BELLEVUE, WA â€“ Todayâ€™s announcement that the Interior Department has amended its rules and will henceforth allow licensed concealed carry in national parks was hailed as a victory for the Second Amendment by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
â€œNo longer will American citizens be required to leave their right of self-defense at the gates of a national park,â€ said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. â€œThis common-sense change in regulations reflects not only changes in the laws of 48 states, but more importantly the Supreme Courtâ€™s ruling in June that upheld the individual right to keep and bear arms that is protected by the Second Amendment.â€
Under the rule change, individuals may carry concealed handguns in national parks and wildlife refuges only if they are licensed to carry under the laws of the state in which the park or refuge is located. This new rule does not allow the illegal carrying of any firearm, nor will it allow hunting, target practice or poaching.
â€œWe are delighted that the Interior Department has taken this step,â€ Gottlieb stated. â€œThis was never an issue of opening parks to hunting or recreational shooting, and the extremist opponents of this measure know it. This has always been about personal protection in areas where law enforcement may be hours away, or not available at all, in an emergency.
â€œAs with the adoption of concealed carry laws in dozens of states over the past several years,â€ he added, â€œwe are confident that passage of time will prove that all the alarmist rhetoric about poaching and increase danger to families and especially children was deliberately misleading.
â€œWith the nation facing drastic budget cuts,â€ Gottlieb said, â€œthis rule change comes at the right moment. It recognizes the inability of park officials to provide adequate law enforcement services, particularly in the back country. We are confident that passage of time will prove that this rule change, like the adoption of sensible concealed carry laws in dozens of states over the past 20 years, improves public safety and deters criminal behavior.â€