January 27, 2015

Crapo Introduces Bill to Strengthen Idahoans' Second Amendment Rights

Legislation would lift ban on concealed carry on millions of acres of federally owned recreational lands

Washington, D.C.-Idaho Senator Mike Crapo today introduced legislation to reaffirm the Second Amendment rights of Idahoans.  S. 263 seeks to make firearm regulations consistent across federal lands by allowing law-abiding citizens to carry firearms on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) property.  Under current law, a person may carry a concealed weapon in a National Park or Refuge as long as individuals comply with the firearm laws of the park's home state.  However, the same rights are not extended to Americans who hunt, camp or fish on land owned by the Corps, effectively denying them of their Second Amendment freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution when on Corps lands. 

"Not only does this policy discourage use of the 11.7 million acres, 460 lakes and almost 500 recreational areas that are owned or managed by the Corps, but, more importantly, it infringes on Americans' Second Amendment rights," said Crapo.  "The rights of lawful gun owners do not stop at arbitrary boundaries, and this legislation will ensure those rights are protected by bringing consistency to the current conflicting myriad of firearm regulations imposed across public lands."

Specifically, Crapo's legislation would clarify that federal regulations should not forbid the possession of firearms on Army Crops projects and lands, as long as the firearm possession complies with state laws.  Additionally, it would ensure that Corps policy is consistent with the policy already in effect at National Parks or Refuges.

Fellow Idaho Senator Jim Risch is a co-sponsor of the legislation.

For a state-by-state listing of Corps-operated lands, click here.