McCollum denounces legislation allowing guns in parks

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Betty McCollum forcefully denounced Wednesday a House-approved amendment that would allow individuals to carry concealed guns in national parks. The House passed the amendment 279 to 147.

Minnesota Democratic Reps. Tim Walz, Collin Peterson and Jim Oberstar joined Republican Reps. John Kline and Erik Paulsen in supporting the measure. Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison joined McCollum in voting against it.

The amendment, offered by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., was attached to the Senate-passed credit-card reform bill.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, along with 66 other senators, supported its inclusion.

“Senator Coburn’s amendment to allow people to carry loaded, concealed firearms in America’s National Park System is nothing short of insane,” McCollum, a Democrat, said in a statement for the Congressional Record.

“This is a shameful example of the failure of the legislative process and I would urge President Obama to veto the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights and send it back to Congress to take the guns out,” McCollum said. “What rationale is there for the need to carry a concealed weapon on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial?  The only rationale can be for politicians to score political points with the NRA. Our national parks are treasures.  They don’t need to be protected by random people carrying loaded, concealed weapons around millions of vacationing families.”

Earlier in the day, the administration indicated that Obama would sign the legislation even if the Coburn amendment were included.

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Jonathan Carter on 05/21/2009 - 10:52 am.

    It’s unfortunate but I’m afraid it’s becoming necessary to protect oneself and your family in a National Park. As for Betty’s statement about the Lincoln Memorial – I’m sure options will be available for prohibiting weapons in urban settings.

  2. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 05/21/2009 - 03:06 pm.

    Mr. Carter: The Congress tied approval of the District of Columbia’s request to be allowed a voting member of the House to the the District’s giving up its gun control laws. The ones that reduced the teenage suicide to zero for at least two years after it was enacted.

    A thousand thanks to Betty McCollum for speaking out in defiance of a lobby that has too many members of Congress quavering before it.

    This is yet another argument for full public funding of all federal office election campaigns. I’d guess we would actually save billions when the power of big-buck lobbyists like the NRA and the drug and health care lobby and others were reduced to influence that is limited only by argument and evidence — as is the lobbying by human rights and poverty groups.

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