Park & FWS proposed rules for firearm carry
Here, in pdf. The Admin Procedure Act specifies that an agency must propose a rule, allow a reasonable time for comment, and then publish a final rulemaking, in the process doing a reasonable of replying to comments.
Basically, carrying is now forbidden in most National Parks and at least restricted on wildlife refuges. Under this rule, a person could carry concealed (only), if he or she had a CCW permit, and state law permits carrying in state parks or wildlife refuge-like areas.
Hat tip to reader Eric...
UPDATE: here's a press release in opposition. Sounds as if they didn't read the proposed rule. E.g., they complain that people might carry in visitor centers, when the proposed rule excludes Park facilities. One of the entities signing onto the release, the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, states that it has "nearly 650 members," the others give no figures.
Maybe this is a compromise on their part. You see, for serious hikers, backpackers, and climbers, carrying concealed would be pretty much the same as not being allowed to carry at all. I guess I could simply drape a handkerchief over the gun to conceal it, but normal concealed methods are difficult or impossible.
I carry openly in the National Forests without any problem, but somehow if I cross an invisible boundary line I’m suddenly breaking the law.
Posted by: Mainsail (Chris) at April 30, 2008 10:00 AM
I drafted a letter pertaining to this issue, and sent it to the USFWS, as well as my state Senators:
Public Comments Processing
Division of Policy and Directives Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222
Arlington, VA 22203
30 April 2008
I support proposed rule (RIN 1024-AD70) on the grounds of both law and policy.
Regarding the law, states have long reserved the power to regulate their affairs, so long as they do not infringe basic constitutional rights of the people. State-issued concealed weapon laws are prevalent (48 states with some form of this law) and successful (no state has repealed such law). The Second Amendment to the US constitution guarantees that the right to keep, and to bear, arms shall not be infringed. Yet because the amendment has not yet been incorporated against state or local governments, it has generally been the prerogative of the states to regulate firearms and their use. The proposed rule is consistent with this history, and frees states to govern firearm use on federal land within the borders of that state. In other words, good law is consistent law, and the proposed rule, if adopted, would increase intra-state consistency regarding carry regulations.
Regarding policy, state concealed carry laws have been heavily scrutinized. In the majority of states for which data is available, concealed carry has been credited with reducing crime, particularly violent crime rates. In the remaining states, it has been found to have had no statistically significant effect. Within no state have these laws been shown to increase crime. Thus, and generally, concealed carry is good policy that promotes the public safety and well-being.
Perhaps the most vocal opponents of this proposed rule express concern that the crime of wildlife poaching might be increased, should it become lawful for licensed, trained, and permitted adults to carry concealed firearms. I feel this argument has little merit (if any). Nationwide, approximately 3% of the adult population undergoes the criminal background checks, the training, the licensing, and the fee payment, etc., just to exercise their right to bear arms and to defend themselves and their loved ones from harm. The citizens receiving these licenses are the most law-abiding among us the rate of license revocation among these people is measured in the hundredths of a single percentage point. Moreover, poachers dont kill wildlife with short-barreled concealed handguns, and its exactly concealable handguns that are targeted by the proposed rule. The very people that are the most law-abiding in our society the concealed carry license holders have demonstrated that they abide the law. They certainly wont be violating wildlife laws.
On the basis of law and sound public policy, I support the adoption of rule RIN 1024-AD70.
Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Senator Barack Obama (D-IL)
Representative X (D-IL)
Posted by: Carl in Chicago at May 1, 2008 09:39 AM
Carl in Chicago:
Nice letter, but considering your senators, I think you've taken on a fools errand trying to convince them.
Posted by: david at May 3, 2008 09:01 AM