During consideration of the fiscal year 2013 Energy and Water Development Related Agencies Appropriations bill this week, U.S. Representative Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.) offered an amendment to allow a law-abiding citizen to legally possess firearms on Army Corps of Engineers Water Resource Development lands. The amendment passed by a voice vote.
“NRA strongly supported this amendment as it takes a step closer toward ending the patchwork of firearm laws and regulations that govern federal lands managed by different federal agencies,” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox. “We would like to thank Congressman Nunnelee for his steadfast support in protecting gun owners’ ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights when they are on Army Corps owned or managed land.”
On May 12, 2009, bipartisan legislation overwhelmingly passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 247-149, and was later enacted into law, making it legal to possess firearms for self-defense on National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System lands. This greatly expanded the areas in which law-abiding Americans can legally carry firearms for self-defense. However, the language didn’t 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. Adding projects managed by the Army Corps of Engineers will not only allow law abiding citizens to protect themselves, but will relieve them from the onerous responsibility of tracking where one federal agency’s land management jurisdiction ends and another begins.