The Gun Lobby Targets Yellowstone

MJMANDALAY

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Jan 26, 2005
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December 28, 2007


For more than 20 years, people have been prohibited from openly carrying firearms in most of America's national parks. Rangers argue that the rule cuts down on the potential hazards to wildlife as well as to visitors in the congested parks. But now, 47 Senators have signed on to a letter to the Interior Department requesting an end to the ban on firearms. Initiated by Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, the letters other signatories include Montana's two Democratic Senators — Max Baucus, who is up for re-election, and Jon Tester — as well as the entire delegations of Wyoming and Idaho.

Technically, you can drive through a national park with a firearm, as long as it's not loaded and not readily accessible in order to prevent poaching and accidental shootings. But now the Senators want the law loosened to allow Winchester-toting, pistol-packin' visitors to enjoy the national park, without feeling as if they were somehow engaging in an illegal act. The change in the regulations would most immediately benefit pro gun-rights constituents who live near Yellowstone, Glacier and Grand Teton national parks, allowing them not only to bring in their weapons but display them as openly as they would outside the parks. Currently, the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, where the parks are located, have no restrictive gun laws. They also have a preponderance of voters favoring liberalized gun-possession laws.

The rationale for requesting the change? "These regulations infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners, who wish to transport and carry firearms on or across these lands," the letter said, pointing out that the laws discriminate even against citizens with valid concealed weapons permits. It asked that the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service allow transporting and carrying of firearms on their lands in accordance with the laws of the host state. "These inconsistencies in firearms regulations for public lands are confusing, burdensome and unnecessary," the letter said. It added that such a change of rules for parks and nature refuges "would respect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners, while providing a consistent application of state weapon laws across all land ownership boundaries."

In a message to its members this week, the National Rifle Association said, "The NRA initiated and worked closely with Senator Crapo on this letter and appreciates his bipartisan effort.... We have been working for nearly five years to change this policy and applaud the strong Senate support for this policy change expressed in this letter." Among the other Senators whose signatures appear on the letter: Republicans Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, John McCain of Arizona and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; and Democrats Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

Senator Baucus's spokesman Barrett Kaiser said there's "no reason that law-abiding citizens shouldn't be allowed to carry a firearm on our public lands.... Max thinks it's a matter of Second Amendment rights, and it's also the right thing to do for people who simply want to cross through our parks to access prime hunting areas," he said.

"The Second Amendment is not an issue in Yellowstone National Park," says Deputy Chief Ranger Tim Reid. "You can legally possess an unloaded firearm," stored in the vehicle. He says Yellowstone has about 30 firearms cases a year already, including wildlife poaching, but noted that crime relative to numbers of visitors is a fraction of the national average. In 2006, out of 2.8 million visitors, 260 people were arrested in Yellowstone on a variety of charges. "The way the regulation works now seems effective from our point of view," says Rick Obernesser, Yellowstone's chief law enforcment ranger. Added Special Agent in Charge Brian Smith: "That's an expectation when you come into most parks — that guns aren't loaded and in the racks." The rangers declined to comment on how their jobs could change if guns are allowed, except to say, according to Obernesser, "If it's changed, we will make that one work."

Laura Loomis, senior director of government affairs for the National Parks Conservation Association, said it supports the current regulations and opposes change, saying her organization "believes that changing this regulation would further strain underfunded and understaffed Park Service rangers, and cause increased intentional and unintentional visitor injury. It may also lead to increased incidences of poaching of park wildlife." Says Loomis: "There is no reason for a thoughtful sportsman to carry a loaded gun unless in a park area that permits hunting."


http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1697984,00.html
 
Jul 13, 2006
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Arkansas
#3
Says Loomis: "There is no reason for a thoughtful sportsman to carry a loaded gun unless in a park area that permits hunting."
No reason? I can think of two reasons off of the bat; Grizzly bears and Mountain Lions.

