Department Of The Interior Declines To Appeal Parks Ruling

Posted on April 24, 2009

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Not surprisingly, last week the Interior Department said that it would not appeal a recent court ruling preventing law-abiding citizens from defending themselves in national parks and wildlife refuges.  Instead, their plan is to move forward with an environmental impact statement to determine the effects of firearms in parks. 

As we previously reported, on Thursday, March 19, Federal District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued a preliminary injunction against the Department of the Interior rule that took effect on January 9, 2009.  The revised rule allowed individuals to carry concealed firearms for self-defense in national parks and national wildlife refuges located in states that allow the carrying of concealed firearms.  It also maintained uniformity within each state, making it easier for law-abiding permit holders to follow the laws. 

The Brady Campaign and the National Parks and Conservation Association (NPCA) filed suit against the Interior Department rule.  However, Judge Kollar-Kotelly granted NRA "intervenor" status, allowing participation in the case independently from the Department of the Interior, and, last month, NRA filed a notice of appeal in Federal District Court to oppose the preliminary injunction. 

On Thursday, April 2, pro-freedom U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Bob Bennett (R-Utah), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) introduced legislation (S.816) to restore the Second Amendment rights of visitors in national parks and wildlife refuges (its companion bill, H.R. 1684 was introduced the previous week by Congressman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.)). 

The NRA has been working for the past several years in the regulatory, legal, and legislative arenas to achieve the policy change allowing law-abiding citizens to defend themselves by carrying a concealed firearm in national parks and wildlife refuges, and will continue to do so—with or without an appeal by the Obama administration. 

Please be sure to contact your U.S. Senators and Representative and ask them to cosponsor and support S. 816 and H.R. 1684!  You can call your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121, and your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121.
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