Sportsmen’s Bill Clears First Major Hurdle in Congress

The Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance applauds the House of Representatives’ vote to pass H.R. 3590, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE Act). This bill establishes hunting and fishing as priorities on federal public lands and also addresses many other concerns of sportsmen. Most importantly, it serves as a first step in getting a sportsmen’s package through Congress and signed by the President.

The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, a bill originally authored by the Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance, is included in this package. This bill would allow states greater flexibility in how they spend federal Pittman-Robertson dollars, so that shooting ranges on public land can be built or upgraded.

The SHARE Act would also:
-Ensure that ammunition and lead fishing tackle are not regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
-Allow legal polar bear trophies taken on sport hunts in Canada to be imported into the U.S.
-Give the Secretary of the Interior permanent authority to authorize states to issue electronic duck stamps.
-Allow for the carrying of firearms on Army Corps of Engineers projects in accordance with state law.

Title VIII of the SHARE Act would exempt hunting and fishing related decisions on public lands from National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review and could also exempt hunting and fishing related activities from the Wilderness Act. BMSA is concerned that without a proper NEPA review, federal agencies could close tracts of public lands to all users, including hunters and anglers, without allowing sportsmen to comment.

“The SHARE Act is a great first step towards getting a sportsmen’s package passed by Congress and signed into law,” said BMSA Director Gaspar Perricone. “This bill has a few question marks that we’d like to see clarified and we’d love to have seen some funding for critical conservation programs included, but it addresses a lot of critical concerns for sportsmen. Most importantly, House passage of the SHARE Act builds momentum in our community to get a bill through the Senate, and onto the President’s desk as soon as possible.”

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