Citizens with concealed weapons permits and local and state law enforcement with firearm permits are now allowed on or off duty to wield guns within the boundaries of National Parks, including along the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
The update on existing federal firearms laws went into effect Jan. 9, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior. Individuals carrying concealed weapons may only carry them through National Parks and wildlife refuges in the states in which they are licensed.
The original restriction, originating in the 1930s and renewed by the Reagan Administration, aimed to deter poaching in the nations parks and wildlife refuges.
The update on the law was pushed through with the help of The Virginia Citizens Defense League, which petitioned for an amendment and obtained Congressional support. It was often a tough sell.
Over the course of four years and several hundred megabytes of emails, scanned documents, phone calls, faxes and conversations I have periodically had to drop whatI was doing entirely to get out in front of something, respondor react to a development in the effort to amend these rules, said Alexandrian Dave Yates, a proponent of the amendment and coordinator within the Defense League.