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In a major victory for gun owners, hunters, and conservationists, the Interior Department Wednesday reversed course and junked its plan to tighten shooting restrictions on western lands, which could have put areas long used for target practice off limits.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar today told the Bureau of Land Management, which manages 245 million acres of mostly wild western land, to stop drafting shooting rules. I spoke with President of the Montana Shooting Sports Association Gary Marbut about the announcement. Marbut may have planted the seeds that led to this announcement. That interview is attached.

Salazar wrote “The BLM shall continue to manage recreational shooting on public lands under the status quo in accordance with resource management and public safety considerations under existing authorities.” Just the title alone of his letter made his point to BLM officials and the public: “Protecting Recreational Shooting Opportunities on Public Lands.”

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