On April 29, the U.S. House passed the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (H.R. 1222) on a voice vote, and now awaits the President’s signature for enactment. Sponsored by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Members Congressmen Ron Kind (WI), Rob Bishop (UT), and Duncan Hunter (CA), this legislation is a long-time priority for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and the sporting community.
“Now more than ever, America’s sportsmen and women need places to hone their skills and learn the fundamentals of hunting and the shooting sports,” said CSF President Jeff Crane. “This bill furthers these goals by making it easier to build and operate public shooting ranges that are critical in our efforts to recruit, retain and reactive hunters and target shooters who are the backbone of the American System of Conservation Funding.”
Prior to passage, CSF sent an action alert to all House CSC Members asking for their support of H.R. 1222.
Current law requires a 25% non-federal match for the construction, operation, and maintenance of public target shooting ranges. This bill would reduce the non-federal match requirement to 10%. Existing law also requires states to use apportioned Pittman-Robertson dollars within a 2-year window, often making it difficult to complete projects that span multiple budget cycles. H.R. 1222 will address this issue by extending the cap to five years. Together, these proposed changes will generate additional revenue for conservation by providing additional venues for marksmanship training in a controlled environment.
On April 10, the U.S. Senate passed identical legislation (S. 94) on unanimous consent. Under the unanimous consent agreement, the Senate took up the House version.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?