Sunday, February 15, 2009

Statement of Paul Helmke on Federal Government's Filing in Guns in Parks Litigation

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, issued the following statement:

"Late Friday night, the United States Department of Justice filed a response to lawsuits filed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence as well as the National Parks Conservation Association and the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees. The suits seek to enjoin and strike down a last-minute rule change by the Bush Administration's Interior Department which overturned sensible restrictions on concealed firearms in our national parks established by the Reagan Administration a quarter century ago. Allowing concealed guns into our historically safe parks was a potentially dangerous and ill-conceived idea. In our suit, we argue that the Bush Administration clearly violated laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act, in promulgating the rule.

"Recently released documents from this case reveal that even senior officials in the Bush Administration recognized that the new rule was unnecessary, potentially dangerous, and promulgated in a way that federal environmental laws did not allow. We are disappointed that the new Administration's initial response has been to defend this rule in court, instead of recognizing that the Bush Administration acted illegally. We are confident that the new rule will be struck down in court."

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