseveryone being able to carry in thenational parks.

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    Didn't this last legislature in Tennessee tried to legalize carry in State Parks?

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    steamnsteel wrote:
    In Tennessee you are not supposed to carry in state parks and the national forest,so that would leave us out. Comments should be leaned towardseveryone being able to carry in thenational parks.
    These changes would not supercede any state laws that are currently on-the-books andit was not intended tomakeit go that far anyway..

    Seems like the only way it would be fair for all (other than a full constitutional restoration act) would be for National Parks to accept the same rules that National Forests doas well as other federal and state parklands that accept state laws. Then, at least nobody is restricted from carry at the federal level and then you can work to get your state to comply withany changes at a later date.

    It becomes a local issue at that point. Regardless, a state shouldn't be restricting anyone from carrying in a parkbut DOI guidelines don't have the power to force those changes. It would require some form of lawsuit or legislation.

    It would be nice to carry in the Smokies... Tennessee needs to remove those types of restrictions..
    Peace through superior firepower

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    "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed.

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    Nice job John and Mike. I too can get behind simply adopting the National Forest/Dept of Ag regs. What is so dang difficult about that?

    The new regs have no basis in tying carry to what a respective state park reg is. The beginning of the NPS doc said they wanted to respect states rights and authority. Well the NF/DoA did just that, why not use the SAME FREAKIN LANGUAGE?

    It is obvious to even the most casual observer that the NPS intends to make this difficult if not impossible to understand and with enough if's and's and but's create a legal eagle do nothing document that will just have to be changed later. The more times I read the document, the more it seems to have been contrived by a committee of folks that were never in the same meeting and had dissimilar objectives.

    NPS: Just adopt the NF/DoA regs and be done with it. I think they owe us an explanation as to WHY they won't do just that.

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    Regular Member Flintlock's Avatar
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    bobcat wrote:
    NPS: Just adopt the NF/DoA regs and be done with it. I think they owe us an explanation as to WHY they won't do just that.
    Because, despite the vehement defense of many conservatives in our country, this administrationdoes not truly got our back. They havegot their own.. If not for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in ArmsAct, I'd consider this administration to be outright anti.They have blown opportunuties so many times in the last 8 years to make significant ground and they stomp on us with a horrid showing at the Heller case, essentially backing significant infringements.

    Now, a very simple rule change that would make a huge difference in an election year and they don't even have the backbone to do that...

    They have let me down..
    Peace through superior firepower

    Luke 11:21
    "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed.

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    Just submitted the following:

    The proposed rule falls far short of what Senator Crapo's letter to DOI on December 14th, 2007 requested. The letter, signed by 51 Senators, asked that National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges assimilate the host state's gun laws.

    The rule also falls far short of the Virginia Citizens Defense League's Petition for Rule Making sent to DOI and dated January 19, 2008. Like Senator Crapo's letter, the Petition, representing over one million gun owners, requested that the gun laws for the host state be assimilated.

    The proposed rule needs to assimilate state law in a similar manner as National Forests do for the lawful carry of weapons for self-defense. That would make the rules for such carriage of self-defense weapons in National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges and National Forests the same and consistent with the laws of the state surrounding the parks and refuges.

    Please change the wording of the rules as follows, which would make the regulation of carry commensurate with standards of the host state, while removing the nebulous and confusing wording about "similar lands." Existing poaching laws will serve to deter poaching in National Parks and Wildlife Refuges, just as they do on state land:

    "A person may possess, carry, and transport loaded, and operable firearms or other weapons within a national park area in the same manner, and to the same extent, that a person may lawfully possess, carry, and transport loaded and operable firearms or other weapons in the state in which the federal park, or that portion thereof, is located, provided that such possession, carrying and transporting otherwise complies with applicable federal and state law."

    And for National Wildlife Refuges:

    "A person may possess, carry, and transport loaded, and operable firearms or other weapons within a national wildlife refuge area in the same manner, and to the same extent, that a person may lawfully possess, carry, and transport loaded and operable firearms or other weapons in the state in which the federal wildlife refuge, or that portion thereof, is located, provided that such possession, carrying and transporting otherwise complies with applicable federal and state law."

    In short, please use the the long proven Department of Agriculture rule, 36CFR261.8, which simply assimilates state gun laws onto federal land.

    Thank you.

    # # #

    Stolen from VA-ALERT: National Parks - time to move!‏

    To send in your comments to the DOI, click here:

    http://tinyurl.com/5juwn3

    Let's flood them with our comments!!

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    Sent in mine!

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    Done!
    Peace through superior firepower

    Luke 11:21
    "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed.

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    BobCav wrote:
    Sent in mine!
    +1

    TJ

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    I work closely with the NRA on some legislative agendas. Let me tell you that we the unlicensed open-carry types are being dissed. Not because they don't like us, just because we are so silent and not often seen that they don't want to burn political capital on us.... So, contact your NRA lobbyist and let her or him know that you exist and that a right is no longer a right if a permit is needed, therefore you want unlicensed open-carry legalized everywhere....

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