WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Steve Daines (R-MT), and 21 colleagues today introduced the Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act, which stops federal agencies from banning the use of traditional ammo or tackle on public lands without approval from scientific institutions and state wildlife agencies. Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service passed a rule that bans the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on federal land.
“Every Louisianan knows how important outdoor recreation and conservation is to our state’s way of life,” said Dr. Cassidy. “A federal bureaucrat who has never cast a line or shot a rifle has no place telling Louisiana sportsmen how they can hunt and fish.”
“Sportsmen are the original conservationists and play an important role in wildlife management—the last thing we should do is limit their access to public lands by implementing a blanket-ban on traditional ammo and tackle. Not only would this affect our state agencies’ revenue but it’s also unfair to sportsmen who can’t access or afford lead alternatives and depend on hunting and fishing,” Senator Daines said. “Outdoor recreation is part of our Montana way of life—I’ll keep fighting to protect our hunting and fishing legacy and ensuring these decisions are guided by science, not politics.”
Cassidy and Daines are joined by Senators Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Rick Scott (R-FL), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Mike Braun (R-IN), John Barrasso (R-WY), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), John Thune (R-SD), Tom Cotton (R-AR), John Hoeven (R-ND), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Todd Young (R-IN).
The legislation is supported by MT Outfitters and Guides Association, Boone and Crockett Club, American Sportfishing Association, National Rifle Association, The Bass Federation, The Walleye Federation, Safari Club International, Wildlife Mississippi, Dallas Safari Club, Congressional Sportsmen Foundation, Sportsmen’s Alliance, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Conservation Force, and Marine Retailers Association of the Americas.
Read the full text, which includes a quote from MRAA Government Relations Manager Chad Tokowicz (See pull quote below), of the bill here.
“The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas greatly appreciates Senator Daines’ commitment to science-based natural resource management and for being a continued ally of our nation’s sportsmen and sportswomen. This bill highlights the importance of basing policy decisions off of sound science while simultaneously working in concert with state resource agencies. It also works to maintain access for many recreational boaters and anglers, who choose to responsibly use lead tackle, or cannot find or afford suitable alternatives, and we applaud Sen. Daines’ commitment to keeping Americans on the water.” – Chad Tokowicz, Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, Government Relations Manager