Re: Uniform parks carry law blocked by Democrat Dicks
Originally Posted by B_Skurka
It makes no sense to me that I can carry a gun in the state of Indiana, but I can't carry it in some of the parks that fall under national control within the state. There has been quite a bit of discussion about making the national lands follow the same laws as the state in which the national lands reside in, so that the carry laws would not be a patchwork set of laws within the boundaries of the various states. This makes a lot of sense to me. Further, incidents of rape/attempted rape and other human predator crimes are often higher in national parks than in the surrounding state lands; possibly because people are unable to defend themselves.
And while many members of both parties, as well as the President, it seems that one man, who is simply anti-gun, can grind this popular movement to a screeching halt. There have been increasing calls to change this ruling by private citizens, self-defense groups and by public officials. Park rangers and officials have opposed changes, but are also not responsible for providing protection in the parks.
Dicks says he'll block efforts to lift gun ban
Les Blumenthal; email@example.com
Published: March 2nd, 2008 08:12 PM
Dicks vows to block bid to lift ban on loaded weapons in national parks WASHINGTON – With a showdown looming, U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks says he’s prepared to block any effort by the administration to lift the current ban on carrying loaded weapons in national parks.
It’s not an idle threat.
As chairman of the House Appropriations interior subcommittee, Dicks oversees the National Parks Service’s annual budget and is in a position to prevent the administration from dropping the Reagan-era ban. While the Washington Democrat is usually reluctant to add legislative provisions to his spending bill, he is ready to make an exception in this case even if it prompts a presidential veto.
“Every now and then something rises up that needs to be fought and this is one of them,” Dicks said.The ban, and efforts by the National Rifle Association to lift it, has emerged as a major Second Amendment issue in this election year. Democrats say Republicans are using it as a “wedge” to exploit gun issues in an already heated political atmosphere. Republicans say they are just trying to protect the rights of gun owners.
The dispute already has interrupted consideration of a massive public lands bill in the Senate, which included the creation of the 100,000-acre Wild Sky Wilderness area north of Seattle.
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has said the ban is under review and a new regulation will be released April 30 that will update firearms policies in the national parks and wildlife refuges.
Current regulations ban loaded weapons in the federal parks and refuges. Unloaded weapons can be carried if they are locked in a safe place such as a car trunk.
Dicks said his counterpart in the Senate, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has told him she would use her position as chairman of the Senate Appropriations interior subcommittee to also block any changes in the current regulations.
“Permitting loaded firearms to be carried or used within our national parks or wildlife refuges would be a radical, unprecedented change that would likely upset the delicate balance that exists between wildlife and park visitors in these areas,” Dicks and Feinstein said in a letter to Kempthorne.
“More importantly,” the letter continued, “allowing loaded and accessible weapons in national parks would create a dangerous environment for millions of American families who annually visit our national parks expecting a safe and enjoyable experience – not loaded firearms and stray bullets.”Dicks was an early supporter of efforts to ban handguns and assault weapons, in part because of the violence that so long flared in the Hilltop area of Tacoma.
“Everyone knows when you have guns, bad things happen,” Dicks said in an interview.
Dicks called the effort to lift the ban on loaded weapons in the parks a mistake and vowed to “fight it all the way. If this ban was good enough for the Reagan administration and James Watt, why isn’t it good enough now?”
Watt was President Reagan’s controversial interior secretary when regulations involving guns in the parks were last revised. The ban actually dates to 1936 amid concerns of illegal hunting and poaching in the parks.
Washington state’s two senators also oppose any change in the current regulations.
“Park rangers and conservationists have pointed to the reasonable gun regulations in our national parks as a reason they are some of the safest places in America,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.
Murray was also upset the issue had interfered with passages of the Wild Sky Wilderness legislation, which was yanked from the floor when Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a longtime gun-rights advocate, said he would offer an amendment to the public lands bill lifting the ban.
“A bill creating new wilderness land for future generations shouldn’t be the grounds for ideological battles to be waged,” Murray said.
Democrat U.S. Rep. Adam Smith and Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert have yet to take a stand, though Reichert, a former King County sheriff, is talking with former park rangers.
A retired park rangers association and the National Parks Conservation Association adamantly oppose any change in the current regulations.
“It’s truly unfortunate the National Rifle Association has chosen this issue to flex its election-year political muscle,” said Tom Kiernan, president of the National Parks Conservation Association.
The NRA fired back.
“Law abiding citizens should not be prohibited from protecting themselves and their families while enjoying America’s national parks and wildlife refuges,” said Chris Cox, the NRA’s chief lobbyist. “Under this proposal, federal parks and wildlife refuges will mirror the state firearms laws for state parks. This is an important step in the right direction.”
It is clear that if this is the case, that Mr. "Dicks" is just that... the spokesman for a bunch of "Dicks".
These rules only stop the people that pay attention to the laws in the first place, not the criminal or poacher that they seem to be thinking that everyone is painted as by their view...
Life isn't measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away...