Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Parks brace for possible end of gun ban

  1. #1
    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Nortonville, KY, USA
    Posts
    4,291

    Post imported post

    http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/...=2009906160304

    Mammoth Cave National Park has long banned guns from its underground treasures, saying that keeps the public and employees safe.
    triggerAd(1,PaginationPage,10); "Once you get inside a cave tour, there are not a lot of exits — you can be two miles from an exit, and half a mile from a phone," said supervisory park ranger Brad McDougal.
    But legislation passed by Congress in April, and signed by President Barack Obama, is intended to open national park, as well as federal wildlife refuges, to people carrying loaded guns, making "it clear that the Second Amendment rights of an individual should not be infringed."
    It remains unclear, however, how far the new law will extend gun rights in national parks and federal wildlife refuges.
    At Mammoth Cave National Park, for example, it's not certain whether the new law means guns will be allowed inside the park's cave — known for its gypsum lined passages, narrow canyons, large rooms, and dripstone formations — or in the park's visitor center and staff offices, or whether they'll only be allowed in campgrounds, or on roads, trails and in the backcountry of the 82-square-mile natural and historical preserve 75 miles south of Louisville.
    That's because federal attorneys are still sorting through legal issues, including how the new law can work with an existing general ban on guns in federal facilities.
    At Mammoth Cave park, officials have deemed the cave, park offices and the visitor center to be a "federal facility," but not campgrounds and trails, McDougal said.
    So, "We are waiting for guidance from Washington" he said.
    Other National Park Service units in Kentucky are: Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, and Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. Indiana has three national park units, but none are near Louisville.
    Among the Indiana and Kentucky U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuges affected: Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge near Seymour, Ind., Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge near Oakland City, Ind., and Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge near Benton, Ky.

    Marc Webber, manager of Muscatatuck, said he, too, is waiting for directives.
    triggerAd(2,PaginationPage,10); The federal legislation — which came in the form of an amendment by U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, to a popular but unrelated "Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights" — looks to individual state gun laws for guidance on what will be allowed on the federal properties, McDougal said.
    He said Mammoth Cave park rangers are planning to discuss Kentucky state park gun rules with state officials before the federal government adopts new policies.
    Coburn said in a written statement that his amendment was intended to protect "every American's Second Amendment rights," as well as recognize the right of "every state to pass laws that apply to their entire state, including public lands.
    "If an American citizen has a right to carry a firearm in their state, it makes no sense to treat them like a criminal if they pass through a national park while in possession of a firearm."
    In Kentucky, people with permits can carry concealed guns in state parks, but others without permits also can carry them, even loaded, if they are not hidden, said Gil Lawson, spokesman for the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.
    In Indiana, state park visitors must keep their guns unloaded, stored in a case and kept in the their vehicle's trunk except during special deer hunting events, said Phil Bloom, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. People with permits to carry concealed firearms have been able to bring them into parks since 2006, he said.
    Interior Department spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff said new policies will be put in place in February. Until then, current rules, which allow guns but only if they are unloaded and put away, that date to the Reagan administration, remain in effect.
    Critics say allowing people to carry loaded weapons in national parks will only make the parks less safe and less of an attraction to people who may be trying to use parks to get away from urban violence.
    But even some Democrats in Congress who opposed the gun rights expansion to the credit card reform bill found themselves voting for it.

