In a show of bipartisan support, two senior members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Ron Kind (D-WI) and Rob Bishop (R-UT), have introduced H.R. 1222, the Target Practice & Marksmanship Training Support Act of 2019.
H.R. 1222 amends the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to give states more flexibility to create, maintain and expand shooting ranges on public lands.
“This legislation provides State fish and game agencies much-needed latitude in using tax dollars raised from the sale of firearms and ammunition to enhance public shooting ranges and build new ones,” said SCI President Paul Babaz. “Our SCI members and other outdoorsmen and women use the public shooting ranges to sight in their rifles and shotguns before hunting season begins. The ranges provide an ideal place for people to enjoy target shooting, take hunter education and firearm safety courses. This is also a great help for those who want to exercise their Second Amendment responsibilities.”
The legislation has been introduced in previous Congressional sessions and has received tremendous bipartisan support. Last fall, the legislation was approved in the House with a unanimous voice vote.
The Pittman Robertson Act has raised more than $12 billion for wildlife conservation since its enactment in 1937. A portion of the excise taxes paid into the fund by firearms and ammunition manufacturers are used by states for hunter education courses and public shooting ranges.
Under the current formula, state agencies are discouraged from building and enhancing public shooting ranges. H.R. 1222 would allow states to begin work on ranges with 10 percent matching funds, as opposed to the current 25 percent.
Americas hunters provide millions of dollars to the Pittman Robertson Wildlife Restoration Fund every year through the purchase of firearms and ammunition. Those funds are used for wildlife management and habitat conservation.
Encouraging participation in hunting and shooting sports through the maintenance and construction of shooting ranges will ensure the continuation of outdoor sportsmen’s dollars dedicated to the conservation of America's wildlife.