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Unwarranted Opposition To S 4057

By Greg L | 27 November 2006 | Virginia Politics, Crime | No Comments

Sysyphus is still trying to roll his opposition to allowing state firearms laws to prevail in National Parks, as it currently does in National Forests and state parks with his recent post “Guns in national parks (again)”, a post which deserves to yet again roll back down the hill.

For years there has been no objection to someone legally carrying a defensive firearm on their person in the George Washington National Forest. And during the past twenty years, I cannot find a single incident of an accident or crime resulting. If that same person happens to cross the unmarked boundary between the George Washington National Forest and Shenandoah National Park, he would have violated National Park Service rules which have the force of federal law. Similarly, someone driving alone State Route 211 which crosses Shenandoah National Park would be committing a federal offense if he was armed simply by crossing through the borders of the park. Not only does current law not make sense, but it sets traps for gun owners who might inadvertently violate the law despite no criminal intent on their part.

If this legislation is a bad idea, someone is going to have to adequately explain why no problem exists in National Forests nor in state parks. And I hope they would explain to me why I should somehow be considered a danger to my fellow citizens within a National Park but not when I happen to be within the boundaries of a National Forest, or within a shopping center, or when out for a walk with my children. If the mere presence of a firearm under the custody and control of this infantry veteran is such a security nightmare for my family and my neighbors, why should it make any difference whether I carry on one side of the border of a National Park or the other?

The concerns by folks such as these are not that defensive firearms are a problem in specifically National Parks, but that they should be prohibited everywhere. That question has long been resolved in favor of a citizen’s liberty to undertake responsible measures to protect himself and his family. Hence there has been no rational argument specifically arguing why National Parks deserve any different treatment than other parts of the state.

Senator Allen’s bill deserves a vote. Here’s who to contact in order to help make that happen (from VCDL’s VA-ALERT):

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