Thompson supports bill restricting lead ammo, tackle on federal lands

An effort at restricting the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on some national wildlife refuges has prompted the House of Representatives to pass a bill that would limit those types of prohibitions on other federal lands and waterways.

The bill – the Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act – passed the house on April 30 214-201 with slight bipartisan support.

“As an avid outdoorsman, I am passionate about ensuring sportsmen and women are able to enjoy the sport without cumbersome bureaucratic red tape,” Congressman Glenn Thompson, one of 50 cosponsors of the bill, said in a recent newsletter. “This legislation would prohibit the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture from banning the use of lead ammunition or tackle on federal land or water that is under their jurisdiction and made available for hunting or fishing activities. This ensures that hunters, anglers, and all sportsmen will continue to have access to the great outdoors.”

A press release from the prime sponsor, Virginia GOP Rep. Rob Wittman, said the bill is in response to a Oct. 2023 rule from the Biden Administration that prohibited lead ammunition and tackle in eight national wildlife refuges.

An exception in the text of the legislation would permit such prohibitions if “a decline in wildlife population at the specific unit of Federal land or water is primarily caused by the use of lead in ammunition or tackle, based on the field data from the specific unit of Federal land or water” or when a state provision bans lead uses.

“The concern over the potential ban of lead ammunition and tackle is due to the fact that lead ammunition is easier and cheaper to make and more readily available for consumers,” that release explains. “Banning its use would make hunting less accessible by increasing the financial barriers for sportsmen and women.”


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