New law allows fire arms into state parks

CYPREMORT POINT - On May 13, 2010, the Senate Natural Resources Committee unanimously passed Senate Bill 534, a bill that brings Louisiana law into agreement with a recently passed federal law that allows carrying firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges in accordance with applicable state laws.

Governor Bobby Jindal signed into law Bill 534 on June 30th. Some visitors to state parks are a bit leery of the new law.

Erath residents Mitzi Fontenot and Gabby Vincent relaxed under pavilion on the shores on Cypremort Point State Park on Friday. Both said guns do not belong in the park. Vincent said, “I oppose it. If I’m going swimming, I don’t want to see somebody walking around here with any kind of a gun.”

A portion of the bill’s text reiterates the prohibition of already illegal acts such as tampering with or harming state park wildlife by saying “No person shall knowingly take, attempt to take, disturb, or destroy any wild bird or wild quadruped or the nest, egg, or young thereof on lands set apart as wildlife management areas and wildlife refuges.” The bill allow states that trapping or snaring animals is not permitted on state sites.

Blake Kennison who traveled from Arnaudville to spend his weekend at Cypremort Point said, “To me the only one that should have guns are park rangers. If they worry so much about safety, just hire more people to patrol the parks.”

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