Monday, December 15, 2008

Weapons permits will apply in Smokies

The National Park Service will allow weapons to be carried in the Smokies after the overturning of a federal rule restricting weapons in national parks and wildlife refuges.

The Park Service confirmed today that the agency will recognize handgun permits from Tennessee and North Carolina, beginning in January.

NPS spokesman Bob Miller in Gatlinburg said under current regulations, firearms can be brought into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park only when cased or trigger-locked and left in vehicles.

The new regulations will allow people who have valid permits to carry weapons to keep them on their person.

The new rules will apply to permits holders from Tennessee, North Carolina and states with which they have reciprocal agreements.

What are your thoughts on this? Is this a bad idea, one that will make the park more dangerous? Or, will it provide a degree of protection from bad guys and maybe even bears?


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1 comment:

David said...

My general opinion is that this rule change will not change the park experience for visitors.

Criminals who carry and use firearms maliciously will do so regardless of the rules passed by the Park Service.

Law abiding citizens who carry firearms for protection rarely make the news or cause a stir. Potentially this might make criminals consider that folks visiting parks might be able to protect themselves (a good thing).

For that reason, I'm fine with the rule change.