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Yellowstone to release more details on fatal shooting of girl, 3

September 09, 2013|By Matt Hamilton
  • Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park. A 3-year-old girl was shot to death in the park Saturday.
Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park. A 3-year-old girl was… (Craig Mellish / PBS )

The National Park Service was expected to release more information Monday about the fatal shooting of a 3-year-old Idaho girl in Yellowstone National Park.

The child died Saturday at Grant Village Campground, officials said, and her mother told emergency dispatchers that her daughter had shot herself with a handgun. The park service was investigating. 

Further information, including the girl's identity, was to be released Monday, park spokesman Al Nash told the Los Angeles Times. 

No one had been shot to death in the park since 1978, he said.

Carrying guns in national parks and federal wildlife areas is permitted as long as federal, state and local laws are obeyed. That policy came about because of the 2009 credit card reform bill, to which Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) offered the gun provision as an amendment. The Senate passed the bill, 90 to 5. The compromise measure also passed the House, and President Obama signed it. The law took effect in February 2010. 

But firing a gun "except in rare circumstances" and hunting are both banned in Yellowstone, according to park literature.

Yellowstone, the first national park in the U.S., spans parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho and predates their statehood. Each year, more than 3 million people visit.

Federal authorities have jurisdiction in the park. Any legal proceedings related to the shooting would be handled by Yellowstone’s on-site court system, Nash said. 

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