This bill -- known as the SHARE Act -- would revise existing programs and establish new laws related to the management of federal lands with the goal of expanding access and opportunities for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting on those lands. It contains several pieces of legislation that have also been introduced as standalone bills, which we've broken down below.
The Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act would be revised to allow the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and other agencies of the Dept. of the Interior (DOI) to use funds from the sale of lands they administer to purchase inholdings (private land surrounded by federal land).
Also included within this bill would be the Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act, which opens up wilderness areas and other lands managed by BLM and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to fishing, hunting, and recreational shooting. Causes for restrictions to remain in place would include public safety or national security concerns, and other federal laws precluding those activities, in addition to discretionary limits established through a public, scientific process.
The Hearing Protection Act would be included in this bill to ease restrictions on the ownership of firearm suppressors (aka silencers) by treating any person who acquires or possesses a silencer as meeting any federal registration or licensing requirements for that silencer. Buyers of silencers would have to pass a National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS). It would also eliminate the $200 transfer tax on silencers and allow any person who paid a transfer tax on a silencer after October 22, 2015 to receive a refund. Additionally, the bill would preempt state or local laws that tax the transfer of silencers.
Under this legislation the authority of the DOI and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) to regulate the use of ammunition and fishing tackle based on its lead content would be limited. Components of firearms, ammunition, and sport fishing equipment would be exempted from chemical substances regulations under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
An existing law known as the Pittman-Robertson WIldlife Restoration Act would be amended to:
Increase the proportion of funding from the Act that states may use to acquire land for public target ranges;
Delay by 10 years until 2026 the date after which interest from the wildlife conservation and restoration fund is available for apportionment.
The National Park Service (NPS) would be authorized to establish hunter access corridors, but wouldn’t be able to prohibit individuals from transporting bows and crossbows if certain requirements are met. Standards used to determine what constitutes a ‘baited area’ related to the prohibition on taking migratory game birds would be revised.
This bill also contains a provision aimed at preventing the illicit trafficking of animal products by requiring verification that imported polar bear parts were taken legally from approved populations in Canada before the animal was listed as threatened in 2008.
Other provisions of this bill include:
- The Army Corps of Engineers would be blocked from prohibiting the possession of a firearm in public areas of a water resources development project.
- Access to federal lands for eligible individuals and organizations conducting good Samaritan search and rescue missions would be subject to an expedited approval process.
- The DOI would be required to reissue rules delisting the gray wolf in Wyoming and the Greater Lakes region from the endangered species list.
- The Dept. of Justice's authority to regulate rifle ammunition as being "armor piercing" would be eliminated if it's primarily intended for hunting, recreational, or competitive shooting.