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Guns in parks?.... maybe soon!
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Jesse H.
(tacedeous) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
Guns in parks?.... maybe soon! on 05/19/2009 17:35:58 MDT Print View

well first off let me say i will be very happy if this passes:;_ylt=Au9bEtwAms5F5UpP6H5qbb5I2ocA

By MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press Writer Matthew Daly, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 38 mins ago

WASHINGTON – The Democratic-controlled Congress is moving to restore a Bush administration policy that allowed loaded guns in national parks.

The Senate voted Tuesday to allow guns in national parks and wildlife refuges, and the House could follow suit as soon as Wednesday.

The measure is included in a popular bill imposing new restrictions on credit card companies. Democratic leaders have said they hope to send a final version to the White House for the president's signature by week's end.

The Senate vote is a stark reversal from what many gun-control advocates expected when a federal judge blocked the Bush policy in March. The decision reinstated restrictions that had been in place since the Reagan administration. The rules severely restrict guns in the national parks, generally requiring them to be locked or stored.

The Obama administration accepted the March 19 ruling, saying that the Interior Department would review the policy over the next several months.

That timetable changed quickly last week after Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn inserted an amendment to the credit card bill that would allow concealed, loaded guns in parks and refuges.

To the surprise of many, the amendment easily passed, winning support from 67 senators — including 27 Democrats. Among those who voted "yes" was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who had blocked Coburn's amendment from coming to the Senate floor for more than a year. Seven other Western Democrats voted with Reid to support the Republican senator's amendment, which allows a range of firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges as long as they are allowed by federal, state and local law.

Spokesman Jim Manley said Reid is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, adding that the guns in parks issue was a major concern for many Nevadans.

"The rules that apply to our federal lands are felt acutely in Nevada, where 87 percent of the state's land is managed by federal agencies," Manley said.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which sued to block the Bush policy, called the Senate vote reckless. The group called on President Barack Obama to demand that the gun provision be stripped from the credit card bill.

"Families should not have to stare down loaded AK-47s on nature hikes," said Brady campaign president Paul Helmke. "The president should not remain silent while Congress inserts reckless gun policies that he strongly opposes into a bill that has nothing whatsoever to do with guns."

Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., chairman of a national parks subcommittee, said the measure would make parks more dangerous and urged House Democratic leaders to strip the amendment from the final bill.

Grijalva called the measure a "gotcha amendment" aimed at demonstrating the power of the National Rifle Association. Still, he acknowledged, it is likely to pass, given the pro-gun rights majorities in both the House and Senate.

"It's uphill. We know that," Grijalva said at a news conference Tuesday.

Democratic leaders said there was not enough time to send the bill to a House-Senate conference committee — where presumably it could be removed without a vote — and still get it to Obama by Memorial Day as he has requested.

Chris W. Cox, chief lobbyist for the NRA, called Grijalva's comments offbase.

"The National Rifle Association doesn't set the legislative calendar, and certainly doesn't determine which amendments are allowed to be offered or not offered in either the House or the Senate," he said.

Coburn said the gun measure protects every American's Second Amendment rights and also protects the rights of states to pass laws that apply to their entire state, including public lands.

"Visitors to national parks should have the right to defend themselves in accordance with the laws of their states," Coburn said.

House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters on Tuesday that the House could vote separately on the gun legislation. Doing so would allow each measure to pass, but Democrats who endorse credit card reform could still vote as they wished on the gun measure.

If the two measures are passed separately as expected, they would be rejoined before being sent to the president as a single bill, Hoyer said.

So what do you guys think, obviously im pro-gun... but I am a very responsible gun owner, there will be a good argument on both sides...

and a side note... what are some UL guns? :)

Joshua Gilbert
(joshcgil2) - F

Locale: Seattle
oh God. on 05/19/2009 18:08:09 MDT Print View

Please, please please let's not go here again,

I think I'm not alone in hating these pro/anti gun threads.

Michael Febbo
(febbom) - F
if it promotes wilderness support- for it on 05/19/2009 18:08:42 MDT Print View

I hoped I'd never be this guy- but in regards to ultralight firearms, try a search. That topic has been discussed at length.

My only issue with the provision is that it is a rider on a completely unrelated bill. However, if this issue is a real obstacle to wider support for increased wilderness designations, I'm for it. It was cited by opponents of the recent omnibus bill, though I suspect it was used more as a rhetorically advantageous political hot-button than a substantial criticism.

