Judge Blocks Loaded, Concealed Guns in National Parks

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Judge Blocks Loaded, Concealed Guns in National Parks

From National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA)
March 2009

The National Parks Conservation Association is relieved that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia yesterday issued an injunction against enforcing a Department of Interior rule that allowed loaded and concealed guns in national parks.

This ruling by Judge Kollar-Kotelly validates the concerns of Americans across the country, every living former director of the National Park Service, ranger organizations, and retired park superintendents -all of whom opposed this eleventh-hour change under the Bush Administration.

This decision will help ensure national parks remain one of the safest places for American families and wildlife."

Among other things, the court recognized that the Bush Administration "ignored substantial information in the administrative record concerning environmental impacts," and went on to say that the process was "astoundingly flawed." Consistent with concerns raised by NPCA and several park ranger organizations, the judge ruled that the DOI's process ignored the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a law which requires the government to assess whether or not a proposed policy will have an adverse impact on the environment, including park wildlife, before finalizing it--which the Administration had not done.

Thousands of you wrote comments and sent letters to newspaper editors citing the Administration's blatant disregard of the law, and with your help, we were able to halt implementation of this flawed regulation.

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