Judge Blocks Bush Rule Allowing Concealed Weapons in National Parks
By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 19, 2009; 5:35 PM
A federal judge today blocked a last-minute rule enacted by President Bush allowing visitors to national parks to carry concealed weapons.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit brought by gun-control advocates and environmental groups. The Justice Department had sought to block the injunction against the controversial rule.
The three groups that brought the suit -- the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the National Parks Conservation Association and the Coalition of National Park Service Retires -- argued the Bush Administration violated several laws in issuing the rule.
In her ruling, Kollar-Kotelly agreed that the government's process had been "astoundingly flawed."
The regulation took effect Jan. 9 and allowed visitors to carry loaded concealed guns into national parks and wildlife refuges. In the past, they had been allowed in such areas only if they were unloaded, stored or dismantled.