National park carry? Maybe not for long

Anyone pleased about the change in rules, made late in the Bush administration, allowing the carrying of a defensive firearm in national parks, might want to hurry up and enjoy it while they can, because the rule change might be short-lived.

Democrats are hoping to roll back a series of regulations issued late in the Bush administration that weaken environmental protections and other restrictions.

Potential targets include regulations allowing concealed weapons in some national parks . . .

At the time the change was made, I had trouble getting very excited about it, for this very reason–the rule change was of an administrative nature, rather than legislative, and this is a new administration. In fact, the more cynical part of my nature wondered if this was any more than a bit of political theatre–a bone tossed to gun rights advocates to show us that “See? The GOP does look out for you guys–we can’t help it if those bad old Democrats change the rules back again when they take over.”

The NY Times article discusses several methods the new administration and Congress could use to undo the Bush administration changes (including the national parks carry rule). My “favorite” is Representative Jerrold Nadler’s (D-NY) H.R. 34, the Midnight Rule Act.

To avoid such problems, Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, has introduced a bill, the Midnight Rule Act, that would give incoming cabinet secretaries — starting with the Obama administration — greater power to rewrite regulations issued during the final three months of the previous presidency.

“Congress needs to pass the Midnight Rule Act,” Mr. Nadler said in a statement, “to give President-elect Barack Obama the ability to quickly reverse these policies and undo these last, right-wing gasps of the Bush administration.”

Let me make sure I have this right: the Bush administration made a rule, which undoes a rule change made by the Reagan administration, but the current administration doesn’t like the new change, so they want to pass a federal law in order to make it easier to undo the Bush administration change, thus restoring the rule put in place by the Reagan administration.

Yep–sounds like “the land of the free” to me.


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