Dumb cunt. It's an issue of our right to own and bear arms and we should be able to do whatever in the fuck we want to on Federal land.
 

Ballbuster1

In The Danger Zone...
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Aug 26, 2002
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#4
People should be able to carry loaded guns everywhere.
I still believe that crime would drop if people were armed.
Thugs prey on the weak and unarmed.
 

Hudson

Supreme Champion!!!!!
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Jan 14, 2002
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#6
Crime here is pretty low in the fact that most people have guns..well that and a lack of people
 

Sinn Fein

Infidel and White Interloper
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Aug 29, 2002
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#7
People should be able to carry loaded guns everywhere.
I still believe that crime would drop if people were armed.
Thugs prey on the weak and unarmed.
Exactly. Imagine all the crime that would be stopped if Joe Citizen could draw down on the scum who try prey on the law-abiding folk.
 

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
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#8
Every time I've camped in the Park I had a loaded gun very handy and very accessible. I just didn't mention it to anybody. If they made it legal, I would still have one and still wouldn't tell anybody.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
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#10
No reason? I can think of two reasons off of the bat; Grizzly bears and Mountain Lions.

Dumb cunt. It's an issue of our right to own and bear arms and we should be able to do whatever in the fuck we want to on Federal land.
dont forget the two legged animals that inhabit the parks, some of the strangest people ive ever met were in "parks" quite frankly i carried the entire time i was in yellowstone, the bears and lions were secondary to the strange people that i met while there. fuck the feds, i would rather be judged buy 12 than carried buy 6
 
Jul 13, 2006
12,836
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Arkansas
#11
Every time I've camped in the Park I had a loaded gun very handy and very accessible. I just didn't mention it to anybody. If they made it legal, I would still have one and still wouldn't tell anybody.
I still carry in parks. I don't give a fuck what they say. They can just give me a fucking ticket.

I also carry a loaded pistol on the waterways when I'm out fishing or kayaking.
 

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
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#12
Better to have one and not need it than need one and not have it. Ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaa.
 

Ego

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Feb 15, 2005
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#13
I don't see a problem with transporting a loaded weapon through a park in order to get to the hunting grounds within said park. If you're just camping there though, and in possession of a weapon, it might be better if they require you to at least have some rubber or plastic bullets in your possession. That way, you're at least given the option of scaring an animal away instead of killing it.
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
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#14
If you're just camping there though, and in possession of a weapon, it might be better if they require you to at least have some rubber or plastic bullets in your possession. That way, you're at least given the option of scaring an animal away instead of killing it.
IF, I'm justified in pulling a weapon I want what I shoot at DEAD.

Screw you and your rubber bullets. :action-sm
 

TrybalRage

Registered User
Aug 5, 2004
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#15
I don't see a problem with transporting a loaded weapon through a park in order to get to the hunting grounds within said park. If you're just camping there though, and in possession of a weapon, it might be better if they require you to at least have some rubber or plastic bullets in your possession. That way, you're at least given the option of scaring an animal away instead of killing it.
Rubber or plastic?

So like when those occasional mountain bikers get taken out by mountain lion out west, they should shoot plastic at it?

No thanks.

If an animal is close enough to eat me, I don't give a fuck how endangered it is.
 

HummerTuesdays

Another girrrrl!!!
Apr 24, 2005
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#16
I could see the poachers using the "It's heading right for us" excuse. That's the only reason I wouldn't want to see the rule changed.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
43,681
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#17
I could see the poachers using the "It's heading right for us" excuse. That's the only reason I wouldn't want to see the rule changed.
the "problem" with poachers is that they are armed, and im not. poaching is a minor problem compared to the two legged savages that are in some of the parks. this is more of a constitutional issue than a hunting issue
 

Mommadeez4u

Bastard coated bastard w/ bastard filling
Mar 26, 2005
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#18
If guns aren't necessary, I guess we can stop paying for all the firearms Park Rangers have.

Right?