Parks gun rule prompts inauguration fears

Dec. 27, 2008 at 10:52 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Confusion over gun control laws in national parks may mean some attending U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration will bring weapons, officials say.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., and gun control groups say they're worried that because the Bush administration has changed federal regulations to allow people with permits to carry concealed firearms while in national parks, some people coming to the Jan. 20 inauguration outside the Capitol will be packing heat, the Washington publication The Hill reported Saturday.

The rule, however, forbids bringing guns into national parks located within districts that ban concealed weapons, which Washington does. But Norton, a longtime gun control supporter, said confusion about the rule change could make for trouble.

"It is truly frightening to think of what this could mean coming just a couple of weeks before the inauguration," she told The Hill.

Larry Pratt, executive director for the pro-gun rights Gun Owners of America, said Norton's fears are misguided, telling the publication, "People know enough to check on what the rules are."

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