U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today announced his renewed support for legislation to ensure that traditional ammunition used for hunting, fishing and recreational shooting remains protected against from stricter federal regulations.
Cochran is cosponsoring the Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act (S.1505), a measure introduced in response to calls for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue regulations barring the use of lead in ammunition and fishing tackle. These items have a long-standing exemption from regulation under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). S.1505 would confirm and clarify the regulatory exemptions already granted to traditional hunting ammunition and fishing tackle.
"I don't see a need for the Environmental Protection Agency to develop costly, new regulations that would force ammunition and fishing gear manufacturers to completely alter how they do business. Such federal regulations would make hunting and fishing more expensive and compromise successful conservation programs--all without any scientific evidence that traditional ammunition poses an environmental threat," said Cochran, who cosponsored similar legislation in the 112th Congress.
The EPA has been petitioned by the Center for Biological Diversity, a leading anti-hunting organization, and other groups to issue nationwide regulations to ban the manufacture or use of traditional ammunition and fishing tackle containing lead components.
The legislation, which has been referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, would amend TSCA to exclude from the definition of "chemical substance" any firearm, ammunition and sport fishing equipment components that are subject to federal excise tax. The measure would affirm the existing policy of allowing state agencies, such as state fish and game agencies, to set regulations for ammunition and tackle.
S.1505 was introduced by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). This bill is supported by the National Rifle Association, Safari Club, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, Wildlife Forever and other hunting and fishing groups.