Michael Cipra from the National Parks Conservation Association’s Desert Field office in Joshua Tree talks about the danger to rangers, wildlife, and the public with the introduction of firearms into National Parks after a long-standing prohibition on loaded weapons, first made law in the 1930s and upheld by President Reagan in 1981, was curiously repealed.
An 11th hour amendment added to the 2009 Credit Card Reform Act to allow loaded firearms in National Parks and other National Park Service lands has passed Congress, and the entire legislative package, complete with the guns-in-National-Parks provision, has regrettably been signed into law by President Obama.
We at Treehuggers International are exceedingly disappointed in Congress’ unwillingness to have a public debate on the matter of firearms in National Parks, and at President Obama for signing the package into law in what appears to be an act of pure political concession.
While hunting is appropriately allowed in some National Parks and wildlife refuges, we at Treehuggers International, along with citizens’ groups, conversation organizations, and retired park rangers, can’t think of a more reckless move than to allow loaded weapons in National Parks in all seasons, especially in areas where conservation is the guiding principle, not an afterthought.
More about this post at:
- National Parks Conservation Association
- Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, statement on guns in National Parks
- National Parks Gun Law Takes effect In February (Washington Post; 5/22/09)
- Shotguns, AK-47s, and Your National Parks (NPR; 5/22/09)
- National Parks Bracing for Armed Visitors (New Jersey on-line; 5/21/09)
- Guns In National Parks A Deadly Decision (Opposing Views; 5/21/09)
- Fine Print In Credit Card Bill: Concealed Weapons At National Parks (Los Angeles Times; 5/20/09)
- Ranger, Conservation Groups Oppose Guns In National Parks (The Oregonian; 5/14/09)
California’s State Parks are the envy of the nation, but they are facing grim times as Governor Schwarzenegger intends to close, padlock, and mothball 80% of state parks by the end of the summer.