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Last week, Buckeye Firearms Association volunteer Bob Harsanje and Dave Graham, Chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife, offered proponent testimony before the Ohio House Finance & Appropriations Committee on House Bill 473.
Proposed by State Rep. Peter Ujvagi (D - Toledo), at the urging of and guidance from Harsanje and fellow hunter, HB473 would, among other things, create mobility impaired access lanes on various public hunting lands of the Ohio Division of Wildlife. The bill also would allow mobility impaired, licensed individuals to hunt from such lanes with a special permit via electric-powered all-purpose vehicles or in a stationary road vehicle.
"Mobility impaired hunters deserve the same rights to enjoy their pastime as any other Ohioans," Ujvagi notes. "This plan will help clear some of the obstacles in their way."
After nearly five years of effort by NRA-ILA, the U.S. Department of the Interior has finally responded to the many requests for a change in its policy on carrying and transporting firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges. In a letter hand-delivered today to the U.S. Senators who wrote him asking for this policy change, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has directed Lyle Laverty, Assistant Secretary for Fish, Game and Parks, to “develop and propose for public comment by April 30, Federal regulations that will update firearms policies on these lands to reflect existing Federal laws (such as those prohibiting weapons in Federal buildings) and the laws by which the host States govern transporting and carrying of firearms on their analogous public lands.”
“This announcement represents an important and overdue change to now-outdated federal regulations imposed 25 years ago. Once this new federal regulation is proposed, published for public comment and then finalized, law-abiding citizens will have their right to self-defense restored and be able to legally carry and transport firearms through national parks and wildlife refuges for a variety of lawful purposes -- just like in national forests and BLM lands,” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.