01/97 BLM Restricting Gun Rights
BLM Restricting Your Gun Rights ! ! !
by Gun Owners of America
(Friday, January 17) — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has just proposed a rule governing the use of firearms on federal lands. The rule is dangerously overbroad, and your input to BLM is needed before February 5, 1997. [The comment period has been extended.] (1)
The proposed rule, on page 57615 of the Federal Register for November 7, 1996, would outlaw “[d]ischarging a firearm … within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, recreation site or occupied area…” This ineptly drafted rule could effectively prohibit both hunting and the use of firearms for self-defense on public lands.
1. With respect to hunting, the proposed rule contains the following problems:
* It is, practically speaking, impossible for a hunter to determine with certainty that his activities are not within 150 yards of a small abandoned building, another hunter’s campsite, or an amorphously defined “recreation area.” Any of these are facts which would subject the hunter to criminal liability.
* Hunters frequently hunt in groups. Does this make the hunting site an “occupied area”?
* The rule seems to suggest that a hunter cannot hunt within 150 yards of his own “blind” or campsite.
2. The second problem with the rule is that there is no exception for self-defense. Thus, gun owners could face arrest, and possibly prosecution, for using firearms to defend themselves from vicious attackers — whether human or wild beast. Most state laws have an exemption that would allow for self-defense; the proposed rule contains no such exemption.
3. Finally, the proposed rule would allow BLM to “[s]earch without warrant or process any person, place, or vehicle according to any Federal law or rule of law; and …[s]eize without warrant or process any piece of evidence as provided by Federal law.”
HERE’S WHAT TO DO: Gun owners must vigorously oppose this effort to tamper with our Second Amendment rights. Write the Bureau of Land Management at:
Bureau of Land Management Administrative Record
Room 401LS, 1849 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20240
Or, e-mail them via the Internet at: [email protected] Please include “Attn: AC30” and your name and address in your message. For further information, contact Dennis McLane at (208)387-5126.
Tell them to eliminate the portions of the proposed rule which seek to restrict the discharge or possession of a firearm, and to add to any rule a self-defense exemption.
1. While comments were originally due on January 6, the comment period was extended 30 days. A second extension puts the new deadline at March 7.