Park Rangers, Groups Oppose Bid to Ease Ban on Guns in National Parks

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Washington (AP) Park rangers and conservation groups are trying to keep loaded guns out of the nation's parks.

The interior department is reconsidering regulations that require visitors to unload their guns and put them somewhere that is not easily reached when they enter parks. The department is doing the review in response to a letter from 50 senators. It's planning to draw up new rules by April 30th for public comment.

A retired park superintendent says guns are”not needed and are not appropriate” for the parks. He says changing regulations could “break what is not broken.”

An NRA lobbyist says “law-abiding citizens should not be prohibited from protecting themselves and their families while enjoying America’s national parks and wildlife refuges.”

Park rangers say the plan amounts to surrender to the NRA. A conservation advocacy group says the restrictions “were reasonable then and are reasonable now.”