Thank you for contacting me regarding the possession of firearms in National Parks. I appreciate hearing from you and would like to respond to your concerns.
On December 14, 2007, I joined a number of my Senate colleagues in signing a letter to the Secretary of the Interior regarding transporting and carrying firearms on federally-managed lands. Current regulations prohibit individuals from possessing a firearm on lands managed by the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service. Other federal land management agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service allow transporting and carrying of firearms on these lands in accordance with the laws of the host state. These inconsistencies in firearms regulations for public lands are confusing, burdensome, and unnecessary.
For these reasons, I support an exception to the current regulations allowing law-abiding citizens to transport and carry firearms consistent with state law where the National Park Service's administrative sites and the National Wildlife Refuges are located. Such regulatory changes would respect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners, while providing a consistent application of state weapons laws across all land ownership boundaries.
When our Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution, they included the Second Amendment to guarantee people the right to keep and bear arms. This is a fundamental part of our American identity, and I will work with my Senate colleagues to ensure that this liberty is protected for all law-abiding citizens.
Again, thank you for sharing your views with me. If you have any additional questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. In addition, for more information about issues and activities important to Florida, please sign up for my weekly newsletter at United States Senator Mel Martinez :: Welcome
United States Senator