Press Releases

San Francisco -- U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today denounced the Bush Administration’s weakening of federal regulations that prohibit the carrying of loaded firearms in America’s national parks and wildlife refuges.

Following is Senator Feinstein’s statement: 

“This unprecedented rule change wipes out common-sense regulations originally enacted by the Reagan Administration.  The Reagan-era rules have stood the test of time and make our National Parks safe for all who visit them. The Bush Administration changes will make our National parks more dangerous, and will upset the delicate balance that exists between park visitors and wildlife. 

Allowing loaded, concealed weapons in our national Parks will also create new enforcement problems for park rangers. In Death Valley National Park, which straddles both California and Nevada, which state law would apply? California prohibits loaded and accessible weapons in its state parks, Nevada does not.  The Reagan regulations prohibiting loaded and accessible weapons in our national parks provided a consistent and uniform standard aimed at protecting public safety.  The new Bush regulation creates a nightmare of enforcement problems, and will put the safety of park visitors at risk.

Our national parks are public treasures. There is simply no good reason why this Administration would change a rule that has helped make our national parks among the most popular and safest places in the country.”

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