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

cigarette world record.jpg
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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