Support For Hunting And Fishing On Federal Public Lands
Washington D.C. — Local District 4 Congressman McClintock supports the Natural Resources Comittee approving the SHARE Act, which is short for Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act of 2017, or HR3668.
Congressman McClintock states purpose of the Share Act is to “increase opportunities for hunters, recreational shooters, and anglers; eliminate regulatory impediments; safeguard against new regulations that impede outdoor sporting activities; and protect Second Amendment rights.” His comments about the details of the Act and his reasons for supporting it are in his new blog here.
The Natural Resources committee provided an outline of the goals of the bill:
• Open Until Closed Policy: Federal agencies like the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) often prevent or impede access to federal lands for hunting, fishing and recreational shooting. The bill requires the USFS and the BLM to be “open until closed” for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting.
• Investing in Future Economic Growth: Hunters and shooters alone contribute over $110 billion to the U.S. economy each year, resulting in an estimated $15 billion of combined local, state, and federal taxes.
The bill extends and increases states’ authority to allocate federal funding for recreational shooting ranges on federal lands while encouraging greater federal cooperation with state and local governments to maintain existing recreational shooting ranges.
• Protects Sportmen’s Second Amendment Rights: Second Amendment Rights: Sportsmen accessing federal lands often must travel across state lines to engage in recreational activities. Even though federal law clearly protects law-abiding citizens who travel across state lines with a firearm, travelers risk arrest due to a lack of clarity in the law. The bill clarifies that the transportation of both firearms and ammunition is federally protected.
• Second Amendment Rights: Under current law, a person may carry a concealed weapon in a National Park or Refuge as long as they are in compliance with the firearm laws of the state they are in. However, the same rights are not extended to Americans who hunt, camp or fish on land owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The bill makes firearm regulations consistent across federal lands by allowing lawabiding citizens to carry firearms on U.S. Army Corps land.
• Bow Hunters: Sportsmen may already lawfully transport firearms in vehicles across units of the National Park System. The bill extends these protections to bow hunters and recreational archers by removing an unnecessary restriction that currently deprives the transportation of archery equipment in national parks.
• Health and Noise Mitigation: Currently, sportsmen are faced with excessive fees and bureaucratic delays in acquiring hearing protection and noise mitigation equipment for firearms. The bill streamlines outmoded processes for acquiring this equipment to reduce hearing damage for sportsmen and noise at shooting ranges located near residential areas.
• Eliminates Regulations that Impede Outdoor Sporting Activities: Permanently exempts
ammunition and fishing tackle from EPA regulation under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and prevents the regulation of ammunition and fishing tackle based on lead count. These regulations would drastically increase the price of ammunition and fishing tackle which would significantly deter outdoor sporting activities. There are no reasonable alternatives to traditional ammunition or fishing tackle.
The NRA released statements saying it applauds the reintroduction and expansion of the SHARE Act. Wilderness Watch is concerned the bill will undermine the 1964 Wilderness Act and “allow endless, extensive habitat manipulations.”
The bill will be reviewed by several other comittees before being presented for a full vote by the U.S. House of Representatives.