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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

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

Posted By on Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 8:30 AM

click to enlarge This may soon be illegal in State Parks. It's still kosher in National Parks, though -- as are firearms.
  • 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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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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