This week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of an NRA-ILA-backed amendment to H.R. 2016, the "National Landscape Conservation System Act." The amendment will preserve hunting and fishing on public lands for the benefit of current and future generations, and protect sportsmen's access for hunting, fishing and recreational shooting on certain public lands. The amendment was adopted by a 416-5 vote.
The amendment provides that:
- Access for hunting, fishing and recreational shooting will be assured on all appropriate National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) lands; and
- States will manage, control or regulate fish and resident wildlife under State law or regulations in any area within the System. Regulations permitting hunting or fishing of fish and resident wildlife within the System shall be, to the extent practicable, consistent with State fish and wildlife laws, regulations and management plans.
"It is important for hunters, anglers, shooters and sportsmen--our nation's foremost conservationists--to continue to have ample lands and access to lands to enjoy America's hunting heritage," said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox. "With the adoption of the amendment offered by Congressman Jason Altmire (D-PA), hunting, shooting and fishing on certain public lands will be protected for current and future generations."
H.R. 2016 originally did not include language to protect hunting, fishing and recreational shooting or ensure continued access for these sporting activities on NLCS lands, but thanks to an amendment submitted by Congressman Altmire, the concerns of NRA-ILA, hunters, and shooters were adequately addressed.
"Conserving America's hunting lands is a priority for the tens of millions who enjoy hunting and shooting recreation each year," concluded Cox. "I applaud those who have taken the steps to further preserve this extraordinary American tradition."
Also seeing House action this week was H.Res. 865. Expressing a sense of the U.S. House of Representatives on a year-old United Nations report relating to crime and violence in the Caribbean, H. Res. 865 was on the House suspension calendar on April 1. When NRA-ILA learned about the measure's inclusion of several anti-gun references, H.Res. 865 was pulled from consideration on the House floor. The following NRA-supported changes were made to the language -- highlighted below in CAPITAL letters -- and H.Res. 865 was considered and passed by voice vote on April 9:
(1) "expansion of gun ownership and illegal gun trafficking is a dangerous outgrowth of the drug trade. Although reducing gun ownership is difficult, better gun registries, marking, and tracking can help, as can improved gun interdiction in ports. Policies should also focus on limiting the availability of firearms and on providing meaningful alternatives to youth" CHANGED TO "illegal gun trafficking is a dangerous outgrowth of the drug trade. Better enforcement methods help, as can improved gun interdiction in ports"
(2) "some types of crime, such as organized crime and drug and ILLEGAL firearms trafficking, are impervious to alternative prevention initiatives and require an efficient criminal justice system, and therefore urgent priorities for improving the criminal justice system in the region include development of management information systems, tracking of justice system performance, monitoring of reform programs, and increased accountability to citizens"(3) "welcomes the recommendations FOR MORE EFFECTIVE LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CRIME PREVENTION EFFORTS contained in the March 2007 UNODC and World Bank report, "Crime, Violence, and Development: Trends, Costs, and Policy Options in the Caribbean TO THE EXTENT THOSE RECOMMENDATIONS DO NOT CONFLICT WITH EXISTING U.S. LAW"