Washington, DC – After five years and multiple attempts to pass a comprehensive sportsmen’s package of legislation through the U.S. Senate, a bipartisan amendment containing many provisions of great importance to the hunting and fishing conservation community was adopted with a vote of 97-0 under the Natural Resources Title of the Energy Policy Modernization Act (S. 2012).
Similar legislation passed the House of Representatives earlier in the 114th Congress. As a result, today’s vote brings the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s package closer to enactment than ever before.
Many of the provisions within this amendment are also included in the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act (S. 405), and are supported by most of the nation’s top conservation organizations.
Among other pro-sportsmen’s policies included, the bill will: expand and enhance hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting opportunities on Federal land; exempt non-commercial news gathering on public lands from commercial fees; allow for the transportation of bows across National Parks; include expansion and construction of public shooting ranges under the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act; and reauthorize the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.
NAGA allies including the National Shooting Sports Foundation praised the Senate’s passage of the legislation.
“The National Shooting Sports Foundation would like to thank the bill’s sponsors, Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and the leadership of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus for their tireless and unwavering commitment to working on a bipartisan basis to secure passage of this legislation on behalf of current and future generations of America’s hunters and sportsmen. Senate leaders deserve special thanks for securing the unanimous consent agreement that allowed the Senate to complete its work on our industry’s top legislative priority. We look forward to continuing to work in a bipartisan fashion with the Senate and Members of the House in pursuit of our shared goal of securing enactment of this vital legislation in this Congress,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel.
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