A plan to allow tourists to carry loaded guns in national parks is on hold, with the public comment period extended through Aug. 8.
The plan would remove the current rule, which says guns are allowed, but must be properly stowed. In its place would be a wide range of rules, with each national park abiding by the gun regulations of its local jurisdiction.
The National Rifle Association helped write the new plan. The NRA and other proponents say citizens must be allowed to carry guns for their own safety and because they have a constitutional right.
Critics include the Association of National Park Rangers and the U.S. Park Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police. They argue that allowing guns in parks will increase violent encounters between visitors, and lead to additional wildlife poaching.
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