Last year, 51 senators and I wrote to the Department of Interior asking for an update on existing regulations that restrict the carrying of firearms.  In response to our letter, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne sought a proposal to update the firearm policies.

After receiving comments from across the nation on Secretary Kempthorne’s proposal, the Department of Interior will now institute a policy allowing firearms to be carried in national parks and wildlife refuges as long as the concealed weapons permit holder is “authorized to do so on similar state lands in the state in which the national park or refuge is located.”  I am pleased that law-abiding gun owners will have the opportunity to exercise their Second Amendment rights in national parks without having to worry about convoluted laws.

The right to own and carry firearms is a fundamental right of all Americans.  I applaud the Department of Interior for preserving Second Amendment rights in national parks and thank the gun owners and park-goers who took the time to comment on the proposed law.  Those comments and congressional efforts ultimately led to a big win for gun owners everywhere.  Law-abiding citizens with valid concealed weapons permits will no longer be stuck with confusing laws about when they can and can’t have their weapons in accessible places and where they can use them.