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TribBlog: Packin' in the Park

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who has been taking his gun to Big Bend National Park anyway, says he is glad he can now carry without violating the rules.

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson

Starting Monday it will be legal to pack heat in national parks, the Associated Press is reporting today. Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who has been taking his concealed weapon into Big Bend National Park anyway, says he is glad he can do it now without violating any rules — rules he thought were an unconstitutional abridgement of the Second Amendment.

Patterson — the author of Texas' concealed weapons law — says he's pretty sure he's not the only one who has been taking guns into the park. Last time he was out that way, Patterson says he found expended 9mm shell casings and discarded Mexican cigarettes. "They must have fallen out of an airplane," Patterson sarcastically remarked.

Patterson says he is planning another trip out to Big Bend this spring. This time, he can bring the heat legally.

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