Right to Carry in National Parks


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Smity
May 10, 2009, 12:48 PM
All,
I know that many of you are already aware of the details, so I will summarize:
On January 9th, President Bush approved a change to the NPS (National Park System laws to allow concealed carry in national parks.
On March 29th, the Brady Commission filed for an injunction to reverse the new law on the grounds that a "proper environmental impact study had not been completed." The NRA immediately filed an appeal.
On April 2, a coalition of Republican and Democrat Senators submitted a bill to again allow concealed carry in National Parks.

It's time to weigh in. The best way I have found to do this at the federal level is through the following web site: http://capwiz.com/nra/dbq/officials/
You can enter your zip code and send an email to the President, your Senators and Representatives all at the same time. I was impressed with the format and how it looked. It is connected with NRA-ILA, but you do not have to be a member, and I did not see any logo on the emails themselves.

Feel free to borrow the following text:

I support the right to carry a handgun for self defense in our nation's parks and wild life refuges. Please reinstate this policy immediately and expand it to include national parks and wildlife refuges in all states. This is essential for law abiding citizens to safely enjoy these areas without fear. Thank you.

If you were wondering how important this is, here are some of the details:

The NPS controls a total of 84.6 million acres of land.
8,505 Monuments and Statues
680 Water Treatment and Wastewater Collection Systems
5,300 Family Housing Units
505 Dams
1,804 Bridges and Tunnels
7,580 Buildings
8,500 Miles of roads and parkways
12,250 Miles of Unpaved Trails

...and that is just a partial list. For a complete list go to:http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/quickfacts.htm

This is 3.6%, yes that's 3.6%, of the entire United States and don't get caught on one of those 8,500 miles of roads, like the GW Parkway in Virginia.

If you decide to send an email (it is very quick and simple) please post when you are done. This is the 9th forum that I have posted this on (and still looking for others) and I come back to each one as often as I can to report the totals. So far we have 71 emails sent.

Thanks for your help!

Smity

If you enjoyed reading about "Right to Carry in National Parks" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
eng23ine
May 10, 2009, 01:05 PM
Email sent

noskilz
May 10, 2009, 01:32 PM
The thing about this that continues to bother me is that, if this was so darn important, which did Bush wait until the absolute end of his 8 years in office to issue his executive order? Sort of feels like something Clinton would have done.

ScottsGT
May 10, 2009, 01:38 PM
Sent out 4 e-mails. DeMint, Graham, Wilson and Obama!

Cuzzin
May 10, 2009, 02:15 PM
Please don't make a mistake that ex-Pres Bush signed an executive order or the rule change associated with the Department of the Interior regulations change. This was a DOI Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) rule change and was signed after review by the DOI Secretary and does not require Presidential approval. The problem was that the DOI issued a finding of no significant impact with regard to environmental effects. The challenge is that the finding does not consider all of the environmental effects that might occur as a result of park visitors carrying concealed weapons. The DOI has to either: go back to the court and prove the finding of no environmental effects is adequate; or, go straight into completing an environmental assessment (EA) (or don't waste any more probable court challenges, and just complete a full environmental impact statement (EIS)). Either way, don't expect rapid results.

n00bish
May 10, 2009, 03:16 PM
Four emails sent.

Smity
May 10, 2009, 04:47 PM
That's terrific early support. Thanks!
The total number of people that have sent emails is now 74.

My goal here is to focus as much effort on this one issue as we possibly can. If we can somehow harness support from all shooting/gun/ccw forums at the same time on the critical issues at the critical time, we can make a difference. Right now, the National Parks issue is in the courts and it is in a bill in Congress. This is a critical issue at the critical moment.

Smity

Oro
May 10, 2009, 06:45 PM
if this was so darn important, which did Bush wait until the absolute end of his 8 years in office to issue his executive order?

Bush had nothing to do with it. It was started by several western Senators and it was through the US Senate that the change was made. It was the Reagan administration, FYI, that put the ban in place. Don't think that Republican presidents help the gun issues - they usually just "do no harm" - but they certainly don't really "help."