That said, if it passes I do hope that the NPS returns to the language of the 1966 regulations that made distinctions between "natural, historic and recreational" parks, with firearms being allowed in the last. After all, the perceived need for a gun in a remote wilderness area would seem to differ widely from those in Valley Forge. In fact, I see little problems with the 1966 rules:
Guns are allowed in recreational parks where state and local laws allow.

Jesse Taylor
(JTCreative) - F
I saw that too. on 05/19/2009 18:13:10 MDT Print View

I didn't read quite the same information as what you posted, but I do have to say that it's one of those places that was always a bit of a pain to deal with, especially if you are out in the backcountry of some of the larger parks.

I seriously doubt anyone is going to be carrying around an AK anywhere in most parks, but having a small pistol for personal protection isn't completely absurd. I go ultralight on all my gear, but there are places in the backcountry I do take a small arm with me, if only for the rare occasion where I might get lost or worse.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Guns in Parks on 05/19/2009 18:16:08 MDT Print View

Please! Please! Please not another Gun thread--Hiking season has just started peolpe lets worry about Mosquito protection instead. Deet or Natural Oils????????????

Art Sandt
(artsandt) - F
Re: Guns in parks?.... maybe soon! on 05/19/2009 18:17:09 MDT Print View

People who are paranoid enough to need to carry guns in national parks do so already. There's also huge tracts of national forests where guns are freely allowed and you don't hear about lots of gun accidents in those types of places. The bill won't change a thing.

Now let's all sit back and watch this thread go to 15+ pages of non hiking-related arguments.

Edited by artsandt on 05/19/2009 18:26:13 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Guns in Parks on 05/19/2009 18:18:47 MDT Print View

"lets worry about Mosquito protection instead."

That's what the guns are for, Jay.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: oh God. on 05/19/2009 18:40:40 MDT Print View

"I think I'm not alone in hating these pro/anti gun threads."

a) Why?

b) if so, don't participate.

It baffles me why some people are totally against discussing gun laws, especially on a UL hiking forum when the topic directly relates to guns in the wilderness. Am I right in thinking it's maily the Pro-gun folks who don't like to discuss it, or is it mostly just Americans, or what?

Joshua Gilbert
(joshcgil2) - F

Locale: Seattle
You asked. on 05/19/2009 18:59:58 MDT Print View


I work in an urban high school with a moderate level of gang presence. Last fall, a 14 year old student was gunned down on the steps of the building.

One of my student's cousins was shot in the head and killed at a party last year, and another cousin of his was shot 3 times later that year (he survived)

at a middle school I work at, one of my students was telling me that when he walks to the store he has to keep his head down because he hears gunfire so frequently.

This is in Seattle which is not a high crime city. When I hear people talk about their right to bear arms or even better when someone once posted "gun violence is really only a problem in some neighborhoods in the U.S." like that makes it okay, and hey we don't live there right? So when I hear these cavalier comments about needing a gun to protect yourself from what I have no frakking clue, or shooting people, even when it is meant as a joke, it makes me think of all these children who have ended their life at the end of a weapon that was way too easy to get.

So, it makes me angry, it makes me sad. I am not objective about guns, this is not abstract or academic for me, I think they should be about a hundred times more restricted than they are.

I want to respect gun owners opinions, so I usually don't chime in when these pointless circular arguments come up, but I can't stop looking at the threads, and I'm just tired of it. Nobody is changing anyone's mind. I just don't want to see it any more. That's just me. Go on with your discussion, I'm out.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: You asked. on 05/19/2009 19:12:41 MDT Print View

"pointless circular arguments come up"

This is what I don't understand. A readoned discussion seems entirely appropriate to me. An 'argument' does not.

The situations you mentioned sound intentional rather than accidental. The problem with gun control is that often those same people will get hold of guns through illegal means anyway, it's just the law-abiding citizens who end up without guns. I would like to see a discussion of how to change this. How to keep guns out of the hands of low-lifes??? It may be impossible, but it's really the only way to stop senseless gun murders. Banning them in national parks doesn't make sense to me, but I live in country where hunting gun laws are very liberal (including national parks), and most of the problems we have are with accidental hunting accidents rather than urban warfare.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
pointless on 05/19/2009 19:20:47 MDT Print View

Agree with previous posters. These discussions are pointless and become argumentative. They resolve nothing and no one changes their mind.

