The Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2015 is a package of pro-sportsmen's legislation designed to safeguard and promote America's hunting and fishing traditions and to enhance the role of hunters, anglers and shooters as America's preeminent supporters of wildlife conservation. In keeping with a longstanding tradition of bipartisanship on sportsmen's issues, the legislation enjoys strong support from both sides of the political aisle with Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus (CSC) Co-Chairs U.S. Sens. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and CSC Vice-Chairs U.S. Sens. Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) serving as original co-sponsors.
"Being from Alaska, I'm lucky. Our hunting and fishing is top-notch. We learn to love the 'great outdoors' very early on in the Last Frontier. We know how to enjoy it today, and we're committed to making sure that future generations have the same great opportunities," said Sen. Murkowski. "The bipartisan legislation we introduced today will help ensure that our grandchildren have the same opportunities to hunt and fish as we did growing up."
Sen. Heinrich added, "The number one issue for sportsmen and women across the country is access. This widely supported, bipartisan bill will open more areas to hunting and fishing and grow America's thriving outdoor recreation economy. Hunters and anglers alone spend more than $465 million per year in New Mexico, and outdoor recreation as a whole is directly responsible for 68,000 jobs in our state. As an avid hunter myself, I remain deeply committed to preserving our outdoor heritage and treasured public lands for future generations to enjoy."
"The Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2015 is made up of several bills that will help ensure our outdoor traditions are preserved, protected and promoted, said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. This legislation addresses some of the top concerns of American hunters and recreational shooters. Its passage would be a significant accomplishment for the sportsmen's community and for America. We are grateful to Senators Murkowski and Heinrich for their bipartisan leadership on this important legislation and are looking forward to passage early in the 114th Congress."
Priorities addressed in the Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act include: protecting the traditional use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle by American hunters and anglers, the removal of impediments to the use of Pittman-Robertson funds for shooting ranges and a significant number of provisions to enhance and expand hunting, shooting and fishing access on lands administered by the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture.