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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please support the rule change to allow legal concealed carry in National Parks by submitting a comment on the proposed rule change.
All public comments are due by 30 June 2008.

Basically, this change makes it so that we can carry in National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges in a manner consistent with state laws, i.e. if the state in which the National Park or National Wildlife Refuge resides (or partly resides) allows concealed carry in equivalent state parks, this change would allow us to carry in the National Park or National Wildlife Refuge within that state.

To post your comments, go to:
PROPOSED RULES - General Regulations for Areas Administered by the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service
Then follow the directions in the "How To Comment" section.

This is very important to all of us. There are many areas in Utah where we are forced to be defenseless because we have so many National Parks. Let's change that!!!

So, simple or detailed, short or long, please comment on the proposed rule change. Numbers count on these things.

Here's my comment that I submitted:
Dear Sirs,

For many years now, the burdensome restrictions found within 36 CFR 2.4 and 50
CFR 27.42 have forced law-abiding citizens, who are allowed by their states to
carry loaded firearms for self-defense, to go defenseless when entering national
parks or wildlife refuges. Not only do the current regulations violate the 2nd
Amendment rights of Americans, they also establish large areas of land in which
criminals are emboldened by the knowledge that their potential victims are
forced to be defenseless.

Also, as a practical matter, speaking as a person who has lawfully carried a gun
for self-defense for several years, I can also state that the safest place for
my self-defense firearm is in its holster on my person -- not in the trunk of my
car where it is subject to being stolen by a criminal in a smash-and-grab type
of crime when I'm out of my vehicle.

Therefore, I am writing to support the proposed rule change (RIN:1024-AD70)
which will provide an exemption for those people who are authorized by their
states to carry a loaded firearm for self-defense.

The one issue of concern that I would like to raise about this proposed rule
change is this: Many states that allow the carrying of self-defense firearms do
not require that said firearms be kept concealed. I personally know many people
who carry their self-defense firearms concealed, but I know many others who
often carry their firearms openly. This is perfectly legal in many states
including mine. From the wording of the proposed rule change, I am concerned
that a person, who is authorized by the state to carry a self-defense firearm
openly or concealed, might inadvertently run afoul of Federal law enforcement
officers who might choose to interpret these rules to say that the firearms must
be concealed. Such an interpretation would violate the principle of Federalism
that was invoked in the introductory paragraph of this proposed rule change.

Therefore, I ask that the proposed rule change be modified to remove this
possible ambiguity, such that the rule is consistent with the laws of the states
in which the park or refuge is located.

Sincerest Regards,
J. L. Johnson
 

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Another great letter to use, and one that suggests improved language, is on opencarry.org here.

I submitted my comments a few weeks ago.

And while on the subject, there's another thread on OCDO about a a guy that was carjacked in the Grand Canyon. Just in case anyone wonders whether or not they "need" to carry in a National Park. Not that anyone here wonders about it :)
 

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Sent in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've spent the last couple of hours reading comments submitted by many people on the proposed rule change for carry in National Parks & Wildlife Refuges. It was very interesting.

I decided to start at the first comment submitted on 5/17/2008 (the day I submitted mine) and read all comments from that day. It turned out to take a long time because there were 168 comments submitted that day. It is interesting to note that in the small sample (from only one day) that I covered, only 10 comments were anti-gun and opposed the rule change. There were two comments that were total non-sequitors (see the first sample below) and the other 156 comments were pro-gun and pro-rule change, but some of those requested improvements, such as that suggested by the VCDL language.

I only saw two comments on that day from Utah. Mine and one from Riverdale, I think.
I didn't go beyond that day, so I haven't seen how many others since then were from Utah.
Please, everybody who hasn't done so yet, follow the directions at the top of this thread and submit your comment supporting the right to keep and bear arms in National Parks!

There were lots of comments from all over the country on that day, including supportive comments from people in states that I consider to be hostile to the 2nd Amendment, like New York and Illinois.

Some of the comments were very well-written, many just simple ones in support of the change. Some were a little hard to decipher, particularly many of the ten anti-gun comments. Those were mostly emotion-laden rants. Some comments were fairly amusing.

I just had to laugh at this non-sequitor posted by somebody from Munich, Germany... :lol: :dunno:
Dear madams and Sirs,

Flying is very boring anyway, without smoking is a nightmare. That is why I
don't fly, hope every airway "all the best".
best regards
Armand Sunhill
Then there's this one:
WHEN MONEY TALKS AND BUSINESS WANTS SOMETHING, IT DOESNT
SEEM TO MATTER WHAT STATUS A BIRD HAS. THEY WANT IT DEAD SO
THEY CAN MAKE MORE MONEY. THIS KIND OF STATEMENT BY ANYONE
SHOULD BE REGARDED AS MONEY TALKING, PURE AND SIMPLY MONEY
TALKING. IT IS NOT IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE PEOPLE OF THIS
NATION SINCE WE ARE ALL CONNECTED - ALL SPECIES ARE
INTERRELATED. SOME PEOPLE WILL KILL EVERY LIVING THING, EVEN
THEIR MOTHER, IF MONEY IS THERE. I THINK WE NEED TO SET A LIMIT
WHEN IT IS CLEARLY MONEY TALKING ABOUIT KILLING BIRDS OR
ANIMALS.
Say what!? :ROFL: :lolbang:
 

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I also submitted my comments. I really help this goes favorably.
 

