In December, a Federal appeals court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency could not regulate lead ammunition used by hunters. A flock of 101 environmental pressure and advocacy group had sued the EPA in an attempt to force them to ban lead ammo lest the furry little creatures of the forest and the dell eat it. “‘We agree with EPA that it lacks statutory authority to regulate the type of spent bullets and shot identified in the environmental groups’ petition,’ Judge David Tatel wrote for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.” But the NRA-ILA doesn’t want to leave the matter to the vagaries of the judicial process . . .
They’ve just issued a press release trumpeting their support for the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015 which would, among other things, enshrine into law that “ammunition, ammunition components, and fishing equipment are exempt from regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Toxic Substances Control Act.” Here’s the full release:
Bill Would Protect & Enhance Opportunities for Hunting, Shooting and Fishing
Fairfax, VA – On behalf of its five-million members, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today announced its support for The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015, introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). This legislation seeks to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, shooting and fishing.
“Preserving our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage is the core of the NRA’s mission. The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015 advances those efforts,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA-ILA.
Hunting and other outdoor sports continue to grow in popularity across America, as people seek the simple pleasure of being outdoors with friends and family. The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015 is a compilation of various legislative efforts that seek to increase opportunities for hunters, shooters and anglers by reducing regulations that prevent Americans from enjoying our outdoor heritage.
“On behalf of our members, I want to thank Senator Murkowski for her leadership on this issue. As a result of her hard work and determination, this important legislation is one step closer to becoming law and preserving America’s outdoor heritage,” added Cox.
The nation’s 15 million hunters spent $38.3 billion in 2011, helping to create 680,000 jobs. Sportsmen and women contribute another $1.6 billion annually to conservation through license and permitting fees and charitable donations.
Key provisions of the legislation include:
Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection – This important provision clarifies that ammunition, ammunition components, and fishing equipment are exempt from regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Toxic Substances Control Act. This provision is necessary because anti-hunting extremist groups have filed multiple petitions with the EPA to ban fishing sinkers and the use of lead ammunition for all purposes, not just hunting. Those petitions have been rejected, but the groups use the administrative rejections as an excuse to sue the agency in pursuit of the same restrictions.
Recreational Self Protection – This section would give law-abiding gun owners more access to carry firearms on land managed by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Making Public Lands Public – This section requires that 1.5% of the annual Land and Water Conservation Fund goes toward securing access for sportsmen to public lands that are currently either landlocked or otherwise significantly restricted.
Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act – This section makes more funds available to state fish and wildlife agencies for the development of shooting ranges.
Bows Transported through National Parks – This provision will allow bows to be transported across national park lands. Currently, only firearms can be legally transported, which poses a practical problem for bow hunters who want to legally hunt on Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management lands, but must cross National Park Service lands in order to do so.