Leader of Park Service retirees laments federal law for loaded guns in parks

 

From The Washington Post:

 

SEATTLE — The fatal shooting of a Park Service ranger at Mount Rainier National Park has renewed debate about a nearly two-year-old federal law that allows loaded weapons in national parks.The outgoing chairman of a national organization of Park Service retirees said that Congress should be regretting its decision. The law let licensed gun owners bring firearms into national parks and wildlife refuges as long as they are allowed by state law. Guns are allowed in all but about 20 of the park service’s 392 locations, from Yellowstone to Yosemite.

Before 2010, firearms at Mount Rainier were required to be temporarily inoperable or put away so they weren’t easily accessible.Sunday’s fatal shooting of a Park Service ranger Margaret Anderson could have been prevented, said Bill Wade, a former superintendent of Shenandoah National Park, just outside Washington, D.C., who started his career as a professional ranger at Mount Rainier.

“The many congressmen and senators that voted for the legislation that allowed loaded weapons to be brought into the parks ought to be feeling pretty bad right now,” said Wade, whose term as chairman of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees ended Dec. 31.

He hopes Congress will reconsider the law that took effect in February 2010, but doubts that will happen in today’s political climate.

A ban on guns in national parks was instituted during the Reagan administration. President George W. Bush sought to rescind the ban near the end of his administration and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence sued and won an injunction to stop that from happening, said Dennis Henigan, acting president of Brady Campaign.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., responded with legislation that went into effect in 2010.

Calls and emails to Coburn and the National Rifle Association requesting comment were not immediately returned on Monday.

In a statement about the law after it went into effect, the NRA said media fears of gun violence in parks were unlikely to be realized.

“The new law affects firearms possession, not use,” the statement from the lobbying arm emphasized. The organization pushed for the law change saying people have a right to defend themselves against park animals and other people.

Henigan noted if park rangers had seen the rifle before it was used to shoot Anderson they would not have been able to take it away from him.

“You can always hope that the Congress will wake up and recognize that its first responsibility is to protect innocent lives,” he said.

A volunteer ranger at Mount Rainier told The News Tribune he didn’t think the law change, which he opposed, had any effect on this week’s shooting.

“This is murder,” said George Coulbourne, who also is a hunting safety instructor and a veteran of 60 years of hunting. “When you have someone who would spontaneously kill someone, a prohibition of guns in the park wouldn’t stop someone like that.”

 

Shot Show 2012

2012 Shot Show

 

We are finally only one month away from the 2012 SHOT SHOW. The important dates for this event is:

January 17-20th
Sands Expo Convention Center
Las Vegas, Nevada

With the 2011 SHOT SHOW being a record breaking trade show, we can only imagine the turnout that 2012 is going to bring us. Every year thousands of people across the country come to see what new products are coming out for shooting enthusiasts. The SHOT SHOW is know to be one of the largest trade shows for gun store owners. This is the time of the year that weapon manufactures go above and beyond to win the business of retail gun stores. Do not miss your chance to see what the manufactures have been working on all year!

 

Looking to book your stay? Click here to make reservations

 

With gun sales on the rise for the past 16 months, this could be one of the best years for the SHOT SHOW. The shooting industry is already bringing in just over 4 billion dollars to the U.S. Economy, and continues to grow. Most gun store owners believe that 2012 just might be the biggest year the industry will see. With the election right around the corner and more liberals pushing for more gun control, gun sales are not going to start decreasing anytime soon.