New Law Allows Legal Firearms In National Parks

02.22.10 | FL News Team

The slogan for the National Parks is Beauty, Majesty and History. Beginning Monday, you can add firearm friendly. A change in the federal law allows visitors to national parks and national wildlife refuges to legally possess firearms. The law was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama last May. Gun owners must comply with firearms laws in each state, which could cause confusion. More than 30 national parks span more than one state, where differing gun laws exist. Weapons will still be prohibited in certain federal facilities like visitor centers, offices and maintenance buildings. The new law does not change current laws around the use of firearms in a national park or hunting restrictions.

 Proponents of the law contend that guns are allowed in national forests and other federal lands that border national parks. Gun advocates are planning weapon-carrying cookouts today at Valley Forge, Gettysburg and other parks. Opponents see nothing but trouble stemming from the law change. They say the overall safety of the parks will be severely compromised, increasing the chance of deadly encounters between park visitors and rangers, who are unarmed. Also, opponents say the new law could increase wildlife poaching incidents and the possible destruction of historic monuments.