Lead Ban Chronicles – And Other, Related Topics

April 18, 2012

So I haven’t been particularly vocal about this one, despite some pretty nasty challenges from the anti-hunting/anti-gun folks.

I’ll plead that it’s mostly just that I’ve been so bloody busy lately, but honestly, it’s also because I always have reservations when politicians step into the hunting and shooting arena.  The hidden agendas can so often bite us on the ass.  But overall, The Sportsmen’s Heritage Act (H.R. 4089) sounds like a real, positive thing for hunters and recreational shooters.

Here’s the release via the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF):

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, hailed today’s passage of the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012 (H.R. 4089). The bill passed the House with a 274-146 vote.

Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), the bill combines four legislative priorities that will expand recreational hunting, shooting and fishing opportunities and also reaffirms existing law and heads off determined bureaucratic efforts to deny hunters and shooters from using traditional ammunition. This important legislation is supported by more than 35 national conservation and sportsmen’s groups.

“NSSF thanks Rep. Miller for his exceptional leadership in helping to expand access and opportunities for sportsmen and in protecting and preserving America’s hunting and shooting heritage,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “We look forward to seeking passage of the bill in the Senate.”

Said Rep. Miller, “I think it is important to recognize the contributions that sportsmen make to protect our nation’s most precious resources. Outdoor activities like hunting and fishing are a central part of our heritage and way of life, but they also help fund a good portion of our conservation efforts. We must remain ever diligent to ensure the rights of sportsmen. Thanks to the members of the sportsmen’s community, Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and the House Committee on Natural Resources, H.R. 4089 will be able to address some of the most pressing concerns the outdoors community faces.”

Included in H.R. 4089 is the Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational Shooting Protection Act. The bill amends the Toxic Substances Control Act to clarify the original intent of Congress to exclude traditional ammunition — ammunition containing lead-core components — and fishing tackle from regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency.

H.R. 4089 includes other key legislative priorities of the sportsmen’s community:

  • The Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage Opportunities Act, which requires federal land managers to support and facilitate use and access for hunting, fishing and recreational shooting.
  • The Recreational Shooting Protection Act, which requires National Monument land to be open to access and use for recreational shooting.
  • The Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act, which will allow the importation of polar bear parts taken in a hunt in Canada, if legally harvested before certain dates.




3 Responses to “Lead Ban Chronicles – And Other, Related Topics”

  1. Joshua on April 18th, 2012 06:36

    The first one is great ONLY if there are dedicated funds to provide for it. Without money, an additional mandate (for signs, education, etc.) is beyond stupid: it is insulting.

    I have reservations about the second one: Different services manage the “national monument” designation, and the term “access” is typically politically loaded, i.e., off-road vehicle access. I don’t think National Park Service lands should be managed the same as BLM lands, and I think lumping it will not work.

    The third is a non-starter and just an attempt to bring up climate change.

    Sadly, my take on this bill is that it is an attempt to use wedge issues (polar bears/climate change, ORV access) to drive the reasonable middle (those who support fishing) to vote GOP. What it will do is help to drive state managements in opposite directions for political purposes that are not conservation-minded purposes, and ultimately lead us to things like California’s attempted ban on hounding for bears. And since most of us live in cities and don’t have access (in the real term, not in the loaded way used above) to hunting opportunities, we are the acceptable loss that folks like Miller will determine.

    The dude’s blowing smoke up somewhere…

  2. Joshua on April 18th, 2012 06:54

    Oops, I jumped the gun. The bill specifies national monuments under BLM jurisdiction, and specifies “access” to mean for shooting and hunting opportunities. That just leaves the polar bear issue. Chuck it, and even I’ll call legislators.

    Text of the bill (more important than the spin) here:

    It looks like he really wants this to pass, as he got three Blue Dog Democrats to co-author. I’m guessing this is the ‘hunting and fishing’ caucus or some such group. Good for them.

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