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Protecting Your Ammo: New Bills Would Exempt Lead Hunting Ammunition

WASHINGTON, D.C.–If you’re a hunter, you’ve no doubt heard that the federal government intends to regulate ammunition that contains lead. Part of a series of bills sponsored by Mississippi’s DC senators would exempt bullets used for hunting.

There are two other bills that are also part of that package, sponsored or co-sponsored by senators Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran, called the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014.

“Mississippians know the importance of efforts to preserve our natural resources for future generations,” said Wicker.  “The Sportsmen’s Act would expand access to federal lands by hunters and fishermen while promoting the conservation of our nation’s habitats. Further, it would expand shooting and hunting opportunities on public lands, create more shooting ranges, and keep the price of ammunition from rising significantly by blocking EPA’s plans to ban traditional ammunition made with lead.”

“Mississippians appreciate our state for its natural beauty and the excellent opportunities it provides for hunting, fishing and recreation.  These activities are a way of life in Mississippi and are important to our economy,” said Cochran.  “The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act deserves broad support for its policies and reforms that will protect and enhance opportunities to hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors.”

Here are the three big bills that are part of the Act:

  • The Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act, cosponsored by Cochran, to exempt ammunition and fishing tackle that contain lead from being regulated by the Toxic Substances Control Act, leaving the existing authority to state fish and game agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (http://1.usa.gov/1aHXK87)
  • The Permanent Duck Stamp Act, introduced by Wicker, to allow states to issue electronic duck stamps that enable hunters to participate in duck season while waiting for the physical stamp to arrive in the mail. (http://1.usa.gov/SOs7Cl)
  • North American Wetlands Conservation Act Reauthorization, cosponsored by Cochran and Wicker, to renew this program through FY2017 and to continue providing matching grants for wetland conservation.  The NAWCA has benefitted wetland conservation within the Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Mississippi.

A full summary of the legislative provisions in S.2363, which has been placed on the Senate calendar, is available here:  http://1.usa.gov/1sjP3dp

You may not realize that 66,000 jobs in Mississippi are supported by or related to hunting and fishing. Wildlife activities have a $2.7 billion annual economic impact ($1.14 billion from hunting; $772 million from fishing; and, $829 million from wildlife watching), according to the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.

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