ReadyRob
May 10, 2009, 07:01 PM
Four emails sent

Smity
May 10, 2009, 07:13 PM
That's very interesting about this all starting with the Reagan Administration. There was a Democratically controlled Congress back then. Was this one of those Reagan, Tip O'Neil things? Who was pushing for it?

Smity

runrabbitrun
May 10, 2009, 07:35 PM
E mail sent.
Thanks OP.

wbwanzer
May 10, 2009, 08:39 PM
I emailed all four and sent the link and sample letter to two of my friends requesting them to do it also.

Smity
May 11, 2009, 12:45 AM
I am humbled to report that the total number of people who have sent emails is now 83, many of whom have sent up to 4 emails to multiple elected officials. This means that hundreds of emails have been sent.

Thanks for the fantastic response.

I will continue to post the totals as long as they keep going up.

Smity

wbwanzer
May 11, 2009, 04:20 PM
Just bumping this up so more people see it.

Smity
May 11, 2009, 11:14 PM
Total number of people that have sent emails is now 93 across 11 forums.

I had no idea...

Smity

tommy610
May 12, 2009, 09:11 AM
I can't figure out where this ruling stands as of now. Is it presently legal to carry in a national park?

Thanks.

GerryM
May 12, 2009, 09:58 AM
Email sent ... probably will put me on Holder's list as a Terrorist ..

BHP FAN
May 12, 2009, 11:09 AM
anyone who gets attacked ,by animal or human predator in a national park, while unarmed due to the law,ought to sue the hell out of the Government and the Park Services.

Smity
May 12, 2009, 12:44 PM
BHP FAN,
Unfortunately, the U.S. Government has Sovereign Immunity.

Tommy610,
This is the link to the statement on the Brady Campaign's web site. http://www.bradycampaign.org/media/release.php?release=1097
They are the ones who filed for the injunction. Prepare to be absolutely flummoxed!

Smity

MT GUNNY
May 12, 2009, 01:29 PM
Done!!

38 Special
May 12, 2009, 01:38 PM
My senators have just got my emails.:cuss:

Sending one to Obama would just be a waste of time IMO:neener:

Loyalist Dave
May 12, 2009, 07:22 PM
Fox News just reported (05/12/09 18:16 hrs EDT) that an add-on to a credit bill in the Senate held a provision for ccw carry in National Parks, and that the provision Passed the Senate. Sen Dodd stated that the provision was not fought as the primary portion of the bill did not need to be de-railed, and that perhaps with negotiations with the House, the provision for CCW carry in National Parks would be removed.

(I hope I correctly heard this and am sending proper information)

LD

Samgotit
May 12, 2009, 10:21 PM
I believe you did:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/05/12/senate-backs-allowing-loaded-guns-national-parks/

WASHINGTON -- The Senate has approved a measure that would allow people to carry loaded guns in national parks and wildlife refuges.

Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma sponsored the amendment, which would restore a Bush administration policy allowing loaded guns in national parks.

A federal judge blocked the policy in March. The Obama administration said it would not appeal the ruling. The gun amendment was attached to a bill imposing restrictions on credit card companies. The amendment was approved 67-29.

Smity
May 13, 2009, 01:16 AM
It's true! A bill has passed in the Senate! This is happening right now! Read this and get everyone you can to email the President and your Congressmen using http://capwiz.com/nra/dbq/officials/

This still has to pass in the House and be signed by the President!
_______________________________________________________________________
http://washingtonindependent.com/42641/senate-approves-coburn-gun-amendment

or http://gunowners.org/

Senate Approves Coburn Gun Amendment…in Credit Card Bill
By Mike Lillis 5/12/09 6:44 PM

The Senate on Tuesday night easily passed an amendment to credit card reform legislation that would allow concealed weapons in national parks. The vote was 67 to 29.

