It’s time to get loaded carry back into Red Rock Canyon. Currently, it's prohibited.
The following is my letter to the various authorities, feel free to use as a base template for your own letter.
With the "Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs" ordering for each new regulation, two must be repealed, President Trump has signaled his intention to cut down on federal regulations. One of those regulations can be the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) prohibition on loaded firearms within the boundaries of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Open and concealed carry is legal provided the gun is unloaded (chamber/cylinders empty; no magazine inserted).
Specifically, we would like the Supplementary Rules for Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, published in the Federal Register on May 21, 1993 amended to delete section 1.1 (definition of "unloaded") and amend 3.2 "Weapons" to eliminate all but the prohibition on illegal discharge of firearms. This law clashes with Nevada state law which permits loaded open carry and (licensed) concealed carry.
This regulation is anachronism, overlooked by Congress in 2009 and by the Bush Administration. It was made in a different time and seems to reflect a misunderstanding of the behavior of legally armed citizens. It even refers to Clark County’s defunct handgun registration. By repealing this regulation, not only can a confusing and often ignored rule be eliminated, we can make the legal and natural landscape a little less hazardous for Nevadans and visitors.
The Red Rock loaded carry ban was borne in the 1990s during the Clinton Administration. In 2009, President Obama signed the Credit CARD Act which, codified as 54 USC § 104906, which permits open and concealed loaded carry in National Parks in conformance to state and federal law. There are no prohibitions in National Forests or other BLM lands in Nevada. No adverse consequences have come of the National Park liberalization.
This regulation is pointless and potentially dangerous. Manipulating a gun increases the likelihood it will be unintentionally fired, possibly causing injury in a crowded parking lot or on the side of a highway. Doubtless many citizens innocently violate this obscure regulation. Finally, an unloaded gun makes it less likely a defensive gun use will be successful as fine motor skills, such as those needed to load a gun, often deteriorate under stress.
All we are requesting is that the same laws that permit open and concealed carry of loaded firearms on Nevada’s public lands apply within Red Rock, just as is the case with Lake Mead National Recreation area and Great Basin National Park.
How can this be done? First, the Nevada BLM John Ruhs could remove it via the standard regulatory process (notices and probably a hearing). Second, the BLM Director or Secretary of Interior could mandate it. Third, the president himself could direct his subordinates (see above) to make it happen. This will require public pressure and contact. It starts with your emails. I’ll be asking our partners with the NVFAC and NRA to help draft letters from the organization, but public demand is necessary for the rules to change.
I will be writing Senator Dean Heller, President Trump, and both the BLM national and state director. Will you do the same?
John Ruhs, State Director, Bureau of Land Management
Matthew Allen, Assistant Director, Communications
White House contact page (2500 character limit)
Senator Dean Heller