After nearly five years of effort by NRA-ILA, the U.S. Department of the Interior has finally responded to the many requests for a change in its policy on carrying and transporting firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges. In a letter hand-delivered today to the U.S. Senators who wrote him asking for this policy change, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has directed Lyle Laverty, Assistant Secretary for Fish, Game and Parks, to “develop and propose for public comment by April 30, Federal regulations that will update firearms policies on these lands to reflect existing Federal laws (such as those prohibiting weapons in Federal buildings) and the laws by which the host States govern transporting and carrying of firearms on their analogous public lands.”
“This announcement represents an important and overdue change to now-outdated federal regulations imposed 25 years ago. Once this new federal regulation is proposed, published for public comment and then finalized, law-abiding citizens will have their right to self-defense restored and be able to legally carry and transport firearms through national parks and wildlife refuges for a variety of lawful purposes -- just like in national forests and BLM lands,” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.
The move for regulatory change by the Administration will restore the rights of law-abiding gun owners who wish to transport and carry firearms for lawful purposes in most national park lands and wildlife refuges and will make the laws consistent with state law where these lands are located. Fifty-one U.S. Senators from both parties sent a letter to the Department of Interior late last year supporting the move to make state firearm laws applicable to national park lands and wildlife refuges. (Click here to read the letters: Letter 1, Letter 2)
“These changes will respect the Second Amendment rights of honest citizens, and we look forward to the issuance of a final rule this year,” concluded Cox.
To read the NRA Press Release on this development, please click here.
For more information about this issue and the efforts behind it, please visit: www.nraila.org/Legislation/Read.aspx?ID=3529.
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne Testifies Before the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee and Responds to Questions from Congress Regarding National Park Service Rules that Prohibit Law-Abiding Citizens from Carrying/Possessing Firearms for Self-Defense in National Parks