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Yellowstone National Park shooting leaves girl dead

(MCT) — A child has died from gunshot wounds at a campground in Yellowstone National Park, park officials said.

The child’s mother told emergency dispatchers that her daughter had shot herself with a handgun, park spokesman Al Nash said in a recorded statement.

Park rangers arrived at the Grant Village Campground, where the fatal shooting took place Saturday, and an emergency medical team unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate the girl, Nash said.

The name and age of the child were being withheld until extended family members could be notified, Nash said.

Carrying guns in national parks and federal wildlife areas is allowed 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, 90-5, and President Barck Obama signed it into law.

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

The site of the shooting — Grant Village Campground — is one of the park’s largest campsites, in the heart of the park on the banks of Yellowstone Lake, according to the National Park Service.

Yellowstone, the United States’ first national park, spans parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

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©2013 Los Angeles Times

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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