Justice Department Defends Last-Minute Bush Rule on Guns

In the waning days of his Administration, President Bush finally enacted a rule allowing loaded firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges. The usual suspects freaked out and sued. Now, Obama’s Justice Department is defending the rule.

The three groups seeking to overturn the rule — the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the National Parks Conservation Association and the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees — have argued that the Bush administration violated several laws in issuing the rule, such as failing to conduct an adequate environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act. They also argue that the new policy could deter some visitors, such as school groups, from visiting national landmarks.

In its reply, the Justice Department wrote that the new rule “does not alter the environmental status quo, and will not have any significant impacts on public health and safety.”

It looks like this one is headed for the courts.

~ by Gabriel Malor on February 17, 2009.

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