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Guns have been restricted at dams since 9/11. Trump wants to change that.

By Penny Okamoto, Executive Director of Ceasefire Oregon

In 2017, the Trump administration attempted to expand the places civilians can carry firearms on ACOE water resource areas–including onto dams. After the attacks of 9/11, firearms were severely restricted at sensitive federal locations. (Think about it: if armed people take over a dam, the electricity for millions of citizens could be cut.)

The Trump administration is trying again to allow firearms into sensitive areas and places where millions of people hike and camp. According to the ACOE, this “proposed revision would align the Corps regulation with the regulations of the other Federal land management agencies by removing the need for an individual to obtain written permission before possessing a weapon on Corps projects.” Why change? Why now? Are dams suddenly free from terrorist threats? Are campers and hikers suddenly immune from bullets?

The only reason for this change is to placate the gun lobby which gave $30 million to help install Donald Trump in the White House.

Ceasefire Oregon opposes the proposed revision of the regulations governing the possession and transportation of firearms and other weapons at Army Corps of Engineer water resources development projects.

ACOE water resource projects are among the most densely used federal recreation sites and include campgrounds and other recreational facilities. Conflicts often arise in these areas due to loud music and socializing, consumption of alcohol, and arguments over use of space. Allowing guns in these places will endanger members of the public.

Additionally, Ceasefire Oregon is very concerned about reintroducing firearms into sensitive areas like dams. Firearm possession on federal areas including dams was severely restricted in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. 

Will this revision permit firearms at dams and/or reservoirs including the many dams in Oregon? At the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)

Does 18 U.S. Code § 930 and/or § 327.0 Applicability prohibit firearms in sensitive areas such as dams?

Are employees of dams and reservoirs federal employees which would mean firearms are prohibited, as at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon? 

If, under § 327.13 (2), firearms are already permitted for hunting, why is this revision necessary? 

The escalating level of violence (source) coupled with 400 million firearms in civilian hands in the United States clearly shows that firearms in the hands of civilians is not making anyone safer.

The comment period for this proposal ends on June 12, 8:59 PM Pacific Time but you can email your federal representatives.

Update: November 20, 2020: Ceasefire Oregon will request this regulation be repealed by the incoming Biden-Harris administration.