Allowing firearm carry in National Parks and Forests
"Drug smugglers, armed robbers, and hard-partying or alienated city dwellers are setting up camp in the deep woods and clashing more with rangers, US Forest Service personnel say. What such incidents have in common is an urban grittiness, they say....Many incidents, he says, relate to drugs and problems along the US border. In the West, Mexican cartels have moved into central California to grow marijuana on public lands, especially in the Sierra and the Stanislaus National Forests, he says."
From the Seattle Times:
"Whether it's meth labs hidden amid lush forests or car prowls at trailheads, park rangers and forest officers are seeing an increasing amount of criminal behavior.
While neither the U.S. Forest Service nor the National Park Service keeps precise statistics about crime on federally protected lands, officers and rangers in Washington say that crime appears to be on the rise in the backcountry.
That fact was underscored by the July 11 slayings of a Seattle mother and daughter on a trail in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, killings that remain unsolved. "
But the Official Position remains:
"But a coalition of park rangers and park service retirees say the amendment could jeopardize public safety and make it more difficult to stop poaching.
"There is simply no legitimate or substantive reason for a thoughtful sportsman or gun owner to carry a loaded gun in a national park unless that park permits hunting," the groups said in a statement."