A Treasure State Democratic senator introduced an amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization Act Nov. 29 ensuring hunters and anglers can continue using traditional ammunition and fishing tackle.

“When it comes to our outdoor heritage, Montana’s hunters and anglers deserve common sense,” said Sen. Jon Tester (D.-Mont.), chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. 

“It’s my job to make sure that Montana’s sportsmen can access and enjoy the Big Sky’s great outdoors without having to look over their shoulders,” he said.

The EPA previously decided not to restrict traditional ammunition and fishing tackle, but with that decision now in the courts, Tester’s measure would have enshrined protections for hunters and anglers in law, he said.

The American Sportfishing Association and the Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation also supported Tester’s efforts, Tester said, and the amendment would not affect current U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service safeguards aimed at protecting water fowl.

Christopher W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, said the amendment would have precluded the Environmental Protection Agency from banning traditional ammunition.

“This is an important issue to hunters and gun owners and we are grateful for Senator Tester’s leadership on this matter,” he said.

Lawrence G. Keane, the National Shooting Sports Foundation senior vice president and general counsel, said Tester’s amendment also maintains the ability of the U.S. military and law enforcement to use lead ammunition.

“Senator Tester’s amendment is important to all Americans because a ban on traditional ammunition would not just affect hunters, target shooters and gun owners, but it would impact all law enforcement and the U.S. military as well,” he said.

Tester’s efforts did not meet with success, said Andrea Helling, his press secretary.

“Over 100 amendments were introduced and unfortunately, the amendment was not selected as one that was offered for a vote,” she said.