• An engineer inspects the running gear of a steam locomotive at Steamtown NHS

    Steamtown

    National Historic Site Pennsylvania

New Federal Firearms Law Takes Effect Today

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Date: February 22, 2010
Contact: Kip Hagen, 570-340-5182

Steamtown NHS Subject to Pennsylvania Firearms Laws

Scranton, Pa. – A change in federal law effective February 22, allows people who can legally possess firearms under federal, Pennsylvania, and local laws to possess those firearms in Steamtown National Historic Site.

The new federal law makes possession of firearms in national parks also subject to the firearms laws of the state and communities where the parks are located.

"We have been working closely with local, state, and federal officials to ensure that we clearly understand the provisions of the laws that will now apply to our visitors when they are in the park," said Steamtown NHS Superintendent Kip Hagen. We encourage every visitor who may wish to bring firearms to the park to do their research ahead of time and ensure that they are aware of and abide by the laws that apply. Our goal is to provide safe, enjoyable park visits for everyone, and to preserve this very special place for people today and future generations."

The new federal law has no effect on existing laws and regulations regarding the use of firearms in national parks or hunting. Hunting still is not allowed in Steamtown NHS. Federal law continues to prohibit firearms in certain facilities, such as park visitor centers; these facilities are posted with appropriate notices at public entrances.

"For nearly 100 years, the mission of the National Park Service has been to protect and preserve the parks and to help all visitors enjoy them," National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis said. "We will administer this law as we do all others – fairly and consistently."

For more information about firearms laws that apply to Steamtown NHS, please visit http://www.nps.gov/nero/firearms/PA/index.htm. For more information about Steamtown NHS visit www.nps.gov/stea.

- NPS -

Did You Know?

USS Olympia

Many railroads, particularly Eastern roads, used anthracite coal for locomotive fuel during the early steam era. During World War I, the US Navy and the Allied Forces used anthracite coal to power the steam boilers of warships such as Admiral Dewey's USS Olympia, which is berthed at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. Burning anthracite resulted in low-smoke emissions from steamship boilers and gave the Allies a strategic opportunity to close-in on the enemy in a battle. With anthracite coal diverted to the war effort, locomotive builders adapted to using bituminous coal in their future designs.