House Appropriations Committee Includes Language to Protect Traditional Hunting Ammo

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One of the long-running strategies of the anti-gun left and the Biden administration in particular, has been to erect barriers, rules, and requirements making the standard carry and use of firearms more difficult, more onerous, and more expensive for everyone who chooses to do so. One of those angles of attack has been to claim that the use of traditional lead-based ammunition is a clear and present danger to every species that flies, crawls or swims.

It doesn’t matter that there is no shortage of data backing up the contention that hunting with traditional ammo doesn’t threaten or harm animals in the wild. Like anything having to do with firearms or gun rights, it’s a never-ending battle to fend off the assaults of hoplophobes and hunting haters.

The House Appropriations Committee has managed to include language in the Interior Department’s appropriation bill protecting hunting and the use of traditional ammo on public lands. It’s not final yet, but it’s a significant step forward. Here’s the NSSF’s press release praising D.C. legislators for doing the right thing.

NSSF, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, praises the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee for standing with America’s hunters and blocking anti-hunting and antigun special interests seeking to ban the use of traditional ammunition on federally-managed public lands.

“The approved language on the Interior appropriation bill is a significant victory for which NSSF has been advocating on behalf of sportsmen and women. This bill, when finally approved, will block attempts by the Biden administration to kowtow to special-interest groups to limit access to hunting on public lands by forcing hunters to purchase more expensive and less-available alternative ammunition,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “The Biden administration, in concert with anti-hunting groups, has been forcing through federal rules to ban the use of traditional ammunition on federally-managed lands that are devoid of scientific evidence that it causes detrimental impacts to wildlife conservation. The people’s representatives in Congress have had enough of government bureaucracies and special interest groups running roughshod on the American public. NSSF is grateful to Chairman Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) for his principled stand for America’s original conservationists.”

The House Appropriations Committee approved language included FY24 Interior Department spending bill that includes a provision preventing the Biden administration from using funds to enforce bans on traditional lead ammunition and fishing tackle on federal lands or waters for hunting or fishing activities unless certain conditions are met. NSSF has been a leading critic of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) Proposed and Final Rules offering a bait-and-switch deal to outdoorsmen and women. USFWS published a Final Rule and proposed another, that opens more hunting and fishing opportunities but bans the use of traditional lead ammunition. However, those rules lack sound site-specific, peer-reviewed scientific evidence that traditional ammunition is detrimental to wildlife conservation.

NSSF continues to support the Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act, S. 1185, legation introduced by U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and a similar bill, H.R. 615 by U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.), to make these protections for outdoorsmen and women hunting on federal public lands permanent.

The firearm and ammunition industry is the leading funder of wildlife conservation in America. The firearm and ammunition industry has paid over $16 billion, or $25 billion when adjusted for inflation, for wildlife conservation and habitat restoration since 1937, through the 10 and 11 percent Pittman-Robertson excise taxes paid by manufacturers. Last year, over $1.1 billion of the $1.6 billion apportioned to the states from USFWS was directly sourced to taxes paid by the firearm and ammunition industry.

Those funds have been responsible for the remarkable wildlife conservation successes in America, including whitetail deer, pronghorn antelope, Rocky Mountain elk and waterfowl. Nongame wildlife also benefits from these conservation efforts, including the incredible recovery of the American bald eagle, which faced extinction in the 1970s but is now removed from both the Endangered and Threatened Species Lists.

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