Today, the Department of Interior overturned a Reagan-era regulation, permitting loaded firearms at 388 of 391 national park sites. The decision allows guns in parks in “any states with concealed carry laws, not just those that allow guns in their state parks as originally proposed.” While the Department cited safety concerns as a factor, the National Park Conservation Association notes:
According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, there were 1.65 violent crimes per 100,000 national park visitors in 2006—making national parks some of the safest places in the United States. The new regulation could increase the risk for impulse shootings of wildlife, and risk the safety of visitors and rangers. Despite the potential affect on national park wildlife and resources, the Administration did not conduct an environmental review as required by law.
The text of the rule notes that earlier, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) wrote to the Interior Dept. supporting the rule change. Check out ThinkProgress’s updated report on Bush’s 11th hour regulations and rule changes.