No offense intended to the original poster or other posters in this thread, but this subject has been discussed ad nauseam and all it does is stir up angst and ill-feeling between fellow BPL members.

Over and out. ;-)

Art Sandt
(artsandt) - F
Re: Re: oh God. on 05/19/2009 19:28:27 MDT Print View

"a) Why?"

I'd encourage you to do a forum search on the subjects of guns and guns in parks. I assure you that you will find more than one recent thread with 10+ pages of diatribe, talking in circles and non backpacking-related arguments about general gun regulation. I also assure you that nothing will be discussed in this thread that hasn't been discussed repetitiously, heatedly, and in a non-BACKPACKING-related way in those other threads already. These threads tend to rub a lot of people the wrong way, which I wouldn't be complaining about if they were productive, but they aren't.

We're not going to change any laws by bickering amongst ourselves on a message board. That's the bottom line. We're not going to change anything in the backpacking community either, with threads like this. The main participants are the ones with the strongest convictions about the subject and therefore the least likely to have their minds changed by a successful counter argument. While their posts get more and more heated over the course of the thread, the rest of us just want to talk about backpacking and wish that the relevant parties would just take this sort of thing to a different board.

Edited by artsandt on 05/19/2009 19:38:54 MDT.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Guns in parks?.... maybe soon! on 05/19/2009 19:40:54 MDT Print View

At least it's not a thread on global warming, or that carbon thing.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: oh God. on 05/19/2009 19:44:01 MDT Print View

I still don't understand why the topic is so contentious. Can we not at least agree that there are SOME people that should not carry a gun, ever? Would we not be better putting our energies into identifying these people and making sure thet THEY don't have access to guns? Or is it really in the too hard basket?

You can legislate all you want (or not), for or agaisnt gun control, but it's having the means and will to enforce the laws to stop violent criminally minded-people from having access. seems to me all the circular and argumentative posts are focusing on the wrong issues...

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Guns in parks?.... maybe soon! on 05/19/2009 19:47:54 MDT Print View

"The measure is included in a popular bill imposing new restrictions on credit card companies."

So what do guns in NPs have to do with credit card restrictions?

Forget the gun vs no gun debates. The U.S. legislative system is broken beyond repair. I don't own a gun, but maybe I shall buy one, since our government is falling apart faster than a speeding bullet. Or maybe I shall move to Australia, Roger sure makes it sound like a great place to live and hike.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Guns in parks?.... maybe soon on 05/19/2009 19:58:11 MDT Print View

"lets worry about Mosquito protection instead.

That's what the guns are for, Jay."

IMO, that arguement is valid only in Alaska

FYI - Oregon and Washington State both allow licensed concealed carry of firearms in their state local parks. California does not, so carrying in national parks in CA will be illegal.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Guns in parks?.... maybe soon! on 05/19/2009 20:02:09 MDT Print View

"Or maybe I shall move to Australia, Roger sure makes it sound like a great place to live and hike."


Might I suggest NZ instead. We have the fabulous Southern Alps, the Fiords etc...and NO snakes, venemous spiders, ticks, leaches, crocodiles, blue-ringed octopus, and stone fish...and we have lots of clean, fresh water and salmon and trout and mountains and mountains and mountains galore to explore ;)

Oh, and no handguns except for sport shooting. But a good old hunting rifle is no problem at all, and there's lots to hunt for.

Joshua Gilbert
(joshcgil2) - F

Locale: Seattle
seriously, after this, I'm out. on 05/19/2009 20:18:44 MDT Print View

The problem with gun control is that there isn't enough of it to actually control the flow of firearms into our urban communitites. I know there is crime in countries where gun laws are more restricted but the murder rates in the U.S. are ridiculous, especially when you start paring down the statistics so that you are focusing on communities of color. will removing access to guns be effective, well, only one way to find out.

I know this is offensive to some of you, and I apologize for that. Like I said before, I'm too close to this to be rational and level headed, so I mno recuse myself.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
new zealand on 05/19/2009 20:23:18 MDT Print View

been my #1 place i wish i could live for many years, but not wealthy enough or in a needed industry to get immigrant status

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Guns in parks?.... maybe soon! on 05/19/2009 20:23:44 MDT Print View

"I don't own a gun, but maybe I shall buy one, since our government is falling apart faster than a speeding bullet."

America will be fine Nick. Now whether or not it's the America you like , culturally speaking, is another story. But I'd wager America will only increase in global power over the coming decades.

This is a much more fun debate.