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I just submitted my own comments. From the looks of things the preponderence of comments seem to be in favor of the change. Let's hope it happens.

Sorry, my bad. :oops:

What I meant to say is that it appears that many of the comments submitted support the notion which swillden has so eloquently stated.
 

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Everyone, please, please, please do NOT express your support for the change as proposed.

It does not fulfill the request of the legislators who asked for the revision, and it will create a complex and ambiguous regulation. No one knows exactly what "analogous lands" means, it's unclear what exactly "facilities" are (do you have to remove your gun before going into a restroom? What are you supposed to do with it while inside?), and of course it doesn't make sense to allow CC only.

If this proposed change passes as is, it is unlikely that there will be the political will to change it again, so we'll be stuck with the complex, limited and ambiguous proposed rule.

Instead, please encourage them to adopt the language used by the USDA to regulate firearms on National Forest land. It's clear, simple and does nothing more or less than to apply the law of the surrounding state -- which is exactly what the 51 Senators asked them to do.

For more information see this thread on OCDO.

The RIGHT rule to adopt would be something like:

A person may possess, carry, and transport loaded, and operable firearms or other weapons within a national park area in the same manner, and to the same extent, that a person may lawfully possess, carry, and transport loaded and operable firearms or other weapons in the state in which the federal park, or that portion thereof, is located, provided that such possession, carrying and transporting otherwise complies with applicable federal and state law.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
VCDL sent out an alert that urges people to submit comments on the proposed rule change, even if they've already done so, especially in view of the Heller decision by SCOTUS. The following is the suggested comment that VCDL is urging people to submit:
Pursuant to the US Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia vs.
Dick Heller, both the existing and proposed National Park Service &
National Wildlife Refuge weapons regulations are invalid,
unconstitutional and void. The Virginia Citizens Defense League and
over 4 dozen co-petitioning organizations advised the Parks service of
this as long ago as 2004. Since the holding in Heller is that their
total ban on handguns infringes the 2nd Amendment, DOI and NPS should
accept the VCDL petition language as follows and implement the
regulation IMMEDIATELY after the comment period closing.

Under existing legal doctrine, once a law is held unconstitutional, it
is stricken; in the case of the park service CFR 36, regulation 2.4,
it is almost exactly the same as the District of Columbia, and
therefore void. Further, the DOI proposed regulation with it's flawed
"analogous state lands" language and is thereby also in violation
since any state level bans on bearing arms in analogous state lands
would also be implicated under Heller. The Department of the Interior
is hereby instructed to IMMEDIATELY amend the current regulations
pursuant to the VCDL petition language, copied below and the decision
of the US Supreme court rendered in Heller. The Supreme Court held
that the 2nd Amendment is an individual right protecting the rights to
keep arms and bear arms which supersedes CFR 36 regulation 2.4.

I support the proposed change to permit loaded firearms / weapons in
National Parks and Wildlife refuges but comment that the proposed
regulation should be amended as follows:

"A person may possess, carry, and transport loaded, and operable
firearms or other weapons within a national park area in the same
manner, and to the same extent, that a person may lawfully possess,
carry, and transport loaded and operable firearms or other weapons in
the state in which the federal park, or that portion thereof, is
located, provided that such possession, carrying and transporting
otherwise complies with applicable federal and state law."

And for National Wildlife Refuges:

"A person may possess, carry, and transport loaded, and operable
firearms or other weapons within a national wildlife refuge area in
the same manner, and to the same extent, that a person may lawfully
possess, carry, and transport loaded and operable firearms or other
weapons in the state in which the federal wildlife refuge, or that
portion thereof, is located, provided that such possession, carrying
and transporting otherwise complies with applicable federal and state
law."
Please submit a comment. There is only a day and a half left in which to do it. Comments are due by 30 June 2008.
 

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Evidently anti-gun forces have convinced the Park Service to extend the comment period until 7/30/08.

Please submit your comment if you haven't done so.
 

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Take advantage of the extra time to argue against the proposed rule change, and in favor of adopting the rule used by the National Forest Service. It's simpler, time-tested, doesn't prohibit OC, doesn't make it illegal to carry your gun into a restroom or outhouse, doesn't create confusion about what state lands are "analogous" and actually accomplishes the goals set out by the US senators who requested the change.

If you've already sent in a comment supporting the proposed change, you might want to send another comment to change your position.
 

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Bear in mind that the regulation change is all but a done deal. This public comment period probably WONT change the decision to amend the rules as proposed. The comment period is almost purely pro forma. The best thing you can do as a pro-gunner is write in support the rule change as-is. Pick your battles. No offense swilden.
 

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Rugerlover said:
Bear in mind that the regulation change is all but a done deal. This public comment period probably WONT change the decision to amend the rules as proposed. The comment period is almost purely pro forma. The best thing you can do as a pro-gunner is write in support the rule change as-is. Pick your battles. No offense swilden.
The VCDL disagrees. I tend to trust their judgment on political matters.
 
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