July 27, 2018

Wildlife Conservation Groups Urge Advancing Sportsmen’s Access Bill in Congress

On July 20, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and 15 other of the nation’s leading hunting and recreational shooting conservation groups submitted a letter in support of the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (H.R. 788).

The letter also requested that the bill be included in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

H.R. 788 was introduced on February 1, 2017, by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Member Congressman Duncan Hunter (CA). At no additional costs to the Department of Defense or the taxpayer, H.R. 788 would help facilitate access to public target shooting ranges by reducing existing state and local fund 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.

Similar standalone legislation (S. 593) has been introduced in the Senate by CSC Member Senator Shelley Moore Capito (WV), CSC Vice-Chair Heidi Heitkamp (ND), and CSC Members Senators John Boozman (AR) and Michael Bennet (CO).

Unfortunately, H.R. 788 was not included in the NDAA conference report when it was released on July 23. CSF, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and other partners will continue to pursue opportunities to advance this piece of legislation in partnership with CSC Members during the remainder of the 115th Congress.

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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