Just before 2008 ended, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence sued the Bush administration over a new policy that will permit concealed carry in National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges, for approved license holders in states allowing carry. In public statements, Brady president Paul Helmke tried to argue, erroneously, that the recent Department of Interior (DOI) rule change would somehow give a green light to criminals and other bad guys to shoot up our parks and park visitors.
“The Bush administration’s last-minute gift to the gun lobby, allowing concealed semiautomatic weapons in national parks, jeopardizes the safety of park visitors in violation of federal law,” said Helmke, in the Associated Press. “We should not be making it easier for dangerous people to carry concealed firearms in our parks.”
As the Washington Times reported, “Along with filing the lawsuit, the Brady Center is seeking a temporary injunction from U.S. District Court in the District [of Columbia] to stop the regulations from taking hold. The lawsuit claims the DOI violated federal law by failing to conduct an environmental review before imposing the new regulations. It also accuses the DOI of violating the National Park Service Organic Act and the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act by making the parks and refuges less safe for wildlife and people.”
The Times added that the rule change, “was supported by 51 senators from both parties and Reps. Nick J. Rahall II, West Virginia Democrat, and Don Young, Alaska Republican, the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the House Natural Resources Committee.”