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Not Much Change for Alaska

The Alaska media reaction to the new National Park rule is predictable:

A new law went into effect on Monday that allows visitors to carry guns in national parks in the United States. But it won’t have much of an impact on Alaska because we’ve been able to pack heat in most of our national parks all along.

Actually, there were a few parks, like Denali, that prohibited firearms. But most allowed them. They humorously note, “If you can’t carry a gun into a national park in Alaska, where the heck can you carry a gun?”

They also note that discharge is still unlawful. No mention of whether a self-defense exception exists, but presumably you’d have that defense as a matter of common law.

7 Responses to “Not Much Change for Alaska”

  1. Heather from AK says:

    I don’t know about self defense vs people, but Denali park is specifically exempted from the “Defense of Life and Property” clause which applies to, say, moose and grizzly.

  2. Heather from AK says:

    Reading that article, it seems that it has a different opinion of DLP than Denali Park’s website does. Interesting.

  3. Carl from Chicago says:

    I visited AK last summer. While in Denali backcountry, I crossed the road and chatted with a Park Ranger. When the discussion turned to arms, I asked what she thought of parkgoers carrying defensive guns. She said “I think that those who do are smarter than some.” I asked what her policy was when intercepting a backpacker with a gun. She said “Off the record, nothing, unless they are otherwise breaking the law.”
    I noted that sounded sensible.

    I was carrying a Smith 629 at the time, loaded with 320gr lead flatpoint gas checks in front of about 23gr of H110.

  4. Carl from Chicago says:

    Ps…a note to fellow .44mag folks…I think those loads were a little stiffer than they should have been. I crimped the he’ll out of them, and got no bullet movement. But the recoil was very stout…I recall they pushed 1250fps out of a 3″ barrel.

  5. Hank Archer says:

    Carl,
    I was a Ranger for 30 years. I think that the Ranger you talked with had the attitude most of them have, but one “bad” one can ruin your trip..

    When I started in the early 70s, most Rangers were hunters and shooters and never gave guns a second thought (law enforcement wise), but that changed some by the time I retired in ’03. I’d still say that most aren’t concerned about firearms, but the new ones really are a different breed.

    When I began, most of my co-workers were “local boys” looking for outdoor work, decent pay, a little excitement and a chance to live in rural areas like they grew up in.

    Towards the end, guys like that were still there, but a lot were urbanites looking to “save the earth.”

  6. Greg grueninger says:

    You don’t have to shoot, just show that bear the gun and he will go running, hahahaha. .

  7. comatus says:

    Hank, appreciate that real-world perspective. And, although we usually reserve the term for another line of work, thanks for your service.

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