Friday, January 11, 2008

Doorknob, NO, no ready-to-use guns in national parks!

Unfortunately, nearly half the U.S. Senate feels otherwise. It’s bad enough to have kids with nonstop cellphone chatter in Yosemite, I don’t want a gun nut running around there.

Forty-seven lawmakers have signed a letter asking Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to lift Reagan-era restrictions that prevent citizens from carrying readily accessible firearms onto lands managed by the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Current regulations, developed in the early 1980s, "infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners who wish to transport and carry firearms on or across these lands," the senators wrote.

The policies also differ from those of some other federal agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service. "These inconsistencies in firearms regulations for public lands are confusing, burdensome and unnecessary," said the letter, drafted by Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho.

Thirty-nine Republicans and eight Democrats signed the letter, including both senators from 17 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. …

The current regulations, adopted in 1983 under then-Interior Secretary James Watt, say visitors to national parks must render their weapons inaccessible. Guns do not have to be disassembled, but they must be put somewhere that is not easily reached, such as in a car trunk, said Jerry Case, the National Park Service's chief of regulations and special park uses.

First, a national park is different than BLM or Forest Service land in many ways, you nimrods.

Second, there are MANY other places in this country you can’t take guns, where there is no “infringement of rights.”

Third, contra Crapo, it’s not any major inconvenience to hunters to put a gun in a trunk, or otherwise keep it from being readily accessible.

Fourth, James Watt signed off on the current policy!

Fifth, I’m disgusted that a single Democrat would sign this letter.