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Park news release on guns in the parks

Post by Jeff Mayor / The News Tribune on Feb. 19, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
February 19, 2010 12:07 pm

Here is a press release about guns in the parks the staff at Mount Rainier National Park just released.

A change in federal law effective Monday allows people who can legally possess firearms under federal, Washington state, and local laws to possess those firearms in Mount Rainier National Park.

The new federal law makes possession of firearms in national parks also subject to the firearms laws of the state and communities where the parks are located.

“We have been working closely with local, state, and federal officials to ensure that we clearly understand the provisions of the laws that will now apply to our visitors when they are in the park,” said Mount Rainier National Park Acting Superintendent Randy King. We encourage every visitor who may wish to bring firearms to the park to do their research ahead of time and ensure that they are aware of and abide by the laws that apply. Our goal is to provide safe, enjoyable park visits for everyone, and to preserve this very special place for people today and future generations.”

The new federal law has no effect on existing laws and regulations regarding the use of firearms in national parks or hunting. Hunting still is not allowed in the park. Federal law continues to prohibit firearms in certain facilities, such as park visitor centers; these facilities are posted with appropriate notices at public entrances.

National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis said, “We will administer this law as we do all others – fairly. For nearly 100 years, the mission of the National Park Service has been to protect and preserve the parks and to help all visitors enjoy them. The parks belong to all Americans, and our commitment to the American people is to ensure the safety of our visitors and the special places that have been entrusted to our care.”

For more information about firearms laws that apply to Mount Rainier National Park, please visit the Washington State Legislature Firearms And Dangerous Weapons Web page.

Here is a link to my column in which I talked to Chuck Young, chief ranger at Mount Rainier, about the change.

Don’t forget, the change also includes national wildlife refuges, such as Nisqually and Ridgefield.

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