On Feb. 22, 2010, a federal law went into effect that allows people who can legally possess firearms under federal and state law in the state in which a national park is located to possess firearms in that park, said Bill Reynolds, a National Park Service spokesman.
The law does not affect existing laws and regulations regarding the use of firearms or hunting in national parks, Reynolds said.
“More than 30 parks are located in more than one state. Visitors must be aware of what state they are in and the laws that apply,” Reynolds said.
One example, he said, is Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is in North Carolina and Tennessee.
Federal law continues to prohibit possession of firearms in designated “Federal facilities,” for example, visitor centers, offices, or maintenance buildings.
Reynolds referred to Sec. 512 of P.L. 111-24, a provision of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in May 2009.
“It directs the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to follow the applicable state and local laws regarding the possession of firearms, open and concealed carry, in national parks and national wildlife refuges,” Reynolds said.
“We try to ensure consistency in (National Park Service) administration of the law across parks within a state, and in similar laws across states,” he said. “Parks work with friends groups, concessioners, volunteers, tour operators, and other park partners so they understand the effects of the law on their activities.”
“Firearms prohibited” signs are posted at public entrances to federal facilities.
Park websites provide visitors information and links to state firearms laws.
Date posted: February 20, 2013
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