The question now is this: Will a controversial gun proposal attached to popular underlying legislation be the poison pill that sinks that larger bill? That’s been the case with legislation allowing the District of Columbia a voting representative in Congress, to which the Senate attached language scrapping many of Washington’s strict gun control laws. As a result of that gun amendment, the DC-vote bill remains stalled in the House months after it passed the upper chamber.

Now, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), the chief sponsor of the credit card reform bill, is wondering whether the same might be the fate of his credit card proposal. “My concern is about what the underlying bill — what happens to it,” Dodd said on the chamber floor just before the vote. “I hate to see us lose this opportunity to make a difference with credit card reform.”

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who sponsored the concealed weapons bill, said he supports many of Dodd’s credit card provisions, and didn’t have in mind to offer his amendment just for the purpose of killing the larger bill. “I don’t want to see it fail on this,” Coburn said. “But nor do I want to see the Second Amendment trampled on.”

So much for an easy, clean, must-pass credit card reform bill.
_________________________________________________________________


Smity

runrabbitrun
May 13, 2009, 09:13 AM
Well lets keep our fingers crossed.
I really wanted to do some camping, hiking
and driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway this summer.
But as it stands now, I can't unless I want to be a felon.
I'm NOT going into the nation forest areas unarmed.

Loyalist Dave
May 13, 2009, 12:47 PM
I agree, and know what you mean, but for the newer folks, a little clarification. The rider (iirc) is for the National Parks, which have different, and often stronger restrictions than the National Forests. I sometimes do black powder hikes called "treks" in historic garb, carrying my flintlock, etc, and found out that most of the areas near my home are "parks" and you can't carry even unloaded flintlocks in them..., but National Forests.., no worries.

The Blue Ridge Parkway as well as Skyline Drive go through both types of "National" areas. Part of the problem has been National Forests often butt up against National Parks, and you could walk from forest, where you are legal, to park where you were not, without knowing it. On paved, scenic routes you can go back and forth through either, and it's been very easy in the past for anybody to be very badly mistaken with dire consequences. So a little less complication and more consistency in the laws lets hope! :)

LD

RobNDenver
May 13, 2009, 02:17 PM
The use of National Parks by drug cartels to grow marijuana is increasing. How can the lawful carry of firearms, by licensed law abiding citizens be anything but a good thing. The attached articles point out that National Parks are becoming summer havens for drug growers, that there are far too few Park Rangers to prevent confrontations between citizens and the dope manufacturers.

http://www.newser.com/story/58813/pot-farms-sprout-in-national-parks.html

We could legalize marijuana . . . and control it, or we ought to allow citizens using our parks to protect themselves from the scum that are squatting on our public lands.

SKILCZ
May 13, 2009, 03:02 PM
Contacted my low-life Congress critters (2 senators, 1 rep) and B.O., not that they'll care.

Bush had nothing to do with it. It was started by several western Senators and it was through the US Senate that the change was made. It was the Reagan administration, FYI, that put the ban in place. Don't think that Republican presidents help the gun issues - they usually just "do no harm" - but they certainly don't really "help."

That's why I think now would be a great time for the Libertarian Party to rise up since people are not overly pleased with the two-party system.

Right Wing Wacko
May 13, 2009, 03:57 PM
It was the Reagan administration, FYI, that put the ban in place. Don't think that Republican presidents help the gun issues - they usually just "do no harm" - but they certainly don't really "help."

I have heard this several times but it simply is not true.

Before the Reagan rules were put in place, it was illegal to even transport a gun thru a national park. The rules Reagan put in place granted an exception for guns that were unloaded and out of reach in an enclosed container.

rbernie
May 13, 2009, 11:18 PM
The Senate votes yes:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=449753

XDMfan40
May 13, 2009, 11:30 PM
Working as a LE Park Ranger for the NPS is becoming increasingly more dangerous. This is especially true in the New Mexico, Texas and California with all of the drug smuggling going on in the areas. For example it is a requirement for Rangers working at the Organ Pipe monument in New Mexico to where Kevlar vests and carry a semi-automatic AR. If these officers are taking such heavy precuations you would think that the government would recognize the fact that law abiding citizens must be granted the right to carry in National parks, and monuments for self defense reasons.

chuckusaret
May 14, 2009, 12:24 AM
e-mail sent plus a note to my senators here in Florids that voted Yes. Sen. Mel Martinez (R) and Nelson(D)

Marcus84
May 14, 2009, 04:26 AM
Would be great if this passed but I don't see Obama signing it.

