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U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns


U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn wants to make it OK to carry guns in the national parks.

Why would a doctor be determined to provide more access to guns in the country?

U.S. Senator Thomas Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, will try to do that by introducing an amendment that would bar the Interior secretary from enforcing the current ban on carrying weapons in the parks.

The attempt by Sen. Coburn, who specializes in family medicine and "has personally delivered more than 4,000 babies," has drawn the attention of the Association of National Park Rangers, the U.S. Park Rangers Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police, and the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees.

Sen. Coburn's effort, which you can find attached below, would prohibit the Interior secretary from enforcing regulations currently in place that require gun owners to have their guns unloaded and stored while visiting most units of the park system.

In a letter sent to other senators, (and also attached below) the three groups say Sen. Coburn's amendment not only could lead to an increase in poaching in the parks but also impact the safe atmosphere that currently exists.

Senator Coburn’s amendment could dramatically degrade the experience of park visitors and put their safety at risk if units of the National Park System were compelled to follow state gun laws. For example, since Wyoming has limited gun restrictions, visitors could see persons with semi-automatic weapons attending campground programs, hiking down park trails or picnicking along park shorelines at Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Moreover, many rangers can recite stories about incidents where the risk to other visitors – as well as to the ranger – would have been exacerbated if a gun had been readily-accessible. This amendment would compromise the safe atmosphere that is valued by Americans and expected by international tourists traveling to the United States.

There is simply no legitimate or substantive reason for a thoughtful sportsman or gun owner to carry a loaded gun in a national park unless that park permits hunting. The requirement that guns in parks are unloaded and put away is a reasonable and limited restriction to facilitate legitimate purposes—the protection of precious park resources and safety of visitors.

You can contact Sen. Coburn via this site to let him know what you think of his plans.


First of all, if someone is in a National park to poach wildlife this bill will not bother them at all, They are there to break the law what do they care about anyone who may be legally carrying a weapon. Have you people been living under a rock or what ? Most people who carry guns legally don't go around flashing them like some school kid, I think most of you people need a reality check .

This amendment is a really bad idea, Its hard to beleive that someone would be stupid enough to even consider this. Just what we need is another gun fanatic to make things worse for the general public. You would think these people would learn from all the tragedies that are caused by guns. I can just imagine the negative impact this is going to have on the safety and enjoyemnt in OUR National Parks. I don't wan this to pass for sure.

Only a crazy man would introduce that kind of law.

I sent the comments below to the Senator. Please take the time to send your comments to the Senator as well. It can make a difference.


Guns do not belong in our national parks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The potential for some beer drinking Neanderthal mistaking a person for a bear is to great a risk. This idea would be dangerous for visitors and rangers. I visit our national parks as often as I can. They are our national treasure. I have met many world travelers while in these parks who all ready have fears of visiting many of our cities because of our less than useless gun control laws. These parks bring millions of tourist dollars into the USA and in particular to the surrounding communities. If your truly conservative than you must consider the economic impact this will most certainly create. If this a ploy to collect PAC money from the gun lobby for your next election than SHAME ON YOU!!


James Curzio

Thank you Senator Coburn for introducing common sense legislation concerning firearms for the National Parks. I applaud you.

This is great news! Good for the Senator.

Criminals are going to break the law no matter what law is put in place. If poachers are wanting to poach they will poach. If armed robbers want to threaten people at gun point to rob them, guess what they are going to use? They don't give a flying flip about what gun control law they are breaking, because they know the law abiding citizens are stuck obeying the laws and are defense-less which make them the easy victim. If everyone carried a gun, you would be amazed on how much crime would not exist. Who's dumb enough to try and rob the liquor store that the owner keeps a shotgun under the counter and a .45 on their hip? What criminal with a deathwish would try to mug and rape a woman that has a 9mm under her jacket? If poaching in National parks is that big of a problem, do what the game wardens in africa do, Carry AK-47's and if you see them do it, shoot first and ask questions later. Problem solved. Alot can be accomplished from a kind word and a gun, than a kind word alone.

This is beyond belief. The National Park System is just's a park...created for the enjoyment of natural beauty by everyone: young, old, Mom and Dad, Gramps & Gram's, family outings, friends, camping, hiking, y'all git the picture.
In a park, one should not have to worry about if the person down the trail or across the parking area is toting a fully loaded, semi-automatic pistol. And furthermore, why would anyone going to a park want or need to carry a weapon, unless that park has been specifiically designated and posted as allowing hunting during proper seasons. In which case, I would be able to steer clear of those areas during season and let the hunters go at it.

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