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 shooting sports. At a time when lack of access is 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) Member Rep. Blake Moore and CSC Co-Chair Rep. Jimmy Panetta 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.
Last week, the Range Access Act was introduced in the House by CSC Member Rep. Blake Moore and CSC Co-Chair Rep. Jimmy Panetta. This legislation will increase target shooting opportunities by providing safe, accessible ranges for sportsmen and women.
Specifically, the Range Access Act requires the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to have a minimum of one free and public target shooting range in each of the respective districts. This legislation will also help mitigate pollution and waste at non-dedicated ranges on USFS and BLM lands.
Not only is the Range Access Act important to provide access opportunities for hunters and recreational shooters, but it is also critical to bolstering the Pittman-Robertson Act – the largest and most important program for hunting and target shooting access and wildlife conservation in the country. Enacted in 1937 at the request of sportsmen and women 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. In Fiscal Year 2023 alone, the Pittman-Robertson Act generated nearly $1.2 billion in funding to support state-level wildlife conservation, shooting range construction, hunter education, and other critical programs to our hunting and shooting heritage.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation strongly thanks CSC Member Rep. Moore and CSC Co-Chair Rep. Panetta for their commitment to sportsmen and women through the Range Access Act.