Why It Matters: The Range Access Act is an essential piece of legislation to increase access opportunities for America’s hunters and recreational shooters. As recreational shooting continues to grow in popularity, this legislation will help increase opportunities for hunters and target shooters to participate in this time-honored tradition. At a time when lack of access if often cited as the number one reason why sportsmen and women no longer participate in hunting or shooting, the Range Access Act represents an important piece of legislation to continue bolstering the increase in target shooting popularity.
- On Friday, Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Rep. Blake Moore (UT) introduced the Range Access Act, an important bill to improve recreational shooting opportunities for America’s sportsmen and women.
- Specifically, the Range Access Act would require both the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to ensure that each of their respective districts has a minimum of one recreational shooting range that is open to the public.
- This bill will bolster the Pittman-Robertson Act, the lifeblood of state fish and wildlife agencies, which is largely funded by the contributions of recreational target shooters.
On Friday, October 14, CSC Member Rep. Blake Moore of Utah introduced the Range Access Act – an effort to enhance recreational shooting opportunities for sportsmen and women, and a top priority for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF).
The Range Access Act requires the USFS and BLM to have at least one designated shooting range in each of their respective districts. The target ranges established under this bill shall be free and open to the public to provide a safe and accessible site for sportsmen and women to participate in recreational shooting.
Not only is the Range Access Act important in terms of providing access opportunities for hunters and recreational shooters, it is also critical to bolstering the Pittman-Robertson Act – the largest and most important program for hunters and recreational shooters in the country. Enacted in 1937 at the request of hunters and the manufacturers of firearms and ammunition, the Pittman-Robertson Act directs industry level excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment to be used for wildlife conservation purposes and programs to increase access for hunting and target shooting. Last year alone, the Pittman-Robertson Act generated $1.1 billion in funding to support state-level wildlife conservation, shooting range construction, hunter education, and other critical programs to our hunting and shooting heritage.
Roughly 80% of the funding generated under the Pittman-Robertson Act comes from recreational shooters, who often spend even more money on firearms and ammunition than hunters. Given their contributions to the Pittman-Robertson Act, it is critical to increase access opportunities for recreational shooters to participate in our time-honored tradition of target shooting. The Pittman-Robertson Act represents a unique and unmatched partnership in support of conservation, our sporting traditions, and enhanced opportunities to exercise our firearms rights, and the Range Access Act bolsters this partnership. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation thanks CSC Member Rep. Blake Moore for leading the Range Access Act. CSF looks forward to working with the Congressman to advance this legislation.