April 20, 2018

House Natural Resources Committee Passes Important Recreational Access Legislation

On April 18, the House Natural Resources Committee marked up and passed H.R. 788, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act on a voice vote. This bipartisan piece of legislation was introduced by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Member Congressman Duncan Hunter (CA) on February 1, 2017.

The bill would help facilitate public access to public target shooting ranges for sportsmen and women by reducing the existing state and local funds match requirements for the construction, operation, and maintenance of public target shooting ranges from 25 percent to 10 percent. Additionally, this legislation would amend the Pittman-Robertson Act to allow for funds to accrue over a period of five years as opposed to the current cap of two years. This legislation would also provide additional flexibility to the states for the construction, maintenance, and operation of public target shooting ranges.

Since inception, the Pittman-Robertson Act has contributed over $11 billion to wildlife conservation through the contributions of sportsmen and women, and the manufacturers who produce the firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment that are subject to these important taxes. A significant portion of this amount is directly attributable to recreational shooters.

“With the ever-increasing urbanization and suburbanization of our population, it has become increasingly difficult to participate in recreational shooting. This important piece of legislation will help increase access and opportunities for sportsmen and women to participate in recreational shooting,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) President Jeff Crane.

H.R. 788 awaits to be scheduled for a floor vote in the House of Representatives.

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?

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