    One was Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, who would not discuss his vote, but issued a statement:
    triggerAd(3,PaginationPage,13); "The only alternative was to lose the entire Credit Card Bill of Rights and all of its provisions. I was not willing to do that."
    State Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville and House majority caucus chairman, said he supports guns in national parks.
    Damron said Kentucky has "had no problem whatsoever" with weapons in state parks. "Law abiding citizens should be able to carry firearms in any park," he said. "Criminals aren't going to ask for permission."
    In addition to concerns about criminals, he said some people may feel the need to protect themselves from wildlife.
    "If a mountain lion got after me, (a gun) would be nice to have," said Johnny Johnson, an avid bicyclist who frequently visits Mammoth Cave National Park. Though he said he doesn't feel unsafe in the park, he added, "but then, I'm a grown male."
    McDougal, however, said Mammoth officials are not aware of any mountain lions in the park and knows of ""no cat attacks on people in the park since it was established in 1941. The park has no bears, he added.
    Bryan Faehner, an associate director of the National Parks Conservation Association, a parks advocacy group, said he believes having people in national parks with loaded guns will only lead to accidental shootings of people and more poaching of wildlife.
    Faehner cited examples of incidences in California when visitors illegally shot guns in crowded campgrounds in misguided efforts to protect themselves against bears. While no individuals were hurt, he said, there are much more effective means to keep bears out of people's tents, including proper management of food.
    "We shouldn't be telling the public to lock and load going in," he said.
    Opposition to the new law has also come from seven National Park Service directors under Republican and well as Democratic administrations, dating to 1964.
    "Informing visitors as they enter a park that their guns must be unloaded and stowed away puts them on notice that they are entering a special place where wildlife are protected and the environment is respected for the visitor's enjoyment and the enjoyment of others," they wrote in a joint statement last year. "Failure to comply with this minimal requirement can be a signal to rangers that something is wrong."
    Reporter James Bruggers can be reached at (502) 582-4645.



  2. #2
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Free, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    3,855

    Post imported post

    Nothing "possible" about it. It becomes the law of the land next Feb.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Lexington KY, ,
    Posts
    306

    Post imported post

    How about Rep. Damron! :celebrateI wish people would get it CRIMINALS DO NOT OBEY GUN LAWS!!! Damn!!!!

  4. #4
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Hodgenville, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    1,261

    Post imported post

    There are PLENTY of exits in Mammoth Cave. People get sick in the middle of a tour or cannot continue....they get them out....no problems.

  5. #5
    Regular Member hotrod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Union, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    566

    Post imported post

    It isn't bears or big cats in a national park that bothers me. It's the 2 legged predator that I arm for. There has been numerous robberies reported in the Mammoth Cave National Park over the years.
    Speed is fine
    Accuracy is final

  6. #6
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    , Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    23

    Post imported post

    Why, the streets will run red with blood the first day this goes into effect! It'll be like the wild west! Don't you know?!?

  7. #7
    Regular Member hotrod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Union, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    566

    Post imported post

    Stophel wrote:
    Why, the streets will run red with blood the first day this goes into effect! It'll be like the wild west! Don't you know?!?
    I never thought about that! It will draw the wild animals in closer for an easier shot.
    Speed is fine
    Accuracy is final

  8. #8
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    , Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    23

    Post imported post

    This is the cry of the left any time some gun control regulation is lightened (which is rare), or when concealed carry is brought up, etc. "People will be killing each other left and right", "any little conflict will turn into a shootout"...blah, blah, blah. Of course, this NEVER actually happens, but that's the propaganda.

  9. #9
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Lexington KY, ,
    Posts
    306

    Post imported post

    One article I read on this a few weeks ago in the Herald Leader, the author wrote that now, "Guns have been given the same protection as wildlife." AndI thought NO, by the change in this law, PEOPLE have been given the RIGHT to self-protection. In FEB. when this law goes into effect, I'm going to go into the body bag business

    Seriously, it's just like many on here know, but no one else can see it: Criminals do not obey gun laws

  10. #10
    Regular Member Statesman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    949

    Post imported post

    "Informing visitors as they enter a park that their guns must be unloaded and stowed away puts them on notice that they are entering a special place where wildlife are protected and the environment is respected for the visitor's enjoyment and the enjoyment of others," they wrote in a joint statement last year. "Failure to comply with this minimal requirement can be a signal to rangers that something is wrong."
    Could someone explain this absolute nonsensical statement? What, oh dear, could be wrong with someone not wanting to unload their firearms, to protect themselves against a bear, big cat, or two legged park rapist with a wild look on his face?

    Are they really sincere in their concern, and ask why, or do they just pummel the citizen into the local jail cell?

  11. #11
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Louisville KY, ,
    Posts
    234

    Post imported post

    they are entering a special place where wildlife are protected
    Here's my favorite statement. Wildlife is protected, visitors aren't. Animals come first, remember?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •