Interior Spokeswoman’s Statement on New Firearms Law for Parks and Refuges



05/22/2009

Contact: Kendra Barkoff (202) 208-6416

WASHINGTON, D.C. – WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Department of the Interior spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff issued the following statement regarding the enactment of a new firearms law for national parks and wildlife refuges that will take effect in nine months:

“The Department of the Interior will follow Congress’s directive and implement the new firearms law, which states that its provisions will take effect nine months from today. For the time being, the current Reagan Administration regulations governing possession of firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges remain in place. Under the current regulation, firearms are generally prohibited, but citizens may transport unloaded and dismantled or cased firearms and carry firearms while participating in approved hunting programs and under certain other circumstances. “As Interior prepares to implement the new law, the Department will work to understand and interpret its implications for our national parks and wildlife refuges, with public safety and the safety of our employees as our foremost consideration. Because possession of loaded weapons on national parks and wildlife refuges will be governed by varying state firearms laws once the new law is implemented, the Department will provide guidance to the more than 24,000 professionals who manage our parks and refuges and the more than 310 million people who visit our parks and refuges each year.”