Early in 2008, a number of U.S. Senators wrote to Interior Secretary Dick Kempthorne, urging him to revise his department’s regulations pertaining to firearm possession on national park and national wildlife refuge lands. Since the 1930s, federal regulations have banned the possession of loaded weapons on those public lands, but the proposed regulations would overturn that tradition.
The issue is of particular interest in Western North Carolina, in light of the fact that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the nation’s single most-visited national park, and the Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic thoroughfare stretching from Virginia to the Smokies, is the park service’s most-visited.
Click here to read Kempthorne’s letter to U.S. Sen. Michael Crapo on the matter.
Click here to read a brief history of the National Park Service’s regulation of firearms.
Click here to see the proposed amendment to the park regulations.