GOP-led House passes bill to block Biden admin's proposed bans on lead ammo and fishing tackle on federal land

 May 2, 2024

President Joe Biden has made it unmistakably clear that he is an enemy of the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment and the gun owners, hunters, and shooting enthusiasts who exercise that fundamental right to keep and bear arms.

One display of that enmity from Biden's administration came in the form of a proposed ban on the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on federal lands, but the Republican-led House just voted 214-201 to block that anti-gun effort, Breitbart reported.

Bill to protect hunters and fishers passes House

The Gun Owners of America organization reported Tuesday that the "House of Representatives votes 214-201 to pass the GOA-backed H.R. 615 to block Biden's Lead Ammo Ban -- which would eventually be weaponized to ban lead ammo on private lands."

According to a screenshot of the final vote tally, 207 House Republicans were joined by seven of their Democratic colleagues to support the bill that blocked the Biden ban while three GOPers crossed the aisle to join the 198 House Democrats who voted against the measure.

Legislatively blocking the Biden admin's proposed bans

H.R.615, the Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act of 2023, was introduced by Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) in response to proposed rules from the Interior Department and Agriculture Department that would have banned the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on federal lands and waters.

To justify the proposed bans, the Biden administration asserted that the lead ammo and tackle posed a risk to the environment and wildlife, but critics countered that there was insufficient evidence to support such claims and opponents argued that the result of the bans would be decreased access to the public lands and waters by the hunters and fishers who technically own them.

Wittman's bill would specifically prohibit the Interior and Agriculture Departments from banning or otherwise regulating lead ammo and fishing tackle on federal lands that were otherwise accessible to the general public for hunting and fishing.

The legislation did allow for an exception, however, if the relevant federal departments and agencies could provide evidence of a wildlife decline in a specific area if it could be proven that it was "primarily caused by the use of lead in ammunition or tackle, based on the field data from such unit, and the state approves the regulations."

Federal regulator bureaucrats "don’t know what the heck they’re talking about"

On Tuesday, before the vote was held on H.R.615, Rep. Wittmann delivered a brief but fiery speech to promote his bill ahead of its eventual passage in the House.

"People who have never gone hunting or fishing don’t know what the heck they’re talking about," Wittman said. "The Biden administration’s effort to ban lead ammo and tackle is ridiculous and isn’t based in science."

"My Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act will ensure federal agencies don’t unreasonably limit access for sportsmen and women," the Virginia congressman added.

The bill has now moved on to the Senate, and while that chamber's Democratic leadership will most likely oppose or even try to refuse to bring that measure to the floor for a vote, there is a real possibility that it could pass as several Senate Democrats facing vulnerable re-election bids in Republican-leaning states may see the wisdom protecting hunters and fishers from the Biden administration's regulatory overreach.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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