The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, hailed Wednesday’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 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.