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Congressman Young Applauds New Gun Law In U.S. National Parks

Washington, D.C. - Alaska Congressman Don Young released the following statement Feb. 22 applauding the enforcement of every American's Second Amendment rights in our nation's national parks:

In May of 2009, legislation allowing firearms in national parks was included as an amendment to H.R. 627, the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009. After passing both chambers it was signed into law by President Obama. February 22, 2010, marks the first day this commendable gun law will be effective nationwide.

This Act repealed a National Park Service (NPS) rule that had long prohibited Americans from lawfully possessing firearms in national parks for self-defense. Until the law's passage and implementation, the only way to legally posses a gun anywhere near NPS land was to have it unloaded and locked in the trunk of your car. The legislation will essentially treat NPS and Wildlife Refuge lands like Bureau of Land Management land, by allowing each individual state to decide laws governing firearm possession in the nation's National Parks. Federal laws that prohibit guns in federal facilities will remain intact and enforced.

"The Second Amendment grants us the fundamental right to protect ourselves," said Rep. Young. "Various crimes happen each year on National Park Service land, and the victims don't have the right to carry a firearm and protect themselves. Anyone who knows me knows that I will always defend our right to bear arms and protect ourselves, and our loved ones. Guns are allowed in most park areas in Alaska and that should be the case across the country, in accordance with their state gun laws. Our constitutionally protected right to bear arms does not and should not end where our nation's national parks begin. I will always vote for legislation that errs on the side of the Second Amendment."

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