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Del. DNR Works To Finalize State Park Gun Rules

Maps of some of the state parks. Green shows areas of open carry. Red shows restricted areas.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Agriculture held a public hearing Monday (March 12) to get input on finalizing regulations allowing guns in parks and conservation areas.

Some Delawareans say they don’t go far enough, while others say they’re too restrictive, according to Delaware Public Media.

Interim regulations went into place last month. They allow visitors to open carry in most park areas, but prohibit guns in areas like zoos, campgrounds and swimming pools. Delaware residents with concealed carry licenses can carry in all areas of state parks and forests after showing a license to park officials.

Sherry Marsico said the state should make it tougher to bring guns in. She says a minority of gun owners are imposing their will on residents that want to visit gun-free state parks.

“Why am I making room for the 5.2% of the population who wants to carry a gun into our parks,” she said. “Where am I in this? Is it not Delaware’s responsibility to ensure my safety when I go into a public park?”

Some gun owners also raised issues with the proposed regulations. They say prohibiting residents of other states from carrying in parks and allowing law enforcement to do background checks on those bringing guns limits their Second Amendment rights.

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