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Contact: Andrew S. Muñoz, (702) 293-8691
LAS VEGAS - A change in federal law that goes into effect today allows firearms in many national park areas, including Lake Mead National Recreation Area. People who can legally possess firearms under federal and state law can now possess those firearms in the recreation area.
The new law (Sec. 512 of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, Public Law 111-24) was passed by Congress and signed last May by the President.
Prior to today, firearms had generally been prohibited in national parks – except in some Alaska parks and those parks that allow hunting.
State and local firearms laws vary. Visitors who would like to bring a firearm with them to a national park need to understand and comply with the applicable laws. More than 30 national parks are located in more than one state, so visitors need to know where they are in those parks and which state’s law applies. Lake Mead National Recreation Area covers land in both the states of Arizona and Nevada.
“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.”
Federal law continues to prohibit the possession of firearms in designated “federal facilities” in national parks, for example, visitor centers, offices, or maintenance buildings. These places are posted with “firearms prohibited” signs at public entrances. The new law also does not change prohibitions on the use of firearms in national parks and does not change hunting regulations.
Lake Mead’s web site (http://www.nps.gov/lame) has been updated to include links to state firearms laws to help visitors understand the law and plan accordingly.