Where to comment on allowing CCW holders to carry in national parks
Here's the comment website. I'd cut and paste the Docket ID, FWS-R9-NSR-2008-0062, into the message just to make sure it gets to the right place. You can read the proposed rule as a pdf off the comment page, too.
The admin rules are essentially: if the agency wants to change a rule, they must publish a proposed rule with explanation. The public must be given a reasonable time (30-60 days is customary) to comment on it. Then the agency publishes the final rule, together with a response to significant comments. So it's not just a letter to the editor: although numbers don't hurt, logical reasons affect the process better than simple statements of support. I'd suggest emphasizing how law-abiding CCW licenesees are (preferrably with links to sites with hard numbers), and responding to claims it'd lead to risk of poaching.
UPDATE: reader Carl in Chicago provides his comment, pasted into extended remarks, below.
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 State-issued concealed weapon laws are prevalent (48 states with some form of this law) and successful (no state has repealed such law).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.