On their way out the door, literally, the Obama administration unleashed a slew of orders, directives, bans and bureaucratic red tape onto the American people. As a parting shot (pun intended) on America’s hunters and fishermen Barack Obama, via Dan Ashe the then-Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife (an Obama appointee), issued a ban on lead ammunition and sinkers.
The ban –which was issued on his last day in office, was not put out for public review or debate and was not prior-released to the press– took effect immediately and eliminated the use of lead-based ammunition on federal lands like national parks and wildlife refuges as well as any other land administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service. The ban had a major impact on much of the hunting that takes place on federal lands across the United States as lead-based ammunition is cheap and widely legal and used throughout the country.
It was clearly a slam on those Americans whom Obama views as bitterly clinging to their guns. But then along came Trump.
When it comes to running the Department of the Interior, under which Fish and Game falls, there’s a new sheriff in town, his name is Ryan Zinke. A former Navy Seal, Zinke was picked by Trump to serve in his cabinet as Secretary of the Interior and confirmed by the Republican Senate seven days ago. Formerly a U.S. House Representative from Montana Zinke is a hunter himself and he has wasted no time in doing away with Obama’s last-minute attempt to stifle hunting on federal lands.
At the time of its issuance, the Obama administration order more than ruffled the feathers of America’s sportsmen and various sports, gun-owners and Second Amendment advocacy groups. “This was a reckless, unilateral overreach that would have devastated the sportsmen’s community. The Obama administration failed to consult with state fish and wildlife agencies or national angling and hunting organizations in issuing this order. This was not a decision based on sound scientific evidence—it was a last second attack on traditional ammunition and our hunting heritage,” said Chris Cox of the NRA.
The facts are that there are relatively few alternative bullets for many hunting calibers. The directive by Obama was a plan for gun control, plain and simple.
That’s history now. In one of his first acts in office Zinke, with Trump’s approval, has torn down the Obama admin order. “It’s time to put ammunition back where it belongs; in the hands of hunters,” said Secretary Zinke in announcing the repeal.
Predictably, the move has drawn the jeers of the environmentalist crowd, and the cheers of the Second Amendment crowd:
“Secretary Zinke’s rapid response to the previous administration’s parting shot on hunters, target shooters and anglers demonstrates the true friend and common sense solutions we can expect from the Department of the Interior. The timing of the traditional ammunition ban on federal lands tells you everything you need to know about the decision. Likewise, the decisive action by Secretary Zinke tells you what you need to know and what we can expect from an Interior Secretary who himself is a hunter, angler and outdoor sportsman,” said Larry Keane, Senior Vice President of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
It’s a helluva start!
[Note: This article was written by Derrick Wilburn]