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Simpson Cosponsors Bill to Protect Firearms on Public Land

Legislation Extends 2nd Amendment to Forest Service and BLM Land

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Washington, September 20, 2010 | comments
“This bill is essentially a preemptive strike at any attempt to ban hunting on federal lands,” said Simpson. “We have to be proactive to protect our rights, and I hope Democrats and Republicans in Congress can act to do so.”
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Congressman Mike Simpson has signed on as a cosponsor of H.R. 5523, the Firearms Freedom on Federal Lands Act, introduced by Representative Denny Rehberg (R-MT).  The bill extends second amendment rights to Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands, ensuring the permanency of hunting and gun rights on our federal lands.

“This bill is essentially a preemptive strike at any attempt to ban hunting on federal lands,” said Simpson. “We have to be proactive to protect our rights, and I hope Democrats and Republicans in Congress can act to do so.”

While the Forest Service and the BLM do not currently restrict firearms, there has been concern amongst Members of Congress that the administration may move to do so.  Members point to recent climate change regulations issued by the Department of the Interior and a leaked secret document revealing administration plans to recommend 13 million acres of land to be designated as new National Monuments.  Last year, Congress voted to prevent the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuges from banning firearms; this bill extends those same rights to all federal lands.

H.R. 5523 prevents any presidential executive order or regulation from banning or restricting firearms and keeps the authority with state governments.

Simpson is the Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment, which oversees both the Forest Service and the BLM.

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