Safari Club International (SCI) celebrates the Senate’s passage of the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act. Mark Green (R-TN-07) introduced the legislation earlier this month to prevent the Biden administration from defunding shooting sports and archery programs with its deliberate misinterpretation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA).
SCI and its allies in Congress were instrumental in calling attention to the Department of Education’s BSCA guidance that would effectively deny young Americans the opportunity to educate themselves on basic firearm and hunting safety. Furthermore, SCI, the West Michigan Bowhunters Chapter of SCI, and the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation (SAF) didn’t hesitate to go on the offensive to correct the Biden administration’s erroneous funding guidance when they filed suit against the Department to ensure BSCA implementation per congressional intent earlier this month.
This legislation, however, is an essential next step that holds Secretary Cardona and the Department of Education to account and guarantees any BSCA guidance cannot deprive legitimate extracurricular programs of funding based on ideological, anti-hunting biases.
“In an era of partisanship and divided government, the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act is a rare but welcome example of government operating as it should: to serve people, not remote bureaucrats in Washington,” said W. Laird Hamberlin, SCI CEO. “We thank Representative Green and his colleagues in Congress for championing this important legislation to ensure that America’s next generation of sportsmen and women have access to valuable shooting sports and archery programs in public schools nationwide.”
The Department of Education has issued guidance on the BSCA to schools, stating that federal funds may not be used for training “any person,” including teachers or students, in “the use of a dangerous weapon.” The Department’s interpretation of the BSCA—a law intended to make schools safer by providing greater mental health support to students—would prohibit the use of federal ESEA funding for any program that includes archery or firearms training. This includes the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP), as well as hunter education.