Change sought in national park gun rules

Dec. 18, 2007 at 9:15 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Forty-seven U.S. senators have asked the National Parks Service to allow gun owners to carry loaded weapons in federal parks and wildlife refuges.

The letter, drafted by Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, calls the current regulations "confusing, burdensome and unnecessary," the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News reported.

Guns can only be brought to most national parks and wildlife refuges if they are unloaded, broken down and in a carrying case. There are some exceptions in places where hunting is allowed in season and in back-country areas in some Alaskan parks where loaded guns can be brought in for protection from bears.

"In Alaska, legally possessing a gun is as much a necessity as it is a right," said Aaron Saunders, a spokesman for Sen. Ted Stevens, one of the signers. "Sen. Stevens strongly supports streamlining

federal regulations regarding law-abiding citizens carrying firearms on public lands."

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