Glacier National Park, Montana. Definitely worth a visit! Photo from GC Webshots
The Dept. of the Interior (DOI) has issued a set of proposed regulations to harmonize firearms concealed carry rules for the National Park Service (NPS) and Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) with analogous state laws for firearms carry in state parks.
For anyone who visits, or plans to visit our National Parks, particularly our wonderful Western parks such as Glacier (photo above), Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, etc., this is an important regulation that will harmonize carry rules within the state(s) the park is located in. The rule is not perfect, e.g., the rule only applies to concealed carry, not open carry. Still, the idea that you currently can't legally carry a firearm in the vast backcountry of some of these parks is nonsensical. The proposed rule brings the NPS rules in line with those that apply in analogous state parks in the state(s) the National Park is located.
The proposed amendment to the existing NPS and FWS regulations is as follows:
Title 36--Parks, Forests, and Public PropertyThe public comment period on these proposed regulations ends this month. If you have not yet submitted a comment to DOI in support of the proposed rule, please consider doing so before the comment period ends (June 30th).
CHAPTER I--NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DOI
PART 2--RESOURCE PROTECTION, PUBLIC USE AND RECREATION
1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1, 3, 9a, 17j-2, 462.
2. Amend Sec. 2.4 by adding a new paragraph (h) to read as follows:
Sec. 2.4 Weapons, traps and nets.
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(h) A person may possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national park area in the same manner, and to the same extent, that a person may lawfully possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded and operable firearms in any state park, or any similar unit of state land, in the state in which the federal park, or that portion thereof, is located, provided that such possession, carrying and transporting otherwise complies with applicable federal and state law
Title 50--Wildlife and Fisheries
CHAPTER I--UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DOI
PART 27--PROHIBITED ACTS
1. The authority citation for part 27 continues to read as follows:
Authority: Sec. 2, 33 Stat. 614, as amended (16 U.S.C. 685); Sec. 5, 43 Stat. 651 (16 U.S.C. 725); Sec. 5, Stat. 449 (16 U.S.C. 690d); Sec. 10, 45 Stat. 1224 (16 U.S.C. 715i); Sec. 4, 48 Stat. 402, as amended (16 U.S.C. 664); Sec. 2, 48 Stat. 1270 (43 U.S.C. 315a); 49 Stat. 383 as amended; Sec. 4, 76 Stat. (16 U.S.C. 460k); Sec. 4, 80 Stat. 927 (16 U.S.C. 668dd) (5 U.S.C. 685, 752, 690d); 16 U.S.C. 715s).
Subpart D--Disturbing Violations: With Weapons
2. Amend Sec. 27.42 by adding a new paragraph (e) to read as follows:
Sec. 27.42 Firearms.
* * * * *
(e) Persons may possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national wildlife refuge in the same manner, and to the same extent, that a person may lawfully possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded and operable firearms in any state wildlife refuge, or any similar unit of state land, in the state in which the national wildlife refuge, or that portion thereof, is located, provided that such possession, carrying and transporting otherwise complies with applicable federal and state law.
Dated: April 25, 2008.
Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. E8-9606 Filed 4-29-08; 8:45 am]
Comments can be submitted online at the Regulations.gov website (search for docket number 1024-AD70), which will also allow you to view the entire text of the proposed rule. Or you can use this link: Submit Public Comment on NPS/FWS Proposed Rule, which will take you directly to the comment submission page. Note that your comment, along with any personally identifying information such as name, address, or email, etc. may be publicly viewable (that's why they call it a "public comment"!) Thus, be aware of the personal info you submit. Fortunately, all of the personally identifiable information fields are optional, and only the actual comment text is required.
Note that while comments that say "I support the proposed rule" are good, comments that include logical reasons for why the rule should be issued are better. To this end, David Hardy has some thoughts and suggestions for doing just that here.