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Congressman Calls for Full EIS of Proposal to Allow Concealed Carry in America's National Parks


Congressman Raul Grijalva, calling the Bush administration's efforts to allow national park visitors to arm themselves political pandering, wants a full Environmental Impact Statement, complete with public hearings, performed on the proposal.

The congressman, who chairs the House subcommittee on national parks, public lands, and national forests, says the proposal is nothing more than "election year pandering."

“Our parks already operate under common sense regulations that have served the public and the Park system well for many years," the Democrat from Arizona said in a release from his Washington office. “The administration is attempting to foster a sense of fear and paranoia about safety in our national parks that statistics show are among the safest areas of our country.

"This National Park Service proposed rule, coupled with other ill-conceived proposals for private shooting ranges on our national forest lands continues misguided attempts to mandate incompatible uses on our public lands that do not comply with their established missions and just increase the financial burden on our already overtaxed public land systems."

Representative Grijalva believes the proposal, if adopted, will create confusion and management conflicts for Park Service employees.

"Numerous national parks cross state lines where state regulations conflict with each other and would be an enforcement nightmare. Funding for needed signage and public notification of these proposed gun
regulations is simply not available and will force NPS units to shift funding from existing strained management accounts to cover these unfunded mandates for implementation of this proposed rule," he said.

Among other concerns, the congressman worried that the proposal could lead to safety problems due to "reactionary discharges aimed at wildlife" and increased poaching.

“Accommodating concealed, loaded weapons in our National Park System’s diverse parks and educational facilities makes no sense," said Representative Grijalva. "Locally in the D.C. metro region the NPS operates Wolf Trap National Park and Performance Center. Allowing concealed loaded guns where alcohol is served, and where large groups and families gather could create potential situations where impulsive actions could easily undermine the tranquil atmosphere and safety of patrons to this and many other park system facilities.

“This proposed rule and other demands for increased gun use and accessibility will only foster greater uncertainty and conflicts among users of our public land and should not move forward. I call upon the Park Service and the Department of Interior to reconsider moving forward with this proposal and instead retain existing regulations which are protective of visitor and wildlife safety.

"I also urge the Park Service to conduct a full Environmental Impact Statement under the National
Environmental Policy Act with public hearings around the country so that the public has the opportunity to comment on this misguided proposal.”


That saw cuts at least two ways, Fred;-)

I don't believe my eyes. A member the ruling elite openingly identifying this pitiful maneuver of legistlative pandering as nothing short of electioneering geared toward pacification of special interests? From a Western state no less. And a LIBERAL to boot! What's this world coming to.......his term must not be up anytime soon!
Well done Raul. Let me know if you need any help stuffing the election box when your time comes around. I'll show you how to retain your seat without the lobbyist money.
Vote early and often is the mantra in my State. It's worked for local Dems here for decades........why not share the wealth?

Well said Kurt. I'm composing a slightly more intelligent response now. I'll post it later.

Thank God someone in DC has some sort of backbone.

Got to speak out for my gang back in DC. Please stop confusing the politicians with the people of the city; they already don't have any representation from those bozos (whatever way the saw cuts). There are almost 600,000 people in the city, many of them who have plenty of backbone but no say on this or any other issue (and then have to suffer the further indignity of having their very identity as residents of the District of Columbia confused with the politicians who serve as rulers of the colony).

Taxation without representation,

Jim Macdonald
The Magic of Yellowstone
Yellowstone Newspaper
Jim's Eclectic World

"Election-year pandering"? When is the Congressman up for re-election? Sounds like he's trying to get his name in the news if you ask me.

"Common-sense regulations"? What sense does it make to leave your firearm in the trunk of your car while you hike in the backcountry? Here's a link to an article that appeared The Colorado Springs Gazette:

I quote, "Absurdly and inexplicably, the carrying of firearms is banned in all but a very few U.S. national parks, though visitors to these largely peaceful and bucolic places are not magically insulated from either criminals or potentially dangerous carnivores."

And this, "Crime does not take a holiday in national parks, either. On the contrary, reports suggest public lands are becoming havens for drug cartels and other criminal enterprises. The dangers facing park rangers and others who patrol public lands reportedly are rising. Thousands of serious crimes occur in national parks annually, including murders, rapes and assaults. And some national parks and forests reportedly now double as pot plantations and meth labs - not only due to their relative remoteness, but perhaps because the criminal element feels it can operate there with confidence they won't likely encounter anyone armed for self-defense."

As for the Environmental Impact Study, besides being grossly expensive, it is absolutely unnecessary. Kurt has already provided us the information we need to post any comments about this issue we have. I posted my comments yesterday. I spent more than an hour composing them but it only took a few minutes to post them. The comment period is open until June 30. ANYONE can post any comments they like. An EIS is a total waste of the taxpayer's money when they already can say whatever they want at no additional government expense.

I'm not sure I would use the term "backbone". A recent survey showed that 73% of the American people think the right to bear arms is an INDIVIDUAL right. To deny me my God-given right to defend myself is not "showing backbone" It is criminal and immoral.

Pro-gun advocates commenting on this issue seem to forget what national parks are. They are not all Yosemite. They include Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Ellis Island, the home of Frederick Douglas, the Washington Monument, Lincoln's home, and similar sites. Do you really want people carrying guns into Ellis Island or Independence Hall? Would the NPS have to start supplying gun lockers at the Statue of Liberty so they can store guns for visitors while inside? Really, this is absurd. Parks are about the safest place you can go. You don't need a gun unless you are in a park with legal hunting. Logistically, this would be a confusing and expensive nightmare.

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