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House passes sportsmen’s rights bill

The U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday passed H.R. 4089, the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012, by a vote of 274-146.

Specifically, the bill:

• Supports access for hunting and fishing on public lands. By implementing an “open until closed” management policy, it protects sportsmen from arbitrary efforts by the federal government to block public lands from hunting and fishing activities.

• Protects against unnecessary closures of certain public lands to recreational shooting.

• Eliminates government red tape for the importation of specific, legal hunting trophies. It is focused on resolving specific, existing cases and doesn’t open the door to unlimited future imports.

• Protects the use of traditional ammunition and tackle by blocking an end run around existing federal law and barring the EPA from banning such ammunition.

“Passage of this bill will prevent the federal government from grossly overstepping its bounds, preserve sportsmen’s rights and protect the American jobs and rural economies that are supported by outdoor recreation. I applaud the House for passing this legislation and encourage the Senate to follow our lead,” U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said in a statement.

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