Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune today praised a proposal by U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne which would allow individuals the right to possess firearms in and around national parks and wildlife refuges subject to applicable state laws. Senator Thune had previously requested that the current restrictions on such weapons in national parks be lifted.

"Law-abiding, properly permitted gun owners should not be punished for possessing a firearm on public lands, so long as they are abiding by state law," said Thune. "The Bureau of Land Management and the National Forrest Service have long had more reasonable gun policies on lands they manage, and I believe that the National Park Service should follow suit. I applaud Secretary Kempthorne for taking steps to correct this issue by seeking to balance appropriate requirements under state law, while at the same time recognizing the Second Amendment rights of individuals."

Late last year, Senator Thune joined a bipartisan group of senators in sending a letter to Secretary Kempthorne asking him to address the inconsistencies in restrictions on handguns between the Bureau of Land Management, as well as the National Forest Service, and the National Park Service.

"I firmly believe that the federal public land management agencies should have consistent policies that protect Second Amendment rights," said Thune.