New York Times: Sen. Tester Courts Sportsmen in ’12 With Hunting, Gun Rights Push

Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester has hit the ground running as the new chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, having introduced at least half a dozen bills in the past few months to increase access to hunting lands, prevent U.S. EPA from regulating lead bullets and promote gun rights, among other things.

In doing so, the freshman senator is aiming to prove his mettle with a politically powerful hunting and angling community in Montana as he faces a tough re-election bid against Montana GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg, who has introduced his own bills supporting hunting and gun rights.

Tester last week introduced the “Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Act,” which would give states greater flexibility to use federal wildlife resources to establish recreational shooting areas. He also inserted language into a bill last week to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund — a major priority of sportsmen — that would require a percentage of land acquisition funds go to enhance access for sportsmen.

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