The U.S. Department of the Interior has recently announced a change to their firearms policy in national parks and wildlife refuges. According to a Dec. 5 statement from the Interior, the policy update would "allow an individual to carry a concealed weapon in national parks and wildlife refuges if, and only if, the individual is authorized to carry a concealed weapon under state law in the state in which the national park or refuge is located."
Previously, individuals were barred from carrying a firearm in national parks, even if they were licensed to carry the firearm in the state in which the national park was located. This especially created a headache for Virginia residents, who were not allowed to carry a firearm in their vehicles while on the George Washington Memorial Highway–a major highway controlled by the National Parks Service that runs on the outskirts of Washington D.C.
“America was founded on the idea that the federal and state governments work together to serve the public and preserve our natural resources,” says Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Lyle Laverty. “The Department’s final regulation respects this tradition by allowing individuals to carry concealed firearms in federal park units and refuges to the extent that they could lawfully do so under state law. This is the same basic approach adopted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the United States Forest Service (USFS), both of which allow visitors to carry weapons consistent with applicable federal and state laws.”
Now, if only we could believe President-elect Barack Obama when he says gun owners "have nothing to fear"…