[Thursday, February 28, 2008] A thirty-six year old Montana man was sentenced in federal court today for killing two bull elk in 2005 along U.S. Highway 191 in or near Yellowstone National Park. The conviction for illegal Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Transportation of Illegally Possessed Wildlife, and Unlawful Possession of Illegally Taken Wildlife carried a sentence of four years in federal prison, a $1,150 fine and $6,000 in restitution.
The sentence comes as 50 members of Congress took up the issue with the Interior Department to permit the open possession of loaded weapons in national parks where it is legal according to state law. For example, Montana would permit the carrying of loaded rifles and pistols in the Montana portions of Yellowstone National Park. By contrast, California law does not permit loaded and readily available weapons in state parks, and that would also apply to national parks in California.