On February 22, a new law on guns in national parks takes effect. The law repeals a National Park Service rule that has long prohibited Americans from lawfully possessing firearms in national parks for self-defense.
The new law, passed last spring by an overwhelming bipartisan vote in the U.S. Senate, will allow people to possess, carry and transport firearms in national parks, in accordance with state law.
However, many details remain to be worked out. Reports indicate that National Park Service officials are debating issues such as the definition of “federal facilities,” where firearms will remain prohibited under a different federal law.
NPS officials are expected to issue further information as February 22 approaches, and some parks have already published information on their new policies. Because state laws vary greatly, before you visit a national park, you should check the park’s website or call the park headquarters for more information. NRA will also provide updates as they become available.