Under Fire: Sierra Club taking heat over gun control article

The Sierra Club apparently doesn’t see a place for semi-auto sporting rifles. (Dave Workman)

The Sierra Club is taking heat over an article published online that declares the environmental organization “supports an assault weapons ban, stricter gun control laws including background checks, and banning lead in ammunition.”

Not only are there several critical comments on the Club’s magazine page below the article, but there is a lively discussion at Facebook, where the consensus is that the Sierra Club is historically anti-gun. Even in the article, written by Sam Schipani, it says this:

“The Sierra Club supports an assault weapons ban, stricter gun control laws including background checks, and banning lead in ammunition. At the same time, the organization’s official policy about wildlife and native plant management recognizes that lawful hunting and fishing are an acceptable strategy for the management of natural areas, as long as such hunting and fishing are based on scientific data, consistent with all other management purposes, and necessary for the protection of wildlife populations. The Sierra Club opposes all sport hunting in national parks, which are set aside for the preservation of natural landscapes and wildlife.”

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While the organization understands that shooters and hunters provide the lion’s share of funding for wildlife management (both game and non-game species), the Sierra Club apparently doesn’t realize that a great deal of that money comes from recreational shooters who own and use semi-auto modern sporting rifles, the so-called “assault rifles” the group wants banned.

The article quotes Bruce Hamilton, Deputy Executive Director of the Sierra Club:

“The Pittman-Robertson Act does good things for wildlife conservation funding, but that good must be weighed against the great harm to society caused by the sale of assault weapons, loose background checks, gun-sale loopholes, and lead-based ammunition that threatens wildlife and the environment. The Sierra Club supports common sense gun control regulation, while allowing legitimate hunters to continue to have access to safe guns and ammunition to practice their sport. One can favor Pittman-Robertson and still favor regulation of guns and ammunition.”

CFL reached out to the Sierra Club for comment, but did not receive an immediate reply.

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