Maine groups join lawsuits to stop guns in parks

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Two Maine groups have joined two federal lawsuits seeking to overturn a new policy that allows people to carry concealed, loaded guns in most national parks.

Friends of Acadia and Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence filed documents Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington in support of previously filed lawsuits — one by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the other by the National Parks Conservation Association and the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees.

Those suits are filed against the Interior Department and its secretary, as well as leaders of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.

Portland lawyer William Harwood said the brief he filed for the Maine groups attempts to show why "Acadia National Park is not the type of place where guns make a lot of sense." Guns aren't allowed in state parks, and they don't belong in Acadia either, he said.

The Bush administration announced in December it was overturning a 25-year-old federal rule that severely restricted loaded guns in national parks and wildlife refuges.

Under the new rule, a visitor can now carry a loaded gun into a park if the person has a permit for a concealed weapon and the state where the park is located also allows concealed firearms.

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They won't give up will they!
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