U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., has introduced a new measure designed to reduce burdensome regulations on America’s sportsmen, enhance access to public lands and simplify the purchasing process for firearm suppressors.
Called the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, H.R. 3668 is being touted as “critical” by the National Rifle Association.
“The SHARE Act is critical legislation that will protect America’s hunters and recreational shooters and help preserve our outdoor heritage,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “This bill contains many important reforms to federal law that will remove unnecessary restrictions on our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage.”
Several different versions of the SHARE Act have been considered in Congress over the past several years, and the legislation has passed the U.S. House of Representatives during each of the last three sessions of Congress, according to a report at nraila.org. Few, however, expected that then-President Barack Obama would have signed the bill into law. Fortunately, there’s no such roadblock with President Donald Trump now in the White House.
The measure is a many-faceted bill that addresses a number of important issues. Among other things, it would clarify and strengthen the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986, which protects the lawful transport of firearms from one location where they are legal to another. These reforms more clearly delineate what behavior is protected and provide remedies for persons whose rights under FOPA are violated.
The bill also contains the Lawful Purpose and Self-Defense Act, aimed at ensuring the Second Amendment’s core purpose of self-defense is adequately considered in the administration of federal firearms law. Currently, several federal laws that regulate the importation, possession and transfer of firearms and ammunition measure their lawful utility based on their usefulness for so-called “sporting purposes,” which can be—and has been—exploited by anti-gun administrations and bureaucrats.
Another important part of the SHARE Act is the Recreational Lands Self-Defense Act. Federal law already recognizes the right of law-abiding Americans to carry firearms for self-defense when camping or hiking on National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System lands by incorporating the firearm carry laws of the states in which the lands are located. This portion of the SHARE Act would extend that same rule to the 11.7 million acres of land administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which includes 400 lakes and river projects, 90,000 campsites, and 4,000 miles of trails.
Finally, the SHARE Act includes the Hearing Protection Act (HPA), which would eliminate burdensome and expensive regulations on suppressors. The HPA would remove firearm sound suppressors from regulation under the National Firearms Act, eliminating the $200 transfer tax on these items and decreasing the red tape and long processing times currently associated with their purchase.
“On behalf of America’s gun owners and sportsmen, I would like to thank Rep. Duncan for introducing this important legislation,” Cox added. “All Americans deserve access to our rich outdoor heritage and the tools that help making hunting and shooting safer.”