Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) today applauded the passage of key provisions from H.R. 615, known as the Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act of 2023, into the FY24 Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The included provisions ensure that none of the allocated appropriations can be utilized to prohibit the use of lead ammunition or tackle on federal lands or waters designated for recreational hunting and fishing.
H.R. 615, which boasts the support of 50 cosponsors, acts as a safeguard against the arbitrary banning of lead ammunition or tackle on federal lands unless scientific evidence demonstrates harm to wildlife.
"Effective environmental stewardship and wildlife conservation rely on the valuable contributions of our hunters and anglers, and affordable lead ammunition and tackle are crucial to reducing financial barriers that limit accessibility for sportsmen and women,” said Congressman Wittman. “I am pleased to see key provisions from my bill reflected in this year’s appropriations bill, and I look forward to the progression of the Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act through both the House and the Senate."
On Oct. 27, 2023, the Biden administration issued a final rule to prohibit the use of lead ammunition and tackle in eight national wildlife refuges.
On June 21, 2023, the bill passed favorably out of the House Natural Resources Committee with bipartisan support.
Congressman Wittman introduced this legislation in response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to enter into settlement negotiations with activist litigants like the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) over a lawsuit regarding the use of traditional ammunition and lead on over 3 million acres of federal land. Banning lead ammunition and tackle would make hunting less accessible by increasing the financial barriers for sportsmen and women.
Read the full text of the Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act here.
Read the full text of the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2024 here.