Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Members Congressmen Ron Kind (WI) and Rob Bishop (UT) introduced the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act of 2019 (H.R. 1222), which would amend the Pittman-Robertson Act to provide more flexibility to state agencies to construct, expand, and maintain public target shooting ranges.
Hunters and target shooters are the drivers of the Pittman-Robertson Fund, which collects excise taxes on firearms, archery equipment, and ammunition sales for conservation programs across the country. A large portion of the funds collected under the Pittman-Robertson Act are directly attributable to recreational target shooters, who per capita, spend even more money on taxable items under the Pittman-Robertson Act than hunters do. However, Pittman-Robertson funds have not always been apportioned in a way that reflects the contributions of target shooters, which is what this legislation seeks to address.
H.R. 1222 would give states more flexibility to use apportioned Pittman-Robertson funds for constructing, expanding, and maintaining public target ranges by reducing the state-side match requirement from 25% to 10%. This bill would also allow to range construction funds to accrue over a period of five years - as opposed to the current cap of two years - allowing projects to be completed over multiple state budget cycles.
“In order to ensure the future of the American System of Conservation Funding, legislation that promotes participation of sportsmen and women is critically important,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) President Jeff Crane. “CSF is working with Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Members on both sides of the aisle to introduce and pass common sense, pro-access legislation like H.R. 1222.”
Similar legislation has been introduced in previous Congresses, which also enjoyed strong bipartisan support. Prior to introduction of H.R. 1222, the Senate companion bill (S. 94) was advanced by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. CSF and partner organizations in the sporting conservation community groups sent a letter of support to the Committee.
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- Improve hunter and target shooter involvement in regulatory and legislative processes. (11.52%)
- Enact or expand temporary hunter education deferral programs (apprentice license programs, multiyear options, programs for all first-time hunters regardless of age, and programs promoting hunting of multiple game species). (11.52%)
- Offer shooting sports and hunter education as school activities and recreation programs. (64.40%)
- Link existing programming into family-oriented organizations (such as churches and home-school groups) where participants will have the social support to continue. (12.57%)