Ban on lead tackle in US waters averted

Anglers and hunters in the USA are celebrating after a vital new law passed a key stage, preventing the government from banning the use of lead tackle or ammunition on federal lands and waters unless supported by science or complying with current state rules.

Congressman Rob Wittman’s Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act, which passed the US House of Representatives, will prohibit the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture from enacting such a ban unless under the prescribed circumstances.

Congressman Wittman, who re-introduced the bill in January 2023, said: “As a lifelong hunter and recreational fisherman, I was appalled by the Biden administration’s effort to restrict access for our nation’s sportsmen and women who use traditional lead fishing tackle and ammunition on federal lands and waters.

“Effective environmental stewardship and wildlife conservation rely on the valuable contributions of our hunters and anglers and affordable lead ammunition and tackle are crucial to reducing financial barriers that limit accessibility for sportsmen and women.

“I’m pleased to see this critical piece of legislation pass the House, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to take up this bill and send it to the president’s desk.”

Bruce Westerman, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, which had already passed the bill, added: “Congressman Wittman has long been a supporter of sportsmen and women and knows first-hand how access to lands and waters is essential for conservationists across the country.

“His Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act will ensure states follow the best available science – not the whims of bureaucrats in [Washington] DC – and keep ammunition and tackle costs low, thereby promoting ongoing access for future generations of hunters and anglers.“

Click here to read the full bill text.