Smity
May 14, 2009, 01:35 PM
Statistics Report:
# of forums message was posted: 12
# of views 8604
# of posts 421
# of people who sent emails 102

Top 3 responding forums:
1. www.defensivecarry.com 32
2. www.Trapshooters.com 20
3a. www.GunandGame.com 13
3b. www.USACarry.com 13

94% of the emails sent came from 6 forums:

www.defensivecarry.com
www.Trapshooters.com
www.GunandGame.com
www.USACarry.com
www.TheHighRoad.org:D
www.ShootersForum.com

I have dubbed these 6 The Quorum of Forums.

The mission of the Quorum is to use our collective strength to weigh in on the critical 2nd Amendment issues with the key influential elected and appointed officials at the decisive time.

I can't tell you how impressed I have been at the cooperation and effort and information that came from these 6 forums. Please tell this story. Spread the word about the Quorum and our mission. We need more members. We will not end up like England and Australia. We will fight the Brady Commission, and any other anti-gun group that tries to infringe on our 2nd Amendment rights, by speaking up and being heard by our elected officials.

The National Parks issue is not over so encourage all you know to contact their members of the House of Representatives and the President. Those are the key people now.

Signing off until the next critical issue at the decisive moment.
Thank you to all who participated.
Smity

Leanwolf
May 14, 2009, 04:39 PM
RIGHT WING WHACKO - "I have heard this several times but it simply is not true.

Before the Reagan rules were put in place, it was illegal to even transport a gun thru a national park. The rules Reagan put in place granted an exception for guns that were unloaded and out of reach in an enclosed container."

You're correct. I have travelled quite a few times through various National Parks, before Ronald Reagan was elected President, and I distinctly remember they all had the "No Firearms Allowed" signs posted and brochures handed out at the entrance gates.

L.W.

panzer426
May 14, 2009, 04:58 PM
4 emails sent.

ScottsGT
May 14, 2009, 04:59 PM
I think on of the problems is that when you mention "National Monument or Park" to a CongressCritter, they think of downtown DC monuments and their surrounding area. They cannot get their collective heads out of their collective @$$es and remember that there are other areas too. Here in Columbia, SC, we have the Congaree National Monument. It's a swamp full of wild boars, snakes and a few gators. It has a boardwalk through the swamp, with a few low areas that a pig could jump up on, but the biggest area of defense would be the campsites. No carved granite monuments, just big trees and swamp. Oh, and big mosquitos!

carebear
May 14, 2009, 07:28 PM
It passed the Senate with a bipartisan 67 vote, veto-overriding, majority (the Dems and Ind's split 50-50 on it, 27-1 each side).

The House already has a similar amendment attached to the stalled DC Voting Rights bill, that's what's holding it up, the anti-gun leadership knows both will pass if they come up for a vote.

The DC Voting bill is popular with some politicians but there is massive public support from all quarters for the Credit Card Reform Act.

This legislation can't be "held up" by the anti-gun Dem leadership in the face of massive support by their own party simply because they dislike the gun rule change, the people would scream.

(note I'm assuming they actually listen to their constituents and have moments of clarity in thinking)

Notice also that this law is better than the DOI Reg change that is in court right now.

The rule change allowed for concealed carry only.

This law allows "carry per state law". Open or concealed, licensed or not.

Huge difference. Provides a template for future challenges to other Federal restrictions on carry on Federal property. After all, the Administration is on record saying states should be allowed to set their own rules on carry laws. :neener:

Think of it, changing the GFSZA to allow carry per state law, no matter if open or concealed, licensed or not. Publically accessible parking lots (at least) for Federal property, like Post Offices, ruled the same; "allowed per state law" not entirely barred.

