H.R. 2406, Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act of 2015

H.R. 2406

SHARE Act

Date
February 26, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Robert Goad

Floor Situation

On Friday, February 26, 2016, the House will complete consideration of H.R. 2406, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act of 2015, under a structured rule. H.R. 2406 was introduced on May 19, 2015 by Rep. Robert Wittman (R-VA), and was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which ordered the bill reported by a vote of 21 to 15 on October 8, 2015.

Bill Summary

H.R. 2406 is a compilation of several bills and revises a variety of existing programs to expand access to, and opportunities for, hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting. Major provisions in the bill include:

Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational Shooting Protections Act—The bill makes the lead ammunition exemption from the Environmental Protection Agency regulation under the Toxic Substances Control Act permanent. It also prevents the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture from regulating the use of ammunition and related components and fishing tackle based on lead content.

Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act—The bill amends the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to: (1) increase the proportion of funding that states may use for acquiring land for public target ranges, and (2) encourage federal land management agencies to cooperate with state and local governments to maintain recreational shooting ranges.

Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act—The bill enables the Secretary of the Interior to authorize import permits of 41 polar bears legally harvested from approved populations in Canada before the polar bear was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Recreational Lands Self-Defense Act—The bill authorizes the lawful possession of firearms pursuant to state law on lands managed by the Army Corps of Engineers as part of a water resource development project, so long as the individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the firearm and the possession of the firearm is in compliance with the law of the State.

Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council Advisory Committee—The bill establishes the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council Advisory Committee to advise the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture on wildlife and habitat conservation, hunting, and recreational shooting and requires the submission of an annual report to the Secretaries and relevant Congressional Committees.

Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act—The bill requires federal public land management officials to facilitate hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting on certain federal public land.

Farmer and Hunter Protection Act—The bill revises standards for determining what a baited area is for purposes of the prohibition on taking migratory game birds and prevents the National Park Service from prohibiting individuals from transporting bows and crossbows if certain requirements are met.

Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act—The bill reauthorizes the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act to extend the authority provided to the Bureau of Land Management to sell federal land for ranching, community development, and other projects. The bill also allows federal agencies to use funds in the federal land disposal account for deferred maintenance activities or the acquisition of lands that may help address deferred maintenance activities.

African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act—The bill authorizes the possession, sale, delivery, receipt, shipment or transportation of African elephant ivory that has been lawfully imported or crafted in the United States, and the importation of a sport-hunted African elephant trophy if certain requirements are met.

Background

According to the Committee, H.R. 2406 aims to protect Second Amendment rights and ensure that future generations of Americans will have ample access to federal lands to hunt, fish, and recreationally shoot.[1] Reliable access not only sustains our nation’s rich outdoor sporting tradition heritage, it significantly benefits the men and women that make up the industries that support it.[2]

Much of America’s outdoor sporting activities, including hunting, fishing and recreational shooting occur on our federal lands. Federal agencies often prevent or impede access to federal lands for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting that should otherwise be available for those activities.[3] Since lack of access is one of the key reasons why sportsmen and women may stop participating in traditional outdoor sporting activities, ensuring that the public has reliable access to our nation’s federal lands must remain a priority.[4]

According to the bill’s sponsor, “This bipartisan legislation is full of important initiatives that facilitate access to outdoor sporting activities and uphold the values and traditions celebrated by sportsmen and women across the United States.”[5]

_________________________________________
[1] See House Report 114-377 Part 1
[2] Id.
[3] Id.
[4] Id.
[5] See Wittman and House Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Leadership Introduce Sportsmen’s Bill

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that enacting this legislation would cost $24 million over the 2016-2020 period and $1 million after 2020, assuming appropriation of the authorized and necessary amounts. Because CBO estimates that enacting the bill would affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures apply.

Amendments

  1. Rob Wittman (R-VA) – MANAGER’S Amendment – This amendment deletes Title XII, removes outdated references in short titles, makes certain expenditures under the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act subject to appropriation, and adds the text of H.R. 3279, as passed by the House.
  2. Don Beyer (D-VA) – This amendment prohibits an individual who is prohibited from possessing a firearm by the Gun Control Act from using a public target range
  3. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) – This amendment strikes Title III and the exemption to import polar bear trophies taken in sport.
  4. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) – This amendment adds the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration or a designated representative to the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council Advisory Committee’s membership.
  5. Jason Smith (R-MO) – This amendment adds a specification that closures of hunter access corridors shall be clearly marked with signs and dates of closures, but shall not include barriers on the corridor.
  6. Grace Meng (D-NY) – This amendment permits more than one U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Law Enforcement Officer to be placed in a U.S. diplomatic or consular post in an African country with a significant population of African elephants in order to assist local wildlife rangers in the protection of such elephants.
  7. Jared Huffman (D-CA) – This amendment requires GAO to conduct a study examining the effect of a ban on the trade of fossilized ivory from mammoths and mastodons on the illegal importation and trade of African and Asian elephant ivory within the United States.
  8. Don Beyer (D-VA) – This amendment strikes the language that requires state approval of fishing access restrictions in state waters with shared jurisdiction under the National Park Service or the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
  9. Jason Smith (R-MO) – This amendment prohibits the USDA and NFS from issuing restrictions and regulations on hunting and recreational fishing in the Mark Twain National Forest.
  10. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) – This amendment requires the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service to publish a notice in the Federal Register, with a justification, for the closure of any public road on Forest System lands.
  11. John Fleming (R-LA) – This amendment requires the Forest Administrator to amend the travel plan for the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana to allow Utility Terrain Vehicle access on roads nominated by the Secretary of Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, except when such designation would pose an unacceptable safety risk. If a road is denied, the Forest Administrator must public a notice in the Federal Register with a justification for the closure.
  12. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) – This amendment allows a person who is not prohibited from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm or ammunition to transport a firearm or ammunition from any place where the person may lawfully possess, carry, or transport the firearm or ammunition to any other such place if, during the transportation, the firearm is unloaded.
  13. Joe Heck (R-NV) – This amendment adds the text of H.R. 373, the Good Samaritan Search and Recovery Act, to the end of the bill. This provision expedites access to federal lands for volunteer search and rescue groups to assist in recovering the remains of a deceased individual believed to be located on federal lands.
  14. Reid Ribble (R-WI) – This amendment reissues the 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to delist the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes and Wyoming from the Endangered Species Act.
  15. Don Young (R-AK) – This amendment prohibits the Fish and Wildlife Service from issuing a final rule that preempts state management authority which is protected by law in Alaska. In addition, it withdraws a final rule issues by the National Park Service of the same issue.
  16. Jared Huffman (D-CA) – This amendment designates the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness and a part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.
  17. Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) – This amendment authorizes the Department of the Interior, after public comment and is approved unanimously by the Migratory Birder Conservation Commission, to raise the price of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (“Duck Stamp”) by the rate of inflation, in order to preserve waterfowl habitat.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Robert Goad with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-1831.