H.R. 615 would prohibit the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior from banning the use of lead hunting ammunition and fishing tackle or limiting the amount of lead in those items on property under their jurisdiction. That prohibition would not apply at a specific location if the agency determines that lead ammunition or tackle is the primary cause of a decline in wildlife in that location.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (part of the Department of the Interior) has adopted regulations that, beginning in 2026, will limit the use of lead ammunition for hunting in some refuges. Based on the costs of similar activities, CBO estimates that it would cost less than $500,000 over the 2023-2028 period to implement H.R. 615, including rescinding the current rule and reverting to prior regulations. Such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
Under current law, ammunition sales are taxed at a rate of 11 percent of the sales price and those revenues are deposited into the Federal Aid to Wildlife Restoration Fund. Those funds are available to be spent without further appropriation for wildlife restoration, conservation, and hunter education and safety. CBO estimates that enacting the bill could affect those revenues and consequent spending but the directions of those changes are uncertain. To the extent the change increases sales of ammunition overall, revenues would increase. But to the extent hunters substitute less expensive lead ammunition for more expensive alternatives, revenues would decline.