Webb joins in legislation to make gun regs consistent on federal rec lands

Sens. Jim Webb (D-VA) and John Boozman (R-AR) today introduced legislation to make gun regulations consistent across all federal recreational lands by bringing Army Corps of Engineers rules in line with other federal agencies. Last Congress, legislation was signed into law allowing individuals to possess firearms in the National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System, provided they are not breaking state laws or otherwise prohibited from possessing the firearms. However, current regulations prohibit these same rights on many of the lands operated by the Army Corps.

“Gun owners need to know that they can exercise their Second Amendment rights when they are legally camping, hiking or fishing in our nation’s parks and recreational lands,” said Sen. Webb. “This bipartisan bill would provide consistent rules for all federal lands rather than the current patchwork of regulations where the Army Corps has different rules than the Parks Service.”

“Gun owners must be allowed to defend themselves on federal lands. This is important to protecting our constitutional rights and we owe it to law abiding gun owners to address this national gun issue,” said Sen. Boozman.

The Recreational Land Self –Defense Act would prohibit the Secretary of the Army from enforcing any regulation that keeps an individual from possessing firearms on Army Corps Water Resource Development projects or facilities. The legislation would not change the current legal prohibition of guns and dangerous weapons in federal facilities, such as the Corps Head Quarters, Engineering Research Facilities, and lock and dam buildings.  The House of Representatives recently passed similar legislation as an amendment to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill (H.R. 2354).

The Army Corps is the nation’s largest federal provider of water-based recreation, overseeing 400 lakes and river projects, 90,000 campsites and 4,000 miles of trails. For a state-by-state listing of Corps-operated lands visit

http://corpslakes.usace.army.mil/visitors/visitors.cfm.

Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Tom Coburn (R-OK) are original cosponsors of the legislation, which is strongly supported by the National Rifle Association.

The text of the bill is available here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/65785124/The-Recreational-Land-Self-Defense-Act.

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