Re: Docket COE- 2018-0008

During the 111th Congress and under President Barack Obama, Congress added a pro-gun “national parks” amendment, S. Amdt. 1068, to the Credit Card Act of 2009.

The amendment recognized the right of gun owners to defend themselves and their families by carrying a gun in the national parks — to the same extent that they could do so in the state where the park was located.

Contrary to anti-gun predictions, Yellowstone did not become a “Boot Hill” burial ground because law-abiding Americans could defend themselves. The system worked extremely well and has been extended to other federal agencies with equal success.

For this reason, I am writing to thank the President of the United States and his Army Corps of Engineers for the 13 April 2020 Preferred Alternative regulation revision proposed in docket COE-2018-0008. We are excited by the proposal to bring Corps of Engineers land in sync with the federal park provisions of the 2009 amendment which Gun Owners of America helped draft.

In many parts of the country, the Army Corps of Engineers has jurisdiction over huge parcels of land — managing over 400 lake and river projects in 43 states. It makes no sense that my right to bear arms and protect myself differs from one part of a state to another merely because I cross an arbitrary line. Furthermore, the logistics of such a rule have been virtually impossible to comply with.

States and other federal agencies have, since 2009, changed their laws on the assumption that all federal lands have adopted rules similar to those in national parks.

Additionally, the Corps made the correct determination among the various alternatives from which it could choose. The “Preferred Alternative” respects the Second Amendment-recognized individual right to keep and bear arms more than the others. The Army Corps of Engineers must simultaneously take action and avoid establishing its own rules on how weapons must be carried. To allow firearms but create additional regulations would add to the patchwork of unacceptable Second Amendment infringements and regulations levied by the government against law-abiding gun owners on public property.

For all these reasons, we thank you for proposing to bring your regulations into compliance with the 2009 amendment and urge you to finalize the Preferred Alternative regulation revision proposed in docket COE- 2018-0008.

Greg Raven, Apple Valley, CA