In response to lawsuits filed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and conservation groups, the Obama Administration today agreed to halt a rule implemented days before President Bush left office that allowed loaded, concealed guns in national parks and wildlife refuges. The Obama administration had initially defended the rule in court, before the Brady Campaign prevailed in its motion for a preliminary injunction of the rule.I can't help but wonder how proud of themselves they feel now. Without that lawsuit, and activist, gun-hating judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, Senator Coburn (R-OK) may still have filed his amendment, but I seriously doubt he would have succeeded in getting it attached to something the Democrat majority thought of as "must-pass," like the credit card industry bill.
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“We are pleased that loaded, concealed guns will continue to be prohibited in our national parks,” stated Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke. “Semiautomatic weapons have no place in the valleys of Yellowstone, on the cliffs of Yosemite, or under the torch of the Statue of Liberty. While the government should be spending its resources attempting to reduce gun violence, rather than wasting resources analyzing this ill-conceived rule, we hope and expect that the Obama administration will conclude that the rule can only make our parks more dangerous and should not be implemented.”
The Brady Campaign is represented by attorneys from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence’s Legal Action Project and the law firm of Ropes & Gray LLP. Ropes & Gray attorney Bruce S. Manheim, Jr. said, “The government apparently recognized that it must fully consider the dangers posed by concealed weapons before deciding whether to allow them in the parks.”
The Brady Campaign filed suit on December 30, 2008, to block the rule. The Bush rule went into effect on January 9, 2009, but Judge Kollar-Kotelly granted an injunction on March 19th, finding that the Bush Administration’s last-minute guns in parks rule was a product of an “astoundingly flawed process,” and that the Brady Campaign was “highly likely to prevail” in showing that the rule was illegal.
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The government announced its action today in response to the Brady Campaign’s case and a related case brought by the National Parks Conservation Association, the Coalition of National Park Services Retirees, and Association of National Park Rangers filed January 6, 2009.
The Bush administration rule that the Brady Bunch credited themselves with having blocked was considerably more strict (and thus considerably more acceptable to the B.C.), because it did not permit open carry, and would thus not allow situations in which "[f]amilies [would] have to stare down loaded AK-47s on nature hikes."
On the other hand, it's not all ignominious defeats for the Brady Bunch, as Helmke triumphantly trumpeted yesterday:
Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, issued the following statement about yesterday's 86-18 vote defeating HB 27 in the Louisiana State Legislature to force loaded, concealed handguns on the state's college campuses:Hmm--you mean an 87-17 vote wouldn't have been a "more stern rebuke," Paul?
"I applaud the Louisiana House of Representatives for rejecting the gun lobby's attempts to force loaded, concealed handguns onto their college and university campuses. They have joined nine other states so far this year that have reached the same conclusion, including Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia. The Louisiana House couldn't have offered a more stern rebuke of this dangerous policy than defeating it by a vote of 86-18.
Fine--you won another guns on campus battle--good for you. No one thought this would be easy, or that it would happen quickly, anywhere.
We'll be back . . .