On February 28, Representative Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) introduced H.R. 4089, the “Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012.” This is a compilation of four different bills (H.R. 991, H.R. 1558, H.R. 2834 and H.R. 3440) that promote America’s hunting heritage. The bill will positively impact sportsmen throughout the country. For this reason, the NRA fully supports this bill.
- H.R. 2834, “The Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act,” recognizes the rightful place of recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting on Federal lands; supports Executive Order 13443, which directs Federal land management agencies to facilitate the expansion and enhancement of hunting on Federal lands; and ensures sound scientific management of wildlife and habitat. It also establishes an “open unless closed” policy for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting on lands managed by the US Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
- H.R. 3440, “The Recreational Shooting Protection Act,” prevents a ban on recreational shooting on BLM monuments. The bill requires congressional approval for any recreational shooting restrictions proposed on BLM-managed national monuments, such as the 600,000 acres in southern Arizona that the BLM is currently proposing to close to recreational shooting. In 2010, the BLM closed 400,000 acres of publicly-owned, national monument lands in three states to recreational shooting activities. This bill further directs the BLM to manage national monument land in a manner that supports, promotes, and enhances recreational shooting opportunities.
- H.R. 991, “The Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act of 2011,” amends the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) by authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to issue importation permits to hunters for polar bear trophies taken before the polar bear was listed as “threatened.” Even with the listing decision made on May 15, 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) would have allowed these trophies to be imported, but a court decision forced USFWS to make the listing effective immediately (as opposed to allowing a standard 30-90 day notice period). Again, this provision only allows for the importation of polar bear trophies legally harvested prior to the USFWS listing decision.
- H.R. 1558 amends the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to prevent this and future administrations from using the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to eliminate the right of hunters, shooters and anglers to use traditional ammunition and fishing tackle. It also amends TSCA to clarify that the EPA does not have the authority to regulate “shot, bullets and other projectiles, propellants, and primers… and sport fishing equipment components.”