Since last February due to an Act of Congress people can now carry firearms in National Parks if it is permitted by states and counties adjoining the parks. As an example, loaded firearms are now permitted on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This includes while persons are in a vehicle. Hunting on the Blue Ridge Parkway is still prohibited.
On bordering lands managed by the US Forest Service in Virginia, where hunting is permitted, loaded firearms in vehicles are prohibited year round. This prohibition is the result of Virginia State Law that outlaws carrying loaded firearms in vehicles on all state regulated game lands and National Forests.
The firearms prohibition that existed in National Park areas since before the creation of the National Park Service in 1916 was intended for the protection of wildlife. Now firearms are more strictly regulated on public lands that permit hunting then in National Parks where hunting is prohibited.