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Alyssa Scene 2
On 26 February, 2016, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act of 2015, also known as H.R. 2406, passed the U.S. House of Representatives and sent to the Senate. It was a party line vote; 230 Republicans voted yes, four Republicans voted against the act. One-hundred-sixty-one Democrats voted against H.R. 2406; 12 Democrats voted for it. Thirty representatives did not vote; 17 were Democrats, 13 were Republicans. The bill contains numerous reforms . . .

primarily to clarify and reform previous legislation, much of which is being abused by bureaucratic rules, or state and local governments. While the bill is not a 2,000 page monstrosity, it has quite a bit of detail in approximately 30 pages of dense wording.

Congress cannot get around that reality; if you are going to undo bureaucratic rules that are disagreeable, you have to specify those disagreeable sections. To spare you the time of reading the entire act, here are some of the highlights as I understand them:

  • Removes ammunition and sport fishing equipment from the authority of the Toxic Substances Control Act.
  • Removes the authority of the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to regulate lead ammunition components or lead fishing tackle.
  • States that Congress supports the use of federal land for recreational and target shooting, and allows for Pittman-Robertson funds to maintain and construct ranges; allows for Federal, State and Local cooperation in range construction and maintenance, limits liability for federal personnel that allow recreational shooting, and on target ranges on federal land.
  • Removes federal bans on the carry of arms for self defense; State law becomes definitive on most federal lands for this purpose; primarily applies to Corps of Engineers managed lands.
  • Provides for Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational shooting as valid use of areas designated “wilderness” and “national monument”,  unless specifically closed for a valid, documented purpose.
  • No permit required or fee allowed in order to transport bows across federal land.
  • Protects existing legal ivory as private property; prohibits use of CITES to set restrictions on the possession or sale of legally owned ivory.
  • Sets up rules for film crews of 5 people or less on public lands. Prohibits a ban on filming and photograph taking.
  • Prevents restriction of legal hunting and fishing in specific forest service lands.
  • Requires notice of the closure of any public roads on Forest System lands, along with a justification for the closure.
  • Requires a report on court cases and settlements made by agencies, to include the claims and amounts of each case. (This is to shine sunlight on cases of agencies and interests groups effectively conspiring to transfer money from the federal government to the interest groups through the mechanism of legal cases).
  • Strengthens the protections for the interstate transportation of firearms and ammunition; provides for recovery of costs, including  legal fees if local, state or federal agencies violate this provision.
  • Provides for the reassertion of the ability of the States to regulate wolf populations in the Western Great Lakes and Wyoming; removes judicial authority in such cases.
  • Requires withdrawal of the recent National Park Service rules on hunting and trapping in Alaska; revokes the final rule issued on October 23rd, 2015.

Most of the above fixes problems created by recent bureaucratic decision or judicial activism; a considerable amount fixes long-standing abuses, such as the ban on exercise of Second Amendment rights on public land managed by the Corps of Engineers, or the abuse of innocent people who are merely transporting private arms across states that actively infringe on Second Amendment rights, such as New York and New Jersey.

According to the NRA, A sister bill has been making its way through the Senate.

It is difficult to estimate the bill’s chances for passage. This is an election year and Republicans control the Senate. Much of the bill’s provisions undo caveats created by the current administration. Given the partly line vote in the House, a veto by President Obama is a significant possibility.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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    • Any bill that includes “removes the authority” in reference to the Federal Gov will never be signed by Obama.

  1. Curious if the federal self-defense carry provisions will allow for carry inside of visitor centers, etc., at national parks. In Washington State, we’re allowed to carry on federal lands/national parks, but are not allowed to carry in “federal facilities” or where federal employees work – like ranger stations and visitor centers. I’ve never heard of it being enforced here but I wouldn’t want to be “case Alpha” for this and end up with a federal firearms rap an a no-carry ticket the rest of my life…

  2. I hope it passes, but I expect Obama to veto it since he is a Democrat, the majority of whom are anti-gun, and for “safety” reasons. Meaning that taxpayers and other peasants not blessed by the government cannot be trusted with firearms.

    • Don’t forget that Barry Soetoro voted for certain carry in federal forest lands b/c it was part of a credit card reform bill. . . . he maybe ain’t gun, but if it helps something else he wants or if it is necessary to pacify the GOP vote in the fall, don’t put it past him.

  3. I does not matter to me if Obama vetoes the bill. It is about time the Republicans try to do the right thing. And that is to defend the rights of people.
    This is an education for me. Some of these abuses I was not aware of.
    A bow or arrow fee for just crossing federal land???

    I hope the money lost in a court case is taken out of the operating budget of the agency office involved.
    Transferring money to the tree huggers in some secret deal??? F that!

    • Under the circumstances? I think we can safely say that Cruz would, and likely Rubio as well. Trump is a serious possibility, and Sanders we put in the “maybe, leaning no” column.

      Am I missing anyone?

  4. I love it when any party in congress tries to pass legislation which “removes the authority of the judicial system” to regulate an item or program.

    Sounds to me just like a repeal of 1/3 of the constitution. We don’t need no damn court system, do we?

    • Courts do not regulate items or programs…that regulation comes from lawful legislation which is enacted at the Federal, State or Local levels by legislators tasked with creating those rules of action (laws). Courts are here to interpret cases brought before them in which there are inconsistencies of applying a law (or set of laws) or some other misunderstanding under that law. In the case of the US Supreme Court – they only deal with the constitutionality of the law (or aspects of it) involved in the cases presented before them.

      In response to your last rhetorical phrase…Yes! We do need the Courts. We just do not need judges legislating from their benches in place of dutifully elected and authorized legislators.

  5. I believe the intent is to stop judges from issuing and order, against the law allowing the state to regulate wolf hunting or ranchers from protecting their herds on federal land when PETA sues if this passes.

  6. I hope the Jerk vetoes it, and Congress nuts up and over rides it. How bout that for a legacy, you big eared stinking shill?

    • That would trip my trigger, but I don’t think there are enough votes to override a veto are there? Only 59% first time through the house. It’s a nice thought though.

  7. “Provides for Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational shooting as valid use of areas designated “wilderness” and “national monument”, unless specifically closed for a valid, documented purpose.”

    Not gonna make it

  8. I just don’t understand why Barry would veto this legislation. These are common sense reforms, after all.

  9. Well,

    When legislators make the laws, and administrations implement them, this kind of legislation is perfectly in order, a no brainer, and quite the rebuke to any agency that has overstepped it’s mandate so far it gets slapped down.

    They won’t feel that way. When the agenda is to delegate authority to cabals of unelected “expert” bureaucrats, this sort of legislation is just wrong.

    This is what this vote was about. If congresscritters don’t make the laws any more, what good are they, so I do question the folks voting in favor of their own irrelevance, but this is hardly new.


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