Washington, DC - Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jim Webb (D-Virginia), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Jon Tester (D-Montana), Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) have introduced legislation to make firearm regulations consistent across all federal recreational lands by bringing Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) rules in line with those of other federal land management agencies. During the last Congress, Crapo played a key role in overturning federal regulations that prohibited law-abiding gun owners from exercising their 2 nd Amendment rights on lands managed by the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. However, current regulations prohibit these same rights on many of the lands operated by the Corps.
"The Second Amendment rights of lawful firearms owners do not stop at arbitrary boundaries," Crapo said. "This bill will complete advance our efforts so that recreationists and everyday law-abiding gun owners can have their rights protected across public lands."
"Gun owners need to know that they can exercise their Second Amendment rights when they are legally camping, hiking or fishing in our nation's parks and recreational lands," said Senator Webb. "This bipartisan bill would provide consistent rules for all federal lands rather than the current patchwork of regulations where the Army Corps has different rules than the Parks Service."
"Gun owners must be allowed to defend themselves on federal lands. This is important to protecting our constitutional rights and we owe it to law abiding gun owners to address this national gun issue," said Senator Boozman.
The Recreational Land Self -Defense Act would prohibit the Secretary of the Army from enforcing any regulation that keeps an individual from possessing firearms on Army Corps Water Resource Development projects or facilities. The legislation would notchange the current legal prohibition of guns and dangerous weapons in federal facilities, such as the Corps Head Quarters, Engineering Research Facilities, and lock and dam buildings. The House of Representatives recently passed similar legislation as an amendment to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill (H.R. 2354).
The Army Corps is the nation's largest federal provider of water-based recreation, overseeing 400 lakes and river projects, 90,000 campsites and 4,000 miles of trails. For a state-by-state listing of Corps-operated lands visit http://corpslakes.usace.army.mil/visitors/visitors.cfm.
The legislation is strongly supported by the National Rifle Association.
The text of the bill is available here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/65785124/The-Recreational-Land-Self-Defense-Act.