Senators fight for guns in national parks

Friday, January 11th 2008, 11:35 am
By: News 9

NEWS 9 and the Associated Press

Nearly half the U.S. Senate wants to let gun owners carry handguns and other firearms into national parks and wildlife refuges. 

U.S. senators for Oklahoma Jim Inhofe, (R), and Tom Coburn, (R), and 45 other lawmakers signed a letter asking the U.S. Interior Secretary to lift restrictions that prevent citizens from carrying readily accessible firearms onto lands managed by the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The National Park Service said the Reagan-era restrictions were put into place for public safety and to protect wildlife. A park official said before the rules were adopted, "people would go out and shoot wildlife." He said he's worried if people are carrying firearms in the nation's parks more shooting accidents could occur.

The lawmakers write in their letter that the current regulations "infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners" who want to take firearms on or across federal land.

The office of the U.S. Interior Secretary said officials are reviewing the letter.