Guns in National Parks

I read last month that there has been a change in the policy at National Parks that will allow anyone to carry a firearm into the National Park.  It doesn’t change the law as far as hunting in the National Parks so don’t think you can carry your hunting rifle into Rocky Mountain National Park and shoot an Elk.  Not going to happen!  I’m not sure what precipitated the rule change but I personally don’t see any harm in allowing the carrying of weapons into the parks.  I’m sure that all of the anti gun activists will be up in arms over the issue.

An argument that I would make in favor of allowing the carrying of firearms into a National Park is the one of protection from that one in a million chance that you are confronted with a bear attack.  After all it has always been legal to carry a firearm in a National Forest.  Many National Forests are adjacent to National Parks, so why one and not the other.  When we go camping we do a lot of hiking and that includes hiking in National Parks where there are a lot of bears.  It makes my wife nervous to hike in bear territory and I’m a little uneasy also.  Given that there have been a number of people killed by bears or attacked by bears and mountain lions over the years, I would feel more comfortable having my large caliber pistol in my back pack while hiking.  Using the weapon would be a last ditch maneuver, but I’d rather be alive to argue my motive than dead or misfigured from another bear attack.

In our years of hiking, we have only had one bear incounter in a National Forest.  Fortunately the bear wasn’t interested in us and went on his/her way after giving us the once over.  We had dogs with us and I had my large caliber pistol with me, so that gave me some comfort.  This year when we go back to the mountains I will hike with the pistol and will feel a little more at ease as we hike.

I’m sure there are some opinions out there.  What do you think?


Bear in National Forest



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