Firearms In National Parks Delayed Until February 2010 On Technicality–Updated 2-13-10

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Granted it may seem rather odd to tack an amendment to allow citizens to carry a concealed firearm into national parks, as long as they were already permitted by state law, onto a credit card reform bill but truth be told this type of legislative maneuver goes on all the time.

It is interesting that this bill became famous not for it’s core purpose, which was to supposedly rein the credit card issuers in a bit and prevent them from screwing cash strapped consumers who find themselves having difficulty paying their bills, but for the small amendment added by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK. The amendment simply stated that people who could otherwise legally carry a concealed weapon according to their local and state laws should be able to do the same within our federal national parks.

The Obama administration didn’t seem to put up much of a public fuss against the amendment and it received broad support in both houses of Congress.

Now we know why we didn’t hear much about the issue from the White House after Obama signed the bill, with a bit of phony pomp and circumstance, into law today.

Nothing in the bill takes effect until next February and the Interior Department was amazingly well prepared to quickly declare that since the credit card reforms will not kick into gear for another nine months neither will Coburn’s national park firearm amendment.

This type of nonsense is precisely why the average size of a bill coming out of Congress has increased from 35 pages in the late ’70s to nearly 700 pages today. Everything must be spelled out to a ‘T’ and if it isn’t some pinhead will find the loophole and exploit it.

Coburn will be looking to attach his amendment to other bills in the pipeline in an effort to get it implemented more quickly rather than waiting until February 2010 when we may not be able to recognize this country any more.

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Not so fast, gun owners. A new law allowing loaded guns in national parks and wildlife refuges will not take effect until next year, the Obama administration said Friday.

President Barack Obama signed the gun law without comment Friday as part of a measure creating new rules for the credit card industry.

A spokeswoman for the Interior Department said that because the credit card law won’t take effect until nine months after it is signed, the gun measure also will be delayed.

Spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff said the Interior Department will follow Congress’s directive and put the new firearms law into effect in late February 2010.

Until then, rules adopted under the Reagan administration will remain in place. The rules severely restrict guns in the national parks, generally requiring that guns be locked or stored in a glove compartment or trunk.

“As Interior prepares to implement the new law, the department will work to understand and interpret its implications for our national parks and wildlife refuges, with public safety and the safety of our employees as our foremost consideration,” Barkoff said. “For the time being, the current Reagan administration regulations governing possession of firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges remain in place.”

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Update: 2-13-10

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.

Source: NRA-ILA

This entry was posted in 2nd Amendment.

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