Guns In Nat'l Parks: Not So Fast

Groups file suit to prevent rule change allowing loaded guns in national parks

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

This week should’ve been a day of celebration for Second Amendment fans: The Bush administration’s ruling to allow loaded guns in national parks was scheduled to take effect on Friday. Now that rule change is under threat, as The National Parks Conservation Association and the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees filed suit this week in Washington, D.C. in an effort to block the regulation change.

In the suit, both groups claimed the Department of the Interior “adopted the gun rule with unwarranted haste, without following procedures required by law and without the consideration of its consequences that they are required to observe under law… The new regulation is an affront to the National Parks’ missions and purposes and a threat to the National Parks’ resources and values, which must be held unlawful and set aside.”

National Parks Conservation Association President Tom Kiernan added, “In a rush to judgment, as a result of political pressure, the outgoing Administration failed to comply with the law, and did not offer adequate reasons for doing so.”

The NRA-backed rule enjoyed plenty of controversy: During the public comment period, 73 percent of the 140,000 respondents opposed the rule change. A recent survey of BACKPACKER readers in June chimed in with similar results: 74 percent opposed allowing guns in national parks.

Do you still think guns shouldn’t be allowed in national parks? Let us know in the comments section below.

—Ted Alvarez

Lawsuit filed to keep guns out of national parks (Cleveland Plain Dealer)