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November 29, 2006

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Discussion Topic: Packing Heat in National Parks

From The Colorado Springs Gazette:
Virginia Sen. George Allen, a Republican who narrowly lost to Democrat James Webb on Nov. 7, in one of the races that overturned control of Congress, seems intent on going out with a bang rather than a whimper. Allen last week unveiled S. 4057, a bill that would overturn the almost-total ban on personal firearms in national parks, an idea we strongly support because our constitutional rights don’t end at national park boundaries and there are sound reasons why Americans might want to be armed in these places.

What do you think? Should Allen’s bill pass? Or are the current restrictions needed to prevent poaching, as some park authorities say?


Rich Pedersen

Absolutely a good idea! Some of the parks have gotten as lawless and dangerous as certain inner cities, and for the same reasons. Why on earth should licensed citizens not be able to carry the means for self-protection in the outdoors?

Mind you, I think the restriction currently in place is patently unconstitutional, but even arguing on the merits, Allen (and maybe Webb) are on to something here.

Charles McCrary

I am more worried about being "poached upon" myself by some of the low lifes we let feed off our population than I am about someone poaching game animals.....
which is also something I consider very important.

In short, the safety of the American people is more important than prevention of poaching.


You've got to be kidding. The last thing I want is a bunch of cowboys walking through our national parks feeling that it is up to them to protect me. Keep your guys at home, like I do, and enjoy nature as it was intended. I'm sick and tired gun owners trying to find a way to carry their firearms everywhere and anywhere. -- If people are so worried about their safety in these national parks if they're not able to carry a gun with them...then I'd say that their not much of an outdoorsman to begin with and should just stay home.

Galen T. Gann

Yea a great idea! Why on earth should licensed citizens not be able to carry the means for self-protection in the parks as well as the rest of the country that allows CHL to be armed?

Jim Kiser

So cobbler thinks that only "real" outdoorsmen don't carry guns and can protedt themselves wuth hands alone. Well pal tell that to the sevral hikers murdered along the Applachian trail in the last several years. Cell phones don't work in lots of places, there isn't a cop around for miles and nasty people don't stay in just the city. Self defense is a god given right not a privilege. You want to defend yourself with your fist go right ahead. Me I learned a long time ago that hand to hand is 50/50 bet. Which is no way to go.


If you’re allowed to carry a gun, you should be allowed to carry a gun wherever that may be. Make the penalties for poaching serious crimes with serious enforcement and punishments.

Cobbler, what’s being able carry a gun got to do with being an outdoorsman? Aren’t you an outdoorsman when you go hunting and are carrying a gun? And don’t worry, this cowboy has no intention of protecting you or anyone else that assumes my character is flawed because I carry a gun.

Pete Hansen

All reports from the Park Service reveal that crime in the parks has exploded with little in the way of protecting users there.Those crimes include rape, robbery, assault, murder, drug tafficing and growing. So, why not allow law abiding citizens to be able to protect themselves, especially, those that have undergone FBI background checks and have been allowed to carry concealed weapons in towns and cities outside the parks. Help can be a long way away in most parks!Hope it passes.


My .45 is there to protect me and mine. Maybe you, bieng an outdoorsman, can sharpen up a stick or somthing. Good luck.

Capt Walt

If you have a licence to carry it should be reciprocal in all States as well as National Parks.

If I recall it was Teddy Roosevelt who started the National Parks. Could you imagine telling him that he could not carry his firearms in the Parks?

Of course there are National Parks like LOWELL, MA and Saint Louis, MO where the crime rate is the highest in the country. Thats reason enought to carry protection. And its not because of the critters!

Bob Dub

I think it is a great idea. The only restriction being upon entering you have to notify the gatehouse, or someone that you are in that park with a firearm. Include heavy penalties for poaching and even carring without notification.


I don't know who this idiot Cobbler is but he needs to wake up and enter the real world. If I carried a weapon into a national park it would be for self protection only. There are some bad apples , just like in anything you do , that would be stupid enough to poach but the current laws forbidding firearms has not stopped them. There are all sorts of stories about robbery and rape on our innocent citizens that enter these parks during travel or for family gatherings. If the parasites had any idea someone was armed they would think twice before attacking.

walter r. johnson jr.

t's a great idea.

" The General"

These IDIOTS that think carrying a gun make's one a sissy must have their head in the sand. Come into the REAL world and find out the the Parks are inhabited by a lot of under world types. There are some that go there to grow Pot. I have a CHL and I carry one or more with me.


This is a great idea and would make legal law abiding citizen able to protect themselves and their families out in the wild. It is not hard to understand that there are people out there who pray on the vulnerable. I personally don't go 4x4, camping or fishing without a firearm. To many strange things now a days. I'll take the slap on the wrist instead of burying someone in my family.


Park rangers face the most danger of all law enforcement officials. I just read a great book - Natures Noir by a retired park ranger. There's lots of criminals hiding out in parks. This bill is a great idea! I can't remember the exact statistic, but there is something like 1 ranger per 10,000 acres and I think that is a conservative number. It's ridiculous that a law abiding citizen can't protect themselves!


Great idea. Cobbler WUASC (wake up and smell coffee). All states that have CHL laws have lower crime rates than one's without.

Jack Sheek

It's ridiculous that a law abiding citizen should not be able to protect themselves in National Forests! I personally don't go four-wheeling, camping or fishing without a firearm. As my dad always told me " you need to be prepared to protect youself, because there probable will not be anyone around to protect you when it is needed." Help can be a long way away in most parks!All law abiding cetizens should hope that this bill gets passed.


I think that it would be stupid to not allow weapons into National parks. As stated several times you are allowed to carry guns in towns and cities why not in a park? And to Cobbler man your an idiot, if carring a weapon makes you a non-outdoorsman than what make you one? If you think you can take on a group of drug dealers with your hands go ahead, also I can think of lots of National parks that have grizzles or even just black bears, cougars, and even wolfs so if you think you are such an outdoorsman that you can change their mind from making you lunch good luck to ya!!

Don Salyer

If someone is going to poach in a national park, they're going to do it anyway. I'd rather be able to protect me and mine. I lived in the Yellowstone area for several years. There is never a ranger around when you need one.

TA Bassett

Glacier Park is wonderful, but bear spray is not enough. I live here and hardly ever venture out in the Park. I'd rather hike and fish in the nearby wilderness called the "Great Bear Wilderness" then venture in the Park. I consider myself a normal person who cares and respects nature, but I also know it is dangerous in the woods, especially in MT. You hunt or fish here long enough and you will meet Mr. Griz or Mrs Moose.

Robert Bauer

Having been cleared to carry I for one would like to see this bill passed not so much as to affend anyone but to be able to protect myself and family if the need arose. Better to have one and not need it than to need one and not have it.


Concealed carry permits should be honored anywhere in the U.S. including National Parks. Anyone that is fingerprinted and goes through the FBI background check should be allowed to carry. I agree with the prior writer that's it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.


I guess the National Park Service is above the 2nd amendment. I wonder what our founding fathers would say if they knew what the goverment is taking away our rights. Carrying or not carrying guns in not going to stop those who plan illegal acts. The laws need to carry stiffer penalties for those who do these acts of lawlessness.


there is an article in the Chicago Tribune, Nov. 26 by Steve Chapman.
Chicago has been a "gun free" zone for over twenty years.(that's why it' so safe)
Chapman's article points out some of the truths of concealed carry and for a Chicago paper to tell it like it is - that's gutsy.
BTW: he is for it

Albert Sand

I Totally agree with the above about The statement: that says protecting me and mine, he has my vote on carrying in national parks,you have a thumbs up from me.

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