It was one year ago today that self defense with a firearm once again became legal in National Parks and Wildlife Refuges. Â Throughout the nearly 6 years it took to overturn this ban was the constant refrain of Brady Campaign apologist & then spokesman for the Parks Karen Taylor-Goodrich that “parks are safe places“, “parks are safe places” and the penultimate example, “parks are safe places“.
Of course, that last link started a political firestorm. Â A subsequent FOIA showed there was no evidence used to substantiate the findings, and of particular note NPS represent lands that would equal the 5th largest US State, yet has the smallest per area representation of law enforcement. Â Their own incident reports showed numerous murders, rapes, assaults, body dumping, but possibly the most damning evidence of the NPS mouthpiece being a professional LIAR is NPS’ own declaration that visitors could not be protected in some parks
The story didn’t end there. Â A new petition was submitted, NPS reluctantly cooperated with Administration orders to fix the bad regulation on weapons, but they tried to implement a regulation which prohibited open carry of firearms, and required state parks in the state where the National Park was to permit firearms. Â That was practically unenforceable. Â The comment period was to close June 30, 2008.
Then, after the comment period ended and victory was in hand; the comments showed overwhelming support for changing the regulation that was proposed to remove the onerous ‘analogous state lands’ language and the open carry ban, DOI reopened the comment period to give various anti-firearm groups more time to comment. Â It didn’t work. Â Comments were still overwhelmingly in favor of the VCDL preferred language. Â Eventually, DOI relented and we achieved substantial but partial victory. Â DOI refused to “permit” open carry of firearms. Â This strange development would foretell a gun rights scandal…
On January 9th, 2009, the regulation went into effect. Â Shortly thereafter a federal judge issued an injunction on behalf of the Brady campaign to end firearm ownership asserting DOI needed to do an environmental impact study. Â The administration refused to appeal.
Senator Tom Coburn, living up to his word from the hearing testimony above amended a critical bill on the Senate floor which passed and was signed into law. Â That gun rights scandal? Redstate.com uncovered emails from NRA-ILA to Congress actively opposing language that permitted open carry or carrying long guns in National Parks & Wildlife Refuges.
One has to wonder just how long that was going on. Â Nevertheless, gun owners across America scored a major victory one year ago today.