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H.R. 1865, THE RECREATIONAL LANDS SELF-DEFENSE ACT

Friday, May 27, 2011

Urge your Member of Congress to Cosponsor this Important Legislation—As we previously reported, on May 12, Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) and Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.) introduced H.R. 1865, the Recreational Lands Self-Defense Act, which is designed to protect the rights of gun owners on lands owned or managed by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Legislation that made it legal to possess firearms for self-defense on National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System lands greatly expanded the places where law-abiding Americans can legally carry firearms for self-defense.  However, that change in the law did not include millions of acres of recreational land managed by the Army Corps of Engineers.  The Corps owns or manages over 11.7 million acres, including 400 lakes and river projects, 90,000 campsites and 4,000 miles of trails.

After passage of the change in carry regulations for National Parks, the Army Corps released a statement that read: "Public Law 111-024 does not apply to Corps projects of facilities . . . It [the Army Corps] will continue to prohibit loaded concealed weapons on Corps properties regardless of the new law and notwithstanding any contrary provisions of state law."

H.R. 1865 will reverse this Army Corps policy and prohibit the Secretary of the Army from enforcing any regulation that prohibits gun possession in compliance with state law on Corps projects and lands.  The legislation would not, however, allow firearms in federal facilities such as Army Corps headquarters, Corps research facilities or lock and dam buildings.

This important legislation is another step in the removal of a patchwork of laws that prohibit or restrict where law-abiding people may legally carry a firearm for self-defense.

"According to some estimates, the federal government owns 30 percent of all land across this country," said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.  "This bill will take us one step closer toward having a consistent firearms policy across all federal lands.  The members of the NRA along with tens of millions of other gun owners would like to thank Congressmen Gibbs and Altmire for their leadership in seeking a common-sense bipartisan remedy to this problem."

Pease click here to see a list of cosponsorsPlease click here to contact your Member of congress and thank him or her if they have signed on this important bill.  Or, if he or she is not yet a cosponsor, urge you Representative to sign on in support of H.R. 1865.

To read a letter of support for H.R. 1865 from NRA-ILA Director of Federal Affairs, James J. Baker, to Reps. Gibbs and Altmire, please click here.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.