On Monday evening, the United States Senate voted by an overwhelming 82-12 margin to move ahead with consideration of S. 2363, the Bipartisan Sportsmen Act of 2014. We can expect Senators this week to begin debating the most important package of pro-sportsmen’s legislation in a generation. Monday’s vote was just the first. We can expect other votes on amendments, to end debate, and finally on the bill itself.
The reporting on this first vote predictably focused on the political opportunity it offers Democrats from more conservative states. For our part, we will continue to advocate for the legislation on its merits.
Among other things, this historic legislation will prevent anti-hunting groups from restricting hunters’ ammunition choices; provide state fish & game agencies with more flexibility to use Pittman-Robertson funds to build and maintain badly needed public shooting rangers; and help facilitate and provide for more access to Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands and waters for hunting, recreational fishing and shooting.
Also predictably, anti-hunting and extreme environmental organizations have sprung into action with misleading depictions of the legislation. That these arguments increasingly echo rhetoric from the left on economic and social issues is telling and signals an all-out effort has begun. The Humane Society of the United States President Wayne Pacelle’s Huffington Post piece provides a shining example of this approach. We’re sure that the solidly middle-class hunters who go afield on federal lands would be amused to read that the provisions of the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act favor the “One percent of sport and trophy hunters.” Has “Occupy Wall Street” become “Occupy Federal lands”? It has in Wayne’s world, apparently, but not in ours.
That’s why we are counting on your continuing support.
All firearm owners, hunters, target shooters, and outdoor trade business owners should call or email your senators and urge them to support the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act, S. 2363. Call your senators at 202-224-3121 and urge them to co-sponsor the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014! You can also send emails to your senators.