It sets up the argument that if there is no harm allowing this on all these other publically accessible Federal locations, which are the majority of Federal property, what then is the logic for treating the rest any differently?

Baby steps, baby steps...

MyRoad
May 19, 2009, 02:53 PM
(sorry, misplaced)

cloudedice
May 19, 2009, 03:22 PM
The bill with the Coburn amendment was passed through the Senate in a 90-5 majority. The differences with the House bill will need to be worked out. We could still lose this before it hits Obama's desk.

Article on Credit Card Bill of Rights (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/19/AR2009051901867.html?hpid=topnews) (HR627 - with Coburn amendment)
Bill information (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/111/bills/h_r_627/)

damien
May 19, 2009, 04:57 PM
The bill with the Coburn amendment was passed through the Senate in a 90-5 majority. The differences with the House bill will need to be worked out. We could still lose this before it hits Obama's desk.

This is totally true, but I am very optimistic. Having just read several articles concerning this on the national news websites, it seems that the House is treating this as fiat accompli. The major reason is that Obama is breathing down their necks to have this on his desk by Friday. It would be nearly impossible to resolve this by then if the House diverges from the Senate bill (in fact, it might kill it outright). It seems they are going to vote on it in two parts, but the gun amendment will win in the House also. The only hope the antis ever had was the leadership holding it up. They will lose a straight-up vote by a wide margin. Afterwards, it will be resolved back into one bill and passed again by both houses and sent onto Obama who has already indicated he will sign it. The president must accept or veto a bill in its entirety.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_congress_credit_cards

House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters on Tuesday that the House might vote separately on the gun proposal so as not to bog down the credit card overhaul.

If the two bills are passed separately as expected, they would be rejoined before being sent to the president as a single bill, said Hoyer, D-Md.

Yo Mama
May 19, 2009, 05:22 PM
I love it. This will be the future of regaining any lost ground.

Smity
May 19, 2009, 11:58 PM
UPDATE

The following was posted on the Gun Owners of America web site today:

*****************************************
Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408
http://www.gunowners.org

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Get ready to pinch yourself.

After eight years of clashing with anti-gun bureaucrats and
congressional leadership hostile to gun rights, we have never been
closer to victory in the battle to repeal the National Park Service
(NPS) gun ban.

As you are by now undoubtedly aware, NPS land is subject to a blanket
gun ban. A Bush administration regulation partially reversing the ban
was singlehandedly negated recently by an activist judge in Washington,
D.C.

Gun Owners of America reported last week about an amendment to repeal
the gun ban, sponsored by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), that passed by an
overwhelming 67-29 vote. Senator Coburn attached his amendment to a
fast-moving "must pass bill," H.R. 627, dealing with credit card
industry reform.

The Coburn amendment simply allows for state law -- not unelected
bureaucrats and activist judges -- to govern the carrying of firearms on
NPS land.

"Visitors to national parks also should have the right to defend
themselves in accordance with the laws of their states," Sen. Coburn
said.

The Senate wrapped up business on the underlying bill today, while the
House passed its version of the bill several weeks ago. The measure now
heads back to the House to be "reconciled" with the Senate bill.

The problem for anti-gun House leaders is that their priority bill, H.R.
627, now contains a pro-gun amendment. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is forced
to either delay the entire bill in order to try to strip the popular
pro-gun amendment out later in the year, or allow the underlying bill to
move through the House before Memorial Day with the Coburn amendment
intact.

Sources close to the situation tell GOA that the Democrat leadership,
which has opposed the NPS gun ban repeal at every turn, may have finally
run out of options. The enormous outpouring of grassroots activism from
GOA supporters may have at last convinced congressional leaders that if
they bury this measure yet again, the repercussions will reverberate
into the next election.

President Obama wants to sign this credit card legislation before
Memorial Day. So it is possible that there will be just one more vote
on this issue in the House this week. As of today, it appears the
leadership plans to bring the underlying bill to the floor in two pieces
for two separate votes -- one on the main bill and one on the Coburn
amendment.

If both pieces pass the House, then they can be combined together as one
bill and sent directly to the President without going to a House-Senate
conference committee. (There would be no need to iron out differences
in conference committee since the Senate would have already passed the
exact same version of the bill.)

Bottom line: we just need to make certain that the gun ban repeal
amendment passes in the House, after which it will be joined back up
with the main bill and signed into law. That's why the action item
below -- asking you to urge your Representative to vote for repealing
the NPS gun ban -- is so crucial.

This could be the last strike in a long battle, but even on the cusp of
winning GOA has also learned that some -- supposedly on the pro-gun side
-- are willing to compromise away this victory. Please be absolutely
sure to take the action below, and then forward this email to your
pro-gun friends.

And remember, the progress we have made on this issue would not be
possible without your support. GOA has been the lone voice fighting for
this gun ban repeal on Capitol Hill.

Action: Contact your Representative and urge that the Coburn amendment
remain attached to H.R. 627. The vote is scheduled to occur this week!

Please use the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at
http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm to send your Rep. the pre-written
e-mail message below.

----- Pre-written letter -----

Dear Representative,

Last week, an amendment to repeal the National Park Service (NPS) gun
ban passed overwhelmingly in the Senate by a vote of 67-29 as part of
the credit card reform bill.

NPS land is subject to a blanket gun ban. Although a Bush
administration regulation partially reversed the ban, that reversal was
singlehandedly negated by an activist judge in Washington, D.C.

The pro-gun amendment, sponsored by Sen. Tom Coburn, prevents unelected
bureaucrats and activist judges from stripping me of my Second Amendment
rights on NPS land.

It appears that the leadership plans to bring the underlying bill to the
floor in two pieces for two separate votes -- one on the main bill and
one on the Coburn amendment.

I urge you to stand up for my Second Amendment rights and to support the
effort to keep the Coburn amendment attached to the underlying bill,
H.R. 627.

Gun Owners of America will score this vote in its congressional rating,
and will inform me of how you vote.


----------------------------------------------------

What is Your Current GOA Status?

Obviously, we now face years of invigorated attacks on our gun rights.
Shutting down gun shows, prohibitions on specific calibers, another
semi-auto ban, and the anti-gun extremists' Holy Grail of mandatory
federal licensing and registration of all gun owners -- these are just
some of the horrors that we already know we'll have to defeat head-on.
Meanwhile, we'll take every opportunity to go on offense and advance the
Second Amendment.

It can't be done without every single voice being counted. That's why we
are asking you to consider making the commitment of becoming a Gun
Owners of America Life Member. By doing so, you put the politicians on
notice that neither you nor GOA is going away -- that no matter who's in
the White House, there is always going to be a solid wall of resistance.

Now is a perfect time to become a Life Member. And if you aren't a GOA
member at all, isn't it time you became one?

Please go to Join GOA Online With our Secure Online Membership form. to upgrade your
participation in GOA.
**************************************************

I sent another letter, through GOA this time, just to my Representative. The simple fact is that we may never get this opportunity again.

Good luck everyone. In three days, we find out the future of our 2nd Amendment rights.

Smity

carebear
May 20, 2009, 09:56 PM
Nice to see the GOA continuing to take sole credit for anything pro-gun and still beating the drums of falling skies... :rolleyes:

Good job to the pro-gunners on both sides of the aisle and to ALL who worked on passage (I'm sure someone had to hold Larry C's coat for him) :rolleyes:, looks like the President will sign it before the weekend.

Smity
May 20, 2009, 10:52 PM
The Credit Card Bill of Rights has passed the House WITH the Coburn Amendment! President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law Thursday or Friday.

Great job everyone! You all were part of the something great. Stay sharp -- other issues are coming.

Smity

chuckusaret
May 21, 2009, 01:29 PM
The Blue Ridge Parkway as well as Skyline Drive go through both types of "National" areas. Part of the problem has been National Forests often butt up against National Parks, and you could walk from forest, where you are legal, to park where you were not, without knowing it.

Thanks, I have traveled thru this area many times and never even thought about the gun laws. Darn, I was a criminal and didn't even know it......

sernv99
May 24, 2009, 10:31 PM
saw this article on Yahoo, from the AP on how Liberals are muffed as to why they aren't getting any new gun control legislation passed:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090524/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_obama_liberals


That poor excuse for a congresswoman Rep. McCarthy just doesn't get it.

some excerpts from the article:


As for trying to keep loaded guns out of national parks, Cummings said, "I don't think he put a lot of energy into it." Issues such as national security and the distressed economy deserve greater attention, at least for now, he said, adding that the president "picks his fights very carefully."

Such explanations provide small comfort to left-leaning Democrats after eight years of George W. Bush's presidency and nearly a dozen years of Republican control of Congress.

"We'll probably end up passing more gun bills" that expand owners' rights "than we did during the Republican administration," said Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., a leading gun control advocate. "That is what surprises me."

She placed less blame on the White House than on ordinary Americans and advocacy groups that are consistently outflanked by gun owners' groups, especially the National Rifle Association.

"Until the American people say enough is enough, and get active in it," Democratic control of Congress and the White House will not be enough to turn the tide, said McCarthy, whose husband was killed by a gunman in 1993.


Also Wednesday, the House voted overwhelmingly to join the Senate in letting people carry loaded guns in national parks and wildlife refuges. More than 100 House Democrats and 174 Republicans voted for the gun measure, which was attached to an Obama-backed bill imposing new restrictions on credit card companies.

Earlier this year, gun-rights supporters derailed a bill to give the District of Columbia voting rights in Congress by adding a provision that would repeal the city's strict gun regulations.

The gun votes were less surprising to many Democrats than were the Guantanamo developments. The NRA remains among the most powerful lobbies, and many lawmakers take care to stay off its political enemies list.

"People do not want to be on the wrong side of this particular cultural divide," said Rep. David Price, D-N.C., who supports tougher gun controls. "It's too bad there's not a more responsible national organization" to counteract the NRA, he said.

In some ways, the gun-control lobby is choking on Democratic success in congressional races. "The seats we're picking up come disproportionately from those more conservative areas," Price said, where linking the Democratic Party to gun control can be dangerous at re-election time.

Rep. Lynn Woolsey of California is another Democrat frustrated by the gun debate. When she asks colleagues why they don't support tougher restrictions, she said, they reply, "You just don't get it, Woolsey. You don't have our districts."

"It has to do with being afraid they'll lose their election if they stand up against guns," she said.


Many Democratic lawmakers predicted that Obama will resolve the Guantanamo problem and eventually turn to gun issues, where he has advocated ownership rights with "common sense" regulations.

"I do believe that down the road the president will start working on some of the gun violence issues," said McCarthy, the New York Democrat. "But let's face it," she said. "We've got an awful lot of issues on our plate right now

Steven Youngblood
May 24, 2009, 10:51 PM
What do you call an unarmed jogger in the hills of california? lunch for the mountain lions.

now that we get to keep our guns, they will find some way to make the bullets or some componet of the bullets illegal or restricted.

BHP FAN
May 25, 2009, 01:17 AM
Yeah,we don't want to give Condors indigestion.

ScottsGT
May 25, 2009, 09:14 AM
What do you call an unarmed jogger in the hills of california? lunch for the mountain lions.


Everything I have ever read about mountain lions, a gun would do no good. The sneak up behind you and get you when you least expect it. Granted, I'd rather have a sidearm than not in that situation, but I'm more worried about the two legged predators.

hso
May 25, 2009, 12:47 PM
Signed and will be implemented in 90 days 9 months (as the rest of the credit card bill will).

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