Thursday, July 20, 2023

Committee on House Appropriations Incorporates Wording to Safeguard Conventional Hunting Ammunition


Long-standing tactics employed by left-leaning anti-gun advocates and the Biden administration involve the introduction of obstacles, regulations, and prerequisites that make the common ownership and usage of firearms more challenging, burdensome, and costly. One such approach includes advocating against traditional lead-based ammunition, asserting it as an immediate threat to all fauna.

Contrary to their argument, there is a plethora of evidence supporting the fact that hunting with conventional ammunition does not pose a threat to wildlife. Nevertheless, the ongoing struggle to safeguard gun rights from those who fear firearms and despise hunting continues.

The House Appropriations Committee has successfully integrated wording in the Interior Department's funding bill to safeguard hunting and the usage of conventional ammunition on public land. This move is a notable stride, although it is not yet final. The following is the National Shooting Sports Foundation's (NSSF) commendation of the Washington, D.C. lawmakers for their appropriate action.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearm industry, applauds the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee for supporting America's hunters and opposing special interests that aim to ban traditional ammunition on federal public lands.

"NSSF has consistently advocated for sportsmen and women, and the approved wording on the Interior funding bill is a significant triumph. When this bill is officially approved, it will prevent the Biden administration from giving in to special interest groups that seek to restrict hunting on public lands by compelling hunters to buy more expensive and less accessible alternative ammunition," stated Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF's Senior Vice President and General Counsel. "Without scientific proof, the Biden administration, along with anti-hunting groups, have been pushing federal rules to ban traditional ammunition on federally-managed lands. Federal representatives have had enough of government agencies and special interest groups disregarding the American public. NSSF extends its gratitude to Chairman Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) for his principled stance in favor of America's original conservationists."

The House Appropriations Committee has approved language in the FY24 Interior Department budget that includes a clause prohibiting 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. The NSSF has been an outspoken critic of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife's proposed and final rules, which aim to provide more hunting and fishing opportunities but ban the use of traditional lead ammunition. These rules, however, lack sound, peer-reviewed scientific proof that traditional ammunition harms wildlife conservation.

The NSSF continues to support the Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act, S. 1185, proposed by U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and a similar bill, H.R. 615 by U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.), to ensure these protections for outdoor enthusiasts hunting on federal public lands are permanent.

The firearm and ammunition industry is the primary contributor to wildlife conservation in America. The industry has paid over $16 billion, or $25 billion when adjusted for inflation, towards 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 distributed to states from USFWS was directly funded by taxes paid by the firearm and ammunition industry.

These funds have led to remarkable wildlife conservation successes in America, including whitetail deer, pronghorn antelope, Rocky Mountain elk, and waterfowl. Non-game wildlife also benefits from these conservation efforts, including the incredible recovery of the American bald eagle, which was on the brink of extinction in the 1970s but has now been removed from both the Endangered and Threatened Species Lists.

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