- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 5, 2015

Senators on Thursday introduced the 2015 version of a “sportsmen’s” bill intended to open more land up for hunting and fishing that would also pave the way for people to carry guns on certain land managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and transport bows and crossbows on National Park Service lands.

The “Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015,” introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Republican, and Sen. Martin Heinrich, New Mexico Democrat, quickly won support from groups ranging from the National Rifle Association to the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Ms. Murkowski had introduced last year’s version with then-Sen. Kay Hagan, North Carolina Democrat.

Democrats had hoped that bill would be an easy win for Ms. Hagan, who ultimately lost a tough re-election fight, but the measure ultimately failed in the Senate amid squabbling over gun-related amendments senators had offered.

Democratic senators and House members, joined by advocates from the Newtown Action Alliance, also announced legislation Thursday that would ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

In the wake of the Dec. 2012 shooting deaths of 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., gun control advocates tried to spur such action at the federal level.

But measures to ban military-style rifles and high capacity magazines, as well as another to tighten gun-purchase background checks, were filibustered in the Senate in April 2013 and advocates have largely tried to direct their efforts toward effecting change at the state and local levels since then.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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