Wednesday, May 27, 2009

'New' Federal Law Allowing Guns in National Parks Simply Aligns State Laws With Federal Rules

David Kopel explains how the new federal law allowing guns in national parks merely makes the federal rules the same as the laws of the host states:

"So in Manhattan, where handgun carry permits are reserved for diamond merchants, the political-social-celebrity elite and a few other favored groups, there will not be a mass of people carrying guns at the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace, on 20th Street. (This result might have appalled Teddy Roosevelt, a N.R.A. member who as president carried his own revolver for protection.)

In Colorado, as in 39 other states, adults who pass a fingerprint-based background check, and a safety class, are issued permits to carry concealed handguns. So in Colorado state parks, people carry firearms lawfully for protection from mountain lions or bears, or, occasionally, human predators. Now, the same system will apply in national parks within Colorado. In Colorado, you don’t need a permit to keep a defensive handgun in your own automobile; the same will be true for people driving through national parks in Colorado.

Opponents of lawful carry always predict disaster, but the record of decades of state experience with licensed carry belies the professional hysterics. Moreover, gun carrying has always been allowed in national forests and on Bureau of Land Management property."

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