A Collaboration with University of Pittsburgh   

Federal judge enjoins rule permitting concealed weapons in national parks

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Thursday granted a preliminary injunction [opinion, PDF] against a federal rule [50 CFR § 27.42 text] that permits the possession of "concealed, loaded and operable" hand guns in national parks and wildlife refuges in accordance with state laws. The rule was a enacted late in the term of former president George W. Bush [official website; JURIST news archive]. Historically, the Department of the Interior [official website] (DOI) permitted [36 CFR § 2.4(a)(2) text] only "packed, cased or stored" weapons to avoid ready use. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the National Parks Conservation Association [advocacy websites] brought suit claiming the DOI did not prepare an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement prior to enactment, pursuant to the National Environmental Protection Act [42 USC § 4331 text]. The DOI argued the rule did not authorize environmental impacts, thus no study was needed. The court held the rule was a result of an "astonishingly flawed process" by the DOI and their defense invoking a categorical exclusion was "arbitrary and capricious."

This injunction follows a memorandum [text, PDF; JURIST report] by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel [official profile] to agency and department leaders requesting the review of pending regulations that were advanced late in the Bush administration. Additionally, challenges to firearm restrictions [JURIST report] have become increasingly common since the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller [Duke Law backgrounder; JURIST report], in which the Court affirmed a decision invalidating the District of Columbia handgun ban [JURIST report]. Heller marked the first occasion that the Supreme Court directly addressed the Second Amendment since 1939's US v. Miller [opinion].

Support JURIST

We rely on our readers to keep JURIST running

 Donate now!

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.