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National Park gun ban ends on Monday

By Ed O'Keefe

The federal government will lift long-standing restrictions on guns in national parks Monday, meaning that visitors with proper permits could pack heat along with camping and picnic gear to most of the 392 parks. The move concerns current and former employees of the National Park Service who are convinced that the move will damage the spirit of the nation's park system.

Depending on state gun laws, visitors will be able to carry concealed and loaded guns into parks, the Park Service said.

The District bans people from carrying firearms; Maryland law allows gun owners with permits to carry handguns and rifles. Virginia allows for open and concealed carrying with proper permits and has reciprocity agreements with 30 states.

West Virginia, home to Harpers Ferry National Historical Site, allows for open carrying but requires a state permit for concealed firearms.

The Park Service has spent months preparing for the new law, holding conference calls in recent days with park supervisors to review the changes and ensure they prepare signage and talking points for visitors, spokesman David Barna said.

Watch the video briefing above and continue reading this story >>>

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 19, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
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No reasonably sane person can abide this abominable legal spawn of a badly misinterpreted Second Amendment.

It will, however, make for some interesting movie scripts .. like stickups and shootouts in Yellowstone or the Great Smokies.

Posted by: kinkysr | February 19, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

People like kinkysr never fail to amaze me.

The concept that law abiding and lawfully armed CCW permit holders (who were probably standing next to you at Wal-mart or McDonalds last night)are suddenly going to be a problem now that they can also carry in National Parks is just rampant paranoia and fear mongering.

However I will admit that the criminals will most likely continue to do as they please (just like they did before the change in the law).

I just wish people would stop confusing the two groups (law abiding and criminal).

Posted by: zespectre | February 20, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, why would the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people who already hold concealed weapons permits suddenly go crazy in a national park, when they are one of the most law abiding demographics in the country?

Besides, this law doesn't allow anything specifically, it just defers to state law which is what the FedGov should be doing anyway on this and lots of other things.

Posted by: chirol | February 22, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

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