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· Super Moderator
75,883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·

The National Park Service is an ideal candidate to acquire a pristine, undeveloped site adjacent to Big Bend National Park in West Texas, but Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson is foolishly opposing such a move.

Patterson, a fervent gun rights advocate, opposes selling the park service the 9,269-acre Christmas Mountains site because it would not allow public hunting or possession of firearms on the property.

Patterson, who appears determined to proceed with a state sale of the property to a private bidder as soon as Nov. 6, believes that the Park Service's policy is 'an unconstitutional ban on the personal possession of firearms,' according to Jim Suydam, a spokesman for the commissioner. ...

· Super Moderator
75,883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Jerry Patterson: National parks gun ban unconstitutional

Web Posted: 05/27/2008 11:34 PM CDT

Special to the San Antonio Express-News

Recent displays of my Second Amendment rights have earned some harsh words from editorial writers at some of Texas' big city newspapers, including the San Antonio Express-News.

I've been criticized for acknowledging I carried a concealed handgun, as is my right, on recent visits to Big Bend National Park. :shock: A National Park Service rule prohibits carrying a loaded, concealed handgun.

“Evidently, Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson was absent from school the day the Constitution was covered,†wrote the San Antonio Express-News Editorial Board.

While that's an awfully cute jab, the reality is I've learned the Constitution over the course of a lifetime â€" not just one day. I've taken oaths to uphold and protect our Constitution â€" as a U.S. Marine and as a state elected official.

So look at the facts.

The ban on loaded firearms in National Park is not a law. It is a rule enacted by unelected bureaucrats of the National Park Service. There was no legislative process â€" these bureaucrats arbitrarily terminated this Constitutional right.

Fortunately, the clearly unconstitutional National Park Service rules on possessing firearms in federal parks are changing. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne recently proposed new rules that would respect state firearm laws and the Second Amendment.

Nonetheless, some editorial boards oppose allowing citizens the right to self-defense. Law-abiding Texans, they say, can't be trusted with guns and don't need them in the park, anyway, because no one else can have a gun.

On a recent hike in Big Bend, I found two expended 9mm shell casings, along with a discarded pack of Mexican cigarettes. The Texas Department of Public Safety ballistics lab confirmed two different weapons fired these casings. How could this be? There are no guns in Big Bend, because that's the rule, right?

Tell that to the rafters who were ambushed and killed several years ago in an area adjacent to the Big Bend known as Colorado Canyon. Tell that to the woman whose body, suffering from blunt force trauma to the head, was found floating in five feet of water at Amistad National Recreation Area.

In 2006, the most recent year available for statistics, the National Park Service says there were 116,588 reported offenses in national parks. That includes 11 killings, 35 rapes or attempted rapes, 61 robberies, 16 kidnappings and 261 aggravated assaults.

With the increasingly violent criminal activity along the Texas-Mexico border, carrying a firearm in remote areas along the border, including Big Bend National Park, is a choice every citizen should have.

Express-News editorial writers assert the current proposal to rescind the ban on lawfully carried firearms in national parks is a “solution in search of a problem.†But the problem is very real.

Americans are guaranteed our right to keep and bear arms. That right is unassailable and inviolate. To rescind that right when one crosses an arbitrary boundary into a national park is an unconstitutional act no different than rescinding our Fourth Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure. [M.P. - We should steal that line for all places off limits!]

As an elected official, I take an oath that I will “to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State, so help me God.â€

I do not regard such affirmations as anachronistic formalities. I guess you can call me an old-fashioned believer in the wisdom of those who penned the Bill of Rights and not much of a believer in the wisdom of editorial boards.

· Lawyer and Gun Activist
30,350 Posts
CNN news

Today's website has a link to a video news report about the federal Department of the Interior's proposal to allow the carrying of guns into national parks IF that would be allowed under the law of the state that that park (or part of the park) is in.

The period for public comments on this proposed rule change is the end of June. So if you haven't written, called, or wrote to the feds about allowing loaded guns within your reach as you visit a National Park, better do it now.

Link to the video on CNN:
guns in parks

EDITED: nevermind. (There is another thread related to this topic, too.)

· Registered
1,256 Posts
rcsob657 said:
I like how in today's CNN video interviews they say since they only have 11 homicides a year, 60 or so robberies, and a dozen or so rapes; you don't need a weapon to defend yourself............
yeah...unless you don't want to be one of the homocide, robbery or rape victims mentioned in the report. :roll:
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