Victory at Last
— National Park Service Gun Ban Repealed!
Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408
“Gun Owners of America was the most consistent and loudest voice on
Capitol Hill in support of the effort to repeal the National Park
Service gun ban.” — Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill today that included an
amendment to repeal the gun ban on National Park Service (NPS) land and
The amendment, sponsored by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) and attached to a
credit card industry reform bill, passed the House overwhelmingly by a
vote of 279-147.
For decades, law-abiding citizens have been prohibited from exercising
their Second Amendment rights on NPS land and wildlife refuges, even if
the state in which the land is located allows carrying firearms.
With some limited exceptions for hunting, the only way to legally
possess a firearm anywhere in a national park is by having it unloaded
and inaccessible, such as locked up in an automobile trunk. A Bush
administration regulation partially reversed the ban, but that action
was singlehandedly negated recently by an activist judge in Washington,
D.C. The Department of Interior decided not to appeal that ruling.
Senator Coburn believes, like you do, that Americans should not be
forced to sacrifice their Second Amendment rights when entering NPS land
and wildlife refuges.
GOA worked with Coburn on an amendment that simply allows for state and
local laws — instead of unelected bureaucrats and anti gun activist
judges — to govern firearm possession on these lands.
The anti-gun leadership in both the House and Senate went berserk and
fought to keep the Coburn amendment from being attached to the
underlying bill. Sparks were flying on the floor of the House of
Anti-gun Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) whined that a “very
card bill had been “hijacked” by the Coburn amendment. To
Rob Bishop (R-UT) pointed out that gun control is the policy of tyrants,
as evidenced by the British attempt to confiscate firearms at Lexington
and Concord in 1775.
Congressional leaders and entrenched bureaucrats have fought GOA over
the NPS gun ban for the past eight years.
But your activism has finally broken through. The late Senator Everett
Dirksen said, “When I feel the heat, I see the light!” Well,
applied a lot of heat. Members of Congress know that they oppose your
Second Amendment rights at their own peril.
As it stands today, both houses of Congress have now passed the Coburn
amendment — and President Obama is expected to sign the provision into
law (only because it is part of a larger credit card bill that he really
So, congratulate yourself for winning this long, hard battle. GOA was
the leading, and often only, national gun group involved in this fight.
You involvement was absolutely vital to achieving this win.
Of course, many more battles lie ahead. President Obama continues to
push for the Senate to ratify massive international gun control
treaties. There is a battle over a Supreme Court nominee coming up.
Anti-gun zealots in Congress are aggressively pushing to renew the
Clinton gun ban and close down gun shows.
And as the health care debate picks up steam in the coming weeks and
months, GOA is battling efforts to create a computerized national
healthcare database. Such a database can be used to deny people their
Second Amendment rights in the same way that so many veterans have lost
their gun rights based only on the diagnoses of a doctor for things like
GOA will be calling for action on these and other Second Amendment
issues as they move through Congress.
In the meantime, have a safe Memorial Day as we remember those who gave
the ultimate sacrifice so that America would remain “Land of the