The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, honored Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) as NSSF’s 2011 Legislators of the Year at an NSSF Political Action Committee (PAC) reception this evening in Washington, D.C., on the eve of the firearms industry’s annual Congressional Fly-In.
In presenting the awards, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane praised the leadership qualities of the two lawmakers.
“Sen. Tester’s leadership in the United States Senate has helped to ensure and protect our shooting sports, hunting and firearms freedoms,” said Keane. “NSSF is pleased to present to Sen. Tester NSSF’s 2011 Legislator of the Year Award and looks forward to continuing a constructive dialogue with him on public-policy matters affecting the industry.”
“Rep. Miller’s leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives reflects his commitment to protecting the shooting sports, hunting and our firearms freedoms,” said Keane. “NSSF is pleased to honor Rep. Miller as its 2011 Legislator of the Year.”
Last year, Sen. Tester and Rep. Miller, who are co-chairs of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus in their respective chambers, introduced the Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act (S. 838/H.R. 1558) in order to protect the right of hunters and sportsmen to use the ammunition of their choice. Anti-hunting organizations, as well as extreme environmental groups, continue to push for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban traditional ammunition made with lead components. These groups falsely claim a ban is needed to protect wildlife populations, despite incontrovertible evidence wildlife populations are thriving, and to protect hunters, even though the science is clear using traditional ammunition poses no human health risk to hunters.
Tester is the author of the Making Public Lands Public Access Act, S. 901, a bipartisan bill will ensure that a certain portion of the Land and Water Conservation Fund would be spent acquiring public access for sportsmen and women. The measure was included in the transportation bill that recently passed the Senate.
“Sportsmen and women need strong advocates for gun rights and access to public lands to keep hunting traditions strong,” Tester said. “I’m proud to fight for more access and protect gun rights so that our kids and grandkids will forever enjoy our outdoor traditions.”
Rep. Miller sponsored the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act, H.R. 4089, which was passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday. The bill combines four legislative priorities that will expand recreational hunting, shooting and fishing opportunities and also reaffirms existing law and heads off determined bureaucratic efforts to deny hunters and shooters from using traditional ammunition. This important legislation is supported by more than 35 national conservation and sportsmen’s groups.
“Outdoor activities like hunting and fishing are an important part of our heritage and way of life. I feel it is important to preserve these traditions and promote them to the next generation of outdoorsmen at every opportunity, especially in our nation’s capital,” said Miller. “I am humbled to be able to do a small part to help preserve the traditions of the great outdoors, and I am honored by this recognition from the sportsmen’s community.”