The lamestream media told you:
The powerful gun lobby attached an amendment to the must-pass credit-card-reform act Mr. Obama had decided to enact without delay. This forced him to approve a gun law he would probably otherwise not, when he signed it into law on May 22.
The last-minute late-night passage of a rule change by the Bush Administration had lifted the long-standing ban on dangerous guns in National Parks, but that was thankfully blocked by a lawsuit arguing the rule change failed to conduct a necessary environmental-impact study. The new law makes the lawsuit moot, and allows people to carry deadly loaded weapons into National Parks and Wildlife Refuges, where people go for peaceful recreation and nature watching.
The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
Routine constitutional firearms carry in National Parks and Refuges remained uninfringed until the 1980s, when it was banned as a way to prevent hunters from hunting in forbidden zones. Because catching poachers was difficult, the much easier route of banning any possession was adopted through “regulations,” by agencies incapable of enforcing their laws. No apparent authority to ban the Second Amendment in National Parks exists, but no arrests of the improper authorities have been made.
The ban was lifted by president Bush II, but only for people with government-issued carry permits, excluding 98% of the public. This was hailed as a great achievement, mainly by the 2% of people who were photographed, fingerprinted, entered in criminal databases, paid the tax, took the tests, went through the background screening, and got their expiration dates on state-issued ID papers (now made of plastic from foreign oil).
Bush’s lifting of the ban (1/9/09) was rapidly overturned however (3/19/09), by a lawsuit with support from a compliant judge, arguing that concealed carry might have an impact on the environment. This conjecture, though preposterous on its face, was no less honored by the judge.
While the appeal worked its way through the courts (and rights remained denied), Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., introduced an amendment (Sec. 512) to an unrelated credit-card bill (HR 627), to restore the right to keep and bear arms for all law-abiding Americans in National Parks and Wildlife Refuges, not just government-permit holders. It passed 67-29 in the Senate, and 279-147 in the House.
The bill’s “findings” section states, after summarizing the shenanigans denying peoples’ rights, that “(7) Congress needs to weigh in on the new regulations to ensure that unelected bureaucrats and judges cannot again override the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.” and that “(8) The Federal laws should make it clear that the second amendment rights of an individual at a unit of the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System should not be infringed.”
The bill, signed 5/22/09, takes effect in nine months (2/22/10), leaving the public rightless until then. That’s assuming of course no further intervention is made by anti-rights forces who seek to ban the Second Amendment wherever possible. The new law simply states that anyone not banned from possessing a firearm can carry in the parks and refuges under the state laws where the facility is located.
In other news, the president and Congress, in enacting the RKBA reform, have set rules for the operation of the credit card industry, with no explicit constitutional authority to do so. No charges (criminal charges, not financial charges) have been made against them. A superficial review of some of the rules seems they have value, but just because something may have value doesn’t mean Congress has delegated authority to act.