WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Jim Webb (D-VA) introduced legislation to make gun regulations consistent across all federal recreational lands by bringing Army Corps of Engineers rules in line with other federal agencies.
In the 111th Congress, lawmakers overwhelming approved allowing individuals to possess firearms in the National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System, provided they are not breaking state laws or otherwise prohibited from possessing the firearms. However, current regulations prohibit these same rights on many of the lands operated by the Army Corps.
"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,” Boozman said.
“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,” Webb said. “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.”
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 of Engineer Water Resource Development projects or facilities. This legislation maintains current regulations prohibiting guns and dangerous weapons in federal facilities such as Army Corps of Engineers headquarters or lock and dam buildings.
Similar legislation passed the House of Representatives in July as an amendment to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill.Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Mike Johanns (R-NE) and Jon Tester (D-MT) are original cosponsors of the legislation, which is strongly supported by the National Rifle Association.