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Thread: GOA Alert pushes legislative fix to federal land park ban!

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    Action Item: http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm

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    --

    Carrying Guns Soon To Be Legal In National Parks
    -- But your help is needed to make sure the right is permanently recognized

    Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
    8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
    Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408
    http://www.gunowners.org

    Tuesday, May 6, 2008


    The Bush administration, after more than seven years, has finally issued
    regulations permitting the carrying of firearms in national parks. Gun
    owners will soon be able to carry firearms according to the laws of the
    state in which the park is located.

    While not perfect, the proposed regulations, which are likely to take effect
    at the end of June 2008, represent a sharp contrast with the steadfast
    refusal to allow for self-defense in national parks.

    The bureaucrats responded after a crescendo of congressional activity.
    Senator Tom Coburn has made efforts to put the matter before the Senate, and
    would have done so had Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid not broken his word
    to Coburn to allow him to have a vote on the measure. Also, 47 Senators
    signed a letter to the Department of the Interior urging that the ban be
    removed.

    In the House, there are now three bills that would open national parks to
    carrying firearms as regulated by the state in which the park is located.

    The most recent bill, and the most comprehensive, is that of GOA Life Member
    Paul Broun (R-GA), who was elected to Congress in July of last year. Rep.
    Broun has introduced HR 5646, the "Protecting the Second Amendment and
    Hunting Rights on Federal Lands Act of 2008."

    This is not the time to slack off on our efforts. If congressional activity
    got the Park Service bureaucrats to finally move, we need to keep the heat
    on. We need to make sure they follow through.

    Moreover, legislation is the more sure way of keeping concealed carry "on
    the books." Regulations could be changed the first day an anti-gun
    president takes office.

    Finally, Rep. Broun's legislation would go even further than the proposed
    National Parks regulations. As we mentioned above, they are not perfect.
    Among other things, it's not clear (in the proposed regs) whether or not an
    individual will be able to engage in open carry on national park lands for
    the purpose of self-defense. That would not even be questioned under the
    Broun bill.

    So with all this in mind, we urge you to send an email to your
    representative urging him to cosponsor Rep. Broun's bill, HR 5646.

    ACTION: Please urge your Representative to cosponsor HR 5646. You can
    visit the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at
    http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm to send your Representative the
    pre-written e-mail message below. And, you can call your Representative at
    202-225-3121 or toll-free at 1-877-762-8762.

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    Peace through superior firepower

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    From: Philip Van Cleave <philip@virginiasystems.com>
    Date: May 6, 2008 11:33 PM
    Subject: VA-ALERT: National Parks - time to move!

    As you know, the Department of the Interior (DOI) has finally published a
    proposed change to the National Park and National Wildlife Refuge rules.

    The question is -- Does this DOI change fairly address either the concerns
    expressed in a letter signed by 51 Senators or VCDL's Petition for Rule
    Making (PRM)?

    -- The letter signed by the 51 Senators states that they support "an
    exception...to allow law-abiding citizens to transport and carry firearms
    consistent with state law where the National Park Service's sites and the
    National Wildlife Refuges are located."

    -- The Petition for Rule Making (PRM) submitted by VCDL requested DOI
    regulations be modified to "permit citizens to carry operational handguns
    for personal protection in National Parks, consistent with the laws of the
    state in which the park is located".

    Does DOI's proposed change do either of the above? NO!

    Instead, the DOI change is nothing more than a token effort to appease both
    a majority of the United States Senate and over a million gun owners while
    still retaining their "if you have a loaded firearm, you're a poacher"
    attitude.

    So, VCDL is asking you to do the following:

    Respond to the DOI's request for input to its proposed rule by politely
    urging them to assimilate state firearms laws for ALL law-abiding gun owners
    where the National Park Service's sites and the National Wildlife Refuges
    are located.

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

    http://tinyurl.com/5juwn3

    Copy and paste the following text into the "General Comments" box and then
    "Next Step" at the bottom to continue.

    Suggested "General Comments" text:

    --

    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."

    -------------------------------------------
    ************************************************** *************************
    VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
    (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization
    dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to
    Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.

    VCDL web page: http://www.vcdl.org

    ---------- End of Forwarded message ----------



    Here are the comments I made at http://tinyurl.com/5juwn3:

    National Park rangers do a commendable job in protecting park property and
    the safety of employees and visitors over vast stretches of land.
    Nevertheless, because rangers cannot be everywhere at all times, serious
    criminal behavior (including murder and rape) still exists in parks and
    refuges just as it does elsewhere in society.

    According to National Park Service data, between 2002 and 2007, there were
    63 homicides in national parks, 240 rapes or attempted rapes, 309 robberies,
    37 kidnappings and 1,277 aggravated assaults.

    Laws and regulations which prevent law-abiding citizens from having the best
    means of self-protection -- a gun -- are immoral and unwise and have been
    proven to be ineffective in controlling criminal behavior. (Criminals by
    definition, do not obey the law.) The park service has deemed that national
    parks and refuges are so dangerous that its rangers are armed and even wear
    body armor. Law-abiding visitors and non-ranger employees are entitled to
    the same right of self-protection.

    Therefore, I am concerned that the wording of the new rule continues to be
    too restrictive. The rule must be amended as necessary to fully comply with
    the wording and intent of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.

    If the National Park Service does not choose to fully comply with the US
    Constitution, as amended, the wording of the proposed rule must at least be
    changed to also allow open carry, without or without a permit, if the host
    state allows for such carry in a state park or refuge area; to clarify and
    specify that the new rule includes buildings and other structures on that
    federal property if the host state allows for such carry in buildings and
    other structures; and to guarantee the right of open or concealed carry to
    park/refuge employees and contractors, in addition to rangers, if the host
    state allows for such carry in a state park or refuge area.

    I therefore recommend that the wording to the proposed rule for firearms in
    national parks be changed to:

    "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."

    Anything less is unsatisfactory and an insult to the integrity of
    law-abiding park visitors.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    VCDL's Gun Dealer Legal Defense Fund -- help fight Mayor Bloomberg's
    scheme to cripple Virginia firearms dealers. See:
    http://www.vcdl.org/index.html#DefenseFund
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    VCDL's meeting schedule: http://www.vcdl.org/meetings.html
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    [code]

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