Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson has cosponsored legislation introduced last week to ensure that Americans can continue to hunt, fish, and shoot using traditional ammunition and fishing tackle. H.R. 322, the Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational Shooting Protection Act, responds to efforts to ban traditional ammunition and fishing tackle containing lead parts and clarifies the EPA's jurisdiction over certain sporting goods.
"Hunting and fishing are integral to Idaho's culture, and hunters and anglers play an important role in preserving the wild places in our state and our way of life," said Simpson. "While I support efforts to shift away from lead bullets and tackle, I believe these efforts should be voluntary and private, not mandated by the federal government."
Recently a coalition of conservation groups filed a petition with the EPA to ban the manufacture, processing, and distribution of lead bullets, shot, and sinkers. While EPA denied part of the petition because the agency lacked regulatory authority, it claims to have jurisdiction over fishing sinkers and therefore continues to review that part of the petition. H.R. 322 clarifies that EPA does not have authority to regulate lead tackle under the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) and prevents them from banning traditional tackle or ammunition with lead components.
Simpson, who chairs the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees the EPA's budget, cosponsored and supported similar legislation during the 112th Congress.