Small Gains Don't Offset Danger of this Bill!
Our friends at Gun Owners of America (GOA) have called attention to progress of a dangerous Federal Act that has potential to undermine private property rights in addition to threatening fishing and hunting opportunities on Federal lands.
Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) -- who is “F” rated by GOA - is pushing a “hunting” bill that authorizes the Obama administration almost unlimited power to seize private lands for “environmental” purposes.
Inexplicably, NRA supports this bill. NRA friend and anti-gun Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has scheduled Tester’s bill for a vote that will probably take place on Thursday.
(1) When the “wetlands” provisions of the Clean Water Act were originally enacted, no one could have foreseen that a landowner would go to prison for applying clean dirt to a junkyard adjacent to a sewer, which was determined to be “wetlands.” But environmentalists have been brilliant in taking seemingly innocuous programs and massively expanding them through fraudulent interpretations or tiny loopholes.
(2) S. 3525 has “sweeteners.” It allows archery bows to be transported through national parks under very limited circumstances, although Obama could do this by administrative fiat. It also allows, but does not mandate, Pittman-Robertson funds to be used for target ranges. But none of these small discretionary provisions offset the potential damage this does to the rights of individual landowners.
(3) THE ISSUE OF LOST OPPORTUNITY: If this is the Democrats’ SOP to gun owners, it may make it a lot more difficult to secure national concealed carry reciprocity or to stop anti-gun measures and treaties.
THE CENTRAL PROBLEM WITH S. 3525
The central problem with the bill is that it allows seizure of private lands for “aquatic habitats” [Sections 201(8) and 204 (d) (2)]. The definition of this term is limitless and includes seizure of lands in order to “protec[t] the quality and quantity of water sources” and to “serv[e] as a buffer protecting the aquatic environment.” [Section 201 (2)]
Thus, a factory that “pollutes” can be seized to protect an “aquatic habitat.” The only real limit on seizure in Section 204 is the requirement that the government manage the seized property “in accordance with the purposes of this subtitle.”
WHO ARE THE DECISION MAKERS?
The National Fish Habitat Board consists of 27 members. The initial members (Obama appointees) select the remaining members. Thus while the “commercial fishing industry” supposedly has a representative, you can bet that that fisherman is an Obama-supporter and will support his agenda.
The board then enters into “partnerships” with, inter alia, outside groups. And you can bet that every liberal environmental organization in the country will now be feeding at this pig sty. The outside groups recommend fish habitat programs and plans for seizing private lands.
Bottom line: This will give immense powers to unelected bureaucrats - a clear violation of the Separation of Powers which our Founders implemented as a way of protecting our rights.
WHAT ABOUT SECTION 211 (e) (2)?
This supposedly requires the consent of landowners prior to having their lands seized. But, note the sneaky loophole: Section 211 (e) (2) applies only to property that is being seized with federal funds and, under Section 204 (e), half the funds need to come from non-federal sources.
So while this section is put forward as a “protection,” it actually doesn’t provide total immunity because the government can take a land owner’s property using non-federal funds - and there is no protection in the bill against that.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!
• It is imperative that NC gun owners contact US Senators Burr and Hagan and tell them to OPPOSE S. 3525.
• Tell them that the modest conservation gains are totally offset by threats.
• Unelected bureaucrats should not have authority to steal land from hunters and private property owners.
Use the Senators' online email contact pages:
DELIVER THIS MESSAGE
Suggested Subject: "OPPOSE S. 3525"
As a North Carolina gun owner I urge you to please vote in opposition to S. 3525, which can correctly be dubbed the Federal Land Seizure Act of 2012.
S. 3525 would allow massive seizures of private lands for "aquatic habitats." Although it purports to the contrary, it would allow these seizures without the permission of the landowners for virtually any reason.
True, S. 3525 has "sweetners." It allows archery bows to be transported through national parks under very limited circumstances, although Obama could do this by administrative fiat. It also allows, but does not mandate, Pittman-Robertson funds to be used for target ranges. But none of these small discretionary provisions offset the potential damage this does to the rights of individual landowners.
This is a dangerous law that threatens the rights of NC land owners as well as hunting and fishing opportunities within our state.
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