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U.S. Sen. Coburn Runs Poll On Whether "Concealed Carry" Should be Allowed in Parks


When last we left U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, it was believed that he was going to introduce an amendment to legalize the carrying of loaded weapons in national parks. Now he's taking a poll on that question.

Of course, there's no way this will be a scientific poll, as either side -- proponents or opponents -- could "stuff" the ballot box.

When I checked out the poll, it reported that it had received 2,553 votes, and that 87 percent were in favor of his amendment, and 14 percent opposed. Those are the right numbers, even if they do add up to 101 percent. Must be a rounding error.


Don't think the bill goes far enough. It should supercede state laws to the point where it allows CCW license holders (concealed weapons licensed holders) from any state to carry a concealed weapon in any NP. Under the current proposed bill, as I understood it, would permit the Republik of Kalifornia to enforce it's laws over federal laws. Something is not right with that picture. Kalifornia cannot protect it's citizens and it prohibits them from legally protecting themselves. There are over 30,000 licensed CCW holders in the Republik of Kalifornia and they can't carry a handgun in Death Valley legally. Charles Manson and his friends weren't out there spreading cheer and good will. Granted they didn't kill anyone in the desert that we know of.

Glad Kurt found a topic that has the readers responding so well. Good writer and I enjoy the articles. Can tell where his sentiments are oriented and I wish i agreeded with him, but I have been on the receiving end of crime and didn't like it. Managed to distance myself from most two legged mammals until health problems cut down my hiking, canoeing & 4X4'ing.

Stay safe what ever you do!

Internet polls are the lamest way of either finding public opinion, or of making decisions. Senators should know better.

I know that some readers on this website are going to say I'm naive because I feel safe in National Parks without a loaded gun, but here's the note that I sent Sen. Coburn several days ago:

I am dismayed to find that you are putting forth an amendment that would prohibit the Secretary of the Interior from prohibiting loaded weapons in National Parks. Each year my family camps in National Parks around the country, and the absence of loaded guns in the campgrounds makes my wife, my two sons, and me feel quite safe. Your attempt to allow loaded weapons in places where families and small children frequent demonstrates a lack of concern for the safety of National Park visitors. Because of your medical background, I assume that you're familiar with the large number of people who visit emergency rooms each year because of accidents with firearms. Knowing that the people in the tent next to me might have loaded weapons does not make me feel safe at all. I truly believe loaded firearms in the parks puts us more at risk for death and injury than if they remain unloaded and locked away as the law now states. I urge you to re-consider your amendment.

I don't know how the point gets missed on every story that comes up about guns. There are an extreme minority of citizens that actually posses a "Concealed Carry Permit". There is no such thing for private citizens to obtain a National Concealed Carry Permit. In some states it's regulated by the local sheriff's office. In other states it requires a written explanation. Still other states require you to take a minimum number of hours for a course. Each state has decided what other state's CCP they are willing to accept or deny. This is called reciprocity. This has existed for as long as gun restrictions have evolved. This bill is asking that if the state has determined that the individual is safe to own and operate a firearm in the extremely rare circumstance they should need to use it, then the state knows its people better than the federal government. I have a CCP and have had it for years. I doubt anyone will ever even see my gun or know it's there. I visit several national parks a year. I live in UT. I carry daily. If I am ever in the circumstance that my fellow Utahans were, during the "Trolley Square Shooting", I have exercised my right to protect myself, and my loved ones. Do I feel this will happen in my lifetime? Very, very doubtful. If it does then a fundamental right as a being on this earth is that I have the right to decide for myself if I am safer fighting or running. It is not anyone else's decision. If you would like facts on good citizens with guns I invite you to check out . I promise that citizens defending themselves in many situations are not as rare as you may think.

Some of the comments are just plain insane throughout the gun articles on this site. Think the whole way through society and how human interactions work. Just because you keep the ban on guns in national parks doesn’t mean you’d all of the sudden be defending yourself against a rock or knife or any other object. You can’t count on a bank robber to have a firearm permit. People who break the law will always break the law. They have a proven track record for disregard. The problem with gun control will be the same always. There are a curtain group of people who don’t have faith in others. We don’t believe that all people are good and we believe there is a possibility that those evil doers could possibly want to do us harm. There is no law or agency on earth that has the ability to protect us. Only an Us vs. Them scenario. We believe that the 2nd amendment was placed there because the founding fathers believed that every human has the right to do whatever is necessary to protect themselves as long as they don’t interfere with the freedom of others. You may feel that the very presence of someone with a gun is interfering with your freedom. What the senator is saying is that your government can’t tell you who does and doesn’t have a gun. They can only tell you who was willing to take a test and let them know they wish to carry for protection. This small minority of gun carrying individuals are the people we’re all having a fit about.

I must have missed something. Joel seems to imply some one suggested there was a national CCW permit issurer out there somewhere. Have no idea if he was referring to my comment in my statement that my CCW permit should be recogniized in a NP anywhere. and not just in the 32 states for which I am licensed or recognized as legally authorised to carry a concealed weapon. It's federal land that I pay to maintain and paid to access. After all these years, I'd like to retrieve a little of that investment.

I've always said Senators can't add wonder they can never find enough money for the NPS.

Gee, Bill, I have visited scores of national parks, all without a weapon, and believe I have retrieved my investment. I assume you could do the same.

Rick Smith

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide