North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole has reportedly joined a movement to allow individuals to carry firearms in our national parks. The movement begun by Republican Senator Mike Crapo from Idaho is pressuring the Department of the Interior to remove the federal ban on guns in our currently gun free national parks. According to reports by extreme North Carolina gun rights organizations Senator Dole has written a letter to the department asking them to lift the ban—in effect opening the door to all park visitors to carry concealed weapons provided they have a permit.
National Park Service ordinance 36 CFR 2.4, and 50 CFR 27.42(Fish and Wildlife Service), prohibits all individuals from possessing a firearm on lands managed by these agencies. These ordinances currently ensure that the national parks system remain a safe environment for visitors and visiting families. At the present time, families who travel nationwide visiting our park system can expect consistent rules and regulations throughout the country. It is likely that families may no longer feel at ease visiting a variety of national parks if they can not anticipate conditions upon arrival---put simply: they will not visit without knowing if it is a gun-free vacation spot.
Advocates for lifting the ban claim individual state governments should have the right to determine park policy. However, requirements and training for concealed firearms possession differ greatly from state to state. Park officials state that the almost 400 Park Services jurisdictions would find it impossible to enforce individual state laws particularly with the large numbers of out-of-state visitors each year.
Sue Baker, President of the Board for NCGV stated "while the states have unquestioned authority over state parks within their jurisdictions, equally so it seems absolutely certain that the federal government should have the legal control of all aspects of regulating our national parks."
Currently over 274 million individuals visit national parks each year, each of whom is allowed the opportunity to store a gun in homes inside national parks, inside RVs and even hotel rooms in national parks. Visitors are solely limited from carrying firearms on trails or on person--- where they may purposefully or inadvertently be able to injure others.
North Carolinians Against Gun Violence
Our mission is to make North Carolina safe from gun violence through the education of the public about preventing gun violence, the enforcement of current gun laws, and the enactment of needed new laws.