The National Rifle Association (NRA) has been pushing hard to allow loaded guns in America's national parks. Under intense political pressure by the NRA, the Bush Administration finalized new regulations in December that will allow visitors to carry loaded, concealed firearms in national parks.
But the NRA is trying to fix a problem that does not exist. Under the current firearm regulations – which were updated under the Reagan Administration – it is not unlawful to have firearms in national parks; they just have to be unloaded and safely stowed. It is a limited and reasonable requirement that enables rangers to do the job of protecting park resources and ensuring visitor safety.
Please sign our petition to the new Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and urge that the Obama Administration reverse this terrible regulation that will make our beautiful national parks less safe for our wildlife and our families.
Dear Interior Secretary Ken Salazar,
I am deeply troubled by a December regulation that passed during the Bush Administration allowing loaded firearms in our national parks. These changes will make poaching of park wildlife easier, change the relationship between rangers and visitors and create new safety hazards. There are meaningful and reasonable rules already in place since 1983 that allow gun owners to safely stow their unloaded weapons while in national parks. I do not believe this is too much to ask.
The current regulations, which were updated under the Reagan Administration, have been successful at maintaining our national parks as safe family destinations. In fact, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, there were 1.65 violent crimes per 100,000 national park visitors in 2006 -- making national parks some of the safest places in the United States.
I urge you to reverse this terrible regulation, and restore the safety of our national parks for our wildlife and our families.