Move to Ban Smoking in State Parks Gains Steam. Guns in National Parks? That's Fine.

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This may soon be illegal in State Parks. It's still kosher in National Parks, though -- as are firearms.
Smoking in the park? Perish the thought. A smoking gun in the park? Well ... that all depends on the park.

Yesterday, the state Assembly passed a bill enacting a broad smoking ban in the state's parks and along California's beaches. This was promoted as a move against litter, fires, and second-hand smoke (fair enough -- but the notion of being menaced by second-hand smoke while surrounded by thousands of miles of the great outdoors is a tad odd). California's cigar-smoking governor, meanwhile, is no dead cert to sign the bill.

Yet the state is setting up an odd situation in which a gun lighter could get you in more trouble at a State Park than a gun at a national one.

Last month -- following passage of a credit card reform bill with an addendum that had little to do with credit cards -- firearms restrictions were lifted in national parks. You may now tote loaded, concealed weapons into Yosemite, for instance. And, since it's a National Park and not a state one, you can still smoke, too (though smoking while hiking along trails is prohibited; you must "smoke while stopped" and "crush out and dispose of cigarette butts in a trash receptacle.").

How will this change our lives here in San Francisco? Well, unless we're reading these laws incorrectly, you may soon be unable to smoke on Angel Island -- but carrying a shotgun onto Alcatraz? That's legal. Carrying a gun onto the Alcatraz Ferry? Not legal. But you can stow away cigarettes. Of that we're certain.


 
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