Residents with concealed weapons permits can now carry their guns into Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the Smoky Mountains National Park.
The U.S. Department of Interior issued new rules today allowing guns into national parks and wildlife refuges if residents also have concealed weapons permits in the state where the parks are located.
Previous regulations prevented firearms in national parks, even when a carrier held a concealed weapon permit, Barb Barrett reports.
U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, a Winston-Salem Republican and a hunter, was among a bipartisan group of lawmakers pushing for change. He had co-sponsored legislation that would have allowed guns in parks.
"This is just to allow law-abiding citizens to continue to carry their weapon while they're in the national park, when the state allows them to carry anyway," said Burr spokesman Chris Walker.
The new rules do not allow target practice or the carrying of weapons into federal buildings.