Saturday, April 28
By THE NSSF
NEWTOWN, Conn.—The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, thanks Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.-8th) for agreeing to co-sponsor the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (H.R. 3065).
This bi-partisan legislation addresses the urgent need to create more access to safe public shooting facilities. Without increasing taxes or growing the size of the budget this legislation simply provides state fish and game agencies more flexibility and discretion to use funds they already receive from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) through the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund, more commonly known as the Pittman Robertson Trust Fund. The trust fund is funded through an excise tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition products to support wildlife conservation, hunter education and to provide for public shooting facilities. The bill simply modifies the formula for how the Pittman Robertson Trust Funds may be used to create, enhance and maintain public shooting ranges.
“It is well known that hunters and sportsmen financially support wildlife conservation through the more than $7 billion in Pittman-Robertson excise tax dollars raised since 1937 from the sale of firearms and ammunition products,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “Less well known, however, is the fact that target shooters also significantly contribute to wildlife conservation and habitat protection through the excise taxes raised from the firearms and ammunition products they purchase.”
NSSF estimates that 70 percent of all ammunition sold is used for non-hunting related purposes, primarily target shooting. With the passage of H.R. 3065, target shooters will receive a “return on their investment” in conservation from the states using the Pittman Robertson funds to build and improve public shooting facilities. Providing more access to public shooting facilities, recreational shooting sports will continue to grow. As a result, the Pittman Robertson Trust Fund will grow, resulting in more revenues flowing to the states for wildlife conservation. Building shooting facilities would be a sound investment by the state fish and game agencies.
“Importantly, the bill does not increase the size of the federal budget. It just changes the formula for how the existing funds can be used for one of the purposes for which the excise tax is paid,” said Keane. “We sincerely appreciate Rep. Walsh’s leadership and support for sportsmen and their firearms freedoms.”
Members of the firearms and ammunition industry spoke to members of Congress about this bill just last week at NSSF’s annual Congressional Fly-In. The legislation is supported by the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), which represents the 50 state fish and game agencies, and over 25 national conservation and sportsmen organizations.
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