I am writing in support of the proposed rule regarding right to carry in National Parks. We have a right to keep and bear arms enshrined in the Constitution. Currently this right is completely abrogated in National Parks. We variously have rights under state constitutions to keep and bear arms for self defense and for the common defense. That right is being completely abrogated by the federal government in National Parks. As a resident of Washington state and under agreements negotiated between the states, I have the right to carry a concealed pistol with a permit in twenty eight states and I have the right to openly carry a firearm in many of those states. Both those rights currently stop at the border to every National Park. It is time that the Federal Government stopped interfering in the rights of citizens to defend themselves. It is long past due for the regulations that have been proposed to allow law abiding Americans to carry under the same rules that they carry in their home states while they are in a National Park that is a part of that state.
Opponents will claim that crime will rise if this rule passes. This is contradicted by all the evidence. A majority of states allow their citizens to carry firearms and in every single one of those states crime rates have dropped. Criminals are, to a certain extent, rational beings. They recognize the danger to themselves that armed, law abiding citizens present and they choose not to attack when there is a high probability of an armed response. Just like criminals don't generally attack police stations or military bases, they don't attack armed citizens.
Opponents will claim that violence will increase as simple arguments escalate to shootouts. This is also contradicted by the evidence. Holders of concealed carry permits are more law abiding than average citizens, not less. In fact numerous studies have shown that Americans successfully use firearms to prevent crime over one million times per year, mostly without ever firing their gun.
These commonsense regulations will actually reduce the potential for crime in National Parks as criminals realize that it has now become dangerous to attack and rob people in the parks. Over the past decades criminals have been secure in the knowledge that an armed response was hours away. Now they do not have that security and we will all be safer for it.
Please pass these regulations immediately so that we, the people, can be secure in our possessions and have the right to self defense restored to us.
Thanks for taking the time to read my comments.