Well that was fast. It seems that the Bureau of Land Management experienced a tad more blowback than they’d imagined with their proposed new rules that would have booted shooters from millions of acres of public lands they manage. Evidently all that dreaded “social conflict” isn’t as bad as they’d thought. Paul Bedard of usnews.com says, “…the Interior Department today said it would make sure shooters still have access to lands long available for firearms recreation.”
Can you say, ‘backpedal’?
“Our goal is to leave lands open to shooting,” said an Interior official for the Bureau of Land Management, which is drafting guidelines to deal with the growing clash between skittish urbanites moving to western wilderness areas and America’s tradition of letting gun owners shoot targets on public lands. [Read: Obama Pushing Shooters Off Public Lands.]
“We don’t want to have to close any areas,” said an official as BLM provided Washington Whispers with a statement clarifying the developing guidelines.
“We are in no way interested in banning recreational target shooting, hunting, or fishing—on the contrary, our goal is to develop guidance that will help land managers maximize and preserve opportunities for recreational shooting,” said the BLM statement.
They’re not ruling out closing areas that are “too close to houses or areas of urban growth.” And the final rules could still leave room for mischief if written too broadly. But in 24 hours, Interior has gone from saying there won’t be any changes in the draft regulations to promising that the committee of shooters advocates’ “concerns will be addressed in a ‘redraft’ of the guidelines.” What a difference a day makes.