Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act Has Second Senate Hearing

CapitolbldgDCfirstforhunters060914The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015 (S. 405) had its second Senate hearing this morning. Two vital hearings necessary for this important bill to move forward have taken place in under a week’s time. The message to hunters from Capitol Hill is clear — the new Senate is ready and willing to move this vital piece of legislation for American sportsmen.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s Fisheries, Water and Wildlife Subcommittee heard supporting testimony from Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and Dale Hall, CEO of Ducks Unlimited.  The few groups opposing the bill were represented by none other than Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. His testimony recapped the ludicrous reasons for the opposition to the bill, but also gave committee members an opportunity to quiz him over the many inconsistencies of his group and others.

One section of the bill allows the authorization of permits for importation of legally harvested polar bears that were taken from populations approved for hunting in Canada before the 2008 import ban was enacted by the U.S. These harvested bears are currently in cold storage in Canada because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has determined that the law prevents it from issuing these once-routine import permits, even though more than $40,000 in permit fees dedicated to bear conservation will be lost by continuing to block these imports.

Pacelle and his fellow anti-hunting radicals have attempted to disparage American hunters by characterizing sportsmen as part of the “one percent,” but he could not be further from the truth. The nation’s 15 million hunters spent $38.3 billion in 2011, helping to create 680,000 jobs.  Sportsmen and women contribute another $1.6 billion annually to conservation through license and permitting fees, as well as charitable donations.  Hunting cuts across demographic boundaries and has broad support among all sectors of the American public – something Pacelle can’t say about his extremist agenda.

sunsethunterfirstforhunters030614Why is this this bipartisan legislation so important? It supports conservation while also improving access to recreational hunting and fishing on federal lands. Hunting and other outdoor sports continue to grow in popularity across America, as people seek the simple pleasure of being outdoors with friends and family. This long-overdue bill seeks to increase opportunities for hunters, shooters and anglers by reducing regulations that prevent Americans from enjoying our outdoor heritage. Through broad and growing support for the bill, Senators are demonstrating that they can see through the weak claims that bill opponents are putting forward. The current list of Senate bill sponsors is below, and if both of your Senators are not on this list, call them today at 202/224-3121. Ask them to stand with hunters by supporting S. 405, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015!

The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015 (S. 405) Republican and Democratic cosponsors: Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), James Risch (R-ID), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Joe Machin (D-WV), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Jon Tester (D-MT), John Barrasso (R-WY), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Angus King (I-ME), and Dean Heller (R-NV).

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