I support and urge you to tell Congress that you support legalized concealed weapon carry by lawfully permitted people in National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges. A recent Federal Regulation that allowed concealed weapons to be carried by people with permits in States where concealed weapon carry is legal was overturned by a Federal Judge in Washington, D.C. Now, two bills have been introduced in Congress to make it lawful for people with concealed weapon permits to carry their guns, just like you can on other public lands.
Virginia and other States allow concealed carry in State Parks and crime and/or shooting incidents has not increased and visitors are not threatened or scared.
Concealed Weapon Permit holders subject themselves to investigations and hold themselves to a higher standard of the law--they are not the problem, criminals are the problem.
The argument that Parks are safe places cannot be substantiated by the National Park Service and is wishful thinking. Parks have drugs, drug dealers, criminals on the lamb, domestic violence, and robberies--all the same crimes you find outside Parks. If Parks are so safe why are there so many armed Rangers, why are there robberies on the National Mall, and why does the NPS need to operate their own jails in some National Parks?
Law-abiding citizens have the Constitutional right to self defense and prohibiting concealed carry only in these limited areas, especially on National Parkways and Park roads that are regular commuter thoroughfares, makes it a "Gotcha" regulation for law-abiding citizens that is unfair and unconstitutional.
And don't be fooled into thinking criminals are not carrying weapons in Parks and Refuges. There are armed and dangerous criminals in nearly every Park and Refuge almost every day.
I urge you to contact your Senators and Congressperson and tell them to support S. 816 or H.R. 1684 and ask to hear their position on these bills. You are welcome to use any or all of this post in your correspondence.