April 19, 2023
NSSF Applauds Senator Daines’ Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act Introduction
WASHINGTON, D.C. — NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, applauds U.S. Sen. Steve Daines’ introduction of S. 1185, the Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act, which would prohibit U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) from banning the use of traditional lead ammunition and tackle absent approval by the applicable state fish and wildlife department and proof that lead ammunition and tackle is primarily causing wildlife population decline. The legislation has 24 Senate co-sponsors.
“This legislation ensures that conservation policies are firmly rooted in sound scientific evidence and not driven by special-interest anti-hunting groups. Threats to wildlife conservation come not only from groups opposed to hunting, but also through policies that threaten the primary source of conservation funds,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “Federal rules that prohibit the use of traditional lead ammunition on National Wildlife Refuges are devoid of any scientific evidence that shows a causational linkage between the use of traditional ammunition and a population level decline of a species. These misguided policies only seek to divorce the firearm and ammunition industry, and the hunters that support these conservation funds by purchasing these products, from the wildlife and habitats these tax dollars are responsible for perpetuating. NSSF commends Senator Daines for his leadership to ensure the American Wildlife Conservation Model remains the gold standard for the world to emulate.”
NSSF denounced the USFWS Final Rule it published in 2022 that offered sportsmen and women a “bait-and-switch” deal to open hunting and fishing opportunities in 18 National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs), but banned the use of traditional lead ammunition and fishing tackle. The Final Rule offered no scientific evidence of detrimental population impacts to support banning the use of traditional ammunition, despite promises by the Biden administration to “follow the science.”
Firearm and ammunition manufacturers pay a 10 and 11 percent excise tax to the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund, commonly referred to as the “Pittman-Robertson excise tax.” The firearm and ammunition industry was directly responsible for $1.15 billion Pittman-Robertson taxes of the record-breaking $1.6 billion apportioned to the states through the USFWS for state conservation and education programs in 2022 alone. Since 1937, the firearm and ammunition industry has paid over $25.38 billion into the fund since its inception in 1937, when adjusted for inflation.
NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org.