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Contact: Jim Hummel, 218-283-6600
A Department of the Interior final proposed regulation related to carrying concealed weapons is expected to go into effect on January 5, 2009, according to Chief Ranger Jim Hummel. The regulation allows individuals who have a valid State permit to carry a concealed handgun in Minnesota, or a state that has reciprocity with Minnesota, to carry a concealed handgun while on lands or waters within Voyageurs National Park. The regulation only applies to handguns and includes the following requirements: the handgun must be concealed, the carry permit and government issued photo identification must be in the permit holder’s possession, and individuals must disclose to a law enforcement officer that they are a permit holder and are carrying a concealed weapon when asked. The proposed regulation does not protect permit holders from federal prosecution for any firearm related crime such as violations of the conditions of the state permit, discharging a firearm, endangering public safety, destruction of wildlife or property, or negligent storage of a loaded firearm.
Firearms are prohibited on tour boats and within all federal buildings including visitor centers, park headquarters, and the Kettle Falls hotel. The safety of all visitors, staff, and wildlife is extremely important. Park staff will work to ensure that there are no misunderstandings that could cause unnecessary concerns to visitors or threaten park resources.
Hummel stated that existing park regulations governing the prohibited use, possession and carry of all other weapons apply within the park.
Under 36 Code of Federal Regulations 2.4 (h) the final proposed regulation reads: Notwithstanding any other provision in this Chapter, a person may possess, carry and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national park area in accordance with the laws of the state in which the national park area, or that portion thereof, is located, except as otherwise prohibited by applicable Federal law.
For additional information contact Chief of Operations Jim Hummel at park headquarters 218-283-6600.