The Hearing That Should Have Taken Place This Morning

The House Committee on Natural Resources’ Federal Lands Subcommittee was supposed to conduct a hearing this morning on the Sportman’s Heritage and Recreational Act aka SHARE Act. However, as most people know, a deranged Bernie Sanders supporter from Belleville, Illinois decided it would be a good idea to shoot at Congressional Republicans practicing for a baseball game. Thus, the hearing was canceled. It is unclear when it will be rescheduled.

Numerous parts of the SHARE Act had been passed in previous sessions of Congress but never made it to the President’s desk for signing. This included measures that would have allocated monies for target ranges, would have protected lead-based fishing tackle from lawsuits based on the Toxic Substances Control Act, and would have expanded fishing and hunting opportunities on Federal lands. There were, however, some major additions to the SHARE Act including rolling the Hearing Protection Act into it, replacing the sporting use test with an all lawful use test for non-NFA imports of firearms and ammunition, and prohibiting the BATFE from reclassifying popular rifle ammunition as armor piercing. Sebastian covers the addition of the Hearing Protection Act here and the hearing memo gives a good thumbnail outline of the details of the SHARE Act.

The lone opposition witness was to be former ATF Special Agent David Chipman who now works for Gabby Giffords’ American for Responsible Solutions. I’m sure his inclusion was aimed primarily at the Hearing Protection Act.

In support of the bill was to be Jeff Crane, President of the Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation; Rob Keck, Director of Conservation for Bass Pro Shops and former CEO of the National Wild Turkey Federation; and Jason Ouimet, Director of Federal Affairs for the NRA.

The Subcommittee staff prepared an interesting 38-page memo showing the changes in the legal language that would result from the passage of the SHARE Act as it now stands. The changes are color coded which makes for a quick way to see the addition and subtractions to the law. Additions are color-coded in yellow and deletions are in blue.

Passage of the SHARE Act in its entirety would be good for both Gun Culture 1.0 and 2.0. I’m sure the addition of the Hearing Protection Act and the replacement of the sporting use test are red flags for the gun prohibitionists but now is the time for the Republicans to step up and show they are worthy of the past support from the outdoor and shooting communities.

UPDATE: Sebastian wonders whether or not today’s shooting and the hearing cancellation will be the death of the SHARE Act. It’s a valid question but as one of those commenting noted the bill contains too much “red meat” for the hunting and fishing community to just ignore it.


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