Posted on | April 18, 2012 | 31 Comments
The House on Tuesday passed legislation giving hunters and fishing enthusiasts access to certain public lands to pursue their sport and also blocked the Environmental Protection Agency from banning lead for use in ammunition and fishing tackle.
This is one of those laws that people with common sense might think would be unnecessary. Why would anyone want to prohibit hunters from having access to public land? After all, hunting is an essential (and cheap) method of wildlife managment, to prevent herds from breeding out of control, as has happened with whitetail deer in many parts of the country. But the Obama administration isn’t staffed by people with common sense:
[Sponsors of the House bill] cited an article in U.S. News and World Report stating the proposal to ban hunting on BLM land was in response to urbanites that “freak out” when they hear gunfire, and that the decision was an effort to reduce “social conflict.”
This is not a joke, as Paul Bedard reported in November:
Gun owners who have historically been able to use public lands for target practice would be barred from potentially millions of acres under new rules drafted by the Interior Department, the first major move by the Obama administration to impose limits on firearms.
Officials say the administration is concerned about the potential clash between gun owners and encroaching urban populations who like to use same land for hiking and dog walking.
“It’s not so much a safety issue. It’s a social conflict issue,” said Frank Jenks, a natural resource specialist with Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, which oversees 245 million acres. He adds that urbanites “freak out” when they hear shooting on public lands.
If the Interior Department would consider prohibiting firearms from public land for such absurd reasons, what could be next?
Federal law already bans the EPA from regulating lead ammunition, however, more than 100 environmental groups petitioned the agency last month to ban it claiming the lead can poison those who eat wild game shot with the ammunition, or other animals that accidentally ingest the metal in dead carcasses.
“There is no scientific evidence for their position,” [Republican Rep. Doc] Hastings said. “So this (bill) makes it crystal clear Congress has primacy on this issue and it should be respected.”
Read the whole thing. Ask yourself: What economically feasible alternative is there to lead ammunition? Answer: There is none.