|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||April 17, 2008|
|Contact:||Bryan Faehner, National Parks Conservation Association, 202.419.3700|
Supreme Court Decision On Heller Case May Impact Firearms Safety Regs in Our National Parks
Letter to Interior Secretary Asks That Any New Regulations On Guns in Parks Be Postponed Until After Supreme Court Ruling
Washington, D.C. – Another shot has been fired in the battle to prevent loaded guns in national parks that don’t allow hunting. In a letter sent to Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, a coalition of groups has asked that the Department of the Interior postpone issuing its proposed new regulations until the United States Supreme Court has rendered its opinion in the pending case of whether the District of Columbia’s gun code violates Second Amendment rights.
Under intense political pressure orchestrated by the National Rifle Association, the Bush Administration has decided to re-open firearms safety and anti-poaching regulations in the national parks, which were last updated during the Reagan Administration, for public comment on April 30. The current regulations allow for guns in the parks as long as they are unloaded and properly stowed.
The National Parks Conservation Association, the Association of National Park Rangers, the Ranger Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, and the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees stated in the letter that the Supreme Court case, not likely to be decided until late June, affords the first opportunity in 70 years to interpret the scope of the Second Amendment and that it could have profound affects on gun laws across the country and therefore could affect regulations in national parks.
As a result, the groups “are concerned that the issuance of a proposed firearms rule and comment period beginning on April 30 is premature . . .” and they “request in the strongest possible terms that the Department of the Interior delay issuing a proposed new rule regarding Park Service firearm regulations until it is able to fully take into consideration the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia vs. Heller.”
A copy of the letter can be viewed here.
Since 1919, the nonpartisan NPCA has been the leading voice of the American people in protecting and enhancing our National Park System. NPCA, its 340,000 members, and many partners work together to protect the park system and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for generations to come.