NSSF Applauds U.S. House Passage of Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act

NSSF Applauds U.S. House Passage of Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. -(FirearmsGuide.com)- NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for the bipartisan approval of the Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act, H.R. 615, introduced by U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.). This crucial legislation would ensure our nation’s number one resource of conservation funding remains in place and that hunters, recreational shooters and anglers throughout the nation can continue to enjoy America’s sporting heritage.

“This legislation is tremendously important to protect the primary funding for wildlife conservation in America,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “Firearm and ammunition manufacturers have paid over $27 billion, when adjusted for inflation, since 1937 and that has been the leading funding source of wildlife and habitat conservation in America. Efforts by bureaucrats to limit or eliminate the use of traditional lead ammunition and fishing tackle puts those conservation funds at serious risk by increasing costs and creating barriers to participation in outdoor recreation. The bipartisan passage of the Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act by the House of Representatives is a significant step to protecting wildlife conservation and preserving access to our public lands.”

This NSSF-supported legislation would require the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to provide site-specific peer-reviewed scientific data that demonstrates traditional lead ammunition or fishing tackle is causing detrimental wildlife population impacts before prohibiting their use by hunters and anglers. The bill is in response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) pulling a bait-and-switch that put hunters and anglers in a bind last year by opening up more National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) for hunting and fishing while at the same time outlawing the use of traditional lead ammunition and fishing tackle.

The final rule was part of a “sue and settle” litigation between the Center for Biological Diversity and the USFWS and was implemented without scientific evidence or consultation of state agencies.

Requiring the use of alternative ammunition would put a significant cost barrier to participation in hunting and fishing on lands. Alternative ammunition is, on average, 25 percent more expensive than traditional lead ammunition and less available. That barrier would “price out” many hunters and anglers and decrease the excise tax funding paid by firearm and ammunition manufacturers they support.

“As a lifelong hunter and recreational fisherman, I was appalled by the Biden administration’s effort to restrict access for our nation’s sportsmen and women who use traditional lead fishing tackle and ammunition on federal lands and waters,” Rep. Wittman said in a press release. “Effective environmental stewardship and wildlife conservation rely on the valuable contributions of our hunters and anglers, and affordable lead ammunition and tackle are crucial to reducing financial barriers that limit accessibility for sportsmen and women. I’m pleased to see this critical piece of legislation pass the House, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to take up this bill and send it to the president’s desk.”

For more information, visit nssf.org.

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