This Year’s Legal Review

2013 was a year in which many anglers and retailers watched Washington and were anticipating some political rulings to their benefit. Unfortunately, not much movement was made on many of the Acts that would benefit both groups – some of these were left over from 2012 and all now hope 2014 will be their year.

Here are the breakdowns of governmental changes that we watched this year – which ones passed and which ones have a hope of making 2014 the year of the sportsman or sportswoman.

S. 170 Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage Opportunities Act
This act has been sitting in the Senate since January and has yet to move from the committee it was originally assigned to. This Act would have required a federal public land management official who would have had authority to manage the use of federal lands for both hunting and fishing purposes. This Act would have not only opened thousands of acres of federally owned lands to fishing, but would have also ensured the access to them for generations to come. Unfortunately, this Act has little chance of movement in 2014 due to what it is asking of the Federal Government.

S. 1335 The Sportsmen’s Act
S1335 is actually a newer version of the same Act that was introduced last year, and one many were watching and hoping would pass then. It did not make the cut in 2012, nor does it look like it will before the end of this year either. The Sportsmen’s Act has bounced back and forth between committees in Washington since it was first introduced. It still currently sits in the same committee it has since mid-July. Many are not expecting this Act to make it very far due to all of the Bills that are attached to it.

H.R. 3590 SHARE Act of 2013
The Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE) is much like the Sportsmen’s Act and it too has many smaller Acts and Bills attached to it. It includes Acts that will decide the outcome of public land filming, an electronic duck stamp, and the Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act.

Many in Washington feel the SHARE Act has a better than normal chance of passing through the House and making its way to the Senate. Only time will tell though, as many predicted the same for the Sportsmen’s Act. The SHARE Act has much less attached to it though, making it easier to pass through.

S. 1660 SPORT Act
The Sportsmen’s and Public Outdoor Recreation Traditions (SPORT) Act is very similar to the SHARE Act, though it is currently in the Senate. It too is in committee, but unlike the SHARE Act many feel the SPORT Act will not see the light of day. It does address the use of lead in both fishing and hunting, and wants to exempt certain funds from sequestering.

S. 743 Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013
This has been one of the most followed pieces of legislature this year by many retailers. Currently this bill is sitting in the House of Representatives and is waiting to be passed there. It doesn’t look like it will make it to the President before the end of the year, but look for movement on this early next year.

Affordable Care Act
This too has been widely publicized on our site and in the media. Every day something new seems to appear about this Act both for the good and the bad. In the coming year it is easy to assume more news will be making the headlines, especially as it pertains to small businesses.

These six pieces of legislature will impact each segment of our industry in a different manner. In the coming year as these get passed or fail, or new ones take their place, we will continue to keep you updated on them.