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Public Statements

Sportmen's Heritage Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. MILLER of Florida. I thank Chairman Hastings for yielding, Subcommittee Chairman Bishop and all the members of the Natural Resources Committee for their help and support in bringing this piece of legislation to the floor.

I also want to take this time to say thank you to the entire sportsmen's community, which has worked very hard to solidify the support here in Congress, including Congressmen BENISHEK, FLAKE, YOUNG, and BROUN, and my counterparts in the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus leadership, Congressmen ROSS, LATTA, and SHULER.

I would be remiss not to recognize the efforts of the individuals who have diligently worked together with the sportsmen's community to help advance this very bipartisan package of legislation.

I agree with my friends on the other side of the aisle that hunting, fishing, and other wildlife-dependent activities have always and should be continued on our public lands. What this legislation does is protects sportsmen's rights. It protects sportsmen's rights that preserves our Nation's heritage; and among the provisions in this legislation, it prevents the EPA from expanding TSCA to regulate traditional ammunition and fishing tackle.

Those in opposition may suggest it is the majority's belief that lead shot, bullets, and other projectiles, propellants, and primers should not be regulated by anyone at all. But as you heard just a moment ago by the chairman of the full committee, State fish and wildlife agencies are authorized to manage most of the States' fish and wildlife activities and, therefore, closely monitor and address any local concerns about lead-based ammunition.

Some will also falsely claim that there is significant danger to wildlife populations. With very limited exceptions, there is simply no sound evidence that the use of traditional ammunition is causing harm to wildlife or their populations. Others incorrectly claim that traditional ammunition was a threat to human health. In fact, according to the CDC, there has never, never been a case where lead poisoning has been traced to wild-game meat.

Succumbing to the anti-hunting and anti-fishing groups at the expense of the taxpayer and sportsmen, it will be detrimental to the countless manufacturing facilities of sportsmen and recreational industry. It will destroy thousands of jobs and hurt wildlife conservation funding and efforts.

It is the very ammunition, the firearms and the fishing tackle, along with sportsmen and -women that are footing the bill to manage, to protect, and create the habitat for the species that the very anti-hunting and -angling interests claim that they are trying to save. That is why the sportsmen's conservation organizations and the State fish and game agencies have united with industry and Second Amendment interests to get behind this piece of legislation.

While there is still much work to be done to ensure that sportsmen's rights continue to be protected, H.R. 4089 addresses some of the sportsmen's communities' most pressing concerns, and I urge passage of this important piece of legislation.

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