Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Guns stay out of the Great Smoky Mountains national park but may soon enter TN State parks

The federal Government had until this Monday to appeal the injunction which blocked the possession of loaded firearms in the Great Smoky Mountains national park and other national parks in lower 48 states. The lack of action means that the long standing ban on guns in most national parks is now back in effect. The state of Alaska has some national parks that are excluded from the firearms ban.

While the federal government made its stance on guns in national parks with its recent action (or lack thereof) known, a measure to allow people with state issued handgun permits to carry their firearms into TN state parks regardless of their size or location sponsored by Strawberry Plains Republican Rep. Niceley passed with a 71-22 vote in the Tennessee House.

This is so far there is no date when the on the proposed legislation allowing guns in Tennessee State Parks go to the Senate Judiciary Committee and must pass the Tennessee Senate.

It may not be so easy for this to pass as the agency which operates state parks the Environment and Conservation Department is outspoken against allowing guns into state parks.

Commissioner Jim Fyke of the Environment and Conservation Department has already testified to a House committee that "Besides the fact that we don't think guns belong in state parks or are needed, we don't want people to think that state parks are unsafe".

Commissioner Fyke citing the fact that in the past 3 years there were 100 million visitors to state parks and only 21 reported serious crimes.

Related New Stories on Guns in National Parks:


Jim Lee, Knoxville REALTOR said...

Naive to believe that people aren't carrying guns in the Smokies and other parks right now; legal or not.

I have no problem with handgun carry permit holders carrying their guns in the park.

One slipup and they lose the permit.

Numbers of permit holders who have had their permits revoked or suspended in Tennessee is about 3/10ths of 1% out of over 218,000 carry permit holders.

Smokies Hiker said...

I bet you are right that there are many still carrying guns in national parks.

Since the NPS never did a press release saying weapons are now illegal, many visitors are misinformed.

Regardless, anyone carrying a gun into a national park in TN or NC is in fact a criminal.

Stay tuned for an interesting report I am putting together with data from the US Fish and Wildlife Agency statistically showing that armed people attacked by grisly bears fared far worse than those that had bear spray!

Anonymous said...

you is my constituant! does he or doesn't he or she have a weapon. hmmmmmm we better let that one alone.