in less than two days they went from
Officials say the administration is concerned about the potential clash between gun owners and encroaching urban populations who like to use same land for hiking and dog walking.
“It’s not so much a safety issue. It’s a social conflict issue,” said Frank Jenks, a natural resource specialist with Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, which oversees 245 million acres. He adds that urbanites “freak out” when they hear shooting on public lands.
BLM actually invited the fight, seeking the council’s comments. But officials suggested to Whispers that no changes are being planned to the draft regulations.
Over five pages, the draft BLM regulations raise concerns about how shooting can cause a “public disturbance.” They also raise worries about how shooting and shooters can hurt plants and litter public lands.
“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.
Translation: "We thought we could shove this through, but the rednecks and gun nuts screamed at the politicians, and the politicians actually told us 'No'!"
You get the feeling they're worried about what might happen to them after the next election or something...