BELLEVUE, WA â€“ The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today is urging gun owners to back legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) that would enable private citizens to carry defensive sidearms in national parks.
â€œThis is responsible, sensible legislation,â€ said CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb, â€œand it is a genuine shame that the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) has mounted a campaign to derail this important effort.
â€œPEER issued an alarmist press release that mirrors hysteria currently being pandered by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence about Coburnâ€™s S. 2483,â€ Gottlieb noted. â€œTheir specious argument is that allowing legally-licensed private citizens to carry concealed, defensive firearms inside national parks would contribute to poaching and open the door to sport hunting. That is a pretty flimsy sham to cover their real objection, which is against American citizens exercising their right of self-defense in an emergency on national park property.â€
Gottlieb, co-author of America Fights Back: Armed Self-Defense in a Violent Age, noted that an entire chapter of that book is devoted to rising criminal activity in national parks and on national forest lands.
â€œPEER and their soulmates at the Brady Campaign want to continue operating national parks as victim disarmament zones,â€ Gottlieb observed. â€œAmerican citizens do not leave their right of self-defense, not to mention their constitutional right to keep and bear arms, at the gates of a national park, but under current regulations, one-tenth of the Bill of Rights is suspended on national park property, and that cannot be allowed to continue.
â€œThis has nothing to do with hunting or poaching,â€ he added, â€œand officials at PEER who issued a public statement against the Coburn amendment, knows it. Rhetoric about poaching and hunting amounts to a red herring designed to divert attention away from the real issue of public safety in national parks.
â€œFor too many years, the National Park Service has been allowed to suspend the Second Amendment on lands it manages,â€ Gottlieb concluded. â€œBut those lands are public lands, and they belong to all of us, not just some anti-gun park service bureaucrats, PEER gun control advocates or the Brady Campaign. Itâ€™s time for the Coburn Amendment to become law.â€