WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., last week joined 21 senators to advance legislation to prohibit the Biden administration from banning the use of traditional lead ammunition or tackle on public lands. The Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act of 2022 (S.4940) would stop the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management from imposing such bans unless such an action is supported by science and state wildlife and fisheries agencies.
“Mississippi’s sportsmen are some of our state’s strongest advocates for conservation, but recent moves from left-wing environmentalists threaten to limit their ability to hunt and fish on federal lands,” Wicker said. “Moving forward with a ban on traditional ammunition and tackle is not supported by science or good sense, and I am glad to join many of my colleagues to fight to preserve the rights of hunters and anglers across our country.”
“Attempts to ban traditional ammunition and fishing tackle was a bad idea in the Obama years and later in the Green New Deal. It remains a flawed and scientifically unjustified notion under the Biden administration,” Hyde-Smith said. “Hunting and fishing is a way of life for many Mississippians and an economic staple in our state and across the country. Renewed efforts to ban traditional ammo must be stopped, which is what this bill will do.”
Earlier this year, the FWS entered into settlement negotiations with activist organizations over a lawsuit regarding the use of traditional ammunition and tackle on over three million acres of federal land. Wicker and Hyde-Smith in May urged FWS Director Martha Williams not to cave in to activists’ calls to restrict the use of lead ammo and tackle on public lands earlier this year.
U.S. Senator Steve Daines, R-Mont., introduced S.4940 after the FWS published a rule that, while expanding access to hunting and fishing at certain wildlife refuges, prohibited the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle.
Wildlife Mississippi is among the groups supporting the Senate bill, as well as the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, American Sportfishing Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Deer Association, and others.
“Senator Daines’ legislation on lead is grounded in science, a key to managing fish and wildlife, it enables hunting and angling to continue to thrive, and takes into account the needs of ordinary people from Mississippi to Montana,” said James L. Cummins, Wildlife Mississippi executive director.
Additional S.4940 cosponsors include Senators John Thune, R-S.D., Shelley Moore Capito, W.Va., John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Jim Risch R-Idaho, Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Bill Cassidy, R-La., Rick Scott, R-Fla., Mike Braun, R-Ind., Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Mike Rounds, R-N.D., Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., John Hoeven, R-S.D., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Deb Fischer, R-Neb., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Todd Young, R-Ind.