The ability for law-abiding citizens to be able to carry firearms in National Parks has moved forward a major notch today in the US Senate!! While there are still many steps left to go, this bill passing out of a Senate committee by such a huge **bipartisan** margin (18 to 5!!) has got to send a very strong message to the Department of the Interior, which is considering updating its regulations to allow carry as well. The message is clear: If DOI doesn't do it right and has too many restrictions, then Congress will make them do it right! The possibility of you and I legally carrying a gun for self-defense in National Parks in the near future is looking brighter all the time! Gun-rights are continuing to move forward everywhere I look. The Liberty Bell is tolling. It is a great time to be an American. Of course, this is no time to slow down or take anything for granted. We must continue to fight with even more vigor and determination to achieve the full restoration of the Second Amendment. Here are two articles on the bill: http://tinyurl.com/4pwnfu Picnic Basket? Check. Bug Spray? Check. Ammo? Check. Energy and natural resources are issues critically important to America's future. Sound energy and resource policy can make our environment cleaner, spur economic growth, and improve national security. With that in mind, it's perplexing that today the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee debated and approved a bill to allow loaded guns in national parks. The bill would end the 25-year-old ban on carrying loaded guns in national parks. (If state law banned gun possession in parks, the state policy would supersede the new law and remain in effect.) The bill passed the committee in an 18-5, according to CQPolitics.com. The bill would accomplish the same goal as a Bush administration rule the Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne proposed in April. Regâ€¢Watch thinks the Interior rule will be among the many rules the Bush administration pushes through in its final months in order to secure its ideological legacy. Both the bill and the proposed rule are remarkably unnecessary. An April Associated Press article explains: There is no data to suggest that the public would be served by allowing visitors to parks to possess concealed handguns, [Coalition of National Park Service Retirees Chairman Bill] Wade and other critics said. They cited statistics showing that national parks are among the safest places in the country. The probability of becoming a victim of a violent crime in a national park is 1 in more than 708,000 â€” less likely than being struck by lightning, the groups said. On the other hand, Sen. Jim DeMintâ˜¼ (R-SC), unmoved by fact, said, "The purpose of this bill is to protect innocent Americans from violent crime in national parks," according to CQPolitics.com. However, since Congress almost never actually passes legislation, the Interior regulation is still the best bet for gun rights advocates hoping to arm national parks. Stay tuned to Regâ€¢Watch for updates.